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mmerali September 27th, 2009 04:31 PM

How Big is Too Big? Will Royal Caribbean Sink the Industry?
I did a little research and wrote a little article on the topic. Unfortunately it has pictures and tables so it had to be hosted off-site, but here's the link.

What do you all think? How big is too big? Will Royal sink the cruise industry by adding 3 more behemoth ships over the next 5 or so years even though cruise traffic has been in a 1.7% decline in the last year or so?

Edit: Spelling err.

J-dizzle September 28th, 2009 02:29 AM

I think so but get slammed by the RCL fanatics.
While the new ships seem cool and all and I would loveee to sail on one of them: 1. They are tooo expensive! I can sail Carnival for wayyy cheaper! 2. It's wayyyyy to big! I would see one cute guy and will never see him again.

And most importantly, I hate being on a small island with all the people from ship, so I can only imagine what it would be like the ship I'm on, plus one of those mammoth ships with like 6,000 people!

And besides, who can afford to go on those now a days anyway?!?
And they are coming out with 3?!? Wooowwww. They should just stop at Oasis.
What else can they add anyway? A parking garage for cars with a racetrack up top?!? haha

mmerali September 28th, 2009 08:39 AM

The rumor out there is that they are expected to announce a new class of ships at the Oasis inaugural.

RCL fanatics might slam me, but the numbers don't lie. Just looking at the statistics I threw together, I think Royal Caribbean is going to be hard pressed to compete with any line in CCL Corp or even with sister lines; Celebrity, et al.

If the cruise market was in the same place it was 5 years ago, building up at this rate would be acceptable, but its not. Its declining. And to pull out of the decline, the general economy has to fully recover first, something I don't see happening in the next 5 years.

dudestir127 September 28th, 2009 12:44 PM

A big problem I see is, the larger the ship, the less ports it can go to. I wonder what the breaking point is where a ship will be too big to fit into major home ports, such as New York or Miami. As it turns out, they say cruise ships already can only barely fit under the Verazanno bridge in New York harbor.

Tropicalstephy September 28th, 2009 02:23 PM

I love RCL, but i think that if they build anything bigger than oasis will be getting out of hand. I know that i wouldn't want to go on a ship that huge because i like meeting people and it would be really hard to do on that ship. Also, when you go to an island that is very small it would be way too crowded and would kind of bring down the experience. I think that if RCL is going to build more ships they should build more ships like the Adventure Class because that class of ships is like the perfect size.
Also, the more ships they build it's going to be more expensive to cruise on them because they are using all their money to build the ginormous ships and it costs more to maintain them and build them, and that cost would just be passed onto the consumers.

mmerali September 28th, 2009 02:38 PM

The financial support system for new built cruise ships I would imagine works like this:

From the cruise line:
The cruise line uses equity from older ships, cash on hand, and new loans from investors to finance the new project. Over time of profitability, these loans are paid off.

From the customer:
The customer pays a higher price initially until all the loans taken to finance the project are paid off. After the ship is adequately profitable, the price of cruises will begin to drop. This takes time.

As for physical limitations on home ports, most of the Florida ports (exempting Tampa), do not have any height limitations, and depth limitations are easily fixed by dredging, but I wonder the likelihood of these cities to want to spend large amounts of money on dredging. New York City (Cape Liberty, Manhattan, and Brooklyn) is limited by the height of the Verazanno Bridge, and as Tim mentioned, they [the cruise lines] are already heavily pushing the limits.

To me, the ideal size for a ship is anywhere from 70,000 - 140,000 tons, though I favor the 100,000 GRT ships.

c_m_alex October 3rd, 2009 01:52 PM


Originally Posted by Tropicalstephy
I think that if RCL is going to build more ships they should build more ships like the Adventure Class because that class of ships is like the perfect size .

I agree. The Adventure class ships were perfect because they were big, so you could fit a lot of cool stuff, BUT they weren't overwelmingly big. Maybe too big for some, but perfect size for me.

Enchantment 04 October 12th, 2009 02:55 AM

I have a feeling the next class of ships will be a smaller class. It seems like they keep going bigger and bigger. They can only get so big before it becomes an actual floating island.

As for the demand and Royal constructing more ships within the Oasis class, I think they would put a halt on that if they knew it wasn't going to work in their favor. They wouldn't spend billions of dollars if they haven't already done their research.

mmerali October 12th, 2009 10:18 AM

Interesting take Joe. Here's the thing, can Royal shed their "bigger is better" image? Royal has not built smaller since the Radiance Class, and I feel they only built the Radiance Class out of necessity of a Panamax form factor ship to compete with Carnival's Spirit Class because Carnival saw success with it first. The future looks very interesting.

Enchantment 04 October 12th, 2009 04:36 PM

Mike, I think it would be in their best interest to build a smaller class of ships. Not just for the economics of the situation, rather, for the customer appeal. Maybe something between the Radiance class and the Voyager class? I haven't done too much research on the subject, however, just take a look at any RCCL forum and you will notice that probably 75% or more of the posters desire something around that size. Bigger is not always better. I am a Royal Caribbean cheerleader but I draw the line at the Voyager class ships.

As for Royal being able to shed their "bigger is better" image, I have no doubt that they would be able to. Their innovative ideas are enough to steer all attention away from the size appeal (or lack thereof).

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