Cruising has become a great way to see new places and yet never really leave the comfort of your hotel. Of course, lovers of this style of vacation say they are choosing cruising because they only have to pack once. But whether you are an old hand at cruising or thinking of giving it a try, what size of ship you choose will make a big impact on your trip. Here are the pros and cons of a big cruise ship versus taking the small ship route.
Choosing Cruising on a Big Ship
If you like people and cities, this is a good choice for you. With an average of 5,000 passengers or more, you will probably never see the same people twice. The big ships have tons of bars, lounges and little spots to just sit and relax. The dining options are huge and for many the food is the best reason to cruise. Even if you are a picky eater, you can’t lose on a big cruise when it comes to food. Entertainment on the big ships has become legendary, so your only concern might be in choosing what to see. Expect everything from game shows to top dinner theatre productions.
On the negative side, those wonderful restaurants on board often have huge lineups. The size of the bigger liners can be intimidating for some, especially if big cities are not your favorite destination when travelling. The entertainment may be great, but some of it will cost you extra or become sold out quickly. So if you choose a cruise based on the entertainment, you may not even be able to see it.
Choosing Cruising on a Smaller Ship
The nice thing about the smaller ships is the intimate feel. You will not only see many of the same people on the cruise several times, you will get to know them well. Dinners are more intimate affairs as well, with most small ships having a set schedule for the one dining room and assigned seating. This can often lead to fascinating conversations with the most unlikely of dinner companions. The entertainment on smaller ships is less extravagant and more likely to be lectures or seminars on everything from photography to the history of the region you are travelling through. Dancing lessons have also become quite popular on the smaller ships as well as themed cruises that are educational in nature.
The dark side of small ship cruising is just who is on board. If one of your evening dining companions is a bore or worse of all a loud mouth, you may want to skip dinner altogether. The same goes for someone unpleasant that you just can’t seem to stop bumping into on board. The food is more limited in scope, so knowing the menu ahead of time might be a good idea if you have allergies or are on a restricted diet. While educational entertainment is fine, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If it isn’t yours, you may find you need to bring a good book or two to get you through the cruise. This is where those electronic book readers will come in handy if preloaded with a few novels you have been looking forward to reading. On the other hand, you could have done that at home.
Big or Small – Choosing Cruising is Best
Whatever size of ship you decide to take, cruising has changed from the old days. Once thought of as a rich person’s right of passage to retirement, cruising is here to stay. From river boats and paddlewheels to the big liners of the Pacific Ocean, choosing cruising is your ticket to a fascinating and different type of vacation.