Great replies, everyone ansd a lot of recurring themes. Seems we only had one regular cruiser, who lived in NY City back when the major cruise lines were based there (before the advent of Florida cruising).
It sure sounds like New Hampshire and Vermont got very crowded during the summer, and the overflow went to Maine or Jersey ;-0
Not a lot West Coasters in this crowd, are there?
I did remember my first ship-like experince, the ferry to catalina from somewhere (not sure, I was only six). There wasn't much to do there at the time, we only stayed a few hours.
Seems all of us drove in cars every summer, but we all lived more simply then, didn't we? Think about it. We had one TV, in the family room. Probably had a combo hi-fi set for LPs and radio. No computers, video-game sets, dvd players, HDTVs with surround sound, cable TV.
Some of us bought tape-decks for our cars, and sometimes home systems so we could record our own tapes.
A lot of vacations were "camping".
But also - when you think of what a value cruising can be for a family vacation these days (if you choose to make it so) it isn't much different.
I see a 1 week Alaska cruise for $499 pp, with 3 & 4th in the same cabin for $99 apiece. That is about $1200 for 4 people, 1 week. Of course there are other costs, but costs can be managed.
Or the recently ended Costa sale, $449 pp with an upgrade to oceanview and kids sail free. You can't beat that. You just have to get them in the car and DRIVE to Florida, just like the good old days, except now we have seatbelts.
PS: I remember when my dad had seatbelts installed in the Valiant and the Dodge Dart