Friday, June 12, 2015

Not all cruise ships are created equal!

Whether you are an avid cruiser, or new to the industry, there are more cruise ships than any one person can travel on! Here's a breakdown of the positive and negatives of larger versus smaller ships, to help you make a decision regarding what will be best for your next cruise vacation!

River Ships offer a more personalized experience.
(Photo from Viking River Cruises)
River Ships (<200 passengers)
+ Completely different ports than larger ships
+ Attention to detail and personalized shore excursions
+ Focused on history and culture
- Less entertainment options
- Pricy

Small ships (<1,000 passengers)
+ VIP feel
+ More unusual ports than the larger ships
+ Quality entertainment, but less variety
- Cost
- Fewer options of destinations

Midsize Ships (1,000-3,000 passengers)
Royal Caribbean currently has the world's largest
cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, pictured here. It can hold
6,296 passengers and 2,384 crew!

+ High quality entertainment
+ Pleathora of ports of call
+ Quality of megaships, but with smaller price tag
+ Reasonable cost
- Crowded (Passenger:Crew ratio)

Megaships (3,000+)
+ Endless entertainment (Rock climbing walls, shopping, swimming, bumper cars, etc.)
+ A lot of new people to meet and stories to exchange
+ Variety of evening shows, bars and restaurants
- Only dock in major ports
- Large crowds both on the ship, as well as in port


  1. One question: how does the price of the mid-size ship compare to the mega-ship?
    Thank you.

    1. Often the prices are similar, it just depends on when you are looking to travel and where you want to visit. The largest ships can't visit some of the ports that midsize ships can visit. It seems people often pick the megaships to experience the ship itself, versus the port-of-calls!

  2. Thanks for the info, Liz. Is there a river cruise line you would recommend?

    1. Hi Kathleen,

      Personally, I haven't done rive cruising, but have talked with people who used Viking River Cruises and were impressed with the level of service. As it becomes more popular, I'm sure more companies will get into the river cruise sector!