My entire life, the few vacations I have taken have always been on a shoestring. Even when I traveled to Europe I used a $350 round trip stand by ticket and stayed in hostels and got a lot of my food at the grocery store so I could prepare it (to limit the number of times I ate at restaurants). I had books on how to see Europe cheap and I used it to find things rather than do any paid or guided tours. I even went thrift store shopping while I was there instead of going to Harrads. And when I travel in the US, I stay with out of state friends or family. In Las Vegas last year I let myself have sort of a half luxury vacation. I had a stand by round trip ticket for about $65 and stayed with i_feel_sick for most of the time but then spent 2 nights in a hotel and saw only one really expensive show. For the most part, my vacations are super cheap.
So this is the first time in my entire life that I have said...the heck with being thrifty. I'm just going to throw a few thousand dollars at this thing and have a real luxury vacation. Knowing me, I'll still try to cut corners here and there. I'll probably bring my own Brita filter on board so I can keep refilling water bottles with filtered water rather than spend $10 a day on bottled water. But I'm going to be on a real cruise and do some nice excursions and maybe some shopping and whatever else you have to do to have one of these real vacation. So it means a lot to me to have all your help as I do this for the very first time in my life.