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Does the size of the ship / number of passengers impact your choice when selecting a cruise?


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Is it all about date of travel and destination or does ship size put you off? If you found the perfect itinerary but saw it was on a mega-ship or perhaps a smaller ship, would it put you off booking?

 

It wouldn’t put me off at all, I book mainly for the destinations but I know a lot of people who are influenced by ship size.

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A few years ago we would have tried any size ship and by and large enjoyed them , but we now prefer ship's that are known to us (Getting Old) but we have been looking at different ships on you tube and some of them we may well try, the main thing for us is not flying ,which limits your choices....Davybe

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For me it wouldn't necessarily be the larger ships that would put me off but the other way around. I've sailed on smaller ships in the past and always had a lovely time but I do prefer a wider choice, hence my preference for what are classed as "mid-sized" these days. 

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I'm often restricted to certain dates in which I can travel. Therefore I look for the destinations available that best suit the dates available to me. depending on the type of holiday we're looking for. If the dates fit and the itinerary is attractive, then no the ship size wouldn't necessarily influence me all that much.

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I think a lot of people will answer "yes" to this question though. I do think that bigger, supersize ships are putting some people off. Many of my family have been cruising for years and have all tried to large ships but have decided they much prefer ships with ideally 2,500 passengers or less. They find the super-ships too overwhelming.

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Hi  Having cruised for many the itineraries offered by most cruise lines using large cruise ships use the "same" ports of call and I have visited most of these many times, so the itinerary isn't that important to me - I usually make my selection on the general location (Fjords, Med or Caribbean), the cost and time of year.  I also take in consideration the type of ambience offered on board, I tend to prefer a more traditional cruise experience on small vessels and the number on companies which are now offering this type of cruise are becoming fewer.  Having said this my last cruise was on NCL's Epic and although I don't normally book cruises on large ships I did enjoy my holiday.  I still consider it important to have a few sea days on each voyage, it doesn't seem to be cruise if you are in a different port of call each day.

 

Edited by Land Ahoy
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I agree with Sammy Sun that the mega-ships are just too overwhelming and, whilst they offer a plethora of entertainments, some things get lost. For example, we like the 'normal' mix of shows with a different one each night whereas when we travelled on 'Norwegian Breakaway' there were just two shows alternating every day. I suppose that the architects can't design a 2000 seat theatre into the available space, but with one only accommodating 800 and a ship with 4000 + passengers I guess the lines are forced into this.

For me, P&O's 'Azura' and 'Ventura' are the limit in terms of size; even 'Britannia' is too big.

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My first cruise was on a small cruise ship in the late 60's with excellent service but small cabins with shared facilities.

Now I cruise with the ships in the 90-130 tonnes with max capacity of 2500 passengers.

This gives a good staff to passenger ratio while maintaining the personal touch.

If I wanted to Holiday on an Island I would prefer a less crowded environment than the floating rugby scrum mega ships which dump a large number of passengers at their ports of call and this can ruin that destinations charm not to mention if there is more than one mega ship in port at the same time.

Service and High Standards usually come with the smaller ships, for example Cunard and Celebrity.

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I suppose that the reason for going larger and larger is because it brings down the staff to passenger ratio hence more profit. From my experience though, larger ships means longer ques, falling standards in restaurants, less choice of ports, poorer standards of service in general. I haven't been on Britannia and have no intention of doing so. The Ventura was enough to put me off. So sad to see the Minerva go earlier this year and I'm pleased to see Adonia back. Small is beautiful as far as I'm concerned

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I'm another who prefers mid sized ships. I do book for destination primarily and as we don't do fly cruises, P&O have always been our first choice. I wouldn't book a cruise on any ship larger than the Aurora. Our next cruise is on the QE which I think is a similar size.

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Yes, it does.   The vast majority of our cruising has been done on 700 - 1800 passenger capacity ships and, for us, it has been and continues to be ideal.   Like many other contributors, we enjoy the ambience of the mid size ships and the fact that we have come to know so many of the staff over the years, not to mention a number of our fellow passengers, makes us feel very comfortable.   The larger ships offer a wider range of facilities and choices, which I can see might appeal to families, younger adults and new cruisers and that's fine and how it should be.   However, I share the opinion of the contributor who made the point that the larger ships are swamping the ports when they disgorge their passengers.   In Antigua, in March this year, there were five of these leviathans in port at the same time as Oriana and it was chaos.   One quayside shop we went in looked as if a hurricane had passed through it and swept the shelves clean!   We instantly returned to the sanctuary of our ship, pondering on the fact that there must have been around 20,000 'instant ' visitors shoulder to shoulder in scorching temperatures.    Sadly, I imagine, they wouldn't have formed the best impression of the lovely island.

We are fortunate that P&O has four ships of the right size sailing out of Southampton and Oceana based out in Dubai.   We sincerely hope that all of the vessels will undergo frequent re-fits so that they will keep going for a good few years as I can't see that new ones, of a similar size, will be built in the near future- more's the pity.

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Many interesting comments to Rum+Sun's question on size of ship. There is no perfect answer.

Having sailed on ships with 4000 plus passengers down to small ones with only 800+ crew. I have enjoyed them all. One cruise stands out above the rest that was on the P&O Artemis (800 passengers) on her last season with the P&O line. Flying out to the Caribbean and visiting many islands, Ones that even the medium size ships could not visit, like we had the island to our self's!!  Sailing back to England the captain joined us every day joining in the many 'nautical' themed activities on deck. One seemed to get to know all our fellow passengers. last year I did a one way Atlantic crossing on the Britannia very enjoyable but not as memorable as the very small ship. 

 

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  • 4 months later...

We have sailed on ships from 100 to 3,000 passengers and enjoyed them all.  I always said I would not pick a mega-ship, but recently we saw an offer on Quantum of the Seas that was too good to miss.  The itinerary appealed and the price was amazing, so we booked.  I had some trepidation when boarding, because the passengers were (as we expected) 95% mainland Chinese.  We were very pleasantly surprised.  We were able to find quiet places to relax, 'International guests' were very well treated and we never felt overcrowded.  The cruise was quite port intensive with interesting stops in Japan, and we enjoyed the whole experience.

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I think the answer to the question is all about what your expectations are, in other words what are you looking for. Is the ship the attraction or is it the destination. I am lucky enough to have travelled on almost 60 different ships, the largest carrying 4,000+ passengers the smallest 12.

Many people decry the large mega ships without every having travelled on them but as smtcan found out they can be most enjoyable. Many people are under the misapprehension that smaller ships can get to ports that the large ships can't. In most cases it is the depth of water that is the limiting factor and as many older, smaller ships have a very similar draught to the new larger ones most ports can accommodate them all and some of the small Caribbean ports bear testimony to this.

Where the size of ship does matter is in the intimacy of staff and passengers. On smaller ships the senior officers have time to wander the ship and engage with passengers which is not often witnessed on the mega ships. As always just my opinion.  

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