It is time for me to confess.
There was a time, about a decade ago, when I said to anyone dumb enough to listen that the cruise lines simply did not make enough use of their outdoor decks as entertainment venues. I argued that the odd bit of live jazz outside- either by day or night- would be a real alternative from a night spent meandering around the bars and clubs down below.
And I was also all for the odd, open air disco out on deck, around the swimming pools. For a couple of hours on a balmy Caribbean or Mediterranean night, an outdoor disco could be a delightfully indulgent alternative.
Now, just a decade or so later, we have come to a time when our eardrums seem to be constantly under assault from a tidal wave of brutal, massively over amplified inanity, even on sea days. ‘Games’ around the pool, hosted by cruise staff at a level of decibels that can shatter glass ten miles away, vary wildly in quality, from the mildly amusing to the massively moronic.
Let’s be clear here. I am not having a go at the cruise staff, DJ’s and musicians who, as I know damned well, work their socks off round the clock to entertain and amuse the passengers. What I’m railing against is a mind set whose ideas of ‘fun’ seem to be set in stone.
Has it, in fact, gone too far in the wrong direction? I am convinced that, in certain quarters, the powers that be have simply collated increased volume with amplified levels of ‘fun’.
Er, no. It’s not. Well, at least not for all of us.
Being force fed a glut of pseudo exuberant claptrap that masquerades as ‘participation entertainment’ is most definitely not my idea of fun. And yes, being 55 years of age, there is a possibility that you could argue that I am ‘too old’ for this kind of thing.
To which I would reply; No- I’m simply mature enough to feel annoyed and unsettled by this constant, over amplified dumbing down of what should normally be my blissful, relaxing quality time spent at sea.
It wasn’t always like that, of course. Gone are the days of old, when all the entertainment provided would be a live reggae band on deck during the afternoon, laying down a montage of totally apt mood music at an agreeable volume that didn’t have the sharks diving for cover. This was the best of both worlds, because it was ambient and pleasant, as opposed to crude, banal and intrusive.
However, I would agree that there is a place for just this kind of loud, over the top stuff that seems to be spreading across the pool decks of far too many cruise ships like some kind of unstoppable oil slick.
It’s called a frat party. Either that, or Senor Frog’s. Rant over.