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bryanem

Are the larger ships more crowded?

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I've sailed all classes.  Never been told no room in Windjammer except on the Oasis.   Took too long to refill food on buffet,  etc.  Beautiful ship but our least favorite.   Not saying I wouldn't sail on that class again, it's a cruise so what can be wrong!

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It’s my opinion that depending on if a ship is sold out & even the type of people on board wIll make it feel more or less crowded! If ships are booked to full capacity it’s going to feel more crowded. If a lot of people like lunch at 1 there will be lines at Windjammer. Those who stated their experience was an over crowded ship with lines are not wrong and shouldn’t be degraded by others for stating what their experience was like. Every sailing can be different. Like Akcruz said sometimes you need to zag when everyone else is zigging! All ships at times might feel crowded and all ships at times will feel like ghost ships! #JMHO

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20 minutes ago, njkruzer said:

I've sailed all classes.  Never been told no room in Windjammer except on the Oasis.   Took too long to refill food on buffet,  etc.  Beautiful ship but our least favorite.   Not saying I wouldn't sail on that class again, it's a cruise so what can be wrong!

 

We experienced the same situation with Windjammer on Allure and Oasis.  I would not even try to go to WJ on Oasis class except for dinner or very off peak times. 

 

Also, if there is inclement weather, the Royal Promenade is a zoo.

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OK, this is an interesting thread.  I have only been on Oasis and Enchantment and my impressions of crowd management were quite different. To ME, at least, it seems like RC learned a lot about crowd management the later and larger the ships become. Of course, there are crowded times when certain activities end. Since this is an opinion thread based on subjective perspectives, my unscientific opinion goes something like this...

 

1. Enchantment - smaller, older ship (still a delight) felt MORE crowded in WJ than Oasis by far. There were always extremely slow moving lines and all the food was jammed into the center. On Oasis it is much more spread out.

2. Enchantment has nice views, but at a price. Everywhere I wanted to go on Enchantment, I had to pass through a venue that had activities going on and if they were popular, it was very difficult to simply walk through to get to the next area of the ship. On Oasis, the venues are off the main paths in a way. While at times, still crowded, you did not have to walk through the crowded dance-off or Kareoke if you weren't interested just to get to somewhere else on the ship. I think that Oasis is better designed to "contain" events in their own spaces which is why it might feel less crowded to some.

 

Again, just my opinion, but I think this is why some feel like the larger ships "seem" less crowded at times. It certainly did to us.

 

Harmony is up next for us (30 days!), so I am really interested to see how it feels in comparison.

Edited by RCFirstTimer

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We have been on Allure and it did not feel crowded.  We have also been on Radiance and Majesty.  Will experience Explorer next summer.

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Have sailed on Allure 3 times and we are booked on Oasis after the refurb.  Windjammer is crowded depending on what time you get there but there are other places to eat breakfast that are not crowded.  Central Park always seemed empty to me.  Elevators were always crowded.  Promenade packed when they had the $10.00 sale at the end of the cruise.  We just bought a Starbucks, grabbed a seat and watched.  Very entertaining.    I love Oasis class ships.  Don't know if I could go back to anything smaller.

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2 hours ago, DHADEN said:

 

THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG!!!

We had a Great Cruise on the Oasis - the ship was AMAZING and the entertainment was much much greater than on the smaller ships...............

BUT............

That ship was CROWDED EVERYWHERE!.  At lunch, the staff were standing at the doors of the Windjammer (where the LINE was out the door and all the way down the stairs) telling everyone to go elsewhere because "It Is Too Crowded".  We went down to the Central Park Cafe, and the line was 20+ deep.  Everywhere to eat for lunch was at least 15 to 20 minutes of standing in line.

All the shows/venues - even if you have a reservation, if you don't get there at least a 1/2 hour early, you won't be able to get two seats together.

We loved the band playing in Dazzles every night.  If it was in the compass that they would start at 8:00 - you better get there at least by 7:15 or you won't be able to get a table.

THE SHIP IS CROWDED - lot's more than any other class of ship.

I was going to agree with you but then I thought how very much I enjoyed the entertainment on the Oasis class ships.

I love live music and I was spoiled for choice!  Jazz on Four, Central Park, Schooner bar, Dazzles, pubs not to mention the excellent shows.  There are a lot cruises that are very low key but at this stage in my life, I like FUN!  CARPE DIEM.

 

 

Would I like less people and more shows?  YES, but that is not going to happen.

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We just got off Symphony. It wasn't crowded. Embarkation to Disembarking. To be honest, I was concerned about it.  Even read the pools would be the most crowded part of the ship. Comparatively speaking, they weren't. The breakfasts, lunches, and dinners were not crowded either.  The shows were spread out so it wasn't crowd there either. We've been on 10 cruises and only one of them was on a mega ship. I'm telling you it wasn't crowded. I just wish these ships to cruise to some ports throughout the world. We're going to the Greek Isles on our next cruise and I hope I wasn't too spolied by Symphony. 

 

But watch, someone will tell me my opinion is wrong. 😉 

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I think it depends where you are on the Oasis. I have never found Central Park crowded. At lunch there are people coming and going, but it is not like the Windjammer. The Windjammer tends to be full at the most popular times for lunch and breakfast. We would go down a deck to the Wipeout Café on deck 15 and eat there. You eat outside under a covered deck and can look down on the Boardwalk. I think this is called Mini Bites on the Harmony. They have a good variety of food, but not like the Windjammer. We also went to the Solarium Bistro for lunch on deck 15 to the bow. I, too, was frustrated with the Windjammer, but started going to less crowded places for lunch and breakfast and was happy with them. 

 

Boarding has always been really very fast on Oasis class ships, despite the number of people arriving. 

 

All of Royals ships seem to be full, which help create crowds.

 

Go on the ship you enjoy.  

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We had reservations for 8 at dinner & shows every night. We went to the maitre'd as soon as we got on board and matched dinner reservations (including 3 Specialty Dinners) to our shows times. I big time suggest this be done. And at each show there were people lined up to get in that didn't have reservations. We walked right passed these folks and sat right down. The line w/o reservations were not allowed to get in until 10- 15 mins before the show started. 

 

BTW, while at home, when we go to a movie and buy an online ticket, even then we know to arrive early. 

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On our Symphony TA, the ship didn’t seem to be that bad as far as crowds, but getting on and off the ship (embark/disembark/ports) was absolute mayhem. Dumping 7000 people at once is a total cluster. Trying to get out of the port at Miami was probably the worst I’ve experienced. 

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I loved Harmony overall but it took forever to take an elevator ride. Always a long wait for an elevator to arrive and it was almost always jammed pack stopping at almost every floor. Can’t tell you how many times we took an elevator down to go up‼️

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32 minutes ago, HicksRA said:

On our Symphony TA, the ship didn’t seem to be that bad as far as crowds, but getting on and off the ship (embark/disembark/ports) was absolute mayhem. Dumping 7000 people at once is a total cluster. Trying to get out of the port at Miami was probably the worst I’ve experienced. 

And that was after wasting a day forcing us to go through customs at Port Canaveral.

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 I had forgotten about the lines out the door of the Windjammer until the previous poster mentioned it. I also experienced that. The only time we’ve ever had lines out the door of the buffet On any ship was the oasis. 

 

 Having said that the oasis class is a beast unto itself. I would not let crowds keep you from trying it at least once. 

 

Dan

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This thread just goes to show how different each of us are and how alike we are when it comes to cruising. I could not tell you anything about the Windjammer on the Symphony as we never stepped foot into it. We ate breakfast at two different locations and lunch at the Solarium Bristo & the Park Cafe. We never had to wait in line. Although, as the cruise went on, we did notice the Bristo was getting a tad bit more crowded by the day. 

Edited by Goodtime Cruizin

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4 hours ago, kidless said:

It’s my opinion that depending on if a ship is sold out & even the type of people on board wIll make it feel more or less crowded! If ships are booked to full capacity it’s going to feel more crowded. If a lot of people like lunch at 1 there will be lines at Windjammer. Those who stated their experience was an over crowded ship with lines are not wrong and shouldn’t be degraded by others for stating what their experience was like. Every sailing can be different. Like Akcruz said sometimes you need to zag when everyone else is zigging! All ships at times might feel crowded and all ships at times will feel like ghost ships! #JMHO

I think the ships cruise at 100% or better of capacity almost all of the time

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5 hours ago, kruzerci said:

 

Oasis isn't my favorite class because of the lack of sea views, but I love the fact that it seems like after a couple days, everybody has found "their" neighborhood. There are the groups that stay inside all day in lounges, the groups who read in central park, the sun lounging crowd up top (us), the solarium crowd, etc. It really ends up splitting up the crowds nicely IMO. 

I have found that on every class of ship among Celebrity, Princess, and Royal.  I just couldn't believe how many are up at 5:00am on Anthem getting coffee.   As far as shows go that doesn't seem to matter either. You have to get there early no matter what. 

 

Edited by Iamcruzin

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We have sailed on various ship sizes in Royal Caribbean's fleet.  The Oasis class is our favorite to sail and we have enjoyed 10 sailings on the Oasis class ships.  As to the question of whether or not they feel more or less crowded... it depends on when you cruise and how you cruise.  In general, we believe they feel less crowded but there are several factors that influence this:

 

1.  The time of year.  When our kids were in high school / college and we sailed during Spring Break the ship felt more crowded.  But I would think this would apply to ANY ship during Spring Break as they tend to be filled to capacity and have a lot higher % of kids on board.  Now that the kids are grown we travel "off season"... February, April, October, November... and the ship feels less crowded.

 

2.  Where you eat.  The past couple of years we have changed our eating habits onboard.  Our most recent cruise we did the Unlimited Dining Plan and only ate at Specialty Restaurants for dinner and some lunches.  A few years ago I was in the Windjammer and saw 2 incidents within about 10 minutes.  One child was licking a serving utensil and then returned it to the food.  Another child dropped a serving utensil on the floor, picked it up, and returned it to the food.  I decided that was the end of eating at the Windjammer and have never gone back.  It is easier to do this on the Oasis class ships as there are many other places to eat.  While some still have buffets (Solarium) they tend to not have as long of lines and less children using the serving utensils.  

Many people are not even aware of all the different venues available for meals besides the Windjammer.  Breakfast for example:  Main Dining Room, Wipeout Cafe (back by Sports Deck), Park Cafe, Solarium, Johnny Rockets.  

 

3.  Shows.  The shows can be crowded, but with Oasis class you should always make your show reservations ahead of time and always show up 30 minutes prior to the show to get a good seat.  Don't expect to have a prime seat waiting for you 5 minutes before the show starts.  The shows are what we LOVE about the Oasis class.  Such a greater variety of shows during the week with the Broadway quality main show, headliner shows, ice skating shows, AquaTheater Shows, Comedy shows. 

 

4. Cabin location.  We like Ocean View balcony cabins so we can relax and enjoy an ocean view on our own balcony.  We prefer deck 6 for these reasons:

- same deck as Boardwalk / AquaTheater aft and Spa forward.

- walk down one deck to the Promenade.

- walk down one deck to walking / jogging track.

- walk down two decks to Casino and Amber theater.

- walk up 2 decks to Central Park.

- walk down 1 or 2 decks to Main Dining Room.

So most of the time we do not need to bother with elevators and just take the stairs up down 1 or 2 decks for the majority of our activities. The exception is going to/from the pool deck 15.

 

5. Busy Times / Events.  Yes, the ship feels very crowded after the safety drill.  The Promenade also is very busy during the parades.  Again, I recall these events were very crowded on the smaller ships as well so I don't think this is limited to Oasis class. 

I do wish they had not changed a few events from the Aqua Theater to one of the pools.  They moved the Belly Flop contest and World's Sexiest Man on our last 2 cruises.  Not sure why as I found the larger Aqua Theater to be a more enjoyable venue for these events.  

 

 I definitely recommend everyone try an Oasis class ship to see how you like it.  It is then a personal preference as to liking the smaller or larger ships.  

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It is all relative, was the ship sold out, how was the weather, did you have to tender to a port?

 

We were on the Allure and Norwegian Epic both felt crowded to us and getting on and off was  slow.  We  were just on the Jewel and  walked off the ship easy  as pie, the other ships always had a line that wrapped around and around.

 

All the ships were sold out Transatlantic cruises.

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9 hours ago, bryanem said:

Hello, I have sailed on the smallest Empress , and the larger Independence. I am considering the mega large Oasis.

Has anyone sailed on both large and small ships to be able to judge if the larger ships are more crowded? 

Or, is the Oasis’s square footage proportionately larger to handle the much larger number of passengers ? 

My experience was Independence didn't feel more crowded vs. Empress.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated !  

 

I felt significantly more crowed on the Radiance than I did on any Oasis class ship.

 

The larger ships are designed to effectively manage 6800 passengers. There are many activities going on at once and that spreads the masses out.

 

Sure, there will be some times where you feel more crowded- muster drills, waiting for an elevator right after a show , the 10$ tshirt sale on the promenade, but those crowds you experience will be no different than those events on any smaller ship.

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12 minutes ago, constable145 said:

waiting for an elevator right after a show

I just got off of Harmony and had significant wait times 90% of the time and long rides because of crowded elevators.

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6 hours ago, Artemus said:

I just got off of Harmony and had significant wait times 90% of the time and long rides because of crowded elevators.

 

Also our experience on Oasis last year.

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18 hours ago, BNBR said:

Oasis class is probably the least crowded ship you will sail on.  Go for it. 

I think it is highly dependant on when you travel and what you do on board. If you go doing school breaks it is packed, the pools are standing room only and have a very thick sunscreen film on them.

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