Did you hear that Martha Stewart is starting her own cruise line with ships made entirely from papier-mâché? Just kidding! It's April Fool's Day, and Cruise Critic's news team has spent the morning trying to separate fact from fiction as funny faux headlines trickle in from around the world of travel.
Cruise industry shenanigans are nothing new -- one Christmas, shipyard STX Europe (then known as Aker Finnyards) announced, in jest, its first reindeer-powered cruise ship. However, this April Fool's Day has turned out more jokes than we've ever seen, particularly in the travel realm. Perhaps after months of worrying about how to afford cruises and other trips in a tough economy, we all just need a good laugh.
Keep reading for the top cruise wisecracks we've seen in today's news -- plus some honorable mentions from the travel world at large, and pranks played at sea as reported by you on our message boards!
Today's Top Cruise Spoof
All play and no work makes P&O a dull cruise line? This morning, Brit line P&O Cruises issued a press release unveiling their innovative, new "Jobs at Sea" program. Cruise passengers, you see, are bored with passé activities like lying in the sun, gambling and eating. Instead, they yearn to experience what it's like to play the lead in a West End-style revue, prepare thousands of lobster dishes in the galley or pilot a ship safely into port. The press release even features several testimonials from a recent trial, like the one from "Nicola Hamilton Gray from Oxford": "It took me three goes to pass my driving test as I could not get to grips with parallel parking. My friends couldn't believe the holiday photos of me docking a 115,000-tonne superliner in the Caribbean with absolute precision."
Check out our slideshow for runners-up in cruise and the rest of the travel industry!
Great Gags from Sea
What crazy stunts are Cruise Critic members encountering (or, better yet, pulling) on the high seas? Here are a few April Fool's Day highlights reported on the message boards:
Not a boring desk job. "A couple of years ago, two teenage kids were bored on one of the HAL ships," posts michmike, "...and so they liberated the future cruise consultant's desk and a couple of chairs and loaded them in an elevator and then rode up and down and when folks attempted to board, the boys would ask if they had a reservation. Sounds like great fun to this 61-year-old kid."
What time do the dolphins come out? "We were on the Amsterdam a couple of years ago, on the Hawaii cruise," writes Spinner2, "when there appeared in the Daily Program: 'April 1 -- 12 Noon -- Dolphins Released for Showtime -- Lower Prom. Deck, Starboard.' After thinking about what this might be, it dawned ... April Fool's Day! Everybody was out there at noon -- those who fell for it and those who wanted pictures of those who fell for it."
On the moo-ve onboard. "I have done two April Fool's cruises," Fblack posts. "One scheduled event was for the guests to take a private tour of the ship's dairy to see the cows. We were not fooled, but it was fun to watch people assemble in the lobby."
Got a gag of your own to share? Post it here! And don't forget to check out our April Fool's slide show for fun pictures (and more laughs).
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor, and Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor
The Best April Fool's Jokes in Cruise Travel
April 1, 2009