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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 24th, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Default Small Ships - why is one better?

Okay - I admit it. I prefer bigger ships. I would rather take Solstice or Queen Mary 2, especially on a day at sea, than a small luxury ship that specializes in food.

Personally, a day at sea on a small ship is to confining to me. They rock too much, so if I try to read I just get sleepy. There is nowhere to go, you've already seen the whole ship. You look forward to lunch to break up the day and then you...

The "activities" are not well attended, the casino is tiny. Your only hope is a good movie on the television. But here at home I have a 65-inch flat panel, why would I want to see a movie on a 22-inch set?

If you have never taken Queen Mary 2 transatlantic you do not know what a real day at sea can be. Movies, lectures, planetarium, computer classes, drama lessons from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Trivia, alternative dining, all the major newspapers downloaded daily in the library, sports bar, a BIG casino, the English Pub...

If you only like small ships - please tell me why. The ONLY time I prefer small ships is on expedition cruises that go to interesting places I would not see on a big ship - hence its the destination, not the ship.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:33 PM
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We went on P&O Artemis, 45,000 tonnes, we liked it very much, good layout everywhere convenient. We have also been on a Solstice class & a Grand class, we liked them because there was lots to do & see, always something going on or different places to eat.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:37 PM
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My primary consideration in selecting a cruise is destination.

My first cruise was a TA on the Az Journey and loved it. This was in the pre Az Club days.

I had a very different experience from you - our 'activities' were very well attended and frequently I and my fellow passengers were 'double booked' - we could not fit everything in. Trivia was packed; bridge and dancing classes; wine tastings; music classes etc.

On the few port visits we made, disembarking the vessel was a breeze; no queuing for tenders. Shuttle buses available.

You were more than a 'number' to the staff; the library was more than sufficient and the general ambience was very good.

Service levels were very high and the food exceptional esp in the buffet. I never had a problem finding a table! Well staffed and highly supervised buffet.

Speciality dining, I think, was a nominal $10 - the chef came and asked us if we wanted the recipes of any of the dishes we had eaten.

There was always plenty of room on the pool deck; smoking was almost 'invisible'. No chair hogging; no piped music.

Great and speedy room service to the cabin.

No crowds - yeah!

Excellent customer relations staff and the Spa was big enough for me.

Film screening was limited but was held in the theatre.

Fabulous afternoon teas.

No formal nights - yeah!

Bored - I was definitely not.

My next cruise was HAL - some say it is a premium mainstream line - what a joke! I will save that rant! I sailed on a smaller HAL vessel but the Lido Buffet was frankly disgusting compared to Azamara.

You have the advantage over me in that I have not sailed either Cunard or Celebrity. The size of the vessels means I am unlikely that I will ever sail them but one of my sisters is hoping I will organise a Cunard TA to NYC.

However, for my personality and I am not a casino user or shopper, smaller vessels suit me to a T. Primary consideration will always remain itinerary.

Annie
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Old January 24th, 2011, 06:57 PM
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Hmm..
Daytime activities don't interest us, craft & such, like an old people's home.
We had no queues getting on or off the ship except initial boarding of Azura, Celebrity straight on.
Service was no problem, good on P&O superb on =X=.
Space on pool decks, smoking, tables in buffets were to be honest a nightmare on P&O... no problem on =X=.
Crowd were not a problem apart from as already stated.
Films always being shown on P&O.
Don't do "teas"
Formal nights are no different, just different clothes, like a theme night.
Speciality dining was expensive ..OK on P&O fabulous on =X=.
IF we ever did a world cruise it would have to be on a bigger ship.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:16 PM
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I love big ships, I love MUTS, I love the multitude of dining options and basically just choices, choices, choices. However.... you can't beat a small ship for some of the itineraries. We're considering Azamara's Journey for the Italian Riviera and Amalfi Coast. Big ship, you get Naples, small ship, I get Capri, Amalfi and Sorrento.

Same itinerary, I'd pick a big ship any day of the week.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:23 PM
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??? MUTS - OK my brain is fogged
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:24 PM
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Movies Under the Stars on Princess
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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We had MUTS on Azura, never got anywhere near it during the day, at night we forgot it was there!! Shoulda done that.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
We had MUTS on Azura, never got anywhere near it during the day, at night we forgot it was there!! Shoulda done that.
It's kind of fun at night. Blankets, Popcorn a good movie
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Old January 24th, 2011, 07:59 PM
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My first Ship was the Carnival Ecstasy which was a big ship, my next was the Celebrity Meridian which I really liked and then the Premeir Island Breeze which was a tiny ship and my favorite thus far.

I guess I like the smaller ships because you can get from any point on the ship in minutes and they are easier to learn (layouts). I also like the smaller ships because they tend to be older which, to me, makes them a little more interesting to look at.

Of course I just go to relax and am not a big gambler or show seer so I can see why many folks like the mega ships. Just give me some great food and great destinations and I'll sail on a trawler
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Old January 25th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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I like 'em all!

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Old January 25th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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The biggest ship I have sailed so far is the Epic, and, the smallest I believe was the old scow, the Tropicale...I prefer a larger ship, but, maybe not as big as the Epic..What could change my mind is the Allure/Oasis, just because of all the options one has on board. I loved the size of the Eclipse.

Not sure I woul be happy on say, a ship that had 300-500 people, but, the luxuriousness of it all, it could sway me....I guess, after rereading this post, I could be up for almost anything. With nothing in my future this year so far,all cruises sound good to me, especially while it's snowing outside!!
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Old January 25th, 2011, 11:04 AM
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the smallest ship we have been on was the Royal Princess which was perfect for a 10 day port intensive full canal transit, ambiance, service & food was top-notch. The largest ship we have sailed on was Freedom of the Seas, which we thought was just a bit to large for our tastes, we had a grea time, lots to do and see on board, didn't like what seemed like the endless hallways to get anywhere, we love the Sun Class and the Grand Class ships of Princess, both sizes seemed to just fit for us, our next cruise is hopefully on the Solstice
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Old January 25th, 2011, 01:40 PM
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Question Big or Small?

Well, I guess we have done almost all of it, except for the VERY biggest and the VERY smallest.

We have cruised the Caribbean on Golden Princess, sailed the Inside Passage on HAL Zuiderdam, crossed the Atlantic on QM II, even done a "cruise to nowhere" on Monarch of the Seas. We sailed the coast of Africa on the Pacific Princess (the REAL Love Boat) and the Med and Holy Land on Royal Princess. Our very first cruise was on the Song of Norway, 690 passengers and a BIG ship for her time.

We loved them all!!

The planetarium, the Thermal Suites, the big shows, the huge buffets, all make the big ships something special. On sea days there is plenty to do to keep you busy. The Atlantic crossing is probably the most severe test for the cruise staff and the ship's facilities!

The small ships are something special, too. First, of course, is the fact that they are easy to get around. The long long loooooooong corridors on the big ships can be a severe test for those of us with slight mobility problems. I often say that it takes me seven days to find my way around a mega ship, and then they make me get off! I love the fact that everything on the small ships is quick and easy to get to. Second is the fact that you quickly get to know the staff and they get to know you. Third is that you also have a chance to meet your fellow pax and get to know them without hunting all over the ship to find them again! And of course the big attraction of the small ships is itinerary. Many of them have special trips that the bigger ships do not do.

So I love to cruise, on any size of ship, but by and large special itineraries on small ships would be my choice.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anniegb View Post
My primary consideration in selecting a cruise is destination.
disembarking the vessel was a breeze; no queuing for tenders.
Shuttle buses available.
You were more than a 'number' to the staff;
the library was more than sufficient
Service levels were very high
food exceptional esp in the buffet.
I never had a problem finding a table!
Well staffed and highly supervised buffet.
Speciality dining, I think, was a nominal $10 -
There was always plenty of room on the pool deck;
smoking was almost 'invisible'.
No chair hogging; no piped music.
Great and speedy room service to the cabin.
No crowds - yeah!
Excellent customer relations staff and the Spa was big enough for me.
Film screening was limited but was held in the theatre.
Fabulous afternoon teas.
No formal nights - yeah!
Bored - I was definitely not.
Primary consideration will always remain itinerary.
Annie
Annie - excellent points for all small ships - I can't disagree with you about anything.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 02:27 PM
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I LOVE small ships. We have been on over 50 cruises thru the years. Our first was on the 35,000 ton Rotterdam V in 1971. We were on the "old" NCL Skyward and Starward (17,000 tons), the Stella Stolaris (at 25,000 tons). The "old" Rennisance R ships of 30,000 tons are my favorites. My second choice is the 38,000 ton Holland America Prinsendam.

We have been on the Pacific Princess twice, the Azamara Journey once, and the Azamara Quest once. We have been on the Prinsendam 5 times (including our up coming 62 day Grand Africa/Med in March).

Why do we like smaller ships?

1. Few or no children
2. Excellent PERSONALIZED service by the crew. Because the number of passengers is 600-700, the crew makes an extra effort to remember you by name and your habits.
3. Excellent food. It is easier to cook for 700 passengers than 6,000 passengers. The meals are varied and aren't so "institutionalized".
4. There are NO LINES anywhere. Never a wait for anything. (Even open seating on Azamara) at peak dining room hours.
5. More exotic ports of call that only "smaller" ships can reach.
6. On longer cruises, you remember (or get introduced to) just about everyone from the ship. You may not have spoken to them, eaten with them, played trivia with them, but you recognize them from "around the ship".
7. Small ship (and grand cruise "regulars") meet again and again because of the common interests a small ship offers.
8. Usually the ship offers lectures and interesting topics throughout the cruise.
9. Every room on the Prinsendam has a walk in closet.
10. The passengers on the smaller ships are well-educated, well-traveled, and interesting to talk with regardless of age.
11. The smaller ships have a more International passenger make-up.

The only negative about the small ship is the quality of "entertainment". The production shows do not have enough stage room, but they do an excellent job for what is available.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 09:31 PM
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We have been on 34 cruises with the largest being Oasis of the Seas and the smallest Rhapsody of the Seas. Will be on a 690 passenger ship, Azamara Journey, in April. That should be a good comparsion. We are looking forward to this 13 day cruise with 9 straight days at sea out of Miami. We really enjoy the sea days. Why do you have to do something every minute. I have not read a book for 40 years or so, but still find plenty to do with gym, relaxing by the pool, lecturers, bingo, trivia, people watching and just taking it easy for a period of time without phone calls, cell phones and such. After my cruise on Azamara I will confirm or condemn the smaller cruise ship.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:18 PM
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Paul, I'm with you. Most of your reasons are mine.
I don't do lectures, bingo or crafts, but would be in withdrawal without my trivia and similar games. Love the variety of shows, good excursions, and great service still happening on bigger ships. I need the stability of a bigger ship to feel comfortable. The smallest ships I've been on are X's Galaxy and Mercury, now gone and almost gone.
The largest ones I've sailed are Explorer and Adventure OS. I don't need a balcony, just a window. Celebrity and RCCL are the only lines I care to cruise. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

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Old February 2nd, 2011, 10:42 PM
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My SIL cruises 5-6 times a year and prefers small ships .
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Old April 11th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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I like small ships on a special itinerary. I like big ships when I don't care about the itinerary.

I have little need to take a small luxury ship in the Caribbean. I don't care if the food is amazing... there is more to cruising than eating.

But I think the samll ships do a far better job when sightseeing is the main concern. They are more efficient with meals, getting peoiple on and off the ship, etc. It is easier to find the gangway, no lines to get back onboard...
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Old April 11th, 2011, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
I like small ships on a special itinerary. I like big ships when I don't care about the itinerary.

I have little need to take a small luxury ship in the Caribbean. I don't care if the food is amazing... there is more to cruising than eating.

But I think the samll ships do a far better job when sightseeing is the main concern. They are more efficient with meals, getting peoiple on and off the ship, etc. It is easier to find the gangway, no lines to get back onboard...
AND you see people more than once!
Just got off Carnival Dream, loaded with things, but walk a mile to get anywhere.
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