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Re Start and the Mega ships......


Cee_Jay
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There is much chat on other forums concerning changes to rules etc for the re start of cruising. There are a lot of posts suggesting ways the major lines could handle things. Now for what ever reason I do NOT like the really big 4,000 passenger and above ships and there are a lot of these on various order books....bookings and builds that have to be paid for.  I feel the Mega ships will be more of a problem to fill for several years with or without any governmental regulations. People will be a little apprehensive of the queues that form regardless of planning and design. My love is the 2,000 - 2,500 size ship surely easier to control spacing etc and not usually subject to big queues.

All this prompts the question will some of these new orders quietly disappear ?

The lines seem keen to make a lot of special offers, my inbox often has offers of specials..such and such free offer ends such a date   to be followed by Flash !! Offer extended. I know NCL have several big ships on order and I assume they are not alone. Cruising will not be as it was last year for several years if ever. Economies need to be made by the Cruise Lines and will The cruising population will be under economic pressure as well.

I just see major reduction in the potential size of the cruise market

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I assume that Royal, Norwegian, Princess, Carnival, and other cruise lines have contracts with the shipyards; which gives them a out of buying more ships.  In the airline business Delta can put an order in for 50 new jets; with an option to buy more or stop buying due to various circumstances.  So that leads me to think the cruise lines have same language in their ship building contracts.  

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Someone posted that RCL plans on dumping their smaller ships and concentrating on their bigger ships. I haven't checked if this is true or not. However in the aviation industry airlines are dumping their super jumbos and cancelling orders for them even if it means forfeiting their deposit. They don't seem very hopeful they will fill their planes so it makes you wonder can cruise lines fill their ships🤔.

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2 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Has anyone any reliable information on new-build orders?  Have any lines cancelled, or put new-builds on hold?

Oceania has two new builds on their books. One was due in 2022 while the other was set for 2025.

 

Fortunately, at <1200 passengers, the new "Allura class"  ships have been designed to maintain Oceania's commitment to low passenger loads with excellent space ratios. And, IMO, it will be these "smaller" ships that emerge efficacious in the "new normal."

 

Other than Covid-19 related shipyards closures, I have not seen anything regarding the status of the Allura ships. 

 

I do know that the final of the four R ship (<700 passenger) NEXT makeovers, for Nautica (which was due to start next week in Marseilles),  has been delayed until next year.

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5 hours ago, Cee_Jay said:

People will be a little apprehensive of the queues that form regardless of planning and design. My love is the 2,000 - 2,500 size ship surely easier to control spacing etc and not usually subject to big queues.

 

Is it not all relative? If you go on a mega ship with 5000pax wont you get the same space on that ship that those who book on a ship that holds 2000pax? The only difference is the ship that holds 2000pax is a lot smaller in build than the mega ship.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Cee_Jay said:

There is much chat on other forums concerning changes to rules etc for the re start of cruising. There are a lot of posts suggesting ways the major lines could handle things. Now for what ever reason I do NOT like the really big 4,000 passenger and above ships and there are a lot of these on various order books....bookings and builds that have to be paid for.  I feel the Mega ships will be more of a problem to fill for several years with or without any governmental regulations. People will be a little apprehensive of the queues that form regardless of planning and design. My love is the 2,000 - 2,500 size ship surely easier to control spacing etc and not usually subject to big queues.

All this prompts the question will some of these new orders quietly disappear ?

The lines seem keen to make a lot of special offers, my inbox often has offers of specials..such and such free offer ends such a date   to be followed by Flash !! Offer extended. I know NCL have several big ships on order and I assume they are not alone. Cruising will not be as it was last year for several years if ever. Economies need to be made by the Cruise Lines and will The cruising population will be under economic pressure as well.

I just see major reduction in the potential size of the cruise market

As gerryuk says, it really doesn't matter whether the ship accommodates 4000 pax or 2500 pax.  What is important is the "space ratio", or the ratio of passengers to Gross Tonnage (rough interior volume measure), with the lower the ratio the more "spacious" the ship.  Though there are features that skew the space ratio, such as the fact that the entire central promenade in the Oasis class ships is not calculated in the Gross Tonnage number, despite it being a very large public space.

 

Will newbuilds be cancelled?  Perhaps the later ones on the order books, but not because they are "mega ships", but because overall demand will be reduced for several years.  But, the "mega ships" provide the economies of scale that makes cruising affordable to the masses, so you will not likely see many, if any, of the 2000-2500 pax sized ships built for the mainstream cruise lines.

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It seems that stats about passenger to size ratio are misleading. When we went on our first mega ship, the NCL Getaway, it struck us that the design seemed to double the number of passengers while the ship added maybe another deck for public rooms. The pool/spa, and buffet deck was not much larger than a 2,200 passenger ship. I never saw such a "squished" pool area before. So, they can add more stores, bars, specialty restaurants, etc, but those places tend to not get packed out from 8-5 like the pool/buffet decks. 

 

We were on the MSC Grandiosa and MSC Seaside this past year and they were very crowded. I can't see us ever wanting to subject ourselves to those types of mega ships again.  Lesson learned.

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2 hours ago, AF-1 said:

chengkp75;  I agree with you.  Do not see smaller ships being built in our future.

Just to be clear, what the Chief said was "...you will not likely see many, if any, of the 2000-2500 pax sized ships built for the mainstream cruise lines." 

 

As I pointed out in post #5, there are "small" ships on order, albeit for premium/luxury lines.

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1 hour ago, Markanddonna said:

It seems that stats about passenger to size ratio are misleading.

As I noted, outdoor areas are not included in passenger size ratios, so whether a pool deck is the same size for a 2500 pax ship or a 5000 pax ship, that area is not included in the size ratios.  So, outdoor areas are able to skew ratios both ways, with the pool decks being one way, and the central promenade being the other way.

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The OP based his/her comments that mega ships have more people therefore longer lines.  That's not necessarily the case.  We were recently on the 6,000 passenger Symphony of the Seas and we found their lines during embarkation, on board the ship, going to and from ports and disembarkation way SHORTER, and in a few cases, almost non-existent,  than those on the majority of 2,500 to 3,000 pax ships we have sailed.  We also found shorter lines on the MSC Seaside as well.

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10 hours ago, Markanddonna said:

It seems that stats about passenger to size ratio are misleading. When we went on our first mega ship, the NCL Getaway, it struck us that the design seemed to double the number of passengers while the ship added maybe another deck for public rooms. The pool/spa, and buffet deck was not much larger than a 2,200 passenger ship. I never saw such a "squished" pool area before. So, they can add more stores, bars, specialty restaurants, etc, but those places tend to not get packed out from 8-5 like the pool/buffet decks. 

 

We were on the MSC Grandiosa and MSC Seaside this past year and they were very crowded. I can't see us ever wanting to subject ourselves to those types of mega ships again.  Lesson learned.

MSC seaside was not crowded at all with plenty of space everywhere in yacht club 

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2 minutes ago, George C said:

MSC seaside was not crowded at all with plenty of space everywhere in yacht club 

Is it really necessary to specify that most people on the Seaside don't sail in the Yacht Club?  The second week was absolutely horrible because of the President's Day holiday. 

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1 hour ago, Markanddonna said:

Is it really necessary to specify that most people on the Seaside don't sail in the Yacht Club?  The second week was absolutely horrible because of the President's Day holiday. 

 

Exactly.  But any ship would be crowded, probably with more newbies who don't know their way around, during a winter holiday week like President's Day.

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We were on a B2B on that MSC sailing. It was quite crowded on the first week, but the second week was packed out. Any day with inclement weather shows what a ship might look like at its worst. The pool deck was completely full and the pools looked like people stew (much thicker than people soup.)  Now with COVID in our lives, I would never want to be on a mega ship EVER again. BTW- MSC tends to have lots of kids and they allow these huge strollers. 

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14 hours ago, evandbob said:

 

Exactly.  But any ship would be crowded, probably with more newbies who don't know their way around, during a winter holiday week like President's Day.

 

Agree that it's probably applicable to the mass market ships, but that wasn't our experience, as we were sailing with Viking Ocean during your President's Day. No kids under 18 and no 3rd/4th bunks in the cabins.

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On 6/3/2020 at 11:55 AM, Heidi13 said:

 

Agree that it's probably applicable to the mass market ships, but that wasn't our experience, as we were sailing with Viking Ocean during your President's Day. No kids under 18 and no 3rd/4th bunks in the cabins.

 

Fantastic, some day I hope that we will sail both a Viking Ocean and a Viking River cruise, and Virgin sailing as well.

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17 hours ago, evandbob said:

 

Fantastic, some day I hope that we will sail both a Viking Ocean and a Viking River cruise, and Virgin sailing as well.

 

Next year we booked the both ocean & river, with a Grand European River followed by a Norwegian Midnight Sun.

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