Passengers per square foot


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#1
80 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
This year my wife and I took our first cruise on the QM2. One of the many things that really surprised us was how uncrowded the ship felt. Now we are being pressed by some friends to join them on a Viking Ocean cruise. I know that the QM2 carries almost 2700 passengers and that the Viking Star carries just shy of 1000 but can anyone tell me what the square footage of common public space (interior and exterior) there is on both ships. Being able to compare the square footage per passenger of common public space would help us make the decision weather to go or not. We've done a lot of googling on this but so far cannot find this information for either ship.

Thanks,
Harold
#4
Pennsylvania
5,836 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Tonnage is easier to look up than square footage.

Tonnage is a measure of volume (not simply displacement) so the high overheads on QM2 Deck 2 and 3 will add more volume (tonnage) although they won't add more square footage, but I think the height of those decks helps add to the feeling of spaciousness which I think is what you're after.
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#5
Iowa
1,358 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
It seems to me cruisemapper's stats for QM2 might be a bit off. They have QM2 listed with the following specs:

Gross tonnage: 148528 GT
Passengers: 2726 to 3271 = 2998 average
Guests-to-Space Ratio = 148528 / 2998 = 49.54

The QM2 specs I have are:

Gross tonnage: 149215 GT (post-refit)
Passengers: 2695 (post-refit)
Guests-to-Space Ratio = 149215 / 2695 = 55.37

Now for comparison, the specs I have for Viking Star are:

Gross tonnage: 47800 GT
Passengers: 930
Guests-to-Space Ratio = 47800 / 930 = 51.40

If you accept cruisemapper's specs for QM2, then Viking Star comes out ahead in this passenger space comparison. If you accept the higher gross tonnage and lower passenger count specs for QM2, then QM2 comes out ahead in this passenger space comparison.

This may have just muddled the issue, but perhaps it has been of some assistance.

Regards, John
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"There’s nothing―absolutely nothing―half so much worth doing as messing about in boats." ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In The Willows

CroisiEurope Douce France, Rhine River (2004) ... Queen Mary 2, Transatlantic (2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016) ... Queen Elizabeth 2, Norwegian Wonders (2008) ... Island Princess, Panama Canal (2008) ... Queen Victoria, Gallic Getaway (2009) ... Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean (2010) ... Brilliance of the Seas, Suez Canal (2011) ... Queen Elizabeth, Eastern Mediterranean (2012) ... Maasdam, Canada and New England (2013) ... Queen Mary 2, Caribbean Fiesta (2013) ... Serenade of the Seas, Baltic (2017)


#6
California
124 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
All very interesting. I scanned the cruisemapper stats and the ships they listed seemed to fall into 2 groups of guest-to-space ratios - ~30-40, and ~50-60. In other words, cruise ships tend to be one or the other. Cunard and apparently Viking are in the more spacious category.
#7
Malvern, Worcestershire, England
639 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
If you can get hold of a copy of the Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Sips, it lists the Space ratio for all the ships it includes, and broadly splits them into four groups:

51 and above Outstanding
31 to 50 Very spacious
21 to 30 Not very spacious
20 and under Very cramped

Based on two beds per cabin (plus any singles), this year QM2 is shown at 56.6, the Viking ships at 51.5 i.e. both in the top category.

Hope this helps.
#8
56 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Sorry for the aside, but assuming 3,000 passengers and 113,000 tons that means Queen Anne will have a ratio of only 37.7 - way less than is available on even QV and QE (~2,100 and 92,000 @ 43.8) that’s even less than carnival’s destiny class which offer about 39... which makes me believe the 3,000 figure surely can’t be correct? It’s got to be a total berth figure, not lower berth?
#9
Maine
11,814 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Passenger space ratios can give a rough idea of how "spacious" a ship is, but it must be considered a very rough estimate. For instance, basing it on double occupancy, can skew a ratio if one ship has more 3rd/4th berths than another, and typically sails with those berths filled. Another problem with the ratios is that it uses "gross tonnage" which includes the volume of tankage, machinery spaces, and crew spaces. If the pax/crew ratio is different between ships this can skew the pax space ratio because of differences in the amount of crew spaces. Likewise, as ship like the QM2, which has an enormous power plant in order to provide the top speed she has, most likely takes up a greater percentage of gross tonnage in machinery space and fuel tanks than a smaller ship like the Viking Star.

Gross tonnage is used because it is a readily available figure for sites like Cruisemapper to get, but using "net tonnage" would be far more accurate. Net tonnage is the volume of "revenue generating spaces", meaning passenger spaces, discounting the machinery, tanks, and crew spaces.
#10
Pennsylvania
5,836 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by bluemarble
It seems to me cruisemapper's stats for QM2 might be a bit off. They have QM2 listed with the following specs:

Gross tonnage: 148528 GT
Passengers: 2726 to 3271 = 2998 average
Guests-to-Space Ratio = 148528 / 2998 = 49.54
The passenger capacity is certainly wrong.
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#11
154 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
I agree with the above poster that QM2 is overengineered for what she does, both in machinery and size. Especially considering she doesn't do 6 day crossings anymore. That accounts for some of why she feels more spacious. But the biggest reason is that she was never built to go through the Panama Canal like Viking ships and pretty much all other cruise ships were. This means she's considerably wider than virtually any other ship you sail on. It has a lot to do with how she "feels" inside.
#12
56 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by princeton12321
I agree with the above poster that QM2 is overengineered for what she does, both in machinery and size. Especially considering she doesn't do 6 day crossings anymore. That accounts for some of why she feels more spacious. But the biggest reason is that she was never built to go through the Panama Canal like Viking ships and pretty much all other cruise ships were. This means she's considerably wider than virtually any other ship you sail on. It has a lot to do with how she "feels" inside.
I would say the QM2 is engineered to perfection for her role as an Atlantic liner, whether doing it in 6 days or 7. The extra size allows the diversity of venues needed to keep passengers occupied over 7 days with no port stops, provides extra stability for comfort, and makes her better able to deal with harsh weather. Her power plant is probably the closest thing to a design flaw (if 6 days is taken to be the target crossing time) but it has been explained why the GTs were used as a trade off (use up less internal space for ducting) and on 7 day crossings it provides a plentiful backup of reserve speed should the need arise for time to be made up. Even by the time QM2 was being designed and built there were quite a few cruise ships beginning to be built post-Panamax, and QM2 is now of reasonably average beam (cruise ships tend to be shorter and wider, so similarly sized vessels will often have greater beams).
#13
Maine
11,814 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by princeton12321
I agree with the above poster that QM2 is overengineered for what she does, both in machinery and size. Especially considering she doesn't do 6 day crossings anymore. That accounts for some of why she feels more spacious. But the biggest reason is that she was never built to go through the Panama Canal like Viking ships and pretty much all other cruise ships were. This means she's considerably wider than virtually any other ship you sail on. It has a lot to do with how she "feels" inside.
Not sure about "considerably wider", or that "most" cruise ships were built for the Panama Canal. Oasis class is 6 meters wider at the waterline, Anthem class is just as wide as QM2, and even Freedom class is only 2.5 meters narrower, but still too wide for the Canal. Even the RCI Voyager class, one of the design precursors for QM2, was 7 meters wider at a lower gross tonnage. RCI has a total of 9 ships too wide for the Canal.

All of Carnival's ships post Conquest (10 ships) are too large for the Canal, all of Princess' Grand and Royal classes (11 ships) are too wide, Celebrity's 5 ship Solstice class are all too wide, and on and on it goes.

And, actually, my statement about the large size of QM2's machinery spaces would result in a less spacious ship, because the machinery spaces detract more volume from the gross tonnage than a smaller ship with less horsepower, like the Viking Star.
#14
154 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by chengkp75
Not sure about "considerably wider", or that "most" cruise ships were built for the Panama Canal. Oasis class is 6 meters wider at the waterline, Anthem class is just as wide as QM2, and even Freedom class is only 2.5 meters narrower, but still too wide for the Canal. Even the RCI Voyager class, one of the design precursors for QM2, was 7 meters wider at a lower gross tonnage. RCI has a total of 9 ships too wide for the Canal.



All of Carnival's ships post Conquest (10 ships) are too large for the Canal, all of Princess' Grand and Royal classes (11 ships) are too wide, Celebrity's 5 ship Solstice class are all too wide, and on and on it goes.



And, actually, my statement about the large size of QM2's machinery spaces would result in a less spacious ship, because the machinery spaces detract more volume from the gross tonnage than a smaller ship with less horsepower, like the Viking Star.


The original poster was comparing to the Viking sisters of which QM2 (and yes all of the ships you list) are considerably wider than. 135 ft at the waterline vs 94.5 ft.
#15
Maine
11,814 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by princeton12321
The original poster was comparing to the Viking sisters of which QM2 (and yes all of the ships you list) are considerably wider than. 135 ft at the waterline vs 94.5 ft.

Okay, I am just disputing your generalization about "nearly all" ships being built for the Panama Canal, and that "most" ships are less beamy than the QM2.
#16
154 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by chengkp75
Okay, I am just disputing your generalization about "nearly all" ships being built for the Panama Canal, and that "most" ships are less beamy than the QM2.


Moving target- when QM2 was built she was more unique in that respect- at very least for Cunard. Today not as unique. I long for the days when these monster ships weren't around- QE2 and Caronia were both much more comfortable.

But the width and height of her public decks certainly would give the illusion of more space vs a smaller ship even if the math showed it wasn't as dramatic.
#17
Maine
11,814 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by princeton12321
Moving target- when QM2 was built she was more unique in that respect- at very least for Cunard. Today not as unique.
While I agree that QM2 was unique in her beam with respect to Cunard, again Voyager of the Seas was built 5 years earlier, and all 5 Voyager class were built prior to QM2. Even Carnival Corp's Princess line had 3 ships post Panamax before QM2, with 3 more delivered the same year as QM2.
#18
56 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Originally posted by princeton12321
Moving target- when QM2 was built she was more unique in that respect- at very least for Cunard. Today not as unique. I long for the days when these monster ships weren't around- QE2 and Caronia were both much more comfortable.

But the width and height of her public decks certainly would give the illusion of more space vs a smaller ship even if the math showed it wasn't as dramatic.
I would dispute that, pre QE2 the Panama Canal was not a factor for Cunard’s ships as they never had to go through it, they sailed from British and North European ports to east coast American and Canadian ones. The fleet was almost entirely Atlantic based. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were both 118 feet wide, so too wide to go through the canal.

The QE2, to my knowledge is the only cunarder to have her dimensions dictated by transiting the canal (I suppose you could also count QV and QE indirectly as the vista class is designed to be Panamax).

In this regard, QM2 returns to the earlier trend of being optimised for the Atlantic run, which is sensible as at most she’d likely only transit once a year anyway. In terms of spaciousness, Stephen Payne drew inspiration partially from the Normandie in having the central corridor with all the major public rooms arranged about it and the split funnel uptakes, I think this combined with the high ceilings and overall size of the ship give her a fantastically spacious atmosphere, nothing feels like it’s been squeezed in or limited in scale by the ship’s dimensions. You also have smaller more intimate areas like the commodore club and library, so I’d say QM2 offers the best balance of spaciousness and comfortable corners of any ship afloat. But I suppose that’s personal preference.
#19
154 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by SilverHengroen
I would dispute that, pre QE2 the Panama Canal was not a factor for Cunard’s ships as they never had to go through it, they sailed from British and North European ports to east coast American and Canadian ones. The fleet was almost entirely Atlantic based. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were both 118 feet wide, so too wide to go through the canal.

The QE2, to my knowledge is the only cunarder to have her dimensions dictated by transiting the canal (I suppose you could also count QV and QE indirectly as the vista class is designed to be Panamax).

In this regard, QM2 returns to the earlier trend of being optimised for the Atlantic run, which is sensible as at most she’d likely only transit once a year anyway. In terms of spaciousness, Stephen Payne drew inspiration partially from the Normandie in having the central corridor with all the major public rooms arranged about it and the split funnel uptakes, I think this combined with the high ceilings and overall size of the ship give her a fantastically spacious atmosphere, nothing feels like it’s been squeezed in or limited in scale by the ship’s dimensions. You also have smaller more intimate areas like the commodore club and library, so I’d say QM2 offers the best balance of spaciousness and comfortable corners of any ship afloat. But I suppose that’s personal preference.


We agree most of it- the only thing I would say is that from QE2 on the old ways of doing things we're over. Cunard ships like QE2, Countess, Princess, Ambassador, Saga sisters etc had to fit in the canal to be viable. The transatlantic run, and with it ships like the Mary and Elizabeth, was over and cruises were the only way to carry on. The difference today is how cheap cruises are compared to what they used to be. You could have smaller ships then because cruises were relatively expensive compared to now. The only way to make money when you're charging $500-800 a week per person is to have a 5000 passenger ship.

Even QM2 is at heart a cruise ship and functions well as one. Compare that to the Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth who were most certainly true liners- they made abominable cruise ships the few times when they tried to make them. They even put aircon and a swimming pool on Elizabeth towards the end to try and extend her life- didn't work. QM2 has unique capabilities for today but has much more in common with the hybrid QE2 than she does any true Atlantic liner.
#20
Pennsylvania
5,836 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by SilverHengroen
You also have smaller more intimate areas like the commodore club and library, so I’d say QM2 offers the best balance of spaciousness and comfortable corners of any ship afloat. But I suppose that’s personal preference.
I will admit to a preference for Queen Victoria's Golden Lion over QM2's as being more of a pub atmosphere.
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Past:
Queen Mary 2: 7 cruises
Queen Victoria: 2 cruises

ms Amsterdam: 1 cruise
Caribbean Princess: 1 cruise
Carnival Pride: 1 cruise