Once the domain of the rich only, now it is a truly affordable family trip. I just returned from Carnival (low end) cruise from LA to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Now don't get a kick-bakc form cruise agencies, but just to let you know the cost (for real) $650 for the cruise, $50 port/taxes, $70 tips, $230 airfare to LA. That is it. $1000 for me (and $1000 for wife) and that covered 7 nights in a fine stateroom with blacony. Lunch Sunday through breakfast Sunday the next week. All shows, entertainment, activities, many free drinks, hors d'eurves. Room service, 24-hour pizza, 24-hour deli, midnight buffet, 3 sit-down meals, daylight hour grill (burgers, chicken), swimming, hot tub, etc. Compared to land? We couldn't afford to stay in a luxury hotel/resort like that. Or eat like that (it would be Denny's and McDonald's most days). And STILL pay way more! Obviously if you live near a cruise area (Gulf, California) you cut out air costs. And you can enjoy a cheaper room with a window, or even interior with just big curtains that make it look like you have a window. Once you walk out of the room - whether an interior cheapy or 3-room penthouse - you are all equals.