Dorine and I have now gone on our 25th wedding-anniversary cruise in the Caribbean with my in-laws Judy and Mike P______. We had a good time -- we sailed on Celebrity Cruises' Summit cruise ship, embarking at San Juan, Puerto Rico on the evening of January 9 and spending seven nights aboard. We visited St. Maarten, Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic), Grenada, Tobago, and Barbados, ending with an entire day at sea before arriving back at San Juan on the morning of January 16. Taking a cruise provides a lot of bang for one's vacation buck. Where else can one get nice shipboard accommodations (including pampering from a cabin steward), a veranda overlooking the ocean, fine dining, top-notch live entertainment, exotic ports of call, access to pools, spas, and a gym, and shore excursions to snorkel, swim at the beach, and tour a tropical rain forest, all for about $1,000 per person (not counting airfare)? As Mike pointed out, buying all these things "a la carte" would undoubtedly cost ten times that much, which explains why Caribbean cruises are such a popular vacation get-away for middle-class folks. (Most of the more-affluent people I know probably wouldn't condescend to cruise in the Caribbean with the hoi-polloi.) As I write this, my inner ear and equilibrium are still out of whack from the movement of the ship on the sea, but that's a small price to pay to have created such great memories.
[Update 5/23/12: What irony! A small price to pay? The cruise ruined my life, leaving me in a perpetual half-light of disequilibrium, physical disability, and cognitive impairment.]