Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Small Cruise Ships In Caribbean

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Plenty Of Inclusive Options

Why you shouldn’t avoid older & smaller cruise ships

Among those inclusive options, every guest who comes aboard our yachts can enjoy luxurious accommodations with an ocean view. Each room features a marble-lined bathroom, a fully stocked mini-fridge, television, and other amenities to make your stay comfortable and relaxing. Outside the stateroom or suite, you will find there are other opportunities to spend your time as well. Our library on Deck 4 comes fully stocked with over 1,200 different titles, ensuring you have access to the best fiction and non-fiction literature to make your stay enjoyable.

As the backdrop turns into the starry night sky, you might pay a visit to the onboard casino for a game of blackjack or one of the bars onboard to grab your favorite cocktail, all included as part of the selection of premium spirits. If you are looking for a social experience, the Piano Bar is a great place to sing, drink, and enjoy the entertainment. Before heading back to your suite or stateroom, you might want to pay a visit to the Top of Yacht Bar for one final drink or lay out beneath the stars in a Balinese Dream Bed. Many guests have been known to get so comfortable here that they fall asleep, and our crew is always delighted to accommodate your requests throughout the night.

Number : Rhapsody Of The Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas is, ultimately, not all that small. There are many Royal vessels of the past that are far tinier than this one. But when you compare it to Royals biggest ship, the absolutely gigantic Symphony of the Seas, Rhapsodys size is truly put into perspective. Symphony checks in at 228,081 tons Rhapsody, meanwhile, is only 78,878 tons. In other words, Rhapsody is nearly three times smaller! As you may have guessed, it is one of Royals older ships, having been built in 1997. It has been updated multiple times in recent years, but it still retains its original charm. It largely sails itineraries in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean regions, and most of its itineraries are highly affordable.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Navigator

The Navigator offers trips throughout the East Caribbean islands. The ship sails from Fort Lauderdale and goes to destinations such as the British Virgin Islands, Grand Turk and the Dominican Republic. This vacation package occurs during April. Navigator features an outdoor swimming pool with two whirlpools, Internet cafe, exercise center and spa with massage therapies. Fine dining options on this cruise include the Compass Rose and La Veranda. Amenities for each suite on the ship includes a private balcony, living room areas and television. Butler service is provided for guests in many of the suites on board the ship. The cruise holds up to 490 passengers.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises 1000 Corporate Drive Suite 500 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334 877-505-5370

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You Really Want To Visit Some Of The Caribbean’s Lesser

Small ships offer itineraries that are truly destination-driven and they spend more time in port because it doesn’t take them all day to disembark and embark passengers. If you book a small-ship cruise in the Caribbean, expect to visit ports like Roseau, Dominica Guadeloupe’s Iles Des Saintes Bequia, Union Island, Tobago Cays and Mayreau in the Grenadines Virgin Gorda, Peter Island, Tortola, Norman Island and Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands Saba and Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles Culebra or Culebrita off Puerto Rico and Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis and St. Vincent.


Of course, that’s not to say that these itineraries skip the larger islands. Most itineraries embark/disembark from places like Bridgetown, Barbados Fort-de-France, Martinique San Juan, Puerto Rico Marigot, St. Martin and even Fort Lauderdale in the United States. They also call on more established isles like St. Lucia, St. John and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the playground of the rich and famous, St. Barts.

Why A Smaller Cruise Ship Will Steal Your Heart

Windstar Caribbean Cruises, AQSC in Pacific Northwest &  Other Small ...

Well freely admit it: We used to be big ship cruisers.

Wed stand on the railing of our megaship, cocktail in-hand, and watch as a ship less than a quarter of our size pulled up next to us. The size differential was so great that we could actually see into the funnel of the ship, and peer down at the passengers on the deck scurrying around in anticipation of their arrival into port.

Of course, the natural reaction to a sight like that is to develop a sense of smug superiority. Little did we know, however, that the guests on the small ship had a smug sense of superiority too because they knew what we didnt.

With their more intimate atmosphere, increased levels of service, flexibility in their itineraries and unique personalities, small ships have a tendency to win cruisers over almost instantly. Even experienced cruisers arent immune to their charms including us. After sailing on big ships dozens of times, our first small ship cruises were genuinely surprising experiences that raised the bar for what we could expect from an oceangoing cruise.

So why do cruisers flock to small ship cruising time and time again?

Theres a number of reasons.

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Culturally Inspired Cruising Fuels The Imagination

Cultural journeys aboard our small ship cruises evoke golden sand beaches, vineyards bucolic with lemon trees, olives and vines, lavender fields fragrant from afar, limestone caves and rocky mounts, sculpted in time… Past is present in architectural artistry, fortified towns and terra cotta tableaus that play out in palaces and promenades steeped in history… in places immortalized with nature’s colorful brush, where masterfully crafted wines were made to sip and savor, traditions toasted and tales fondly shared… where you become part of the stories, past and present, that make your cruise memories last lifetimes.

The Definition Of A Small Ship

The Definition of what constitutes a small cruise ship is the subject of some debate. Some believe that anything over 200 guests is too big. Others would argue that any ship offering a capacity for fewer than 1,000 guests is small. At The Cruise Line, we generally recommend that a small ship is a vessel with a total of no more than 600 guests.

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Sh Vega & Vega Class 3

The newly revived Swan Hellenic brand follows up its first expedition ship, 2021s SH Minerva, with a sister, SH Vega, and a third that measures 12,000 gross tons, larger than the first two 10,500-gross-ton vessels, and with capacity for 192 passengers, up from 152.

Like SH Minerva, SH Vega will be built to Polar Class 5 standard, while the third ship is a tad less robust at Polar Class 6.

Scandinavian-style interiors characterize these luxuriously outfitted vessels.

Swan Hellenics sleek stateroom finishing. * Photo: Swan Hellenic

SH Vega is planned to debut in April with varied inaugural-season itineraries that range from the British Isles paired with northern France to North Atlantic island hopping, an Iceland circumnavigation, Svalbard and the Russian High Arctic.

The third ships itineraries are to be announced.

SH Vega will be the twin of 2021s SH Minerva, pictured here. * Photo: Swan Hellenic

Enchantment Of The Seas

Whats the difference between a large and small cruise ship?
  • Guest Capacity: 1,950
  • Length: 919 Feet

Now we get to even smaller Royal Caribbean ships by size with Enchantment of the Seas. The ship is the third Vision-class and joined the fleet in 1997. She was constructed at the then-named Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland. She is the largest in the Vision class only just by tonnage.

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Is A Small Ship Cruise In The Caribbean Right For You

The phrase “Caribbean cruise” conjures up vastly different images depending on your frame of reference. If your only cruise experience has been on one of today’s 5,000-plus-passenger mega-ships, you might picture the port of Philipsburg, St. Martin, jammed with five huge cruise ships with throngs of people vying for space on the beach or in shops and restaurants in town. And, while that is a very accurate picture of one type of Caribbean cruise, there is a counterpoint: small-ship cruises.

Small ships carry anywhere from 62 to 300 passengers and can be anything from a luxurious and well-equipped yacht to a ship with billowing sails. The common thread between all small ships is their ability to visit out-of-the-way places on destination-driven itineraries, extra perks like alcohol and private beach barbecues included in the cruise fare, and personalized service from a crew that has time to get to know every passenger onboard.

You might be wondering if a small-ship Caribbean cruise would be right for you. We think it might be if

Big Vs Small Ship Cruising

Big or not big? Thats one of the most critical questions for many cruisers thinking of trying a different size ship, whether they are experienced or newbies. The mega-vessels feature several amenities, entertainment options, and dining choices, where small vessels offer a more intimate and often exclusive experience. Lets go through a list of elements to consider before choosing which cruise you should try.

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Where Do Small Ship Travel

The small size of small ships makes them particularly suited to go to small coves and channels and dock in more intimate ports, making them fascinating for cruising. Their smaller size makes it easier to travel to remote areas like South Pacific or the Arctic or more smaller ports in regions such as the Caribbean or Europe.

The Boutique Ship Perks

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No matter what you enjoy, these small cruise ships are ideal for those who desire a more intimate setting. The 95:112 crew to guest ratio really makes you feel like youre aboard your own private yacht. This boutique atmosphere ensures you can get the most out of your voyage and really enjoy a one-of-a-kind vacation. Offering personalized options and plenty onshore activities, those who travel on a SeaDream yacht are pampered in every way.

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What Is Small Ship Cruising

Small cruise ships are not those the typical floating skyscrapers you see floating through the oceans. In simple words, a small ship cruise is one where guests can enjoy all the luxuries of cruising in a more intimate environment. Most ships carry less than 350 passengers and because of their smaller size, they can access ports of call that the larger ships cant.

You’ll Take Advantage Of The Water Sports Platform Or The Complimentary Snorkel Gear

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One of the best all-time perks of some small ships like the Windstar fleet and SeaDream’s yachts is their onboard aft marinas that offer a water sports platform from which you can go swimming, board a kayak or paddleboard, or get in line for a turn Jet Skiing, water skiing or riding a banana boat. Most small ships also offer complimentary snorkel gear that you can use at all ports of call. This is a nice perk, so you don’t have to plan a shore excursion to go snorkeling just grab the free gear and head to the nearest beach once you tender ashore.

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You Enjoy Meeting New People

With small ships carrying so few people, you’re going to meet everyone during a tender ride, on a shore excursion, in the lounge over cocktails or at the dinner table. This close camaraderie is what some people adore about small-ship cruising, but will you? While there are tables for two on most of these ships at dinner, it’s common to dine with others starting on day one of the voyage.

Advantages Of Small Ship Cruising

Windstar Cruises Best Small Ship Cruise

Enjoying a small ship cruise has two main advantages the first is that many cruise enthusiasts believe that cruising on a small ship cruise line offers a greater level of intimacy that larger vessels cannot replicate. Secondly, the public spaces on small ships are generally more relaxed, and theres often a greater sense of camaraderie between passengers and the ships crew.

The second advantage of choosing a small ship cruise is that they offer a wider variety of ports on their itineraries. In addition, due to their size, small ships can easily navigate their way into remote ports of call that are generally inaccessible to larger vessels. For this reason, many cruisers tend to prefer small ship cruises when wanting to explore destinations such as Alaska or the Galapagos Islands.

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You Appreciate Fine Food And Wine

One of the nice things about smaller ships is that the chef and galley crew can focus on developing unique menus that often include ingredients from the ports you’ll visit. This heightened emphasis on food is a welcome change of pace from some of the larger, mass-market lines. Chefs also tend to be more involved with passengers and it’s common to be invited on a galley tour or go out to a local market on an island for an impromptu shopping trip. Crystal Esprit — Crystal Cruises’ 62-passenger yacht — gets especially high marks for dining, and even offers four distinct dining venues plus room service.


Small Ships Are Only Small At The Dock

Theres the old joke that size doesnt matter, and thats particularly true of small cruise ships. A small ship only feels small at the dock, particularly if it is tied up next to one of the gargantuan megaships that ply the waters in popular destinations like the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Once you set sail, however, without a frame of reference to compare it to, a small ship looks and feels a lot like a big ship would. Its true that larger ships can better ride out stormy weather, but otherwise, a small ship behaves exactly as a much larger ship would.

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You’re Willing To Forego Big

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Small ships are just that: small. There is no room for the type of amenities the mega-ships offer. You won’t find a disco, a rock-climbing wall or shopping arcade. There might be a few one-arm bandits and a card table in the casino, but it’s a very low-key affair — as is the entertainment onboard small cruise ships, which leans toward singers, piano players and duos taking requests, not Broadway-style shows.

You Enjoy Personalized Service From The Crew

Cruises that visit Jamaica

When you sail on a small ship, the crew will not only remember your name but your preferences when it comes to beverage service and dining. You’ll receive customized service and you’ll have the opportunity to talk with a multinational crew. If you’re the type that likes to stay anonymous, it will be tough to do so on a small ship.

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Best Small Ship Cruise Lines

The cruise line you choose for your small-ship cruise holiday will depend on personal preference and, perhaps most importantly, where you want to go. But, from sleek yachts and luxurious river ships to expedition-ready vessels, we guarantee youll find a cruise line offering the kind of small-ship experience that meets your requirements.

As a guide, here is a selection of the best small-ship cruise lines:

Expeditionary Cruises To Exotic Locations From The Sea To The Shore

The first maritime expeditions date back millennia when explorers in dugout canoes and sailing boats plied the seas to untraveled destinations. While the expeditionary ships you’ll sail aboard with Tauck are modern in every way, the remote ports where you will cast anchor are timeless still. Imagine setting foot on an equatorial beach teeming with wildlife found nowhere else in the world. Or navigating ice floes to stand on the ethereal seventh continent. Come aboard our expeditionary cruises and get ready to check off bucket list experiences other travelers only dream of.

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Windstar Cruises: Wind Spirit

Windstar Cruise’s Wind Spirit offers a round-trip vacation out of St. Martin that sails to Caribbean Sea points that include French West Indies, St. Kitts and British Virgin Islands. This ship offers amenities such as an exercise center, library for reading, gaming opportunities at the on-board casino and Windspa, which includes facial treatments and massage therapies. On-board dining establishments include The Restaurant and Veranda. Each of Wind Spirit’s rooms and suites includes a flat-screen television and queen-sized bed. Some of the rooms have a living room area. This ship holds up to 148 passengers.

Windstar Cruises 2101 4th Ave. Suite 210 Seattle, WA 98121 877-258-7245

Caribbean & Central America Cruises

BIG SHIP VS SMALL CRUISE SHIP! Pros & Cons Cruisers Need to Know

Our Caribbean cruises really do make you thankful for small blessings. With a maximum capacity of just 728 guests, only Silversea can access ports where larger ships simply cannot go. This means our diversified, hand-picked itineraries have perfect balance of iconic destinations and hidden gems.

Get under the skin of the patchwork of cultures, history, beliefs, and religions that make the Caribbean so extraordinary. From St. Barts to Bequia, Little Bay to Les Saintes, Silverseas fleet of small ships not only takes you to the best islands in the archipelago, but with a staff to guest ratio of almost 1:1, it takes you there in style.

If you thought you knew the Caribbean, its time to think again.

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Small Ships Go Where Big Ships Cant

Youve heard the old saying, Size doesnt matter? Well, in the case of cruise ships, it does. And in this case, bigger is very rarely better.

Small ships are simply more nimble than large ships. Unless youre going to a mega port, big cruise ships often have to ferry their entire passenger load back and forth via small boats or Zodiac rafts.

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