Afterwards, out of perverse curiousity, I checked one of the message boards run by Simpsons "fans" to read their reactions, and naturally they were almost universally panning it as one of the worst episodes ever. Here is an actual quote from one of the posts:
Not a lot of people are familiar with the Mayflower, the Mutiny on the Bounty or the Poseiden Adventure, so it's hard for people to relate or understand the plot. The previous historical trilogies picked much more well known stories.Wow. Just... wow. Assuming this had been posted by a nine-year-old, who might deserve to be cut some slack, I checked the person's profile. He (or she) is 20. I'm starting to understand the bandwagon that claims that The Simpsons hasn't been funny for years. The show hasn't jumped the shark, the audience has. At least the vocal internet one.
They don't seem to be able to grasp the idea that if they are some combination of too clueless, young, uneducated or unhip to get the humor in a Simpsons episode, they aren't the target audience. And that, my friends, is comedy gold.