Wherein I Aspie the Shit Outta My Trip
In our last episode, I went over how it came to be that a landlubber like me got roped into taking a Caribbean cruise.
Once the decision was made, I just had to research the ever-loving hell out of what a cruise is actually like. Enter: YouTube.
I found there are two types of cruise YouTubers: “How to Get the Best Deals” and “Personal Vlog”. I watched a lot of both kinds, mainly to get an idea of what to expect. Those of you who have seen me at my drunkest on Zoom may find this shocking, but I hate making an ass of myself in public. And cruising has its own etiquette and social rules. Where you can and can’t go, tipping, drinking, poolside manners – it was all unfamiliar to me.
It turned out my favorite type of YouTube was the “Personal Vlog” kind. I liked peeking into people’s drinking and dining and socializing lives on board a cruise ship. I learned which cruise lines and routes are riddled with kids/families, which ones skewed old and sedate, which had the good food, how excursions are run, etc.
I did find that the line I would be cruising on, Holland America (aka HAL), does not court the social media crowd. Very few YouTubers make videos on HAL, which is a shame. It’s essentially free or low-cost advertising for the line. Oh, well. I ran through the few HAL videos in short order and moved onto videos about other cruise lines. If I ended up wanting to do more cruises, these would come in handy.
By the end of it, I felt I was prepared fairly well to keep the foolishness to a minimum.
Here are a small sampling of my favorite CruiseTubers:
Cruise With Ben and David: very much the “personal vlog” style, these two northern Brits always inject humor into their videos, even when the going gets tough and the dining gets rough. Ben’s ridiculous one-liners always entertain me. They almost never talk about getting the cheapest deals – they just film their experiences and let the audience join the fun.
Emma Cruises: kind of a hybrid between vlog and deal-getting. Emma is a professional cruise consultant, so she addresses where & how you can get the best discounts. But she also invites the viewer into her vacation experiences, with good dining, rooming, and excursion reviews.
Tips for Travellers: very much a technical approach to cruising. While Gary’s on-camera persona is a bit flat compared to people like Ben & David, he is a mostly solo traveler, which is useful to me as I enjoy traveling alone.