In this chapter psychoanalytic theory will be used to interpret various aspects of cruising-an exercise that has led to some interesting, surprising, and perhaps “far-out” notions. Two situations are possible: ocean cruising has some hidden aspects that are truly remarkable when revealed, or I have gone off the deep end, so to speak, and read all kinds of things into cruising, coming up with conclusions that are far-fetched and ridiculous. Keep an open mind and consider whether any of the analogies and interpretations might be true. (As I used to tell my students who accused me of being “far out,” I’m in the center and you are all “far in!”)
Although approximately only 12 or 13 percent of the American public has taken cruises, a high percentage of cruisers have taken many cruises. On my Regal Princess cruise, I met a couple who had taken twenty-five cruises and a travel agent told me that she knew of someone who had taken one hundred cruises. These may be rather extreme cases, but many people on cruises are on their tenth or fifteenth cruise.