This is the 7th day of the cruise and I am now confident in my demographic assessment of the passengers on this ship. I was hoping my initial assessment had been too bleak, but it appears it was wildly optimistic. We’ve stumbled upon God’s Waiting Room Cruise. Even though I’m overweight and have diabetes, I’m a spectacular physical specimen compared to the passengers on this cruise. I feel like a million bucks. I’m in the top 10% thinnest people on this boat. Avalon is in the top 2%. If you put your hand too close to someone’s plate of food in the dining room, you could lose it. It’s like a rascal/hoverround/wheelchair/walker convention. It seems that half the boat has seen the commercials for free power chairs and called the 1-800 number.
The ancient mariners not using a powered vehicle could all be in a Comcast Slowski commercial. They ponder whether they should scoop vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream on their second slice of triple fudge delight dream cake for what seems like an eternity in the buffet line. The percentages in my analysis may not add up to 100% because there are many people who cross over into multiple categories and I’m making up the numbers as I go along. I’ll try my best to give you an understanding of what I’m witnessing.
- Already dead – they just don’t know it. – 5%
- Only alive due to the tremendous advances in medical technology. – 5%
- Smell like they died last week. – 5%
- Have a better than 50% chance of dying on the cruise during the stressful jitter bug competition. – 5%
- So hard of hearing they talk at a volume 5 times louder than necessary. – 5%
- So old they fondly recall the good old days of the FDR administration. – 10%
- Can’t remember what they ate 10 minutes ago. – 15%
- Complains about all the 60 year old youngsters hogging the hot tub. – 10%
- Youngsters like me and Avalon. – 20%
- Newlyweds who think life is going to be great (A few minutes with me would ruin them for life, so I avoid speaking with them.) – 10%
- Hordes of teenagers roaming the ship with unlimited access to soda. – 5%
- Screaming 2 year old brats ruining my dinner. – 5%
- So fat they are banned from congregating together on one side of the boat for fear of capsizing the ship. – 15%
- So fat their Rascal has a beeper for when they put it in reverse. – 5%
- So fat their Rascal had to be reinforced with steel beams. – 5%
- So fat that when they get into the hot tub a wave is created that sweeps skinny people out to sea. – 10%
- So fat they complain about the limited selection at the All you can Eat 24 hour buffet. – 10%
- Just morbidly obese. – 20%
- Obese women who they think they are hot enough to wear a bikini. – 10%
- Men whose stomachs are so large they appear to be pregnant. – 10%
- Relatively healthy specimens. – 14.9995%
- Hot bodies. – .0005%
- Northern Europeans (they jibber jabber in some guttural Germanic type language) who actually worked hard their whole lives and saved enough money to pay for nice vacations in their old age. – 25%
- Southern Europeans from France, Spain, Greece, or anywhere else warm in Europe who never worked hard, never saved for the future and are now rioting because their free shit has been cut off. – 0%
- Mexicans and other South American types. – 5%
- Loud, obnoxious, pushy New Yawkers who talk too loud and butt in the buffet line. – 20%
- Asian people with cameras. – 5%
- Nice, polite, good looking, smart people from the Philadelphia area. – 15%
- Black people celebrating the Obama victory with a cruise because they are counting on the savior to keep paying their food, phone, cable, and energy bills. – 15%
- White people from other places in America. – 15%
The average age on this cruise is approximately 60. This shouldn’t be surprising. The people in this country with the wealth are the older generations. You can only go on cruises if you have time and money. There are very few single young people on this cruise. That’s because they don’t have jobs or money. The Silent Generation is the last well off cruising generation. I noticed many family groups with the grandparents footing the bill for their middle aged children and their children. With savings rates under 4%, declining real wages, Boomers who forgot to save for their old age, and investment returns guaranteed to average below 5%, the future of cruising seems dicey.
The average male weight is 250 pounds. The average female weight is 200 pounds. On an attractiveness scale of 1 to 10, I’d be generous in giving an average of 5 to the people on this cruise. After witnessing this cross section of America and Europe, there is no doubt in my mind that we have a huge obesity problem. It isn’t just an American problem anymore. Europeans have caught up on the obesity scale. I wonder if it has anything to do with 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, 1st lunch, 2nd lunch, pre-dinner, dinner, late dinner, or the midnight buffet?
With 10,000 Boomers per day turning 65 for the next 20 years, the epidemic of obesity and its various medical consequences, and Obamacare adding millions to the government insurance rolls, our economic collapse is a given.
Another anecdote from the cruise further convinced me that our current economic dynamic is unsustainable. Even on vacation I wake up early. I headed down to the 24 hour coffee shop at 6:30 am the other morning. I was drinking a cup of coffee and reading my book (Catch-22 – I read it when I was 20 years old and wanted to see whether it impacts me differently 29 years later. Nothing like reading the most cynical novel in history while relaxing on a cruise.) For some unknown reason I must seem approachable to complete strangers. A nice old guy in his sixties noticed my Flyers shirt and said he was from Glen Falls, New York and goes to see the Flyers minor league team in Adirondack all the time. We started chatting and he almost immediately told me that he had retired at the ripe old age of 48. I thought he was going to tell me he had made a killing on Wall Street and was able to cash out at such a young age. But knooow. He retired from the New York State Corrections System with a nice fat pension and health benefits at the age of 48. He was a prison guard for 25 years. That is not an easy job, but when government employees can collect a pension for longer than the number of years they actually worked, we’ve got a problem. Government unions and the gold plated pension and health benefits will bankrupt every state in this country. It’s just math.
The top deck on the ship has a walking/jogging track. I would recommend that Royal Caribbean make some changes on future ships. They should add a rascal lane on every deck. They should have a special buffet line for the rascal brigade. Their pools and hot-tubs should be super-sized to handle their increasingly obese clientele. Their shower stalls can barely fit a moderately obese Boomer. They must be expanded. They can probably reduce the size of their salad bar, based upon its limited usage. It would also be nice if they played some decent music from the Gen-X era. But beyond these few nitpicky points, it has been a relaxing experience and the kids have made loads of new friends.
I’m pretty sure most of the people on this cruise are unaware of our dire fiscal situation. Most of them will expire to the big cruise ship in the sky before the shit hits the fan. I’m sure most of them voted for Obama and their “right” to more free shit. At least 60% of the passengers on this ship of fools are collecting what’s due to them from their government protectors. I’d be tossed out of the hot-tub if I was to ever suggest that maybe we should sacrifice a little today so there is something left for future generations. I think it would be a different dynamic if we ever threw a Burning Platform Cruise (aka Voyage of the Doomed). We could have Cynical30 and JJ providing live musical entertainment. DJ Colma would be spinning Bad Religion and his particular brand of music in the dance club. I’d book Green Day just to piss SSS off. We would have a Lawrence Welk night for SSS, but we’d have to make it early before his 2nd nap. I’m guessing the hot-tub discussions on a Burning Platform Cruise might be more animated, with an increased chance of drowning. We wouldn’t allow kids on the cruise because they would annoy PJ. Stuck would play the main room as our stand-up comedian. I’d like to hear what everyone thinks would happen on a TBP Cruise.