I realize that this thread is a few months old, but I am new to this forum, and wanted to give a "new spin" to the original posters' question. I am actually a "non-cruiser"....so why am I here?
I'm here because I've been listening to a few family members for MANY years tout how great cruise vacations are, to which frankly we've always resisted. To be fair to our family members who are so insistant, I agreed to check out a few of these cruise community forums (at their recommendation) to get some background and current info on cruising.
To give some general info:
*We are fortunate to earn a very nice living, so economics does not come into play when we choose not to cruise.
* We live in the SE United States, so access to cruise departure ports is not an issue for us if we so chose
* We take multiple enjoyable vacations every year, so I wouldn't characterize ourselves as "workaholics" who can't or won't relax.
* We enjoy having fun, so we are not what most would consider "sticks in the mud".
* He have no doubt that those of you who cruise regularly truly love them, so I have no opinion that cruises must be a "bad vacation"...to each his/her own.
* With full respect to all of you who love cruising....I'm not really looking to be "converted", I'm just trying to offer another opinion on why some of us (I guess 80% of us?) choose not to cruise.
However, from a non-cruisers' standpoint, here are some of the reasons why we have always resisted even considering a cruise (please forgive that some may come across as tired answers to you that have been made by many non-cruisers before):
* We are really not at all interested in "resort type settings"; we have instead traveled to Europe somewhat regularly to stay in B&B's, or go to destinations in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as the Gulf Coast to rental homes.
* We do not happen to like crowded venues for a vacation.....I know that many say that cruise ships are not crowded, but every photo and video our family brings back from their cruises show crowds, crowds and more crowds...I guess they just must happen to go where everyone else is going at the same time?
* Even our cruising family members have commented that food and service has declined for them on ships over the past 5 years.... they even compared the "fine dining" (in the MDR) to the quality of Chili's or TGI Friday's. (Not that those are bad places to eat, but "fine dining")? That really doesn't appeal to us.
* I know that ships offer a large number of activities, however we're honestly not rock-climbers, or pool loungers, heavy-drinkers/partiers, or surfers (wave-rider)...we're more the types to go to the beach however, or go on an expedition in Santa Fe, NM or Sedona, AZ or the Grand Canyon for instance.
* Everyone says that you can't feel cooped-up on a ship, but those cabins REALLY look tiny to us (from our family's photos).
* It's not possible to try out a ship and decide you don't like it (unless you're on Carnival I guess with that cruise guarantee they used to talk about?) When you go to a hotel, if you don't like it, you leave...hard to do on a ship...you have to be completely committed to the duration of the trip....not our cup of tea if we don't like it.
Anyway, not to bore you, but my family certainly never seems to take a respectful "no" for an answer when we refuse to cruise with them
Hopefully this offers some (completely respectful) perspective on an "alternate view"......