Never been on a cruise, but planning to do so. I'm wondering what you have for advice. My preferences and thoughts:
1) I don't want a porthole unless it opens, so I assume that the balcony rooms are appropriate. However if one wants fresh air, can't you just sit on a deck somewhere with a mai tai and a blanket, like in the movies? Is the balcony room worth it if one wants fresh air, or is it a needless extra expense?
2) I'm not interested in the ship as a destination. I want to see places I haven't been (and as a retired soldier, I've been to a lot of places.) I'd also like to avoid the more common tourist destinations. I'm not interested in movies, lectures, and things I can do at home, but I would like to eat well. I'd also rather avoid children and noise, but I don't think I can afford luxury cruises. What should I be looking for? (It's obvious that a cruise in Sept-Nov would help mitigate against crowds, children and noise, as well as helping me save money.)
3) I've heard that some cargo ships have decent accommodations and offer cruises to interesting destinations. How can I get more information on this (assuming it's true?)
I'd appreciate your input.