For some cruisers, the most important aspect of a cruise isn’t the destination, but the experience they have while on the ship. And, the onboard experience is highly influenced by ship size.

The size of a ship determines a lot, from where it can go to how many options there are for activities and entertainment. Mid-size ships can strike a perfect balance between too big and too small; as Goldilocks would say, they’re “just right.”

The smallest cruise ships carry just a few hundred passengers, and the largest sail with more than 6,000. In general, midsize ships accommodate about 600 to 2,600 passengers. That means you can look forward to meeting some delightful new friends without losing them in the crowd for the remainder of the cruise; or, you can socialize with a different group every night.

Service on mid-size ships is often a bit more personal than on a larger ship, where the crew has to take care of so many guests that service can feel a bit institutional. The crew is likely to remember your name and perhaps what flavor of preserves you like with breakfast. Some mid-size ships step the service level up a notch: for example, Regent Seven Seas’ two 708-guest ships offer a high-end, luxury cruise experience with the highest standards for pampering service.

Mid-size ships don’t lack for spacious common areas: for example, Azamara Club Cruises’ two ships, which accommodate 684 guests each, have side promenades and expansive forward views from the Visions Lounge. For dining, mid-size ships usually offer a main dining room and two or three alternative venues, which is nice for variety. Consider Viking Ocean Cruises’ new, 930-passenger Viking Star, which features the Wintergarden, a serene spot for a restoring cup of tea.

One feature that’s often missing on mid-size ships is special programming and spaces for kids; if you prefer traveling with primarily adults, the lack of children’s programming could be an advantage. Like their larger cousins, midsize ships do provide entertainment options: there’s usually a theater and some smaller spaces for live music and dancing, although there isn’t room for large-scale productions.

To select a ship and itinerary that will make you a fan of mid-size ships, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.