Is a Cruise on a Large Cruise Ship the Right Vacation for You?

Pros and Cons of Cruising on a Large Cruise Ship

With hundreds of choices, almost everyone can find a cruise ship to suit their tastes. There are certainly ships of all sizes and price ranges!

How do you choose a cruise ship to fit your vacation personality? Large mega ships with over 1,500 passengers are the most common type of ship. Is a large ship best for you and your family? You might like a cruise on a large ship if these factors describe your cruise personality.

01 of 08

You Love Being Around Lots of People

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas
Allure of the Seas Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Cruising with thousands of people can be great fun. If you love people-watching, and thrive on excitement, a big cruise ship is definitely for you. Many of us can sit in a ship's lobby for hours and just watch our fellow passengers.

However, don't rule out a large ship vacation if you like to be alone. Every large ship I have been on has quiet places where you can get away. Outside decks away from the pool, the library, seats in less-trafficked areas are all great places to find a quiet area. The best way to ensure privacy or time alone on a large ship is to book a balcony cabin. Just sitting outside on your balcony and watching the ocean will relieve stress and take you away for a while! Then, you can go back to the excitement by the pool.

02 of 08

You Love Lots of Varied Group Activities and Entertainment

Large ships are perfect for those who love group games and activities. If you are happiest when making crafts, playing games, watching cooking demonstrations, or laughing at the hairiest chest contest by the pool, you will enjoy a large ship.

The same applies to entertainment. Large ships have great Las Vegas-style revues, with energetic singers and dancers who perform twice a night in a large show lounge. Large ships also usually have magicians, jugglers, and amateur variety shows. If you don't like the piano player in one lounge, you can move to hear a guitarist in the next, or a cabaret singer in another.

If you want lots of variety in entertainment, a large ship is for you.

03 of 08

You Have a Tight Budget

Large ships are almost always less expensive than smaller ones, so if your budget is tight, you might need to plan a large ship cruise. I have friends who would rather go on three cruises per year in an interior cabin on a mega-ship than go once a year in a balcony cabin or on a small ship.

If your travel budget is small, a cruise can be a very economical vacation, and your dollar goes much further on a large ship than on a small one.

04 of 08

Standing in Lines Irritates You, But Doesn't Ruin Your Day

No one loves to stand in lines, but it irritates some cruisers more than others. People often complain about the lines for embarkation, dinner, tenders, and disembarkation on large cruise ships. These lines are rarely as bad as you will find at any airport or amusement park.

On the flip side, since no one likes standing in line or waiting for anything, you will probably have to wait in a few lines on a large cruise ship. Just relax, you are on vacation! Unless this is a deal breaker for you, it shouldn't keep you from booking a cruise on a large ship.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

You Don't Have Much Time to Plan a Vacation and Hate to Make Decisions

People are often too busy to plan a vacation, and the last thing most of us want to do on vacation is make decisions about where to stay, where to eat, or how to get to the next city. Cruises take this constant stress away. Most of the decisions are made before you even step on the ship. Large ships require more decisions than smaller ones since there are more choices, but your stress level is way less than on an independent land tour.

06 of 08

You Are Taking Your Children or Grandchildren

Cruises are one of the best options for multi-generational vacations, and kids love the large cruise ships. Most large ship cruise lines have children's programs with dedicated staff. Kids can mix and mingle with those of their own age, and it gives them a fantastic opportunity to meet others from around the country or around the world--just like their parents or grandparents!

While the kids are enjoying the pool and playing games, the grown-ups can have their own vacation.

07 of 08

You Love to Gamble

Most small ships either don't have onboard casinos, or the number and types of games are limited. So, if gambling when at sea is a high priority for you, look to the big ships, all of which have casinos.

08 of 08

You Don't Mind Traveling to Only Major Cities and Ports of Call

The large mega-ships cannot go to some of the off the beaten track villages or islands. The infrastructure just will not accommodate an extra two thousand people! Even if the ship can tender passengers into a smaller port, the tender time takes away from your time ashore.

On the other hand, many marvelous islands in the Caribbean are set up to accommodate ships of all sizes. Most major sea coast cities in the world have cruise ship docks, so large ships can dock easily. So, this should not be an issue for most cruise travelers.

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