Does size matter?

Helen and her husband are planning a cruise, but can’t decide if a small ship or large liner would be better.

Q. Helen
My husband and I are going on a cruise, but are unsure whether to opt for a big liner or a smaller, more intimate ship. How should we choose?

A. While the facilities offered onboard will vary between a large ship and a smaller vessel, it’s more about the experience you want to have. Smaller ships may not have bowling alleys, casinos or nightclubs, but, as you say, they do offer a more intimate experience. Smaller ships can access certain ports large liners can’t and, when docking at a busy port, can often get closer to town which is important if you’re on a tight timeframe.

Smaller ships also offer a cosier, friendlier, atmosphere. On a larger ship with 1000s of passengers, you may disembark not having met most of your fellow cruisers, while on a smaller ship, bumping into the same people may make striking up a conversation easier. And, if it’s your first cruise, you may find a smaller ship less daunting.

Of course, larger ships do have more facilities and offer a livelier trip. Dining options are more varied and, if you enjoy anonymity, being part of a larger group of travellers may be more your style. The activities on larger ships are often around the clock and if you’re travelling alone, you may prefer the busier, more bustling lifestyle offered. Some large cruise ships even host special singles activities.

While it’s important to decide which size of ship you prefer, it’s equally important to decide the itinerary, duration and amount you’re willing to spend. This may help you to clarify your choice.

Written by Debbie McTaggart