I love your comments because I know you have an informed opinion. I also feel that the trend in cruising to start making ships into floating amusement parks is too bad.
And in my opinion, this is a recent development. Yes, Oasis of the Seas has some amusement park-like features, but it also had some beautiful architecture that was not just geared to the "amusement park" mentality. I am referring to Central Park, and the big and beautiful interior atrium which was a gathering place throughout the cruise. The only amusement park stuff was outside.
But with newer ships like Quantum, Disney Fantasy and Norwegian Epic, I feel the sea is lost in the experience.
Quantum has an indoor sportsdeck with bumper cars. It also has a virtual skydive apparatus (theme park fare). Disney has AquaDuck and a lot of interior Disney "magic", and Epic has a circus tent.
The idea of a cruise as a way to see the world is really lost on these ships, they are destinations to themselves, and as Arthur Frommer asked years ago, "why even leave the dock?"
Now, I don't want to be too cynical, I still enjoy a cruise, but in fact these ships are not even marketed much like cruises anymore, it is much more about the shipboard experience.
I can just imagine a first-time cruiser going on one of these ships and thinking, "I thought I was going to sea, but it turned out I was going to a shopping mall."