Here’s Gramps’ view:
On freighters, you get a feel for trade and commerce, how it all works, who buys what from whom, etc. Next, you meet unusual fellow passengers, people who have been around and who have amazing tales to tell. You also get a whiff of the arbitrary nonsense that are nation states.
And, you have a hell of a lot of time on your hands to do all the things you never had time for write a book, learn a language, develop a business plan, finally master that darn computer game you never really got into, etc.
The food is usually great, and the ports are interesting and often offbeat. I would consider it a very forming experience, akin to the ‘wandering years’ young men used to engage in during simpler times. It’ll probably also teach you respect for the great unwashed without whose tireless efforts everywhere, ourselves wouldn’t be able to enjoy the lifestyles we often take for granted and give you a sense for the special kind of people that the seafarer class is made of.
In short, if you are young, a cruise will help make you a man. Best though to actually work for the passage, or to find a vessel with an elderly purser who can do with some help.
If you are older, it will probably help you regain the perspective you lost during all those years running in a circle.
Post your comments, thoughts, related personal experiences, corrections or questions below.