If you are considering cruising, and the many, overwhelmingly different options, I consider myself a certified cruiser. While I’m certain there are people who have cruised many times more than me, my six cruises in ten years qualifies to share the amazing and wonderful experiences of how to hit the high seas in style! Get ready because you are in for a world of fun!
Four out of six sailings have been on very large, commercialized cruise lines with guest capacities ranging from 1200-3000, and staff onboard at 800-1300! Each of these four experiences was so very vastly different from my last two cruises that, well, let’s just say, there is really NO COMPARISON. You can rest assured, I will not be sailing on these enormous, overcrowded, Las Vegas-style, commercialized ships ever again; and want to share with you exactly why I have made this decision. So to start with you can watch this short, inspirational video on a smaller ship experience by visiting here.
Smaller Ships Rock
My first experience with small-ship ocean cruise lines was such a magical experience because first and foremost, within the first hour of boarding, not only did I know my way around the ship, (room to pool-room to bar-room to spa-room to dining-all the most important!) but I could literally enjoy walking to and from on the ship without blowing up my step tracker watch- exceeding my step goal after breakfast! My next favorite experience in a smaller ship is not waiting in the long lines everywhere, especially, the elevators! For detailed information on ship sizes and the unique benefits of smaller ships, read the article titled: How Small Is a Small Ship — and Which Luxury Cruise Ship Size Is Right for You?
With ocean liners that have a smaller capacity for guests, and smaller in overall size, they have the ability to sail through natural scenic areas that larger ships cannot reach; enabling the guests to take in the amazingly beautiful shoreline landscapes that could only be seen in pictures otherwise! With private, larger balconies as well, these smaller ships can indulge all passengers (especially the nature lovers and photography gurus) to incredible sights and wildlife! The itineraries on smaller ships can include a larger spectrum of off-ship activities and excursions due to the areas they can anchor in or because the ports of call are in quaint cities and locations offering many opportunities rich in community culture, nature, and unusual expeditions filled with fun, and non-commercialized type settings!
There were two outstanding features that set a smaller cruise experience apart from my regular sailings on the large ships, one being the option for a pre-departure day stay in a nearby hotel, and the second, the option to book a ‘single’ room without a roommate or a travel partner- no mandatory ‘double occupancy’ rule was refreshing! It has always been my go-to standard to choose quality over quantity, and that is exactly what you receive on a smaller cruise ship.