The idea of a fun cruise seems like a natural one, but if you’ve ever been on one, you know how difficult it can be.
And so it is for many people when a trip takes so long, that their vacations become a series of short, grueling days spent in hotels or a cruise ship.
“It’s not just that it’s not fun,” says Bella Kidman, the author of The Cruise Book, a collection of stories set on cruise ships.
“It’s very, very stressful.
It’s really stressful.
You can’t have fun.
You have to be able to sleep.”
Kidman started creating fun cruise experiences on the high seas when she was a young writer in New York.
Her adventures included being kidnapped by pirates in Spain, travelling to the Maldives to film a documentary about a whale, and spending a week on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a landmark in Hollywood.
“We were doing a documentary, which was very popular,” she says.
“[And] when we started filming, the whale came out of the water, and I said, ‘Oh, my God.
It must be a dolphin.’
So, we set up a scene of this whale and I’m underwater, and this dolphin jumps out of it, and then the whale swims in front of me and I go, ‘This is my friend!'”
She says the experience made her realise how stressful and draining it was.
Kidman, now based in the US, says that cruises can also be fun, but they are only as good as the people on board.
“If you’re not in the middle of it,” she adds, “you don’t have the energy to get off.
And that’s not a fun thing to do.
You don’t get a great view of the ocean, you don’t see the scenery.”
For Kidman and others, cruising has become an opportunity to connect with people from all over the world.
“People want to go on a cruise because it is fun, because it brings people together, it’s a way of saying hello,” she explains.
“And it also allows us to say, ‘Hey, we’re all connected.'”
Kidman’s books and stories are now available in the US, Australia, and the UK.