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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Cruise Ships Compared to Large Cruises

Cruising is one of the most popular ways to travel, offering a unique and unforgettable experience to passengers who want to explore the world. However, choosing the right type of cruise can be challenging, with many options available. One of the most significant decisions is whether to choose a small or big ship. In this article, we will outline the pros and cons of small cruises vs. big cruises, helping you to make an informed decision.

Small Cruise Ships

Small cruise ships offer a more intimate and personalized experience to passengers, with fewer crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere. They often have less than 200 passengers, and they are designed to explore more remote locations, ports, and islands that bigger ships can’t reach. Some of the advantages of small cruises include:


1. Personalized service

The smaller size of the ship means that passengers often receive personalized and attentive service from the crew, who have more time to get to know their passengers.

2. Less crowded

Small ships have fewer passengers, which means less crowding on board, fewer lines, and less waiting time. It also makes it easier to disembark and explore ports of call.

3. Access to remote locations

Small ships can reach remote locations, islands, and ports that larger ships can’t access, giving passengers the opportunity to explore unique and less visited destinations.

4. Flexibility

Small ships often have a more flexible itinerary, allowing passengers to change their plans and explore unique locations and destinations based on their interests.


1. Limited onboard facilities

Small ships offer fewer onboard amenities compared to large ships. While most of them have a restaurant, bar, and a small pool, don’t expect to find large-scale entertainment options like Broadway-style shows and water parks.

2. Limited dining options

Most small ships offer only one or two dining options, which means passengers may have limited food choices.

3. Limited cabin space

The cabins on small ships are usually smaller than those on large ships, making them less spacious and luxurious.

Big Cruises

Big cruises offer a more diverse range of amenities and activities, often catering to all ages and preferences. They have a broad range of facilities and services, from restaurants, pools, spas, gyms, and entertainment options that keep passengers entertained throughout their journey. Some of the advantages of big cruises include:


1. Variety of onboard facilities and amenities

Big ships offer numerous onboard activities, like rock climbing walls, water parks, ice-skating rinks, and multiple dining options. They have something for everyone, from kids to adults.

2. State-of-the-art entertainment

Big ships offer world-class entertainment options, like Broadway-style shows, Cirque du Soleil performances and live music across their various venues.

3. Luxurious cabin spaces

Big ships offer spacious and luxurious cabin spaces in various categories, including balcony, suite, and penthouse suite.


1. Crowded

Big ships have thousands of passengers sharing limited onboard facilities, which can lead to crowds, lines, and waiting time, especially during peak hours.

2. Limited port access

Big ships have limited access to smaller ports and islands, which means reduced opportunities to explore unique and less visited destinations.

3. Less personalized service

The high passenger volume on big ships makes it challenging to offer personalized service, and crew members may not have the opportunity to learn passengers’ names and preferences.


Both small cruises and big cruises have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice between them mainly depends on your preferences and priorities. If you value personalized service, unique and less visited destinations, and a relaxed atmosphere, a small ship may be the perfect choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer larger onboard facilities, state-of-the-art entertainment, and a wide range of dining options, a big ship will suit you best. Whatever you choose, we wish you a fantastic cruise experience!

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