Choosing the Right Ship
When it comes to choosing the right ship size is a big factor. These can be put into categories by the number of passengers it can carry:
Large Resort ships - for over 2,000 passengers
These ships are more of a social experience with extensive amenities. The new ships have state-of-the-art facilities such as golf simulators, ice skating rinks or rock climbing walls. Due to the ships large size it can take a while to find your way around. There are structured activities and passenger participation events each day.
There are usually more dining options and are usually at set times, 6.30pm and 8.30pm but some do offer a flexible dining. The entertainment is lavish in large venues at set times. As these are bigger ships they usually sail better in bad weather as they are more stabilised. As a result of there being so many more people on board, getting on and off the ship can take longer, and some smaller ports are not accessible.
Cruise lines featuring large resort ships:
Mid-size ships - for 500-1,200 passengers
There is a variety of entertainment and facilities, with a more personal service than the larger ships. Due to the ship being smaller it is easier to find your way around.
These ships are better for smaller ports of call as they are more easily manoeuvred than the larger ships therefore they tend to be more popular for smaller ports of call. The ship may not sail as well in bad weather like the larger ship.
Cruise lines featuring mid-sized ships:
Small & Boutique-style ships - for up to 500 passengers
With limited on board facilities and entertainment but offering much greater flexibility than the considerably larger ships, some of the most exquisite cruises available are on small ships due to their accessibility of smaller, out-of-the-way ports of call.
Smaller size means it is much easier to find your way around with no confusion. This is much more intimate cruising experience, with a small number of passengers there is more choice of enjoying culinary excellence with fresh food cooked to order. Most provide an open seating option where people can sit with who they want when they want for all meals.
Cruise lines featuring small and boutique-style ships:
Luxury Cruise Ships
Ultra-luxury cruise ships usually tend to be smaller, with their intimate size allowing them to glide into more exclusive and exotic ports of call that the larger liners simply cannot reach. Ultra-luxury ships do however incorporate the same favourite amenities found on larger ships, such as a show lounge, casino, spa, swimming pool and state-of-the-art fitness facilities. As you would expect, these are the ulitmate in luxurious sea travel. Concentrating on supreme levels of service, elegance and sophistication, this is cruising at its absolute best. If you appreciate the finest things in life, ultra-luxury cruising is for you.
Cruise lines featuring the ultimate in luxury ships:
For detailed information about cruise ships see our Cruise Lines & Ships section