[quote]These "sardine cans" are in fact quite spacious, and offer more activities every day than any land resort and many destination cities! Ice skating? Check. Rock climbing? Check. Go-carts, water parks, theatre, jazz clubs, discos, bars, spas, libraries, behind-the-scenes tours, karaoke, bingo, glass blowing, arts and crafts classes, gyms, fitness classes, dance lessons, cooking demonstrations, piano lounges and cabarets... More things than you could possibly do during the length of the cruise -without ever getting off the ship.
That's a very un-enticing list of activities. I've been know to go to a bar, yes, and I suspect a cruise ship might increase my appreciation for them for the duration of the voyage. To a theatre, yes (but if I want to see a drama or comedy, I prefer London, or a production of some quality.) If I want a library, I have a nice one at home, and I can download almost anything to a tablet. Go-carts? Are you fucking kidding? Water parks? Karaoke? Dance lessons?
I understand the concept of a cruise, which as R173 says "is NOT 'travel' -it's a vacation." If I want to lounge about, and sometimes I do, I go to a hotel in a city or a rural area or on a coast and lounge. In a hotel. But I'm not trapped with the same people for for every cooking class and lap on the go-carts should I like. I can go to a bar down the street or on the other side of town. I can see an historic library in a beautiful building, or hear live music in a language I don't know. I can have a breakfast that wasn't prepared by the same people who prepared my breakfast yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that; the same people who prepared my lunches and dinners all those days. I can alternately fuck and take some sun and sleep and do nothing much but in luxury for days on end if that's my plan.
You present an image of a cruise as a destination for people who are maybe tight on vacation time, or are timid or lazy about making their own plans. I don't need a boat to organize my itinerary, whether to explore or to just fuck and laze about and drink and eat and sleep. I can do those things without third-party help, wiithout go-carts and rock climbing. I'm not afraid to jump on a plane at the last minute with some thrown together clothes and a credit card. I can figure things out along the way as I've done before many times, whether it's an ambitious or a lazy agenda in mind. For someone comfortable traveling without handholding, without money belts and fanny packs, without a tightly organized schedule with Chinese menu options for my excursions and diversions, a cruise ship —even a much more upscaled version of the picture you paint— doesn't have much appeal.
They make perfect sense for some people. They just don't make perfect sense for all people. It's not unfamiliarity with the concept of cruise ship travel or it's high-end or low-end variations that put some people of the idea, it's just that they recognize it's not for them, and not for everybody.