Each cruise ship is a miniature floating dreamland, navigating the nautical terrain of alluring and exotic lands. Whatever your reason for cruising, it’s a guaranteed amazing vacation full of relaxation, entertainment and wholesome family fun. In recent years, new ships of every size have been added to meet the growing list of passengers needs and desires. When choosing the size of your ship, it’s important to factor in your lifestyle, priorities and holiday expectations, as each ship will have a different variety of features that will enhance your cruising experience. For instance, a larger ship may have more entertainment, while a smaller ship may be able to reach different ports-of-call. Take this journey with us, as we help you decide your ship size. And, be sure to click the names of each ship below to search for sailings!
Large, extra-large, & megaships
Their names already paint an illustrative picture—these ships are huge! They are perfect for travelers craving impressive amenities and a lively onboard atmosphere fit for royalty. Considered to be the most innovative in the world, they carry anywhere from 1,800 to 4,000 plus passengers, and that number is expanding as more and more megaships are being added to cruise fleets. Some distinguishing features are nonstop activities, Las Vegas-style entertainment, Broadway-worthy shows, Michelin Star-rated restaurants, rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks, electric car racing, multi-story water slides and more. Some examples of these majestic megaships are Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice and Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2.
- An abundance of stateroom options that fit every budget
- Numerous dining options that range from casual to formal
- Extensive kids’ amenities and family-friendly entertainment
- Round-the-clock facilities such as lavish casinos, water parks, fitness centers and spas
- Indoor/outdoor courtyards
- World-class theater and music entertainment
- VIP areas
Relaxation, smaller crowds and less noise are some of the appealing features of these smaller, but no less satisfying cruises. Carrying between 400 to 1,700 passengers, they are the optimal atmosphere to unwind, disconnect and enjoy the voyage. Expect personal service, a mature crowd and enriching entertainment options. These ships generally have less glitzy entertainment options, but you can expect grand pools, casinos and spas-—however not as extravagant as larger ships. Dinning is a pleasure, as there are more opportunities to socialize and make friends with other travelers. The most upscale medium ships have the highest passenger-to-space ratio, which allows you to snag a chair on the deck with ease. Some examples of these impressive mid-sized ships are Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity, Oceania Cruises’ Riveria and MSC Cruises’ MSC infonia.
- Luxurious accommodations and concierge service
- Wide variety of dining options
- Enrichment activities such as language classes, dancing lessons and cooking demos
- Laid-back atmosphere for a more reserved crowd
- Able to reach different ports of call than larger ships
Good things come in small packages. Ideal for explorative travelers that wish to spend more time in the region they are visiting, these yachts and smaller sailing vessels can accommodate between 70 to 500 passengers and reach exotic ports of call that their larger counterparts cannot. River cruise ships and most luxury liners have some form of ship that fits into this category. The ships are often very opulent and intimate, with elegant staterooms and expansive verandas. Most rooms come with the option for a balcony. However, the shore excursions and the onboard education enrichment are what truly set these cruises apart. Some example of stately small sized ships are Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Star, Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess and Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Voyager.
- More extensive cultural immersion in the places visited
- More personalized attention from the staff and crew
- More opportunities for relaxation and tranquility
- Smaller dining areas and opportunities to engage in lively conversations
- Upscale amenities (though smaller) include luxury spas, various dining options and more