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Video: Cruise Ship Size Questions

Summary: Understand how cruise ship size impacts your vacation experience and pick the ship that's right for you.

Video Run Time: 3:20

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Video Transcript:

One of the most important decisions to make when planning your cruise is choosing the ship that best meets your particular needs. Ship sizes range from megaships with over 4,000 passengers to very small vessels and luxury yachts whose passengers number in mere dozens.

CruiseCompete Keys to Cruise Ship Sizes are:

1. Different ship sizes lead to very different vacation experiences, and;

2. It's important to understand what to expect from different-sized ships so you can choose the cruise experience that's right for you

Extra large ships carry more than 3,000 passengers. These megaships feel like floating cities. In addition to casinos, gyms, spas and pools found on smaller ships, these often boast such over-the-top entertainment options as ice rinks, water shows, surfing simulators, ziplines and extensive waterpark areas. They provide endless choices in dining and onboard shopping and are so stable as to minimize any chance of sea sickness.

Other benefits include a very wide variety of cabin types and prices as well as extremely comprehensive children’s programs and amenities.

Large Ships carry 2,000 to 3,000 passengers. Easier to get around, they tend to have plenty of onboard entertainment including outdoor movies and stage shows. Ships of this size will offer some choice of dining venues. The pace is a bit less frantic and--as these ships tend to be a bit older than their big sisters--cruise rates are often a bit lower.

Medium Ships carry between 1,000 and 2,000, and offer a slower pace than their large counterparts, with fewer crowds, less noise and more modest offerings when it comes to activities and entertainment. Premium cruise line ships often fall into this category, and attract a more-mature crowd focused on relaxation. The smaller size and longer itineraries often mean visits to out-of-the-way ports.

Small ships carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers fill a niche for cruisers that are looking for more in-depth exploration of the regions they visit, visiting ports inaccessible to larger ships. Most river cruise ships and almost all high-end luxury lines have ships in this category. Most cabins are suites. Luxury, service, and amenities tend to be very high-end. Unlike with larger ships, drinks, shore excursions, spas and enrichment activities are often included in the cruise fare.

To help you learn more about the sizes and amenities on the various cruise ships available, please visit our Browse Ships section, and our Cruise Ship Reviews.

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