Price of gas is horrible, isn't it. Still, we are considering a trip to Northern California from Central Oklahoma for a National Mercedes Benz Club meet. Even if gas is $5 per gallon then, I figure I can drive there for $500 round trip, with another $500 for hotel on the road, making the trip $500 pp for the two of us -- not in an "econobox" but in a Mercedes. Then, when we get there for this five day event. Figure in another $375 pp for hotel and another 300 pp for food and drinks while there (as much will be provided by the club). And there we have an eleven day "luxury" trip for less than $1200 pp with no crowds, lines or nickel and diming.
For those who think Mercedes is a bit much, consider that our two get close to 30 mpg on the highway -- at 80. And the fact that, when we first cruised Regent in '02, total air and cruise cost for the two of us was 1/8 the cost of a new Mercedes. Today, it is more like 1/3. Makes me think that we should have more Mercedes and fewer cruises, which is exactly what we have done. We enjoy either. My posts above detail how other domestic land opportunites are a better deal than going on an uncrowded, uncommercialized cruise. One just has to look for them.
If my only cruise alternative that I can economically justify is a return to mass market lines, forget it. I'd rather stay home (it's a rather nice home) and hire a staff of servants for a week or two to wiat on me. Silly idea, but they would do a good job, and I really wouldn't miss those very few hours of actual port time that the mass market lines provide these days. And the cost pp would be way less.
So right now, I am priced out of the market for the cruises I like. Not because I am unable to pay the price, but becaue other things are a better value, IMO. Others may like different cruise experiences than I do now, and I understand. Were I 24 instead of 64 years of age, I would be wanting to go on Carnival and have no worries about my bar bill because all of the young women would have paid for my drinks
. That was then, and this is now. And for the cruise experiences I like now, I'd rather forgo them, take inexpensive domestic trips, and maybe buy a third Mercedes