Are “mega ships” a boon or a bane for cruisers?
Well – it depends on your point of view. To some, the idea of cruising with up to 6,999 others is mind-boggling. To others, a minor inconvenience for all the “kitschy” attractions they offer – everything from multi story water slides, zip-lines, “robotic” bar tenders, bumper cars and who knows what else (perhaps roller coasters?)
For the cruise line “bean counters” they make perfect sense. Even though a mega ship can cost over $1 billion to build – it can command higher ticket prices and costs can be spread over a larger passenger base. After all, you still only have to have one captain, one chief medical officer, and one chief security officer.
But, consider the simple logistics. Think of embarking and debarking that many souls....and their luggage – wow! What about tendering – what about lines at the buffet – what about the odds of finding an empty deck chair? Or even worse, what about an outbreak of norovirus or (perish the thought) a REAL emergency.
And – how many island ports can accommodate the influx of passengers from even one, much less two or three of these behemoths at a time?
Lorraine has several friends who rushed to be a part of the “mega cruise” experience – some loved it, others said “never again.” One suggested they feature a “simulated traffic jam” at rush hour so cruisers would really feel as if they never left home.
Whatever your view toward cruising may be – “mega ships” are the wave of the future. Royal Caribbean is introducing “Harmony of the Seas” as the third ship in its “Quantum” fleet, and Carnival has announced its order for at least two new “floating cities” – heating up the race even more between cruise lines to build the “biggest and baddest” ships afloat. Even the “luxury lines” like Silversea, Azmara, and even Seabourne are also set to introduce bigger ships than they have sailed before.
Just think – now you can crowd onto a “jumbo jet” and fly to a congested port to board a “mega” ship – just you and 6,999 of your closest friends. BON VOYAGE!