Size Matters; Finding the Right Ship for YOU!

Last week we did an overview of cruise ships; the various sizes and options in cruising today.  To determine the right size ship for you, here are some points to consider:

1.  Who is going?  Children?  Mature adults?  Large group?  Couple?   Different ships cater to specific groups or at least are better equipped to accommodate them.  Case in point, my favorite cruise line, Oceania, does not ban children but they are clear they have no children’s programs.  As a result, it is my cruise line of choice when traveling with my husband or with another adult couple.

2.   Purpose of trip?
Honeymoon?  Family Reunion?  Rest and relaxation vacation?   Honeymooners probably want a smaller, more intimate ship with other adults rather than a pool full of splashing toddlers.  Large families or friends traveling together want the option to dine together and more options for entertainment such as karoke or dancing.  If you are looking for rest and relaxation, the stress-free environment of Silver Seas may be more to your liking.

3.  Mobility of travelers. Most of these ships are quite large.  As someone who went on a Norwegian Cruise to the Caribbean with my family about a month into a fractured femur; I know firsthand just how much walking you do on a ship.  We had a fabulous suite on the back of the ship.  I would get off the elevator to our deck and look down the LONG hallway to the door of our room.  The door looked like a postage stamp!  On my crutches, I covered the length of a football field each time I came or went from our room! You don’t have to actually be “disabled” to find it exhausting to get around a large ship!

4.  What do you want to do on your cruise? Do you want to stay on board, soak up the sun, visit the spa and catch up on your reading?  If so, you want a larger ship.  Princess, Celebrity or even the new Oasis of the Seas would work well for you.

Do you want a lot of activities? If so, what type.  Some ships offer climbing walls.  Most have running tracks and gyms.  Others focus on water sports for small groups of active travelers.

Do you want to visit a wide-variety of ports of call?
If you are about the destinations; you want a smaller ship.  Think about several thousand people all trying to get off or back on the ship at about the same time.

Friends who went to Alaska on a Princess Cruise complained about the “Disney Lines”  to get back on the ship at the end of each day.  They also found the small towns lost their charm when nearly 3,000 visitors descended upon them often doubling the population of a rural city.

When a ship is too large to dock, they anchor.  Then they use their launches (smaller power boats) to ferry passengers between the ship and shore.  This also takes time and can greatly reduce your shore time.

Is the “Oasis of the Seas” too big?  Maybe, maybe not.  Once you have given some thought to the 4 points of consideration I’ve listed, you will be in a better position to select the right cruise vacation for YOU.


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