small ship or really small ship?
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The lecture room/lounge was filled to capacity for the duration of the lectures, but most people left to go outside, up to the bridge, or back to the cabin when it was over, leaving plenty of space for anyone who wanted to remain in the lounge. (The lectures were not non-stop, but spaced out nicely and were only on sea days.) As for the evenings, with near constant daylight, we didn't spend much time in the lounge or the dining room (separate on the Molchanov) -- again, we were either outside enjoying the experience of sailing in Antarctica or in our cabin, resting up from a busy day of landings and getting ready for another early wake up call the next morning.
Admittedly, we had great weather that was very conducive to being outside as much as possible. Had that not been the case, I might have felt differently ... but I doubt it. For us, max passenger count was more important than space in this instance.
Whatever you decide, have a terrific time on your adventure.
All in all, we had a great time just like h2so4!
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Ocean Nova in Antarctica Dec 2012: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1739893
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Swan Hellenic Minerva Antarctica - January 2010 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1083945
Star Princess - Greek Isles: Rome to Venice - 28 October 2007 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=665634
Celebrity Millennium - South America, 22 January 2006. Review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=293376
Celebrity Constellation - Baltics, 21 May 2005. Notes at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showp...3&postcount=11
Celebrity Infinity - Alaska, July 2004
Radisson Diamond - Mediterranean, Oct 2000
This ship looks ridiculously small next to the other ships in port, but it did not feel too small while on board.
If you are someone who likes the shopping malls, shows etc on the big ships, it might seem too small.
The Ocean Nova also did quite well in the rough seas, it did roll around though.
The size of the passenger contingent was great, we were not separated into groups. The expedition leaders would let us know what the plan was and people could either hurry up to be in line first or take their time getting ready. Even if you were not first in line it did not take that long to move 72 passengers with 7 zodiacs. They have the zodiac unloading down to a science, I think I heard them say they could get all the zodiacs off the boat and be ready to unload passengers in 20 minutes.
We had a lounge and open bar, though not much time to drink with the two landings daily. I liked the open bridge policy. The ship was only about 250 feet long but very comfortable and the food was excellent.
We had a lecture room as well as a separate lounge and dining room.
It was more of an expedition than a cruise, but great fun.
1977 Black Sea and Crimean Peninsula. 3. Mermoz 1979 Med.-Malta. 4. SS Freeport to Gulf Mexico. 5.Vistafjord to Caribbean 1981. 6. Sagafjord to Alaska 1983. 7. Stella Solaris to Aegean, Israel and Egypt 1984. 8. Mississippi Queen . 9. Nantucket Clipper 10. Fairsky to Caribbean 1987. 11. Royal Odyssey Med.& Dubrovnik 9/1988. 12. Carnivalle to Bahamas 1990. 13. Crown Odyssey to Eastern South America 1991. 14.Monarch of the Seas Eastern Caribbean 1995. 15 Royal Odyssey Panama Canal 1995. 16 Egypt-Nile River Cruise 1996.
17. Splendour of the Seas- Fjords of Norway 1997. 18 Sun Viking –Orient Cruise 1997.
19. R-4 Barcelona-Lisbon 1999. 20. Paradise- Caribbean 1999.
21. Millennium to Baltic Capitals 2000. 22. Summit to Caribbean 2001.
23. Constellation –Fjords of Norway 2002. 24.Horizon –Mexico 2003. 25. Infinity to Alaska 2003. 26. Holiday to Mexico 2003. 27. Infinity -South America Cape Horn 2004. 28. Constellation- Transatlantic 2004. 29.Legend of Seas- Western Caribbean 2005.
30. Millennium- Panama Canal 2006. 31. Rhapsody of Seas- Western Caribbean 2006. 32. Constellation- New England/Canada 2006. 33.Millennium-Caribbean 2007. 34.Voyager of the Seas- Caribbean 35.Mercury- South Pacific 2008. 36. Mariner of Seas-Mexican Riviera 2/09. 37. Summit to Southern Caribbean. 4/09. 38. Amadeus Symphony- Rhine River Basel-Amsterdam 6/09 combined with Switzerland Trip.
39.Antarctica on Prof. Multanovskiy 2009 40.Voyager of the Seas out of Galveston Jan 2010
41. Silver Whisper New York to Bermuda October 2010. 42.Silver Shadow Seoul Korea to Anchorage,AK May 2011
43. Silver Cloud to the Caribbean,Jan 2012 44. Statendam to Alaska June 2012 45.Millennium RT Singapore SE Asia Jan 2013 46. Azamara Quest–West Coast Central America Jan 2014. 47. Carnival Breeze June 2015 Eastern Caribbean. 48. Azamara Journey-Istanbul to Athens Oct.2015
49.Carnival Dream Western Caribbean July 2016
Our experience was similar to what the others mentioned here, although there were several days when we did 3 landings, as well as an evening zodiac cruise. Thus not a lot of time in the bar. But we don't regret the small ship decision for a second.
Our expedition leader was Howard Whelan, one of the founders of Australia's National Geographic.