Cruise ship versus battleship

I heard someone ask an audience once

Would you rather spend a couple days on a cruise ship or on a battleship?
Would you rather spend a year on a cruise ship or on a battleship?

Presumably most people would rather spend a couple days as a passenger on a cruise ship rather than working on a battleship. But after a while, having no purpose and no responsibility becomes miserable. You can only play so much shuffleboard before you go out of your mind. (Relaxation can be its own purpose for a couple days, but not for a year.)

Related post: After two days, I’d turned into an idiot

5 thoughts on “Cruise ship versus battleship

  1. That assumes that you aren’t working on the cruise ship, and that you are working on the battleship.

    If you are only there for a couple days, you probably aren’t working there.

    If you are there for a year, you probably are working there.

  2. Depends on the cruise too… what if the person was asking about Carnival Cruise?! I’d rather be on the battleship!

  3. Well, my initial reaction was that I would prefer a couple of days on a battleship, but after a while the drudgery would make me wish for the cruise ship. Don’t a lot of the jobs on the show “Dirty Jobs” look like they would be fun to do (once)?

  4. History & time suggest that if you are on a battleship, you are probably somewhere between 1905 – 1945. The number of battleships sunk with the majority of their crews is a high proportion of the number of battleships built. Or put another way – would you like to be onboard this battleship instead of on a cruise ship?

    The idea of choosing between leisure vs. duty, and for how long, is an interesting one, but the example is chosen by someone who never served in a Navy, I think. There is a lot more to serving on a warship than just having duties to perform. Months of mindless boredom out at sea, with unknown missions & purposes, arbitrary and unexplained orders to follow, stuffed in close proximity with other men in tiny quarters… and in battleship times, they were ALL men… not seeing women, or for that matter, family, or home, for months or years at a clip. This monotony was (rarely) interrupted by massive chunks of flaming death suddenly hurled at you in furious battles. Forgetting your own probabilites of death, seeing your shipmates literally destroyed by the dozens right in front of you, damages you in ways that we didn’t start to acknowledge until the Vietnam War. Add severe, unpredictable weather before weather radar or satelite storm tracking was even envisioned, horrible accidents involving large quantites of high explosive, steam boilers, and massive machinery…

    Perhaps a better comparison – would you rather be a passenger on a cruise ship, or the captain?

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