Who could forget May 5th, 1977…the day “The Love Boat” first aired on TV?
Sing it with me: “Love, exciting and new. Come aboard. We're expecting you...”
Everyone wanted to take a big cruise with Captain Stubing, Cruise Director Julie and bartender Isaac. But the “Love Boat” or her real name, the Pacific Princess, was in today’s terms a small ship. Over the years cruise ships have gotten downright gargantuan. It’s likely you get off the ship having no clue there was a cruise director on board. How could you know? You were too busy ice skating, rock climbing and riding the surf simulator to notice.
The phrase, “too big to fail” comes to mind pondering these new massive, floating mini-cities. And while the mega-ships won’t be going out of style anytime soon, they have caused the resurgence for the old days and the “Love Boat” style of cruising. Small ship cruising is big again. If getting away from it all with 9,000 other people sounds daunting, why not take a cruise that’s a bit more intimate. While those big ships do serve their purpose, we love the small ship experience. Here’s a few reasons why.
It’s hard to make friends with thousands of other people in a week’s time. But what if you were on board with a mere 100 other people? On a small ship, you run into the same guests and crew every day. The conversation you started the evening before picks up right where you left it. You compare your days and what you’ve enjoyed on the ship or how you spent your time in port. Suddenly, you are downright chummy and making plans to have dinner together or planning an adventure in the next port!
Small cruises cater to a specific kind of traveler, one who has researched with precision, their destination of choice. You did it too. You’ve likely gone with a purpose to not only get away, but to learn and discover. The cruise line knows this already and they have developed a series of experiences to help you immerse yourself in your chosen surroundings. Many small ship cruises have guest speakers ranging from astronomers, to historians, to marine biologists all to enhance your trip. Instead of boarding one of nine busses to the rum factory, you might walk into town with a destination expert to a small artisan distillery with five or six fellow enthusiasts.
And it’s hard to feel like it’s 1492 and you’ve conquered paradise when pulling into port you discover someone has beat you to it and already built a Senior Frogs. There they are, hundreds of people shooting Cuervo, singing “Tequila” because the song only has one word in it, and it’s all they can remember. No, you want to feel like you’re the first explorer to set foot on the island, or stumbled into a village cut off from civilization and lost to time. Small ship cruising lets you do that.
Your heart is full. You’ve made new friends, learned about small-batch infused rums in a tiny hut, and conquered an island half destroyed by a volcano. Now it’s time to relax! Captain Stubing is charting a new course, Julie is planning a deck barbeque and Isaac has poured you a drink. And there you are, up on the top deck of your ship and there isn’t a soul in sight. You sit down in a deck chair, squeeze the lime, take a sip and close your eyes. That’s small ship cruising and it’s real.
Small ship cruising isn’t just about ships. You have a slew of options. Hire a crewed catamaran with just 10 of your best friends. Take a European river cruise with less than 200 guests. Book a true small ship with vessels holding only a few hundred passengers. The options are endless, in every corner of the globe, on every body of water from oceans, to rivers and lakes. The next time you think about cruising, think small.
A couple of our favorites?
For River Cruising - Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours. And for Ocean Cruising - Windstar Cruises.
We're going places and so are our clients.