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From the launch of Cunard’s Queen Mary in 2004 we have seen the ships get bigger and larger on scale very few would of imagined.  No one can question the commitment in engineering and design to these vessels, but how much further can they take this?  Certain preferences may determine that some ships are already too large.

Some of the complaints you hear with these giants of the seas is that they can’t get in all ports,  the embarking and disembarking so many passengers is a nightmare.  On board passengers have reported problems of not enough crew, sunbeds, tables in the more popular restaurants and seats for shows.

Royal Caribbean have now confirmed that the Harmony Of The Seas due for delivery in 2016 will be the largest ever built (to date).  The third in the Oasis Class will eclipse her sisters at 227,000 tone and almost 100 extra passengers taking the total to a record 5,479.

I have got to admit I got lost on Queen Mary, and have never been on anything larger than what is now a medium sized ship.  I love the look of all the facilities and features these ships offer and can’t wait to go on board the Britannia in a few weeks but as a comparison she is 141,000 tone.

In a few more short years will we see them taking more and more reach 8,000 or even 10,000 passengers.

Just interested to hear the opinions of anyone that has been on board one of these giants and their experiences?

 

 

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HI  I hope you get the responses you asked for, however, I feel the responses may be biased.  I too have sailed on the QM (the largest ship I have tried) but I don't really wish to sail on these mega vessels so I can't comment on their "feel" and only those who wish to sail on these vessels are likely to reply.  I know some ships have ice rinks etc but I didn't know I needed these types of facilities and in truth I don't.  I think these ships appeal to people who are impressed by glitz and aren't really interested in quality.  Without doubt these type of cruises have been very successful and I certainly have no issues with those who enjoy having 24/7 entertainment but I prefer a more imitate atmosphere where service and food is important to me than having a demonstration of glass blowing etc.

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Personally I prefer the 70-80k ton ships which feel like a ship and not a floating holiday resort. This is just my preference but I am sure that the larger ships have something for everyone. I have enjoyed cruises on Azura & Ventura and if the Itinerary is to my taste, then I would cruise on any size of ship.

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Some people cruise for the ports, some for the ship. This will make a difference to their answers. We generally regard the ship as a way to get us to interesting places, and sea days are a time to relax, not rush to different attractions on board. The smallest ship we have experienced was Celebrity Xpedition, with 98 passengers. The largest Solstice with just under 3,000. The latter felt less crowded than a smaller NCL ship or Princess ships of similar size. My preference is for ships around 2,000 passengers - big enough to be stable and provide a variety of dining venues and evening entertainment but small enough to get into most ports.

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Having now had the luxury of travelling ships ranging from 200 passengers to 5500 I would echo some people comments from earlier, yes when the ship is large it is becoming a floating resort. Innovation and public demand always means however that the general public in the main, will always want something different, quirky or just plain outrageous. I would admit to still preferring the midsize vessel however I enjoyed myself on both the smallest & the largest for different reasons.

For families I dont think you can beat the largest of the ships and for peace and quiet the smallest wins hands down.

The ship however still remains with one thing in mind cruising for people who enjoy to visit new locations whether is ocean going or rivers, a great way to travel without have to drive or look out of a coach, plane or train window.

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i have been on azura and ventura and found them both a good size, also been on queen victoria and didnt find that much different at all to be honest, im going on anthem of the seas in august and allure of the seas in october and i cant wait - they look amazing, and i dont think you compromise service as the ships get bigger because ive read nothing but good reviews about allure and its service on board - i think it just comes down to personal preference and tastes, not everyone likes the same things

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Taking the last part of the question regarding 8000 or 10000 passengers, the higher the ships get the weight per metre increases so the draft gets deeper, and the width must increase to offset the additional wind blowing on the side of the higher ship.

If the passenger capacity increased without increasing the height and consequently the draft of the ship, then the increase would be proportional to the width of the ship (i.e. double the capacity of Britannia and the width doubles from 44m to 88m).

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Guest Solent Richard

I suppose from where I'm concerned it's not necessarily the size, more the ethos of the cruise line and style of ship. I've been more than happy on Queen Mary 2, Celebrity Eclipse, Azura and Ventura but would not, despite making the best of it, to Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas.

 

Similarly, on the smaller scale ships I have thoroughly enjoyed Seven Seas navigator and Oceania's Nautica while I would never return to Thomson, even if you paid me. 

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If we had our druthers then we would rather cruise on ships in the 1,200 to 2,500 pax range. That said it's seems the timing and home port we want to cruise from will be on larger ships. If I would ever retire then we could be more selective.


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My largest ship has been Arcadia and at the time absolutely loved it, but now with some mobility problems I find a small ship easier to get around, also these days I don't need entertaining as much as before, quite happy with a good book or chatting to people Saga Pearl is my favourite now.  Would probably have loved the larger ships when I was younger.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For me anything that carries over 2500 passengers is too big.  I have seen in the last 30 years the character of lovely Caribbean islands completely ruined by the building of huge expensive shopping malls in place of what used to be lovely local craft shops.  These huge floating skyscrapers flood the island with 4000 passengers off each ship and everywhere is overcrowded for a few hours. Not my idea of the Caribbean and I can't understand how the new malls can make any money as they are full of jewellery and other expensive items that no-one buys as better prices exist in home countries. 

 

Give me the small, albeit older ships, like Fred Olsen's fleet where it is easy to make friends and the atmosphere is very friendly.  You would be lucky to see the same person twice on the huge monster ships and even luckier to find your cabin (sorry - now called Stateroom!).

 

Finally, what are these huge ships doing to the ports around these small islands?

 

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