Even though we had a great time on Tuanapalooza 2012, there’s something about being catered to, given unlimited quantities of food and treated extra special that led to some niggling issues/questions.
1. Was I was exploiting the labor? Over 50 countries were represented among the crew. Our most wonderful head waiter, Teody from the Philippines, who made amazing napkin hats, watched over the kids while we all went to an adult dinner, and did magic shows, left 3 kids at home in the Philippines for 6 months at a time while he fulfilled his cruise contract. On one hand, I’m sure he and the rest of the crew sign on because they earning great money compared to their prospects in their own countries. On the other, we suspected he was pretty poorly paid in general, and therefore our tips made a huge difference. There’s something queasifying about a man pouring himself wonderfully into your kids when you know he can’t hold or entertain his own kids for 6 whole months.
|Not food from our cruise, but you get the picture|
2. Sheer Gluttony: As the Cruise Director said the first day, “If you see it, eat it.” As a foodie, I loved being able to try all the different dishes. As a citizen of the world who hates waste, it was hard to see the sheer quantities of food, and how much was thrown away. There were nights our servers brought us extra dishes to taste, unasked. But I couldn’t finish the dish I ordered, let alone the extra beef tenderloin.
3. The not-all-inclusive All-Inclusive: As I wrote here, Disney gave ample opportunities to spend: adult dinner at Palo, adult tea at Palo, alcohol, smoothies, Port Adventures, special snacks/drinks at all the shows. This was my first all-inclusive experience, and I didn’t love how often I was asked to consider purchasing something. Even more, I didn’t love that my kids were bombarded with these messages.
4. Small Lack of Ethnic Sensitivity: I blogged about the “No Speakee Engleesh” comment the first night. On the last night, the juggler made comments about LA sounding just like Mexico. On the spectrum, a mild comment, but if I were Latino, I wouldn’t have wanted to hear it. As a Chinese woman, I didn’t want to hear it.
5. Mal de Debarqement Syndrome: Mal de what? After disembarking, most of the adults continued to feel like we were rocking up and down, what’s known as land legs, for up to a week! My brother-in-law the physician and researcher sent us a link about this phenomenon that said “Most individuals with this diagnosis are women between the ages of 40 and 50 who go on a 7-day cruise.” The researchers studied folks with long-term symptoms that lasted on average 3.5 YEARS! Thank God I’m done rocking.
Was the cruise/family reunion worth it despite these small bits?