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I just got off the Jewel.  The  elevators were a real CF at certain times.  It's not a "megaship" thing.  It's a "lot of people all wanting to go the same place at the same time" thing.

 

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1 minute ago, RazorbackIslandGirl said:

I remember thinking the Monarch was HUGE!😂 I was totally amazed at the size!

Got that right. First sailed Sovereign over 30yrs ago looking down on the small Carnival and Princess "Love Boats", they were TINY!

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32 minutes ago, ONECRUISER said:

Got that right. First sailed Sovereign over 30yrs ago looking down on the small Carnival and Princess "Love Boats", they were TINY!

Right??? Those things were soooooo small. I'm sure those sailing on them thought they were big too. LOL

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3 hours ago, vickiw0318 said:

I too do not think of the Freedom class as a medium size ship.  I still remember being on the Rhapsody and being docked next to the new Freedom of the Seas in Cozumel and looking into cabins on the Freedom from the top deck of the Rhapsody.  The Freedom was huge!

 

Even though I seem to be spending lots of time on Voyager and Freedom class ships these days, the even smaller ships have a warmer spot in my heart.  I think after five cruises on Oasis class ships (No one can say I haven't given them a fair shot), I am over these when it comes to future cruises.

I still enjoy the smaller ships too. It's just a different kind of vacation. They are awesome when I just want to lay by the pool & do nothing. The bigger ships I enjoy for all the activities & the entertainment. But then again, I've never met a cruise I didn't like!😉

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27 minutes ago, GTO-Girl said:

 

If you don’t have reservations for the show, then you aren’t allowed in until 10-15 min before show time...no matter what time you got in line.

 

So by making reservations you are allowed in when the doors open...

And if reservations weren't required then they would be allowed in when the doors open. I understand how they work, I don't see the need for them. Still, if we are on a ship with them then we would make them since it's not a deal killer by any stretch of the imagination.

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I prefer the smaller ships. I don't use a lot of bells and whistles, I just relax. so it works for me. But I will never turn down a cruise.

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19 minutes ago, RazorbackIslandGirl said:

I think the reasoning behind that is for crowd control. Because they only allow a certain number of people in per show it keeps people spread out on the ship. Between dinning schedules & show times they do a good job of assuring no area of the ship is over crowded. I know it is a hassle to have to do that much planning for a vacation but, I feel it is worth it once on board.

That actually makes some sense.

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4 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Only when we want to go to Windjammer for breakfast or lunch.

Or during those $10 sales in the Promenade 🙂

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We were in the same boat! (pun intended).  We had only done the Disney Cruise Ships which are in no way Mega Ships.  We made the transition and we just got off the Symphony 2 weeks ago. It's funny how many different responses you will receive.   I don't mind crowds but my husband was very against the mega ship.  I booked it last year and just spent the last year convincing him otherwise.  We were pleasantly surprised that the folks on the boards were indeed telling the truth.  You actually walk through Central Park and it is not crowded.  There are empty benches and musicians playing soft music.  Boardwalk is a bit more lively but still not overcrowded.  The separate neighborhoods really seem to work and the enormous amount of activities provided at different locations of the ship are surely part of the strategy to keep overcrowding in order.

 

I will add that on Disney, which has forward/mid/aft elevators, we NEVER could get an elevator, we always just took the stairs and were fine with it.  On Symphony, we actually did very well on the elevators.  We noticed that although only 2 locations (sort of Mid and Forward) (I think).... there were many more elevators offered at those locations.  Not sure if it was lucky timing but we did ok with elevators.

 

As others mentioned, avoiding the crowds in buffet etc. is strongly advised.  We got seats on the 2nd level pool deck and though you are sitting close to people, everyone was in good spirits and partook in just the right level or socializing....the convenient ice cold bar cart that was being rolled around was a nice touch!

 

I do agree that you can't walk around the outside of the ship like other ships.  But central park and boardwalk are really great and you can go to the top deck for your ocean time.  

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50 minutes ago, RazorbackIslandGirl said:

I think the reasoning behind that is for crowd control. Because they only allow a certain number of people in per show it keeps people spread out on the ship. Between dinning schedules & show times they do a good job of assuring no area of the ship is over crowded. I know it is a hassle to have to do that much planning for a vacation but, I feel it is worth it once on board.

That is the reason I think they do it also. On a ship with that many people, they don't want half of them (exaggeration) heading to the same show. 

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Having only been on two cruises now, Carnival Sunshine in June 2017 and HOTS week before last, I do not have a lot of experience to go on. I will say that it felt more crowded on Sunshine than HOTS. I never really felt crowded at all on HOTS. I also never went to eat at any of the crowded places at the peak times. 

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Done over 35 cruises on small (25GT), medium (50 to 90GT) and large (109,000 gt)  One and done with Mega/Giga ships for me....did a B2B on Harmony in October and did not love the ship or the experience. 

Always lots of kids (like over a thousand on many cruises).  Adult only areas not enforced....The ability to tune out shrieking...priceless.   

Crowded pools. 

Rear elevators hopelessly overwhelmed most of the day,

Long lines to get into the Windjammer Cafe because of the hand washing stations, then trying to find a seat is your next challenge.

Ho Hum food and indifferent service even in the specialty restaurants.

Few quiet places / secluded nooks and crannies

Interior more Mall of America than ship....ZERO relation to the sea.  

Mega/Giga ships have run of the mill itineraries.  How many times do you want to see St. Maarten?  

I can say I did it....That's about it.

  

 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, RazorbackIslandGirl said:

I remember thinking the Monarch was HUGE!😂 I was totally amazed at the size!

Our first cruise was on the Monarch of the Seas, a four day just to see if we would like cruising. We also thought Monarch was HUGE! Haha!

 

Now our favorites are the Mega ships. Like others have said, it very rarely feels crowded. Waiting for an elevator can be a pain sometimes though.

 

Edited to add: The Radiance felt more crowded to us than the mega ships and she is so much smaller. 

Edited by rkkunk

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Just recently returned from a side by side on Empress and Symphony.    Enjoyed both ships ... for different reasons. 

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On 4/30/2019 at 3:07 PM, vickiw0318 said:

I too do not think of the Freedom class as a medium size ship.  I still remember being on the Rhapsody and being docked next to the new Freedom of the Seas in Cozumel and looking into cabins on the Freedom from the top deck of the Rhapsody.  The Freedom was huge!

 

Even though I seem to be spending lots of time on Voyager and Freedom class ships these days, the even smaller ships have a warmer spot in my heart.  I think after five cruises on Oasis class ships (No one can say I haven't given them a fair shot), I am over these when it comes to future cruises.

 

Hi Vikki, nice to chat on this forum as well,

 

I agree entirely with what you have said and the humungous fairground ships with different onboard townships etc. is just not our bag. We too have cruised on the, what I would call medium sized - i.e around 90,000 tonns ships and found them to be always having everything we wanted on a ship and also the ability of seing the same person twice during the cruise.

These mega cruise ships are cost effective for the cruise line and do offer a family resort style vacation. But they have serious issues being able to visit places where the medium sized ships go. We are both on the Indy to Northern Europe in a few weeks time and I am interested to see how the captain/pilot negotiates into both Hamburg and Oslo, as both ports have quite narrow entries.

Is it possible now for the Oassis class to go through either the Panama or Suez canals? I don't think so, and for that reason those ships will be limited to mainly Caribbean areas, which of course is what RCI is all about I suppose.

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Biggest ship we've sailed on was Anthem. First time, didn't like the crowds nor the pushy sales staff. Second time around it wasn't that bad. But I will never see us sailing on Oasis class, that looks annoying.

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On 4/30/2019 at 1:36 PM, sparks1093 said:

That actually makes some sense.

 

I agree that it makes more sense. Let's say they don't have reservations on the ships and with oasis class carrying 6000+ pax that on a given night 50% of the pax decided they wanted to see a certain show. Since the showroom holds nowhere near 3000 pax there are going to be a lot of upset people scrambling to find another venue to see a show. Reservations on these ships alleviates that problem.🙂

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On 4/30/2019 at 1:06 PM, ONECRUISER said:

When Sovereign(Majesty) first launched was labeled First "Mega Ship". Was also largest Cruise ship in the World. Hard to tell what is small, med, large, Mega anymore

 

Strictly my own definition

 

Small = around low 2,000 pax or less

Med = 2,500 - 3,500 pax

Large = 3,500-5,000 pax

XL = anything over 5,000

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The smaller ships have less public space per passenger so they will feel more crowded. As others have said, the only time Oasis feels crowded is Windjammer (but there are plenty of other free food options - Park Cafe, Solarium Bistro, Doghouse) and the rear elevators always feel slammed.  Take the stairs or front elevators if you can.

 

In fact, sometimes the crowds are too spread out. There are sea days where the pool will feel deserted and has a lack of energy.

 

The one thing I have seen mention is: give yourself plenty of time to get around. The ship is huge. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking over the horizon.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

 

The smaller ships have less public space per passenger so they will feel more crowded. As others have said, the only time Oasis feels crowded is Windjammer (but there are plenty of other free food options - Park Cafe, Solarium Bistro, Doghouse) and the rear elevators always feel slammed.  Take the stairs or front elevators if you can.

 

In fact, sometimes the crowds are too spread out. There are sea days where the pool will feel deserted and has a lack of energy.

 

The one thing I have seen mention is: give yourself plenty of time to get around. The ship is huge. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking over the horizon.

 

 

That's what lot of people dont realize, starting with Voyager class ships had lot more public square footage per person, some ships as much as 40-50% more. That was big selling point in late 90's early 2000's that isn't mentioned much now comparing ship to ship...

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After sailing Oasis and Allure several times, the smaller ships are too boring for us. We love all the things to do on board the large ships and have never felt crowded. We usually book a JS on the hump and enjoy the balcony plus Central Park is never crowded and always a quiet place. If you time your meals in the "off" times, the WJ is not crowded. If crowds bother you, don't try getting an elevator when a show lets out. Wait a few minutes until the crowds thin or take the stairs if you can. There are plenty of ways to avoid the crowds on the mega ships.

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14 hours ago, HBE4 said:

 

The one thing I have seen mention is: give yourself plenty of time to get around. The ship is huge. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking over the horizon.

 

 

After inadvertently booking a more forward room on Harmony, I am SO much more careful about booking midship near stairs 🙂. It felt like a hike anytime we went anywhere on Harmony, due to room placement...

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We have cruised on Oasis and liked it a lot however we still like Freedom of the Seas best! It is not small or medium for that matter. People seem to forget that before they built Oasis that Freedom was the largest cruise ship in the world! 

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I love the mega ships...more to explore, more food options, more amenities and first class entertainment.  But we've also had amazing cruises on smaller ones (Independence, Mariner).  We almost went on Brilliance to try a smaller ship and enjoy the views, but ended up selecting Voyager class (not because of the size but more due to a longer cruise length for same price)...so would be perfectly happy on all sizes. 

 

We have been on Allure and Symphony so far and never had an issue with crowds.  There is so much going on that the people spread out at different events. My favorite ship to date is Symphony followed by Allure. 

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Very sorry for your experience and I agree with everyone’s advice to stick w the smaller / mid ships since you had such a wonderful time in the past.  We were scared to try Symphony due to crowds but we ended up loving it.  Did you get to experience Central Park?  I know the boards suggest avoiding certain things if you don’t like crowds but u can’t avoid everything ! 🤪. Sometimes it’s also just a bad karma cruise... years ago we did Disney’s Fantasy (which was their mega ship 🤣).... and we kept running into big parties of people that all seemed to know each other and always got to ‘that seat’ just before us!  It was really weird .... anyway we wrote it off to we didn’t like the larger ship so we went back to their smaller ships.... then a few years later we gave it another try due to limitations w vaca schedule .... surprisingly we had a wonderful experience that year.... not at all like before yet still school vaca time.  Soooo sometimes it’s just bad crowd Karma!  Go back to your fav ships and try oasis class again in the future.. once you’ve had a few more positive cruises.

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