I'd been on the world's longest megaliner, Allure of the Seas, for two days shortly after it launched in 2011. As I rode a glass elevator up, up, up through the ship's expansive atrium, two women chatted about how much they loved the ship.
"You know," one excitedly said, "I haven't even seen the ocean yet!"
To some, that might be the ultimate indictment of the new trend toward cruise ships such as the Allure, which could contain five Titanics. But for those women, sailing the Caribbean on a floating megalopolis (that atrium, named Central Park, boasts a tree-studded, football field-size glen with a meandering path) was perfect.
I long ago decided that when you figure in the costs of lodging, food, and transportation, cruising is by far the most economical way to see the world in comfort — even with a family in tow. What's more, because cruise ships come in all shapes and sizes, if you scan the horizon long enough, you'll spot a vessel that's perfect for you.