Small or Large Ship Cruise – How to Choose

blue boat on body of water

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A lot of people are looking at the option of heading out on a cruise rather than a conventional vacation. But if that’s something you’d like to consider, you’re probably stuck debating on the type of cruise that will be perfect for your needs. There are the typical, large ship ocean cruises, and there are smaller cruise ships or private charters, both of which have their own pros and cons.

So, for everyone having the dilemma of which might be better to experience, join us as we’re taking a look at both types of cruises, and by the end, you’ll probably have a good idea as to what the right choice would be. Let’s go.

Large Cruises Cover Longer Distances …

This is the main reason why a large cruise might be attractive – you get to see quite a bit. Large cruise ships have no problem covering large distances over the days you’ll be cruising, and if you’re keen on seeing more than one country, they’re probably your best bet.

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A thing to note here is that you will spend a lot of time actually traveling on open waters, which means that you do have a lot of downtimes. Unless your cruise ship has enough things for you to do, there’s a pretty big chance that it’ll get boring.

… But You See More on a Small Ship

The reason is simple – a small ship can get into places a large cruise ship can’t. This allows smaller cruise ships to be able to visit a lot more port cities and travel through smaller places such as rivers and lakes. These are absolutely out of the question for a large cruise ship.

To add to this, there’s also the fact that you won’t spend too much time on open waters, and you’ll probably be able to enjoy an interesting view any time you leave the cabin. Whether that’s a jungle if you’re cruising along the Amazon river or a stunning landscape in Indonesia, there are a lot of options.

Large Cruise Ships Are a Lot More Populated

Whether this is a pro or a con depends on your expectations of a cruise. But there’s no denying that you’ll have a lot more people on a large cruise ship. If you’re an extrovert who enjoys meeting new people, you’ll have plenty during your cruise, which is a great idea.

On the other hand, a small cruise ship results in a much more intimate and private atmosphere. Sure, you can still meet some of the other passengers on board, but if you’d like to enjoy your cruise alone, that’s also an option. You won’t get that option on a large ship – there are people everywhere you go, and you don’t want to get stuck in your cabin, do you?

The Staff Experience is Top Notch on a Small Ship

This is one of the biggest benefits you get from a small cruise ship – the staff to passengers ratio is really close to 1:1. This actually means a few things, all of which are great for you.

First, you can get a staff member to help you out within a couple of minutes. You don’t have to scour the ship to find someone available. Second, if you want a tailored experience in any way, whether that’s the food, the activities, or the excursions, the staff will very likely be able to assist you with that.

Last but not least, the members of the staff will probably learn your personal preferences within a day or two, and you’ll feel like you’re getting a personal staff member when you need something. On a large ship? You’ll have to repeat any specific requirements you have every time you need something.

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You Must Pick a Good Cabin on a Large Ship

A large ship comes with a lot of cabins in order to accommodate the passengers. But that also has one big downside – not all cabins are equal. And you really need to know how to pick the right cabin. If you aren’t careful, you might be stuck with a cabin that has no view, is far from things like the gym, or the pool, or the food area, and doesn’t have a lot of room for you to work with.

On the other hand, while a small ship doesn’t have that many cabins, it comes with a massive advantage – all cabins are excellent! Of course, some might be better for a family, others might be more suited for a couple or an individual. But the small ships make it a lot easier to accommodate such travelers, and you’ll have a cabin that suits your needs.

Which is better?

The only advantage large ships have is the fact that they cover a larger distance, at the cost of plenty of downtime. On the other hand, a small ship gets you a more personalized experience, more places to visit, and a cabin you’ll actually enjoy staying in. We’d pick one over a large cruise ship any day of the week! 

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