Most travelers either love cruises or hate them. There is little in between. Until I went on a small cruise with Lindblad Expeditions to Antartica, I was firmly ensconced in the “I hate cruises and you will never get me on one ever again” camp. See, a few years ago I did one of those big ocean liner cruises to the Caribbean. I truly hated it. I am just not a “Let’s travel with 3,000 other people” type of person. Taking a cruise for me means only one thing – small.
I recently had the chance to do another small cruise with a company called UnCruise Adventures, we’re talking 74 passengers max here, and I jumped at the opportunity. It helped that it was an adventure cruise, traveling through the northern passage of Alaska, and that we were going with friends and family.
During the journey, it made me think about the differences between cruising small vs cruising large and why for me, there’s no comparison. So, I’m not here to tell you all about my adventure, but to discuss what can make taking a cruise on a small boat the way to go…
Advantages of Taking a Cruise on a Small Boat…
- You get to really know many of your fellow passengers and have the opportunity to make life long friends.
- The crew actually get to know who you are and call you by your name.
- You fill out a questionnaire ahead of time. This way the crew knows all about your preferences, allergies, and dietary restrictions. And it’s obvious they actually have paid attention!
- You can cruise to and get in and out of places that you just can’t do with a large ship.
- The captain has flexibility in the schedule. So, if he/she finds something awesome, they can cruise on over or stay longer in one place in case you encounter “whale soup”.
- There’s no waiting in lines for anything. Plus, you don’t need reservations and you won’t be told some activity is fully booked.
- Dining is easy. There’s no decision on what you are going to do. Everyone goes to the one dining room at the same time and choices are limited, but still accommodating.
- There’s very little chance you will gain weight. There’s not an endless buffet and you actually get in a bunch of exercise.
- The focus of the trip is more on adventure and education.
- Very little shopping is involved, but tons of fun.
- Everything is pretty much taken care of you and you have few decisions to make. On this last trip, it was which entree for dinner and whether we wanted to kayak, bushwhack, or do a shoreline hike.
- You can embark and disembark quickly.
- You get hugs and kisses from all the crew as you disembark.
- Oh, and if something happened to the ship out on the open seas, you’d be much easier to rescue than in an ocean liner.
I actually really can’t think of any negatives about cruising small. Perhaps if you just hate all cruises. Then, this was NOT the article for you. But, if you want to feel a part of a family, not stress over any part of the trip, and have tons of fun, then it might be time for you to think about cruising small.