Time passes slowly on a cruise ship



One of the strangest aspects of travelling on a cruise ship was how differently time seemed to pass when compared to being on land. Part of that perception had to do with being on vacation and not having a set schedule but there was also something more. I believe that the size of the ship and the amount of space to move around played a significant part, as space can affect a person’s perception of time.

Let me start by looking at two extremes when it comes to available space. For example if you are in a small cramped car on an 18 hour road trip time will seem to move very slowly. There is not much room to move around and you cannot get up to walk unless the car pulls over for a stop. You may want the time to pass quickly but it does not. In this situation you are acutely aware of the passage of time.

On the other hand, given a sufficiently large amount of room to move in, the effects of time are diminished as it relates to the journey. The traveler is very much oblivious to the fact that they are on a journey and from that point of view time slows down. It seems to pass slowly but not in a painful way but rather in a serene manner. At any given point of time while engaging in any activity on board the ship, it is moving getting closer to the next destination. A good example of this is our journey on this planet. The Earth is so large, and we can move about it so easily that on a day to day basis we forget that we are hurtling through space at a tremendous speed. If instead we were to be placed in a spaceship and sent into space with limited room to maneuver time would seem to trickle by. Having the space to move around in alters how we experience time.

Spending time on the cruise ship was somewhere in between these two extremes. There was ample room to walk and explore, things to eat, entertainment and other passengers to meet. As a result of this the days felt as if they lasted much longer. At the same time, when disembarking at destination countries, the contrast between the vast expanses of a country reminded me of how small the cruise ship was. By the end of the cruise however, it did not feel as if we had spent 10 days at sea it felt more like 2 months, in a good way. As far as value for money in creating lasting memories, taking a cruise is at the top of the list. It is like paying to watch a 2 hour movie and experiencing 10 hours worth, all while enjoying every minute.