Cruising has been a controversial subject, this year more than ever. The covid cases on Princess made headlines globally, and the onslaught of bad publicity has continued since April. So, if you are afraid of cruising, that’s completely understandable, but maybe, just maybe, these mid size cruise lines could be the solution…
Let’s clarify ‘mid-sized’ cruise lines
As per my Compare Cruise Lines – Mid Sized Ships, I put ships which accommodate between 400-1999 passengers as ‘mid-sized’. Under 400 I categorize as ‘Small Ships’ and over 2,000 as ‘Large Ships‘.
This includes: Azamara Cruises, Viking, Regent Seven Seas, Silverseas, Crystal Cruises and Oceania.
Another factor which connects these mid sized cruise lines is that they are all in the ‘luxury cruise line’ category, and a key point to that is the ratio of guests to crew.
This offers every guest that extra level of service in all areas, but the ratio also includes the increased number of ‘behind the scenes’ crew, such as housekeeping and the custodian crew. These fabulous people are the ones working hard to keep every inch of the ship deep cleaned and sanitized. In these current times, these are the heroes of the ship, as they are ensuring every surface touched by humans is kept free of any bacteria and they prevent the cross-contamination of any type of disease.
As all cruise addicts will tell you, despite the bad press, most ships are actually the cleanest places on earth! Where else do you have a team of people whose role is dedicated to disinfecting every single surface, outside of a hospital? Most hotels don’t even come close to this level of sanitation.
Mid size cruise lines have more space per person on board. With the current social distancing requirements to prevent the spread of covid, this is a huge benefit. Of course, there are CDC rules around this too, restricting the number of guests and crew on board, but when you’re starting with extra space to begin with, you can feel much safer on a smaller ship.
This means you can always get a sunbed by the pool, there are plenty of seats available in every venue and it’s never difficult to find a quiet nook to read a book in peace.
Oh, and to cruise with the smaller guest numbers, makes you feel like you’re on a private yacht! I got to experience this at the start of the pandemic when we were sailing with less than half capacity – it was very cool!
Fewer numbers means fewer queues! In pre-covid days, this was a massive benefit, but today, even more so. There is plenty of seating in the Guest Relations areas, so you don’t need to stand in queue to wait to speak to someone.
The buffets will now likely be closed, or managed as a served food venue. Even at the start of covid, ships were reverting to single portion plates for guests to take, rather than the communal bain maries we are used to.
Boarding the ships will be managed with precision, ensuring guests arrive at specific times to reduce numbers, and let’s not forget, they’re boarding much fewer guests overall which naturally cuts out the queues at registration.
You already have several dining options on these ships, and most of the specialty restaurants are complimentary, which spreads guests out across all the venues. There are private dining rooms for small groups, plus you have an included in-room dining menu if you really wanted to keep away from other people and enjoy a meal in your cabin.
The service you receive in these restaurants is second to none. You will think you’re in a fine dining restaurant in a major city, except you don’t have to worry about transport to get home! You can relax, enjoy your meal, the company and the service – safely.
On average, the cruise accommodation on the newer mid size cruise lines are larger than your mega liner cabins. They have more suites for guests to enjoy, meaning you have more space to stretch out and make the most of your vacation, away from other travellers.
In addition, there are more balconies, some ships only offer cabins with balconies, so you have your own private space to watch the views in peace and quiet.
The balconies are also great for an additional dining venue, where you can enjoy a romantic meal for two, safely away from anyone else, but creating beautiful memories with your travel partner. Perfect!
Photo courtesty of Celebrity Cruises
Another advantage of mid size cruise lines is that they often operate much smaller shore excursions. They give guests a more intimate look at the city they are visiting, which means mini-bus tours or groups of approximately 8-12 people, so you won’t be in crowds once you’re off the ship too. They arrange pre-opening tours of some of the most desired places to see, such as the Hermitage in St Petersburg too, so you are in the building before the general public and the host ensures you stay ahead.
Presently, tours are compulsory in order to leave the ships. This ensures that the cruise line has control of where guests are going and who they are mixing with, to keep chance of covid transmission to a minimum. If you break from the group, as some rebels have done, you will be denied boarding upon your return to your ship. They aren’t messing around at the moment and I, for one, am very grateful for this!
I have to add in that the crew really are incredible on mid sized cruise lines. With fewer guests on board, you can really get to know them well, and them you. What this means is a personalised service, where they know your favourite drink, can suggest meals they know you love, and will make you smile every day – now who can be afraid when you have smiling, caring faces all around you?
Photo courstesy of Ivana Vujovic / Viking Cruises
Are you afraid of cruising? What concerns you the most? And if you’re not, what is it that makes you feel comfortable and safe about getting back on board again? I’d love to know your feedback!
Thanks for reading – see you next time!
Other posts you may enjoy:
Who is the CDC and why are they stopping cruising?
Cruises to avoid – you’ll hate being on these!
Do’s and Don’ts for cruising for the first time
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4 comments / Add your comment below
We can’t wait to cruise again. Yes there is a teeny weeny bit of hesitancy but not enough to stop us getting on board again. Let’s hope we will be sailing again soon
Thanks Elaine, we really hope we can cruise with you again soon too! I hope you’re both staying safe over there. x
We are also hoping our Grand European River (Gefjon) followed by Midnight Sun (Star) in May/June still goes. I am expecting another update from the Chairman next week. Hoping you and Beven are staying safe and you have managed to get home.
Thanks Andy. I think it’s looking promising for your cruises. It’s just this side of the world that doesn’t seem to want cruises back up and running again… Fingers crossed that will change soon.
Sadly we’ve not been able to get home. The International travel ban remains in place, well into 2021 according to rumours… very frustrating for us, we’re still living out of the 2 suitcases we packed when we left home last December!
Love to you both x