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Passenger Space Ratios


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One reason I have enjoyed cruising with HAL is that the ships don't feel crowded. Most of the HAL ships have a higher passenger space ratio than ships from many other cruise lines (except the luxury lines).

I would love to see HAL make moves to even increase passenger space going forward. I realize that any steps taken to increase passenger space will also require a price increase.

One idea for making ships feel roomier would be to encourage single occupant rooms. Maybe giving better rates for single occupant rooms?

Here is a link to an old article with Passenger Space Ratios of CLIA Lines: https://www.widgety.co.uk/media/W1siZiIsIjIwMTcvMDkvMDQvMTMvNDMvMjIvOGI5YzZmOWYtMGQ3MS00NTBlLWI4MGEtYTE4ZTZmNDFhNTg5L1Bhc3NlbmdlciBTcGFjZSBSYXRpby5wZGYiXV0/Passenger Space Ratio.pdf?sha=2994f7e05a8eb95f

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The lower-single-supplement idea is a good one. However, the "regular" per-person rates would undoubtedly have to rise if HAL (or any other cruise line) hopes to at least break even on any given cruise that has significantly fewer guests. Yes, fewer guests mean fewer crew needed, less food to buy, etc., but there are certain fixed costs on a ship that simply can't be reduced proportionately. Expect to pay more, but maybe it would be worth paying more to be on, say, the Zuiderdam with only 1,400 guests or the Amsterdam with 950.

 

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Our experience is that while passenger space ratios are important, design, layout, and decor of a ship is just as important.

 

We have been on a few ships that were very dark, others where hallways ended up with blank walls and staircases, others with not enough elevators or elevators that emptied out smack in front of what were often crowded areas such as an MDR thus creating a big smozzle of people.

 

It is not just the actual space ratio that counts. It is very much dependent on how that space is used/designed.

Edited by iancal
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Space ratio has always been an important "draw" for us to HAL. We really dislike crowded ships. However, better space ratio always comes with a price. I doubt HAL, or any cruise line, can increase space ratio without losing revenue in both fares and on-board spending.

 

We would be willing to pay a reasonable amount in fare increases if there were fewer passengers on board.

 

 

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1 minute ago, DFD1 said:

Space ratio has always been an important "draw" for us to HAL. We really dislike crowded ships. However, better space ratio always comes with a price. I doubt HAL, or any cruise line, can increase space ratio without losing revenue in both fares and on-board spending.

 

We would be willing to pay a reasonable amount in fare increases if there were fewer passengers on board.

 

 

If better passenger space ratios help cruising restart sooner, it may actually help offset some of the lost revenue.

Lower revenue with cruises would be better than no revenue without cruises.

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Right....if they were my ships, I'd try and get them sailing and generating whatever revenue above break even as soon as possible. I hope that's what they do.

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Remember most cruises barely break even on cabin fares, when the ship is close to full. They make most of their profits on alcohol sales, gambling, trinkets (think pictures, for example) and excursions. 

 

So the amount needed to be made up when cutting capacity by a given amount may be a lot more than you think, because those fewer sold cabins are cutting critical foundation revenue, and are also fewer people spending in the profit centers.

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49 minutes ago, iancal said:

Our experience is that while passenger space ratios are important, design, layout, and decor of a ship is just as important.

 

We have been on a few ships that were very dark, others where hallways ended up with blank walls and staircases, others with not enough elevators or elevators that emptied out smack in front of what were often crowded areas such as an MDR thus creating a big smozzle of people.

 

It is not just the actual space ratio that counts. It is very much dependent on how that space is used/designed.

 

Oh, how much I do agree with your comment!  I'll use my January cruise aboard MSC Meraviglia as an example.

 

Spacious ship even with a large number of guests; plenty of room.  Except for the main theater and the foyer aft of the theater.  Theater is crowded (not ADA compliant, I am sure) and when the show is over, there is a huge multitude of guests that descend on what is a good sized foyer with elevators.  Simply too many people for the space that exists.  Difficult to "push" one's way through the crowd to get further aft; waiting for an elevator, even though there are several, unless one is standing in front of one and its doors open, one will be waiting quite awhile.  

 

It's just a poorly thought through design, probably because the designer/company wanted only one primary entrance/exit to the theater rather than an entrance/exit on two decks such as HAL's vessels have.  

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😀

8 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Remember most cruises barely break even on cabin fares, when the ship is close to full. They make most of their profits on alcohol sales, gambling, trinkets (think pictures, for example) and excursions. 

 

So the amount needed to be made up when cutting capacity by a given amount may be a lot more than you think, because those fewer sold cabins are cutting critical foundation revenue, and are also fewer people spending in the profit centers.

 

This is very true.  I'll do my part and have an extended HH if I get to cruise again.😀

Edited by rkacruiser
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In the short run they do not need to generate a profit.  They need to make enough money to lose less than they would having the ships empty.  Not a long term solution but having ships with even minimal crews depreciating every day,  debt payments, and all they are currently losing a lot of money.

 

Roy

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2 hours ago, HAL4NOW said:

One reason I have enjoyed cruising with HAL is that the ships don't feel crowded. Most of the HAL ships have a higher passenger space ratio than ships from many other cruise lines (except the luxury lines).

I would love to see HAL make moves to even increase passenger space going forward. I realize that any steps taken to increase passenger space will also require a price increase.

One idea for making ships feel roomier would be to encourage single occupant rooms. Maybe giving better rates for single occupant rooms?

 

 

I totally agree about the space ratios.  But believe it or not, HAL's ratios actually aren't that great, especially the new Pinnacle Class.  Pinnacle Class is way down at 31; and Signature and Vista Class are in the low to mid 30s.  RCI Oasis Class, the world's largest ships, actually have better ratios with the newest one being up over 40.  

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25 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

In the short run they do not need to generate a profit.  They need to make enough money to lose less than they would having the ships empty.  Not a long term solution but having ships with even minimal crews depreciating every day,  debt payments, and all they are currently losing a lot of money.

 

Roy

 

Agree.....and so far as the decrease on on-board spending cited in a recent post is concerned, some of that would be made up with slightly increased fares. Admittedly, revenue might not be at or near normal, but the argument can surely be made that to have the ships in service at reduced revenue is better than having them laid up.

 

I want to see cruising resume as much as anyone, but until this situation passes, one way or another, I think the cruise lines must be very creative if they are to survive. IMO

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2 hours ago, rafinmd said:

In the short run they do not need to generate a profit.  They need to make enough money to lose less than they would having the ships empty. 

 

Why operate a cruise if the cruise does not make a profit of whatever size?  The cruise lines need some positive numbers on their balance sheets.  

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16 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Why operate a cruise if the cruise does not make a profit of whatever size?  The cruise lines need some positive numbers on their balance sheets.  

I think Roy’s valid point is a smaller negative number is better then a larger negative number.  That will probably be the reality when cruising initially resumes.

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1 hour ago, KirkNC said:

I think Roy’s valid point is a smaller negative number is better then a larger negative number.  That will probably be the reality when cruising initially resumes.

And maybe even more important will be showing that they can do it safely.

 

But, if the opposite happens, say goodbye to cruising.

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6 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

 

I totally agree about the space ratios.  But believe it or not, HAL's ratios actually aren't that great, especially the new Pinnacle Class.  Pinnacle Class is way down at 31; and Signature and Vista Class are in the low to mid 30s.  RCI Oasis Class, the world's largest ships, actually have better ratios with the newest one being up over 40.  

OMG  do not tell that kind of stuff to HAL fans.  But lets consider cruising on the Seabourn Soujourn that has a space ratio of about 72:1.  Those that try to cover-up HAL's so-so space ratios would likely argue about ship design.   When we cruise mass market ships we have long used a 40:1 ratio as decent.  Consider that the new Princess Royal Class ships have space ratios of about 40:1.  The Koningsdam is about 38:1.  The Noordam is about 43:1.   Some of the newer Oceania ships are about 53:1.

 

Bottom line is that HAL ships are, at best, mass market in most ways.  While some fans rave about the space the reality is that the ships are really not that spacious.  In fact, trying to find a quiet corner to read on a sea day can be a challenge.

 

Hank

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31 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

  When we cruise mass market ships we have long used a 40:1 ratio as decent. 

 
40:1 tends to be my aim as well. 
 

I guess we won’t be seeing each other on the new Carnival Mardi Gras with its 28:1 ratio. 😉

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8 minutes ago, Cruzaholic41 said:

 
40:1 tends to be my aim as well. 
 

I guess we won’t be seeing each other on the new Carnival Mardi Gras with its 28:1 ratio. 😉

ROFL!  I will admit to having been on 3 Carnival cruises out of far more then 100 over many decades.  The Carnival cruises were all lots of fun and pretty decent.  We never really had any complaints about Carnival, but now we are seniors and are looking for something different then their product or passenger demographics.  I still remember the old Mardi Gras (we never cruised on that ship).

 

Hank

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6 hours ago, Hlitner said:

ROFL!  I will admit to having been on 3 Carnival cruises out of far more then 100 over many decades.  The Carnival cruises were all lots of fun and pretty decent.  We never really had any complaints about Carnival, but now we are seniors and are looking for something different then their product or passenger demographics.  I still remember the old Mardi Gras (we never cruised on that ship).

 

Hank

The old Mardi Gras was my first cruise New Years Eve 1979-80, had a great time, party, party.

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7 hours ago, Hlitner said:

ROFL!  I will admit to having been on 3 Carnival cruises out of far more then 100 over many decades.  The Carnival cruises were all lots of fun and pretty decent.  We never really had any complaints about Carnival, but now we are seniors and are looking for something different then their product or passenger demographics.  I still remember the old Mardi Gras (we never cruised on that ship).

 

Hank

LOL, you don't really have to make having fun on a Carnival cruise sound like a confession to a crime.

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I saw a documentary on TV yesterday featuring the MSC Divinia.  Every view had masses of passengers together.  I saw none with quiet spaces with very few people.  The pool was a jungle!  Getting off that ship for a tour would be a nightmare for me.  I love the S & R (smaller) ships, have been hardly ever crowded on an elevator.  

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1 hour ago, BJzink said:

I saw a documentary on TV yesterday featuring the MSC Divinia.  Every view had masses of passengers together.  I saw none with quiet spaces with very few people.  The pool was a jungle!  Getting off that ship for a tour would be a nightmare for me.  I love the S & R (smaller) ships, have been hardly ever crowded on an elevator.  

I guess videos can be deceptive.  We have cruised on the Divina (twice) for a total of 28 days...always in the Yacht Club.  When we left the YC for the rest of the ship, things were never overcrowded.  In the evening we loved that there would be at least 3 venues with various types of music (i.e. country, jazz, rock, etc).  We actually went to the regular Lido buffet a few times (for a snack) and although the place was busy we could always find a seat (there have been many times on the smaller HAL ships when it was near impossible to find a table in the Lido).  I will admit that we would never consider cruising on MSC outside the Yacht Club.    But in their YC one could always find a quiet nook, plenty of space and loungers at the private pool area, etc.  

 

Hank

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I appreciate the link to that CLIA chart.  I printed a copy for my future cruise reference stuff.  One question:  There are two columns; Capacity PSR and Lower Berth PSR.  

For example, the Amsterdam lists Capacity PSR as 45.4 and Lower Berth PSR as 37.9.  Is this referring to some areas that only suite passengers can access?

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I cruised on the Noordam and Maasdam in the past and found their space ratio to be good. There was always a quiet spot that could be found. My last Holland America cruise in 2016 was on the then new Koningsdam. The ship had great interior decor but I found she was crowded. I remember there was never a seat to be had in the Crows Nest in addition on my sailing they were allowing certain crew members to hang out in the Crows Nest and that also created a situation where you could not get a seat. To top that off they created a narrow promenade deck devoid of lounge chairs making this once useful lounge area obsolete. I am contemplating on trying the Nieuw Statendam because of an itinerary that I like next summer but for the price I rather go with Oceania or something of that quality. 

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1 hour ago, USN59-79 said:

I appreciate the link to that CLIA chart.  I printed a copy for my future cruise reference stuff.  One question:  There are two columns; Capacity PSR and Lower Berth PSR.  

For example, the Amsterdam lists Capacity PSR as 45.4 and Lower Berth PSR as 37.9.  Is this referring to some areas that only suite passengers can access?

I think capacity is based on double occupancy for all of the cabins. Many cabins can accommodate more than two people.

To go to your Amsterdam example--capacity is listed as 1380, but 'maximum passengers' is listed as 1772. More passengers in the same space will result in less space for each passenger.

When we were on the Zaadam the ship was sailing with less than capacity and it felt very roomy.

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