Sunday, October 03, 2010

COLUMN: Resistance to Star Trek Cruise is futile

There are certain things people think when watching “Star Trek.” Things like, “Why are all those people wearing pajamas?” and “Why can’t the Army be more like Starfleet?” and “Why don’t any of the women I meet ever return my calls?” And then there are the people who think, “If I could just go on a cruise with the guy who played the Emergency Medical Hologram on ‘Star Trek: Voyager,’ my life would be complete.” This column is for you.

Because I received a press release recently with the following subject line: “SIRTIS, DE LANCIE, PICARDO, RODDENBERRY AND MASTERSON SET TO SET SAIL ON STAR TREK CRUISE 2010!” I love how they list those names as if I would have any idea that they were referring to Troi, Q, the Emergency Medical Hologram, Gene Roddenberry’s son and Leeta from “Deep Space Nine.” Um … I just, uh, looked those up on Wikipedia.

OK, so maybe I have watched a Trek or two or 10 over the years, and once attended a Star Trek convention (for work!), and saw “Star Trek VI” in Times Square the night it opened with a friend who was wearing a Picard uniform complete with chirping combadge (and whom I will not name in case he never mentioned that to his now-wife, who would probably disappear in the night). But that doesn’t mean I would want to spend an entire week on a Star Trek-themed cruise, unless the only other option was a Disney cruise; I think either Goofy or me would wind up going overboard, and between us, it wouldn’t be me.

Here’s how I picture a Star Trek Cruise: sort of like a regular cruise, except instead of bathing suits the passengers are wearing Starfleet uniforms, walking around the lido deck chirping their combadges and giving each other the Vulcan hand salute. OK, I know not everybody would be dressed like that — some would be dressed as Commissioner Bele from “Star Trek: TOS” Season 3, Episode 14, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” Um … I just, uh, looked that up on … Oh, never mind.

But just when I thought I might be jumping to conclusions, I visited the Star Trek Cruise website, and it pretty much confirms that I was dead on — the main photo features an entire staircase full of pale people, some of them in costume, with fingers parted proudly in the traditional Vulcan manner. They all look completely at home, with the exception of one African-American guy in the corner with an “I’m So Street” T-shirt giving the gangster sideways peace sign. He looks like he was beamed there from some other, much hipper, cruise.

I guess I have to give the Star Trek stars credit for getting (literally) on board with this, no matter how much they may be getting paid. At least a Star Trek convention has a back door — here the only options for getting away from overzealous Trekkies are the lifeboats, or swimming to San Juan. And I can imagine how fans must react to Chase Masterson, who, in addition to being a Star Trek regular, was named one of the world’s “50 Sexiest Women” by Femme Fatales Magazine. The typical exchange probably goes something like this:

Chase Masterson: Nice to meet you! Are you a fan of the show?

Trekkie: [head explodes like the Klingon mining moon Praxis in “Star Trek VI”]

Still, you’ve got to admire the Trekkies for having the courage of their convictions. I’ll never forget when I went to that Star Trek convention (for work!) and saw someone buying an official deluxe Starfleet uniform. The guy behind the table asked him, “What rank?” and he responded, “Um … lieutenant commander?” Hey buddy, it’s your 60 bucks — go for captain!

People who take their entertainment that seriously probably have some serious fun when they get together for a week on the high seas. True, if you haven’t spent at least some mental energy during the last 20 years grappling with the question of Kirk vs. Picard, it may not be your thing. But if it is, you’d do a lot worse than spending a week with like-minded individuals in matching pajamas, hobnobbing with sort-of space celebrities — especially once that blue Romulan Ale starts flowing.

At least we know if things get out of hand, there’s an Emergency Medical Hologram in the house.


Note: I have been informed by reader "NXO1" of the following: "Cute article... However, being a Trek fan yourself, you should've known that the 'African-American guy in the corner' who 'looks like he was beamed there from some other, much hipper, cruise' is ANTHONY MONTGOMERY -- i.e., Ensign Travis Mayweather, series regular on Star Trek: Enterprise! He's one of the celebrity guests, not one of the fans! " Hmm ... Why do I feel better about myself for NOT knowing that?

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