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krunch November 17th, 2010 05:23 PM

Cruise Ships - The Bigger The Better?
After getting off our 3rd cruise on Miracle, there was one thing I have really been made aware of now. Depending on what your looking for in a cruise, I think the title of my thread is false. What are your thoughts?

I think the one best thing I just realized about our recent Miracle cruise in relation to the size of the ship is that there was NEVER any problem getting into a pool, hot tub, or deck chair on the entire cruise. This was a problem on both Valor in 2006 and Libtery in 2008 for us.

Now with that being said, the newest ships are the largest with the most "Stuff" to do. I am geniunely intrigued about ships like Magic and especially RCI's Oasis and and Allure of the Seas. These ships alone are mere wonders of the world themselves, and I think I really want to see them IRL.

I believe bigger is the way of the future of cruising as costs increase, to maintain profit margins, they just need to take more people. Older, smaller ships will become (and may have already) the quieter, maybe more relaxing, but slightly more expensive option.

Mostly looking for feedback from experienced cruises who have experienced some BIG ships, and the smaller ones and overall, which experience was better.

We're going cruising again, without a doubt, but the ship is up in the air. Even the itinerary does not interest us that much anymore.

I believe our future vacations will become a cruise alone, whereas all 3 past cruises included Disney World, Universal Studios, or a NASCAR race. We try to cram in what we can because we travel all the way from Canada. But, I think we are over that now. Now, vacation is a cruise only, and a time to truely relax.



Paul Motter November 17th, 2010 05:48 PM

I always call the Miracle, Pride and Spirit the "right-size" Carnival ships because they are new like all the other 2000-era ships, but they are smaller like the Fantasy class.

Big ships are good as long as they have the onboard attractions to justify the size. But if they don't then they are just more crowded.

So, to summarize. I do think the size of Royal; caribbean ships are justified - they add plenty of onboard options to justify the size/ On Oasis they have the Aquatheater, Ice Rink, theater, Central park, royal promenade, etc.

On Carnival & Princess I dont really see how the larger size is justified because they mostlyu add staterooms but not so many onboard offerings.

But take a ship lie Queen Mary 2 and I say the size is definitely a bonus (also with Celebrity Solstice) because they use the size to add comfort and grandeur - not just more people.

Still, it is a personal choice. A bigger ship will almost always have a bigger casino and more deck space. And bigger kids facilities. For families I think bigger ships are better.

krunch November 17th, 2010 07:57 PM

Hmmm, interesting. Thanx for the feedback Paul!

Liked your first statement about "Right" size. I Agree (Based on the whoping 3 cruises we have done LOL).

I agree if the size is justified and the space is utilized.

WRT ship size on Queen Mary 2, can't comment, but really, I think Carnival is "Grand" enough for my blood. Their slogan says it all, "The Fun Ships". That's us! I am really not interested in the dining room, and on Miracle we even tried Nick & Nora's. I will say it was the best steak I have ever eaten, but the prim and proper atmosphere and and experience is just not us. It is not who we are, and we do not try to fool anyone by acting as such. Our money, our vacation, our choice. No offence to the people that DO enjoy these atmospheres, it's your money, your vacation, your choice and the only person you should worry about pleasing is yourself...Hence, we do the same our way.

WRT Bigger Casino, meh, we only play a few slots.
Deck space, yeah, I'll take that.
Kid's facilities and family stuff, we have no kids, no plans for any, and so far we have cruised with no more than one other couple. While torn about planning a family cruise in the future, we also appreciated time alone togther and doing whatever we wanted at any time. (Get your mind outta the gutter thats not what I am taling about :p Well, not ALL the time anyway :cool:)

Anyone else with feedback?


Manuel November 21st, 2010 10:21 AM

Some people say that size does not matter, but the big ships out there do offer many advantages.


Lakers Fan November 21st, 2010 11:01 AM

My favorite sister-in-law(I only have one) is an avid cruiser .She prefers the intimacy of a small ship

krunch November 21st, 2010 11:07 AM

So far the comments seem to be what I have leaned my self from only 3 cruises. If less populated and kinda quieter if you will is your main goal, smaller is the way to go. Yes the newer big ships have more stuff, but you would also experience a more crowded cruise is seems.

Oh well, I do have lots of time to decide LOL! I won't be going on another cruise for at least another year, maybe up to 3 years with all the stuff we have going on that consumes our vacation time.


Snoozeman November 21st, 2010 11:30 AM

My observation
I see a lot of Carnival cruisers bashing the Oasis & Allure without having even sailed on them. Not sure what their justification is for doing so.:rolleyes:

I have never seen a review from anyone who has actually sailed on the Oasis bash her though. Some seem to be skeptical before, but once experienced they seem to rave over the mega ship.

Again I like Paul's comments about the size should matter for something...not just adding cabins!:cool:

krunch November 21st, 2010 12:01 PM

Hmmm, Snoozeman are you saying I was bashing? If so, that's not what I am doing at all. I have recently considered cruising the Oasis or Allue to be truthful. I am just trying to weigh out to me which is better. smaller, quieter, less cramped cruising, or full all out activities, ammenities, etc on a blow your mind size and style of ship.

I have only been on Carnival ships, and they have done a great job for my experience.

While it may or may not be comparable, let's not forget Carnival Dream and Magic either for size and ammenities.

I am not the kind of person that would criticize anything without knowing about it. Actually, I am the person that often points that out to other people who are criticizing.

If your comments were not directed at me I appologize Snoozeman.


Snoozeman November 21st, 2010 01:44 PM

Krunch--NO I was not directing that to you at all. I only mentioned it as this is on the Carnival thread.

I had actually just read John Healds Blog this morning and there were several Oasis bashers on there and a few show up here on Cruisemates too although I think our members are really more knowleagable. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Carnival cheerleaders that think RCCL can do no good.

I apologize to you if you thought I meant you were one of them.

Trip November 21st, 2010 01:50 PM

I don't mind big, if the ship has good design. Years ago, when the Grand class debuted from Princess, we sailed The Grand.....hated it. They took huge spaces,and tried to chop them up into smaller spaces to provide more intimacy ...huh???

On the Epic, they designed a mega ship, and took the huge pool deck,and stuck several pool slides on it....Good for a limited group, at the cost of many...depriving the most popular place on a sea day.

On the Eclipse, last week, smart planning in the Oceanview Cafe made for a quite spacious and wonderful area. Some large ships forget to add space for the hungry crowds...Ecipse, nailed it....

krunch November 21st, 2010 02:18 PM

LOL! No appology required man, we cool LOL!



Originally Posted by Snoozeman (Post 1330159)
Krunch--NO I was not directing that to you at all. I only mentioned it as this is on the Carnival thread.

I has actually just read John Heald's Blog this morning and there were several Oasis bashers on there and a few show up here on Cruisemates too although I think our members are really more knowlegable. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Carnival cheerleaders that think RCCL can do no good.

I apologize to you if you thought I meant you were one of them.

venice November 21st, 2010 02:24 PM

while in St Thomas on the Carnival Liberty Capital Jazz SuperCruise (which was a full charter) we had the opportunity to chat with fellow cruisers from the OAS and other ships (i think the Epic was there along with one of the mega Princess ships)..the OAS might have more bells and whistles but the Carnival Liberty (and in turn the HAL Westerdam for The Smooth Jazz cruise) was the perfect size for the activities (music) and easily won the :pcontest:p of whom had the better ship experience (big does not always mean best) and an OAS size ship would not work for this type of theme cruises ..Capital Jazz must agree because next year we are on the sister ship to the Liberty the Carnival Valor

there is one side of me that wants to try one of the new mega ships and another side (the winning side), that says to stay with the formula (full charter smooth jazz) and size of ship (mid)..of course no one cared about the bells and whistles because we were there for the music

Mike M November 21st, 2010 04:15 PM

I can't have a real opinion on Oasis or Allure until I sail on one of them. From what I have seen it looks like Oasis is not as "cramped" as some of the other mega-ships.

I sailed on Epic two weeks ago. While I loved the entertainment and the diverse dining I had a real problem with the space. To me it really felt like NCL tried to fit 45 pounds into a 40 pound sack. From the cabin, pool deck and the main areas of the ship I felt cramped. One thing that bugged me was that the height of the ceilings seemed lower than on most ships. I never took a measuring tape and measured the height but it seemed that way.

I've sailed on Voyager and I would sail it again but only with a group or the family. While it was large and had a vast array of activities for all ages it just didn't give me the feeling of being at sea. This is probably the main thing that gives me a negative opinion of mega-ships. The Epic also had that same feeling of being in a Vegas hotel rather than on a ship.

My most enjoyable cruises have been when I am on a smaller ship with a good itinerary.

Take care,

Manuel November 21st, 2010 05:44 PM

Venice, I have cruised on the Carnival Liberty once, but when I sailed the Liberty OTS, I said WOW, I have to sail this ship again. And I did.

Now when we did the Oasis it just knocked our socks off. We will be on the Allure in less than two months.


Dan40 November 21st, 2010 07:24 PM

As stated above, I think the Carnival Spirit class/HAL Vista class ships are a very nice size. But large or small is not our main consideration. Cruise length IS. And the longer the cruise the better for us. So that fairly well relegates us to the newer, larger ships as the older smaller ships get placed in the short cruise market. We've got to the point that we think 7 day cruises are just about tooooo short.

badknees November 21st, 2010 07:39 PM

We sailed on Oasis May-June 2010. Really enjoyed it. It was our first mega ship. We never felt crowded and it was the easiest on off ever. We did do self assist for the first time ever though.
The ice and water shows were spectacular. The entertainment was also excellent. There was a nice little bistro in Central Park that had free food and something similar on another deck. We didn't do the extra pay restaurants although there were a few and they were well attended. We had plenty of extra things to do. We are planning to do the Allure eventually.
The main thing I would do differently is get an outside balcony stateroom. You can forget you are sailing with an inside balcony overlooking Central Park (or overlooking Boardwalk). We love to spend some time on the balcony watching the ocean or eating breakfast. We also found that with an inside balcony there were balconies across from us which meant that we always had to remember to close the drapes even for a quick change or just lounging around comfortably.
It never seemed very crowded on the ship except when an area had something special going on.

On the whole we have decided that Carnival Miracle was probably our favorite size ship. We have had a good time on several ships.
If a ship sounds interesting try it if you can afford it. We all have our little preferences and they don't always match up with anothers.
It's an adventure.

krunch November 21st, 2010 07:55 PM

Thanx for all the feedback everyone! I just sailed on Miracle, so I do think I am on the right track by sticking to the smaller ships....Kinda. I am starting to believe that Oasis / Allure are definately experiencing at least once due to how much it has going on.

I had already made up my mind on an outside balcony and the poster above re-enforced it for me. See I live in Manitoba (land locked) but I am from a coastal community in Newfoundland (island) I love boats and I love water and I love going on my own private balcony to just watch and listen to the ocean. Central park? Meh, I'd rather the water.

However, we are semi planning a potential family and friends cruise where a lot of people are from the prairies and have little to no experience at sea and fear the sea sickness, therefore, Oasis / Allure could potentially be the best ship for someone like this to get their feet wet in cruising.


Manuel November 21st, 2010 09:21 PM

I allways get a balcony in any ship that I cruise on. However there are many places where you can see the Ocean on the Oasis. It's great to see a show in the Aquatheather where you can feel the sun, enjoy the show and see the Ocean in the background.


Aerogirl November 22nd, 2010 11:24 AM

Too big? You don't know until you try it so I plan on trying it.LOL

Lakers Fan November 22nd, 2010 11:27 AM


Originally Posted by Manuel (Post 1330229)
I allways get a balcony in any ship that I cruise on. However there are many places where you can see the Ocean on the Oasis. It's great to see a show in the Aquatheather where you can feel the sun, enjoy the show and see the Ocean in the background.


I'm not a balcony person .I prefer an outside cabin with a large window

Snoozeman November 22nd, 2010 11:34 AM


Originally Posted by Aerogirl (Post 1330319)
Too big? You don't know until you try it so I plan on trying it.LOL

Me too, I just booked the Allure.

Manuel November 22nd, 2010 08:05 PM

Many people do like them big.


john_galt November 23rd, 2010 08:15 AM

I've cruised on everything from 28,000 tons (NCL Sunward) to 113,000 tons (Emerald Princess) and I really miss the 'motion of the ocean'. The big ships really don't have the feel of being at sea. The Sunward (was Royal Viking Sky) bobbed like a cork and I loved it. I guess I'm officially a geezer. I miss the good old days...

lhp November 23rd, 2010 09:29 AM

I think the Spirit class is just about the right size.

All the amenities of the larger Carnival ships (except no fish n chips) with about 700 less people.

I have not sailed on the Oasis...but from the very first designs looked like a huge mall to me. That is just the first impression I got.

And when my friends went on it (they had a wonderful time)...but their complaint was that you could see the Ocean AND it did not feel like you were on a ship. They always book an interior cabin. She said it did not feel crowded.

She also said she did not like the fact that she had to "schedule" the shows. (sadly one of the downsides to sailing with that many people)
She said she does not go on vacation to live by a "schedule".

And that the nickle and diming seemed worse to them than on Carnival, Princess or NCL.

Now having said all that, there are obviously enough cruisers who DO want that kind of experience.

It just isn't one that I want.

Paul Motter November 23rd, 2010 11:12 AM

If you like a lot of different things to do onboard - more late night, more shows, bigger casinos, different food choices and more people then big ships are better.

Sometimes big ships are a better bargain because they carry more people and can afford to lower the price (think Carnival and Princess).

Sometimes bigger ships spend more on entertainment and other onboard amenities so they are not so cheap (think Allure and Epic).

Thoth November 25th, 2010 01:16 AM

Huh ? :cool: I'm pondering .
My guess is the size issue is much ado about the great William Shakespeare might say.
That's they way I see it on Carnival. I've sailed the smaller Holiday ( now adios to Spain) at 50,000 tons 1,500 pax.... up to the 113,000 ton, 3000 pax Splendor . I would say that a "Fun Ship" is a "Fun Ship" for the most part.
Before sailing on a mega-ship I assumed that I would be lost in the crowd. That's yet to happen. The shows were the same, the food the same, the crew/staff the same, and activities the same ship to ship.
It did seem that the Destiny, Valor, Splendor, and Triumph had a noticeable smoother ride. So my vote is ...bigger is better. :-)

Kamloops Cruiser November 25th, 2010 07:54 PM

The problem I have with bigger is better , the fact size starts to reduce the ports a ship can cruise . Allure and Oasis for instant can never sail the Panama Canal even after the current rebuilding program . They are also to big to enter most West Coast and Alaska Ports. If you only cruise want the Caribbean and Europe fine bigger might be better . I like to see the world from a ship and visit the different countries of the global community.:cool:

bguppies November 29th, 2010 03:54 PM

We initally tried the Fantasy class Carnival ships....

Then we tried the Conquest class a couple of times...

The only thing we enjoyed on the Conquest class, that we could not get on the smaller ships was the Movies Under the Stars big screen by the pool.

Other than that, we hated the broken up, mess of a deck plan on the bigger ships.
The longer lines to debark in any port.
The longer lines at any food venue, all cruise.

WE have since switched back to 4 straight cruises on the Fantasy class again and loved each one.

We plan on our next cruise being on the Legend, to try out the much praised Spirit class.....(which is just a step up from the Fantasy class.)

As for the RCL Behemoths....
Needless to say, we have zero intrest in cruising with 6,000 other passengers.
If all the extras intrest you, then the Behemoths might be for you.

Personally, we have bigger rock walls here at the neighborhood park.
We have a double rink, ice rink, less than a mile from our house.
If I wanted to surf, we have plenty of good surfing at Folly Beach, 20 minutes from our house...
I grew up going to Ocean City, MD every summer, so I have done the boardwalk to death.
So needless to say, RCI's extras have no intrest to us.

We cruise to relax, see new places and enjoy our favorite ports over and over again.

I just wish they had more 7 day itinieraries for the smaller ships...


Snoozeman November 29th, 2010 05:06 PM

Everyone has their favorites, but it still amazes me that people can complain about a ship they have NOT even sailed.

Manuel November 29th, 2010 08:17 PM

I agree with Snoozeman!

If you have not tried it how can you knock it?


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