Cruise Talk: Is Bigger Always Better?

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There’s nothing like getting away for a lovely, relaxing cruise. You and your loved ones… and, if you’re sailing on one of the newest ships to hit the high seas, around 4,500 strangers. Given the size of ships like Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas or Norwegian’s Escape, is it any wonder that it can be tough finding a lounger by the pool… let alone actually getting into the pool itself?

 Whether or not bigger is better, it’s most definitely the current trend when it comes to ships aimed at the mass market consumer by the major lines sailing out of the United States. The upcoming Carnival Vista will host around 4,000 passengers, while Royal’s Harmony of the Seas will house up to 5,400 revelers.

 This might be why some enthusiastically greeted news that when Virgin Cruise Line enters the Miami market in 2020, they’ll do so with three ships expected to ferry around 2,800 passengers. While several lines still feature older, smaller vessels (such as Norwegian’s Jewel class or Carnival’s Fantasy class), the vast majority of new builds are putting the mega in megaship.

 Could we be seeing the end of wallet-friendly midsize cruise ships? And is this necessarily a bad thing? Clearly, with each new ship sailing at capacity, the laws of supply and demand are operating exactly as they are supposed to. But are they attracting folks curious about the bells-and-whistles as opposed to more traditional cruisers… and if so, again, is that a bad thing?

 So let’s open up the floor on this cruise talk… is bigger better? Do you prefer smaller ships, and if so why? And if the smaller ships are phased out entirely over time, how will that impact your future as a cruiser?

Photo: NCL

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