We were the demographic the cruise lines were after in the 1980's. And generally speaking we were always the youngest travelers. The retiree crowd was pretty big then, although it still is, you have a variety of every age group, which is great!
Cruises are by far the best value out there bar none. What hotel can you stay at that is decent for the same money? Not to mention the food. And to be perfectly honest with you, I get bored very easily. Cruising allows us to take in the world in light doses. One day you are here the next day you are there. My family gets to see the highlights and lowlights of a place. Places we would return to for an extended visit and those we would never want to see again. This is part of the beauty of crusing. We generally do not go with the tours offered by the cruise lines, finding them in general to be hokey and very expensive. Now, in saying that, not all are equal. Sometimes you find yourself in a port that has less than a savory reputation. If you want to leave the ship and explore the area minimally, then taking a tour to a local hotel offering its pool/beach can be a great plan.
We just came back from a European cruise on Navigator of the Seas. The cruise itself was very nice. Even though we are diamond level cruisers we went through the normal check in and have to say it was very quick and efficient. Accommodation's in the grand suite for our family, was very comfortable. The kids activities quite good and the food excellent. The negatives for us were the ship is too big. I know that may not make sense to most in a world where bigger is better? However, you have 3000 passengers and 1500 crew( sorry I may be off a bit on passengers) I love the ships where its 1 to 1 ratios. Those may now only be the ratios on the 6 star ships nowadays. I feel like I am at Disneyland in a way on these size ships. Too many people and too few quiet spots. They do however, manage these ships very well despite the enormous size. The buffet line is really no line, moving quickly. The food fresh and tasty. Lots of options.
The do not miss town is Taormina in Italy. Yes you will have to take a cab, or a tour of course to get there. And yes its about an hour away, and yes if you take a cab on your own be prepared to take your life in your own hands! My boys loved it. Traveling very fast through many tunnels up into the Italian countryside, its worth it though. Cute place a real nice walking town with lots of quaint shops and cafes.
And of course Biblical Ephesus in Turkey will blow your mind! The highlight of our trip.