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Smaller ship vs larger ship

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What’s everyone ‘s preference? And why?  We were just on the spirit which is around 2,000 people, and we loved the size. Yes, less to do but it felt like a lot of freedom and never crowded. . Even our Carnival cruises were under 3k people and we loved them. Just curious on people’s thoughts and experiences?

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I prefer the Dawn.  DW prefers Breakaway.  Both have advantages.   We are on vacation so both PERFECT. 

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Like the smaller ships by far as there much quieter and relaxing. But we chose to cruise by destination rather than by ship.

Edited by FranknBeans
addition spelling

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Our favorite NCL ship so far is The Sun. We really got to know the crew, new shows every night, and nice activities that were free. The Escape had better restaurants and better quality shows- but entertainment did not change every day. We're looking forward to going back to the Jewel class next. That size was a mix of both.

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In general, I absolutely love the larger and newer ships. I am mesmerized by the technical aspects of the big, modern ships. But I dislike that, in the most part, they only visit a limited number of ports. 
 

We are booked on Norwegian Encore in 2021, and it’s because it’s a brand new ship and because we found a killer deal on a Haven suite. But if my main focus is destination, then the ship and cruise line are secondary. We sailed to Cuba last year and it was aboard the old and small Empress of the Seas, but it was a memorable Cruise because of the destination. Same thing when we sailed to Alaska on the Westerdam. That cruise was all about the destination and very little about the ship. 
 

Last year I was able to combine a brand new ship with a wonderful destination when we sailed on the MSC Meraviglia in the Mediterranean. One of my best cruises ever. 

Edited by Tapi

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We love the larger boats since there are so many more options of things to do at night...on the smaller ships I feel like there is potentially one thing we would do at night but on the larger ships 2 or 3. 

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We started cruising on the Sky in 2002 for a newbie it seemed quite large. Now we have been on the Pearl, Dawn, Pride of America and soon the Gem and in 2021 the Jewel (see the trend here 🙂 ). Also we also cruise mostly for the destination and not so much for the ship, so we think that the entertainment options on the larger ships would be wasted on us - one show a night is enough as are two MDRs. 

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We much prefer the larger ships. Much more variety of things to do and see. If I want some place quite to read, I'll close the door to my den at home. A cruise is as much about the ship as it is about the destination. 

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We also like to cruise for destinations, prefer the Jewel class ships, mainly Gem and Jewel.  Liked the Spirit and the Sun for port intensive cruises with more options, no reservations required.  Breakaway and Getaway have more boring itineraries, ok entertainment but not as good as similarly sized RCI ships.

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I’ll go on any ship that takes me where we want to go. Destination comes first but I sail with two kids so there’s no doubt that we loved the ships like the Bliss and Escape and what they offer. Unfortunately they don’t go to the more exotic places although the Bliss through the Canal was a great one for us. We sailed the old retired Holland America MS Noordam version one to Russia years ago. If we could sail that small floating nursing home then we can sail anything and enjoy it. 

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10 hours ago, trex-de said:

I prefer the Dawn.  DW prefers Breakaway.  Both have advantages.   We are on vacation so both PERFECT. 

I prefer any of the four 'Jewel Class' ships or the 'BLISS' for a larger ship!

I can hardly wait to see the deck plans for the upcoming (five) 'Leonardo Class' ships; the first one to come online in 2022, with a passenger complement of 3300+!

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We prefer the smaller ships.   The Sun, Jade and Gem are better than the Epic.   Don't like the ship layout on Epic, not many places to see the ocean.

 

One smaller ship we didn't care much for was the Star.

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I prefer the smaller ships too.  On the large ships I find the various venues at night are over crowded or worse, impossible to get into.  The Jewel and Dawn class ships are my favorite size.  I'm cruising on the Epic in January but only because of the ports it visits and how few sea days there will be.  The Epic is my least favorite ship.

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I like the larger ncl ships because you can choose the haven and feel like you’re on a smaller ship but leave it when you want the larger ship extras

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I just like being on a ship.

 

SPIRIT: Was my 1st Ncl ship. Good size for the amount of people on.

 

DAWN: Really like the Dawn when there was a Spinaker lounge. Was good size for the amount of people. Like the stadium like seating around the pool.

 

SKY: Great for the weekend but that's about all.

 

GEM: If you like to go on a cruise it's great ship. I prefer all the shows in the Spinaker lounge then in the atrium.

 

BREAKAWAY: I really like the bigger ships, although more people more crowds. More things to do even if you only do it once. More areas to get away from people.

 

ESCAPE: Same as BREAKAWAY, but more to do. This is my Favorite ship.

 

BLISS: Jan 5th I will be on her for 14 nights excited.

 

I just like being on a ship!

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If I’m going for pure relaxation, smaller ships all day long. I like them for shorter cruises, though- 3 to 5 days. The owner’s suite on the Sun has been my favorite.  A week or longer, I need a bigger ship with a Haven. Haven’t tried the Jewel class, but I  think that might be the sweet spot.

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Just got off the gem and it was nonstop fun.
Have enjoyed the epic when brand new. Same with anthem. For us it’s the activities staff. Had a wonderful experience transatlantic on smaller visions of the seas. Been on the Dawn 4 times out of Boston and all great. 
If my wife has zumba or similar activities and dance opportunities and a great live band it’s blissful. Speaking of bliss it’s our next cruise. February.
So now we try and network with cruise activities staff and see what’s available on certain ships. We’ve enjoyed Ncl a lot recently. Band prism was outstanding on gem.

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My wife loves the Sun but I have no real preference.  Been on the Epic and Getaway along with the Sun and it didn't matter to me.  Destination matters more to me.  

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6 hours ago, GeriatricNurse said:

I can hardly wait to see the deck plans for the upcoming (five) 'Leonardo Class' ships; the first one to come online in 2022, with a passenger complement of 3300+!

 

There will be 6 Leonardo ships.

 

3 hours ago, localoneguy said:

I like the larger ncl ships because you can choose the haven and feel like you’re on a smaller ship but leave it when you want the larger ship extras

 

I agree.

 

 

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We had only sailed the larger ships until our last cruise over thanksgiving on the dawn. I would not sail a smaller ship again. Just not enough to do. Especially for my adult children 18 and 23 who were with their girlfriends. Unless you were drinking or in the casino at night just not Enough options for entertainment like on the larger ships 

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Prefer the smaller ships in the Dawn or Jewel class. The Breakaway to me was like pandemonium lol

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