Smart Buyer’s Guide to Residential Cruise Ships

If you’re thinking about taking a cruise and you’re browsing around at different places you could go, you’re probably thinking more about the destination itself than the type of ship that will take you there. After all, when you book a flight on an airplane, it’s more about picking the one with the fewest stops or the best price than the snazziest plane. They’re all pretty similar, right?

This is not so with cruise ships.

The size of ship you choose has a huge affect on your vacation 중국배대지 experience. Remember, with a cruise, it’s not just about taking a boat from one port to the next. You’re going to be spending a lot of time on board, and the ship itself is a big part of the entertainment.

It’s also where you’ll sleep and do most of your eating. It’s where you’ll meet other cruisers, attend shows, watch movies, swim in the pool, exercise at the gym, etc. etc. etc.

There are three different categories of cruise ships: small or “boutique” ships, mid-size ships, and large resort ships.

On small ships, you often get more individual attention. Most of the true “luxury” ships fall into this category. There are fewer entertainment options, but fewer people too, so you won’t deal with crowds or lines to disembark at ports.

On large resort ships (the ones you’ve probably seen in commercials), it’s like a city on the ocean. If you like big-city life, you may love these ships and all they offer, but if you prefer peace and quiet and don’t mind fewer structured entertainment options, then this might not be the best choice for you. You won’t get a personalized cruise experience on these ships, but rather one that is meant to give the masses a good time.

Mid-size ships are a nice in between option. There’s more to do than on small ships but at the same time, you don’t usually have to deal with long lines and a lot of waiting around. These ships rarely have passenger numbers entering the thousands–as the large resort ships do–so the experience can be a little more personal too.

In addition to looking at the size of the cruise ship you’re booking your vacation on, you also may want to consider the age.

The cruise industry really started taking off about twenty years ago, and all the major cruise lines have been pumping out new ships, so it’s easy to find vessels that have been built in the last few years. They have all the latest technological gadgets and doohickeys. However, there are people who actually prefer to cruise on the older ships.


Often the older ships were built better (since they were meant to go on ocean-crossing voyages, the ships had to be able to withstand all sorts of rough waters and weather conditions), as opposed to today’s newer ships which often stick primarily to gulf or coastal waters. Also, the interiors of older ships have more “real” materials such as wood and brass, whereas newer ships employ a lot of synthetics.

So, there you have it: two major things to consider when choosing a cruise ship. The size (small/boutique, mid-size, or large resort) will affect your vacation experience, and you may even want to consider whether you prefer a new ship to an old one