Welcome to the forum and good luck in your search for the cruiser. I think most sailors will tell you that learning
handle and trim sails
on a small boat is a great way to learn and can make you a better sailor on a bigger boat. On the small boat every line you pull, every little puff of wind
you immediately see and feel the effects.
Not so much on a larger boat so it can be a lot harder to build your skills on the bigger boat. On the other hand the bigger boat is a lot more forgiving if you aren't trimmed just right; they don't usually throw you in the water
like a Sunfish.