Now I will look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of smaller cruise ships, holding hundreds of passengers rather than thousands of passengers.
Small Ships – Benefits
- One of the main benefits of cruising on a smaller ship is that they are able to access a wider range of ports. Many ports aren’t big enough to cater for giant ships, and so cruising onboard a small ship allows more flexibility. Certain cruise itineraries only operate on smaller ships, for example cruises to the Galapagos Islands.
- You never have too far to walk, so no matter where your stateroom is located, you will be within easy walking distance to all of the restaurants and entertainment.
- Some people feel that the service is more personal and that they get to know the staff better on smaller cruise ships.
- Many more luxurious cruise lines only operate smaller ships as they feel they can offer a more intimate, exclusive experience which would be lost if they were to cater for thousands of guests at a time.
- There is less waiting around and less queues. When the boat docks, you can disembark pretty much straight away and you certainly won’t have to wait an hour or two while thousands of other people get off the boat before you.
Small Ships – Drawbacks
- One of the main drawbacks of a cruise on a small ship is that there is often not enough going on in terms of entertainment for those that are easily bored. With limited room, there often won’t be a casino and there won’t be a huge amount of bars/restaurants/shows to choose from.
- Some people feel a bit caged in on a small cruise ship, especially during days at sea. Larger cruise ships can feel almost like a floating island because there is so much to see and do, whereas when you are onboard a small ship, you can run out of things to do quite quickly.
- There usually won’t be facilities such as spas, or mini-golf on a small ship as there simply isn’t any room!
- There may be less excursions on offer on small cruise ships, which is due to there being a smaller amount of passengers. Generally, there needs to be a minimum amount of people taking part in each excursion to make it viable for the cruise line to run. As there are less people onboard, it will be hard for the cruise line to fill as many excursions.
Clearly there are pros and cons to both big and little ships, but it is all about personal choice. I would recommend that you try both types of cruises before deciding which one is best as a lot of people are surprised by how much they enjoy a cruise which they wouldn’t normally go for.