Cruise Law News : Maritime Lawyer & Attorney : James M. Walker : Walker & O’Neill Law Firm : Admiralty Law, Cruise Ship Accidents & Injuries

div class=”blogbody”> I come from a family of prolific readers.  My Dad has read every Louis L’Amour book ever written.  My Mom started my brother, sister and me out on the Hobbitt when we were little kids.  She bought me J.R.R. Tolkin’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy when I was 9 years old (its still sitting in my home office, mostly unread). 

My Mom, no doubt, has read more books than anyone alive.  She stills perfectly quotes Shakespeare lines she learned in college in the early 1950′s (not bad for a girl born in Calion – population 600 - Arkansas). 

But me?  I loved comic books.  Still do.

One of my favorite comic books is Papy Plouf (a/k/a Grampa Splash).  I have read it cover-to cover, over-and-over.

This is an absurd comic book, en francais, written and drawn by Martin Veyron.

What’s it about you ask?

Older passengers on a cruise ship begin dying mysteriously.  The ship doctor has to try and determine why this is happening - while keeping the cruise line’s executives happy by secreting disposing of the mounting dead bodies.

But before he can do so, a mutiny breaks out on the cruise ship.  The staff captain tries to depose the Captain.  Pirates try to board the cruise ship. Then a tsunami heads to destroy the sick and mutinous ship! 

Is this just fictional writing by a creative writer? 

No. It actually sounds a lot like the recent travails of the "Cursed Cruise Ship of the High Seas" - The Balmoral – the focus of my last article.  Hundreds of puking passengers, pirates trying to board, a cruise ship bouncing around in extreme weather . . . all the while acting like everything is just fine.

This is why I am intrigued by cruise lines.  They try to live in a world unto themselves. 

Everyday I walk into my office and learn of the latest cruise debacle, I feel like I am entering a world more absurd than any Papy Plouf comic book I have ever read.  


Credit:    Martin Veyron

Tags: Worst Cruise Line in the World, absurdity, cruise, cruise law, existentialism, papy plouf, sartre

Existentialism and An Alaskan Voyage Aboard Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess

Posted on October 15, 2009 by Jim Walker I’ll admit it.  David Foster Wallace’s "A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again" is one of the funniest, albeit most cynical, books ever written about the cruise industry.  So when I read Benjamin Errett’s recent article in Canada’s National Post entitled "The Indignity of Weak Coffee – A Deeply Cynical Account of an Alaskan Cruise," I knew that I had found a kindred spirit.   

Mr. Errett spends a week aboard Princess’ Sapphire Princess celebrating his Dad’s 60th birthday. Realizing that he is not Princess’ "target market" because he is 30 years too young and as many pounds too light, he creates his ’10 Wonderful Things About An Alaskan Cruise."  A couple of highlights:

#3  "The portly fellow who walked into the gym with an olive-clogged martini in hand, surveyed the sweaty treadmillers and laughed aloud." 

#4  "Watching fellow passengers pile their plates high with rashes of congealed bacon." He warns "don’t look at them.  Grab a banana and get out . . . "

#8  "Lax smuggling policies . . .  leading to the half-sad, half-funny sight of well-to-do Americans pouring Kahlua into empty 2-litre Pepsi bottles behind the port liquor store."

Some people like cruising. Others, like Mr. Errett, feel more like a "tourist herded into shops, sold piles of junk and ultimately having a Disney-like experience."

If Sartre is correct that "hell is other people," then a week aboard the Sapphire Princess sounds to me like a scene from "No Exit." 


Photo credit:

Photo of Sapphire Princess    Barbara Bagnell (via National Post)

Photo of Sartre’s "No Exit"     Lungstruck’s  Flickr photostream

Tags: A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace, Worst Cruise Line in the World, existentialism, no exit, princess cruises, sapphire princess, sartre

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