Big vs Small Ship Cruising: Which Cruise Option Is Best for You?

Are you dreaming of a vacation but can't decide between the grandeur of large cruise liners or the charm of a small cruise ship?

Picture this: You're sipping a cocktail on the deck, watching the sunset over the horizon, with the ocean breeze gently tousling your hair.

Whether that deck belongs to a colossal cruise liner teeming with endless activity or a cozy small ship offering an intimate connection with the sea and fellow passengers is entirely up to you.

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of big and small ship cruising, helping you navigate the high seas of decision-making. So grab your sailor hat, and let's embark on this journey together!

Big Ship Benefits: Endless Entertainment

With various entertainment options and amenities, large cruise ships cater to travelers seeking luxurious vacation experiences. These colossal vessels are designed to impress, featuring many onboard activities and massive buffets to vibrant visuals and impressive performances.

Big ship cruises—often called "floating cities"—offer many perks and amenities that passengers can enjoy. Here are some of the main benefits:

Variety of Entertainment

From Broadway-style shows to live music to comedy acts, big ships have plenty of entertainment options available each night. So, sit back and enjoy the show.

More Dining Options

Larger ships have more dining venues, including both complimentary and specialty restaurants. Many ships offer gourmet restaurants with exquisite menus.

Activities for All Ages

Big cruise ships are often family-friendly. They offer lots of activities and programs for kids, teens, and adults.

Luxurious Amenities

Larger ships often feature luxurious amenities like large fitness centers and spas. They can even have unique features like rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks, or skydiving simulators.

Diverse Social Opportunities

Big ships have a lot of passengers. There's a greater chance of meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and making lasting friendships.

More Stable in Rough Weather

Larger ships are less likely to be affected by rough weather, providing a smoother ride for passengers. So if you're worried about the weather, big ships may be the way to go.

More Cabin Choices

Fancy a room with a balcony, hot tub, or ocean view? Larger cruise ships offer more cabin options than smaller ships.

Exciting Onboard Events

From theme nights to pool parties to guest lectures, big ship cruises offer a range of events to keep passengers entertained. Guests enjoy everything from elaborate costume parties to karaoke competitions during their voyage.

Small Ship Cruising: A Charming Alternative

Small ship cruises offer travelers a more personal, close-up look at their surroundings. These cozy vessels allow guests to explore smaller ports and hidden gems that large cruise ships often overlook.

Small cruise ships are ideal for those who crave adventure and unique experiences. Here are some of the main advantages of small ships:

Authentic Experience

Smaller ships can dock at smaller ports. They allow passengers a more authentic experience closer to the local culture and way of life.

Avoid Crowds

Small cruising means you don't have to worry about long lines and large groups of people. It's easier to get on and off the ship, leading to less waiting and more time to spend in port.

Access to Remote Destinations

Small expedition ships can take you to remote villages and settlements, often through narrow fjords and channels. They can visit locations larger ships can't reach, allowing for unique experiences.

Lower Cost and Shorter Itineraries

Smaller ships often have lower costs and shorter itineraries. If time is a constraint, short cruise getaways provide a quick escape from reality. With small-ship cruise packages emerging as a popular option for these fast-paced adventures, travelers can now make the most of their limited vacation time by exploring quaint destinations in just a few days.

Intimate and Relaxed Atmosphere

On smaller ships, the atmosphere is more akin to a friendly neighborhood than an overwhelming city. Passengers can connect with fellow travelers and crew members, enhancing their overall journey and creating memories that last a lifetime.

Environmental Consideration

Smaller vessels consume less fuel than their sprawling counterparts. Their intimate size allows for closer encounters with nature and wildlife, creating a more eco-conscious travel experience.

Quality Amenities

While small cruise ships may not have theme parks or waterparks, they often have many quality amenities. You can still enjoy bars, spa services, luxurious lounges, and sometimes even a small casino.

Which One Is For You?

Choosing between a big cruise liner and a small cruise ship largely depends on what you value most in your vacation. Here are some factors to consider:

Personal Preference

Some people thrive in large crowds with many activities, while others prefer a quieter, more intimate experience. Understand what kind of environment you enjoy before making your decision.


Smaller cruises can often be more affordable. Though larger ships may offer more amenities included in the ticket price, smaller cruises can still offer a fun experience. Always check what is included before making a decision if you want certain amenities.


A small ship might be the best option if you want to visit smaller, off-the-beaten-path destinations. Larger ships usually dock at bigger ports with more tourist traffic.

Amenities and Activities

If you value having a variety of dining and entertainment options at your fingertips, a big cruise liner might be for you. However, a small ship could be a better fit if you prefer a relaxed atmosphere with fewer distractions.

Travel Companions

Consider who you're traveling with. Families with children often prefer larger ships with more kid-friendly activities. Couples or solo travelers might enjoy the intimacy of a smaller ship.

Length of Vacation

Larger ships often have longer itineraries, while smaller ships might offer shorter cruises. Consider how much time you want to spend on your vacation.

Environmental Impact

Are you aware of your carbon footprint? If so, consider a smaller ship when travel planning. They tend to be more environmentally friendly.

Socializing Opportunities

Larger ships provide more opportunities to meet new people. In comparison, smaller ships offer a more intimate setting to get to know your fellow passengers better.

Choose Your Adventure

Take the time to research and compare different cruise options before deciding to ensure you find the perfect fit for your vacation needs.

Uncruise Adventures invites you to explore the wonders of small ship cruising with 22-86 guests. When they have endless crowds, we have endless vistas. View our special offers today and set off on an adventure.