Yes - there is a big difference. Without even talking about the merits of electronic drums, there are all kinds of nuance and technique that you will be able to learn better and hear on real acoustic drums. If your goal is to be able to play real drums with real live musicians in the future, then I would stick to the plan of getting a real drum set to play.im 21 and im working on a container ship as a Deck Apprentice, i started out with a bass guitar 2 years ago and it was always my dream to learn to play drumms, but i never had the space and money to buy a decent drumm set, now i have the space and the money (space for electric drumms) i want to play with my old band as a drummer once i'm home(im 4 months on the ship and then i'm free for 2 months) is there a big difference between electric and acoustic drumms, will i be able to get a feel and learn decently to play on electric drumms, my budget is 1500$(for the electric drumms)
However, your situation almost dictates that you can't have an acoustic drumset on a ship, so the only thing you could do while at-sea if you didn't get an electronic drumset would be to get some kind of pad drumset, or one of those Pearl Rhythm Traveler kits with the mesh heads so you can play something more like a drum than a pad - but it doesn't produce any sound at all.
For the money, I don't know if I can recommend an electronic kit to get started on. It's not like the difference between electric guitar and acoustic guitar, the difference I feel is bigger than that. Whatever it is you envision yourself doing as you become a better player, than that is what I think you should pursue. Good luck!