Did any of you find latest class of ships too crowded?
We are planning a family cruise next winter. My daughter's father-in-law heard that Carnival had such a low passenger to space ratio, due to a large amount of cabins, that there are long lines for everything including leaving the ship at the ports. Did anyone find this to be the case. Long lines at the buffet etc?
Location: On the Lido deck of any ship taking shots of Kamakazi's with Partyanimal & Co.
We just sailed the Freedom and did not find this the case. There is such an abundance of choices for food and other things that people are spread out. Even getting off/on the ship, no problems. At dining times you may find it a bit more crowded but nothing unbearable. I thoroughly enjoyed this ship. Hope you find a cruise for you to enjoy!
We've sailed the Mega Ships on most of the lines, and the only ones we've really noticed a lot of crowds on are the RCI ships. Carnival, and Princess seem to know how to handle the crowds a lot better than Royal Caribbean does! True, there are more lines on all of the big ships, but they just don't seem to be as bad, or as objectionable on Princess, or Carnival. (Frankly, I still prefer the ships in the 70 to 90 thousand ton size)
With any cruiseline/ship you choose you will always notice the crowds when you depart and embark the ship. You can alleviate this problem if you choose to debark the ship later once you arrive in port, and embark the ship a little earlier than required. For example, if you arrive in port at 8am and are allowed to debark at 830 try and shoot for getting off the ship around 900 or 930. When you are coming back, if the ship needs you onboard by 8pm be back around 7pm to avoid the last minute crowds.
Also, by the pool deck is usually crowded as well, but those are really the only few places where you notice a huge crowd. I agree with Ken, we perfer the 70-90 ton ships as well.
We sailed on the Valor in 2006. We thought that since it was one of the newest and largest ships that it would be better -- WRONG! We found way more people on this cruise ship than any other ones we've been on. Long lines, very crowded almost everywhere. One of the things we always look forward to is taking pictures at the Grand Buffet in the dining room. Well, they had what they called a Grand Buffet in the cafeteria-style room. Most food was under the cafeteria glass shields, so you couldn't really take pictures. Hundreds of people in line (I'm not joking) -- we gave up and went to get ice cream in the pool area. We were on the Pride several years ago, which I think is the next step smaller than the Valor, and we didn't have that problem. They seem to crowd too many people on the larger ships and then don't know how to handle the demand. And when people don't know what to do, they get more obnoxious, and more pushing and shoving. And the more obnoxious the passengers get, the crew seems to get more frustrated and they just ignore the situations. I don't know. I can't speak for others who have sailed on the larger ships. That is just our experience.
Carnival Sensation - 2001
Carnival Pride - 2002 (Eastern Caribbean)
RCI Grandeur of the Seas - 2003
HAL Zuiderdam - 2004
Carnival Valor - 2006
Carnival Pride - 2008 (Mexican Riviera)
RCI Explorer of the Seas - 2009
RCI Explorer of the Seas - 2010
Celebrity Equinox 2011
RCI Explorer of the Seas - 2011
Celebrity Summit - 2012
RCI Enchantment of the Seas - 2013
RCI Freedom of the Seas -2014
On the Miracle I did see some problems with long lines mostly at specialevents such as the gala midnight buffet or the galley tour. Actually though the most annoying line was waiting to get into The Bacchus dinning room at night. Solution show up 5 minutes late no line just go get seated.
RCI Monarch of The Seas 1998
Carnival Miracle 9/24/07
Upcoming Fascination 11/5/09
My best suggestion is that if you can travel at off-peak times such as pre or post spring break or mid to late fall, do it. We've done this and have wonderful cruises. Also, the morning of debarkation, enjoy a nice sit-down breakfast. If you're cruising with a group, I do suggest that you try to get luggage tags for debarkation for the guests with the highest deck cabin since they work their way down...
I agree about the RC comment. When we cruised in October, I noticed that RC's terminal traffic in Miami was tremendous when we were leaving... a heartbreaking moment....saying goodbye to your ship....
I do recommend NOT getting to a terminal at 8:30 am because you will be doing a lot of sitting....I wouldn't get to the ship until 11ish at the earliest.
Theresa and Dave
"Tragedy plus time equals humor. You'll end up laughing about it later."