Cruise Control

I know it’s been a while since my last blog post, but since my first ever cruise aboard the Carnival Conquest ended, things have been very hectic.

Two days before my cruise my vehicle’s engine cracked; which part is unknown since it would’ve cost too much money to find out.

On the same day I got terribly ill and I was forced to leave work early and go home. A few hours’ nap seemed to put things right again…and good thing too: if I went to the hospital I would’ve never made the cruise, for which a frightening amount of money had already been invested (don’t judge me too harshly).

Even though all of this would be waiting for me when I returned from my cruise; I believe I did a good job NOT thinking about it while on the cruise so as to ruin my vacation…

…so, on to the cruise…

The Carnival Conquest is a monster: 2,974 passengers, 1,150 crew members, 110 thousand tons of Fincantieri ship-building magic flying across the water at a brisk 25.9 miles per hour…

…built in 2002 and renovated in 2009, the Conquest boasts eight restaurants, a theatre, a casino, at least fourĀ bars (the opportunity to purchase and suck down alcohol was everywhere–even in the on-board shops), and plenty of live entertainment (including a string trio).

Sondra and I didn’t believe that our stateroom would have a view; but to our pleasant surprise we were able to enjoy a water-sealed window just above the water line that gave us a marvelous view of the outside world…

…and that world was mostly ocean. Sondra jokingly used the word “trapped” a few hours after we had left Fort Lauderdale behind for the open sea. There came a point when one could not see land in any direction. At that point, what was a vacation vessel became a life- boat/ship, though most passengers were probably too occupied with celebrating to give the idea much of any thought. If I were to jump into the ocean while the vessel sailed on, it would only be a matter of time before I perished by one means or another.

Of course, at the time of Sondra’s joke about being trapped my thoughts weren’t really going that way; I was sending my imagination into the vast depths of the sea beneath our swift life-vessel. Upon our planet was a Second World many never give a thought to, though our very survival depends on its ecosystem.

So vast are the depths of the Seven Seas, that sunlight only plumbs less than one-seventh (1/7) of its depths. Most life that exists in the sea thrives in the first three-fifths (3/5) of a mile below the surface. Below that is over six miles of darkness, incredible pressure, and life forms that have existed for tens of thousands of years undisturbed.

The Earth itself is an ancient life-raft sailing at incredible speed (over 600,000 mph) in an ocean of space in which the nearest habitable object (Mars) is over 33 million miles away. 99% of all life that has ever existed on Earth has already gone extinct. Most of the 14 million species that remain are still undocumented.

Few of us consider these truths in our hearts…but perhaps its time that we did. Moses prayed that as a species we would “number our days” and spend the brief time we have in applying our hearts to wisdom rather than greed or hedonism (Psalm 90:12). Jesus Christ warned that humanity would come to the precipiceĀ of extinction before His Return from Heaven (Matthew 24:22).

Am I against cruise vacations? Not at all; for the most part I enjoyed myself…though by the fourth day I was ready to go home. I even participated in on-board karaoke and received many complements about my singing–which made me feel real good!

I do have a couple of suggestions for Carnival, though:

  1. 3,000 passengers stuck on the same ship is a stress test out of control; whittle it down to 1,000 and I believe you’d have a better experience for both passengers and crew.
  2. The new Circle C room where kids can play video games is a great idea; statistically more ADULTS play video games than children do (HINT!!!).

If you’ve never been on a cruise before, by all means give it a shot; just remember to give enough time to planning the flights and road trips that will get you to and from the port!

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