Another perspective on cruise ships....
Maybe we are just lazy, but we have enjoyed cruising to destinations that we would have never seen otherwise.
Our first cruise was a typical big ship Alaska inside passage trip. We loved it, beautiful scenery and spectacular whale watching on excursions (got to see them bubble net feeding!). I know it is possible to arrange pretty much the same trip by car and ferry, but we would have never put that much effort into planning it: too many unknowns. However, now that we have been there, the car and ferry idea is appealing for a return trip.
Next cruise was from Lima to Buenos Aires via Antarctica and the South Georgia Islands
Penguins on South Georgia.
Last summer we cruised the Baltic. Just about every day was another beautiful European capital. It allowed us the thrill of seeing famous places without any hassle of hotel reservations or catching trains or planes. Spend the day in a great city then back to the ship in the evening for cocktails and dinner. Wake up the next morning arriving in another fairy tale city. Repeat. Except for St. Petersburg where two days in port were not nearly enough, it was a great first visit.
Sights like this make the Russian revolution a bit more comprehensible.
We have not yet been on a small ship cruise, but hope to. There are advantages and disadvantages. Small ships can go where big ones can't. In the Antarctic for example, folks on small ships typically get Zodiac landings at penguin colonies. One downside is that they are slower. In Alaska they can't cover nearly as much area in a weeklong cruise. As for Antarctica, I am not sure that I would want to cross the Drake passage in a small ship. On the previous year's cruise, our ship was hit by a wave while in route from Ushuaia
to the Antarctic that broke out the windows in the casino --- on deck eight