I have been surfing aroung reading alot of post lately and it seems there is alot of talk about Mega ships.And it got me to wondering if this will be the way of the future? It seems most of the shjps being built these day are pretty big. I wonder if there any plans in the works to build any new smaller ships/ I think it would be a shame if the cruise industry ended up being nothing but Megaships:shock:
Yes... from an article on our Home Page on May 17...Viking Ocean to Change Cruising
Which I think sounds like a really exciting development. And, of course, the luxury lines are keeping their new ships to a smaller scale.
Though the more mainstream cruise lines are going to keep their newbuilds quite large. HAL just announced they are going to build the largest ship in their fleet.
It's all really about the economy of "scale" for the mass market lines.
I'm starting to think it's the way it's going and if so that's too bad. I don't mind doing the mega ship once or twice but it's not what I'm looking for on a cruise. It's to much of an amusement park set up for me. Simple goes a long way for me.
I think it's like everything else now day bigger and more seems to be what the younger generation wants...when is enough, enough?
The future of cruising is bigger ships.
The smallest ship today that can make a profit carries over 2,000 passengers.
The cruise lines have done this to ourselves. We have nobody else to blame.
Micky Arison and a few other geniuses decided to adopt the Walmart business model.
Now we all sell cruises at a loss to get bodies onboard, then try to get every nickel out of your pockets in order to make a profit from onboard spending.
This concept works on bigger ships, with higher numbers of passengers and higher numbers of first time cruisers.
The first timers are the only ones left who spend any money once they get onboard. So they are the only source of profit for us.
Who prefers smaller older ships? All the older repeat passengers who stopped spending money on ships many years ago. Most are on fixed incomes; most purchased their last cruise ship photo about 40 years ago when they looked much younger. A few of them still gamble $10 worth of pennies in the slots once every cruise. None of them goes on excursions anymore. No trips to the spa. They buy one refrigerator magnet from the shop for the grandkid. They will have a drink only if they smuggle it onboard, or if it's free at the Captain's welcome party. Under conditions like this, the smaller ships are doomed.
There are currently around 245 cruise ships around the world. About 25 of them are small ships. None of those small ships is making a profit; most of them are for sale - but nobody wants to buy them. They cannot make a profit. Aside from the new Viking small ship (and possibly a new Seabourn ship) all the remaining small ships are quite old and falling apart. Their owners do not want to sink more money into a loser that can only be sold at a loss.
If you like small ships, get in as many cruises on them as you can right now. Most of them will not be around much longer.
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."
If you haven't yet heard the latest news, RCI has contracted to build 2 more Oasis class ships. They will be built by STX in France this time.
My friends at RCI described an Oasis Class Ship as a "legal license to print money".
EVen though Oasis and Allure are huge, there are so many spaces where you have no feeling of being on such a huge ship. Lots of public areas that actually feel small and not crowded. I thought there would feel crowded for the whole cruise, but that just wasn't the case. I feel I could cruise again and may-be see the entire ship..
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