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Mega Ship Era over? Will Royal build smaller ships again?

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15 minutes ago, Hoopster95 said:

 

 

I was wrong. I thought Edge was Freedom's size going from memory. Thx for correcting. 

So correcting my post, I feel that the smallest future sized ship under RCI (not RCCL) may be no smaller than Freedom/Q Class.

 

I mentioned a few years ago and I'm still a little surprised, that RCCL hasn't created a "new" cruise line brand name and transferred all Vision and Radiance Class ships to that new Cruise Line. I don't believe that they want new and younger cruisers.... heck everyone!....  to think of a Radiance Class ship the second someone mentions "Royal Caribbean"... they want everyone to have the big girls top of mind at all times imho.

No need to create another brand...they have Celebrity.

 

10 to 15 years ago there were more similarities between the two brands.  With Royal  now focusing on families and the mega ships the similarities are becoming less and less.  I’m certain that this has been their plan ever since they bought Celebrity.  

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17 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

No need to create another brand...they have Celebrity.

 

Hmmmm... transfer Radiance Class ships over to X? or even Azamara??

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Just now, Hoopster95 said:

 

Hmmmm... transfer Radiance Class ships over to X? or even Azamara??

No need, they will just get phased out.  Getting too old to keep them in their premium brands.  They will someday  end up at Pullmantur or another partial subsidiary. Way too big for Azamara.

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Just now, Ourusualbeach said:

Getting too old to keep them in their premium brands.

 

Oceania just spent 100's of millions on their R Class ships (1998-2000) and they are stunning!

I'm guessing with Jewel 5 years younger, Radiance Class may end up hanging around for a while longer

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There must be some algorithm of dollar per ton or dollar per sq/cubic foot factoring in shopping, specialty restaurants, cabins, etc, and non-revenue areas.

 

It'd be interesting to see.

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It seems like an eternity ago that the Voyager was considered a mega-ship..😀

 

I remember cruising on the Voyager when it first came out. When i first started cruising, it seemed like all the ships were considered small compared to what they have now. Times are changing for sure!!

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11 hours ago, James4me said:

I’d love to see a smaller ship with plenty of ocean view windows wherever you are inside looking out to the sea.  Enough of walls of restaurants and useless shopping venues. I want to see the ocean while on the ocean.

 

We are with you.  Why cruise if you are disconnected to the ocean?  She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have cruised on one mega-ship - the Oasis -mostly just to see what it was all about.  We had a good time, but after it was all said and done, it's not an experience we would repeat.  Our deal breakers nowadays is a wrap-around promenade, a comfortable balcony cabin, and an interesting itinerary with as few tender ports as possible.  We don't need a floating amusement park.

 

Fortunately, there are many cruise lines and many ships to choose from.

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54 minutes ago, SargassoPirate said:

 

We are with you.  Why cruise if you are disconnected to the ocean?  She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have cruised on one mega-ship - the Oasis -mostly just to see what it was all about.  We had a good time, but after it was all said and done, it's not an experience we would repeat.  Our deal breakers nowadays is a wrap-around promenade, a comfortable balcony cabin, and an interesting itinerary with as few tender ports as possible.  We don't need a floating amusement park.

 

Fortunately, there are many cruise lines and many ships to choose from.

 

Royal understands what most people want.  I don't feel disconnected from the ocean on Oasis.  We go to the solarium, pool decks, walk the track, sit on our balcony, etc.  But what we want is a lot of venues, space to walk, restaurants, and a resort type feel with lots of entertainment.  If we wanted an old school ship type experience, we would sail Seabourn or something along those lines.  But the numbers are obvious and people want amusement park/resorts much more than an ocean view.

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1 hour ago, ToroAzul said:

There must be some algorithm of dollar per ton or dollar per sq/cubic foot factoring in shopping, specialty restaurants, cabins, etc, and non-revenue areas.

 

It'd be interesting to see.

to this point is why i don't think they will ever abandon the mega ship.. the more they can pack onto it the more they can charge people to do! this even includes the free things, because they can up charge almost anything, yes person x can go enjoy the flow rider, its free and included ! while there is plenty of person Y that will pay the money and reserve it for an hour for his/hers self or family. some one somewhere is willing and able to pay for anything. royal wants to find them all lol

agreed i would love to be part of the team that comes up with it all, very interesting stuff! 

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Del Rio can't get financing for anything bigger so he declares megaship era over.  

 

It's a PR stunt or he is poking at Fain to get a reaction.  Big titles come with big egos.  

 

Nothing to see, move along.  

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I'm more concerned about passenger count than I am ship size.

For example, we love the Freedom & Navigator. Perfect for us....... pre-Amped Up

We'll see if we feel the same way after all the changes on our next trip on either.

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47 minutes ago, NateUpNorth said:

I'm more concerned about passenger count than I am ship size.

For example, we love the Freedom & Navigator. Perfect for us....... pre-Amped Up

We'll see if we feel the same way after all the changes on our next trip on either.

 

We've been on Navigator pre and post Amplification and didn’t find it feeling more crowded. Love the new venues and look.  If anything it made us love the Voyager class even more than we already did.

 

Hope your experience is similar.

 

Dan

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12 hours ago, Hoopster95 said:

I mentioned a few years ago and I'm still a little surprised, that RCCL hasn't created a "new" cruise line brand name and transferred all Vision and Radiance Class ships to that new Cruise Line. I don't believe that they want new and younger cruisers.... heck everyone!....  to think of a Radiance Class ship the second someone mentions "Royal Caribbean"... they want everyone to have the big girls top of mind at all times imho.

I don’t think RCL wants to get out of the Alaska market yet as a specific brand. However, otherwise I think you are right about migrating the smaller ships to a different brand (Celebrity?). Small ships don’t fit their brand anymore. They are all about active, family oriented trips. Which means big ships. 
 

if I was in charge, I would unify their loyalty program and then transfer the ships.  I think that would address any lingering concerns.  Although it would raise others. 

Edited by jakeil7

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1 hour ago, BNBR said:

 

Royal understands what most people want.  I don't feel disconnected from the ocean on Oasis.  We go to the solarium, pool decks, walk the track, sit on our balcony, etc.  But what we want is a lot of venues, space to walk, restaurants, and a resort type feel with lots of entertainment.  If we wanted an old school ship type experience, we would sail Seabourn or something along those lines.  But the numbers are obvious and people want amusement park/resorts much more than an ocean view.

 

At some point there will be no choice when all that’s left are the mega ships.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are catering to the vast majority.  Their profitability is balanced into the equation heavily.

 

Dan

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11 minutes ago, The Fun Researcher said:

 

We've been on Navigator pre and post Amplification and didn’t find it feeling more crowded. Love the new venues and look.  If anything it made us love the Voyager class even more than we already did.

 

Hope your experience is similar.

 

Dan

 

That's re-assuring.

We're booked on Explorer next year post amplification so that'll be the first "litmus test" for us!

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3 hours ago, jakeil7 said:

I don’t think RCL wants to get out of the Alaska market yet as a specific brand. However, otherwise I think you are right about migrating the smaller ships to a different brand (Celebrity?). Small ships don’t fit their brand anymore. They are all about active, family oriented trips. Which means big ships. 
 

if I was in charge, I would unify their loyalty program and then transfer the ships.  I think that would address any lingering concerns.  Although it would raise others. 

Having placed the Ovation doing Alaska itineraries they are moving to a larger ship in that market.  I follow a lot of travel vloggers and Royal invited a group of younger vlogers on the Ovation, I take that as a sign that Royal will be marketing the Alaska market as an adventure market.  In the past Alaska has been marketed as a passive sightseeing trip, the future will be climb a glacier, ride a helicopter, etc.  Royal has been successful in putting a new youthful spin on existing routes, and part of that is placing the more Instagramable/full-featured/adventure ships on those itineraries. 

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2 minutes ago, dgramling said:

Having placed the Ovation doing Alaska itineraries they are moving to a larger ship in that market.  I follow a lot of travel vloggers and Royal invited a group of younger vlogers on the Ovation, I take that as a sign that Royal will be marketing the Alaska market as an adventure market.  In the past Alaska has been marketed as a passive sightseeing trip, the future will be climb a glacier, ride a helicopter, etc.  Royal has been successful in putting a new youthful spin on existing routes, and part of that is placing the more Instagramable/full-featured/adventure ships on those itineraries. 

Are the ports in that area capable of handling that size of ship or is this like the Oasis type trips where you end up giving up ports for ship size?

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11 minutes ago, dgramling said:

Having placed the Ovation doing Alaska itineraries they are moving to a larger ship in that market.  I follow a lot of travel vloggers and Royal invited a group of younger vlogers on the Ovation, I take that as a sign that Royal will be marketing the Alaska market as an adventure market.  In the past Alaska has been marketed as a passive sightseeing trip, the future will be climb a glacier, ride a helicopter, etc.  Royal has been successful in putting a new youthful spin on existing routes, and part of that is placing the more Instagramable/full-featured/adventure ships on those itineraries. 

Sailed to ports Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, and Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, via the inside passage, so there is some trade offs.

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I don't claim to be an expert in understanding why they do what they do. I also don't buy a few personal opinions on here as to why they are "on hold".

 

Looking at reality, Royal wants to grow their business. When populations grow and demand for cruising grows, it is logical that you add new ships. Adding larger ships with more capacity allows you to grow faster. However, you hit a plateau where these new ships can't visit every port. There is only so much demand for mega ships to Cozumel, Nassau, etc. Meanwhile, other smaller ports could use a bigger ship than they have, but smaller than Oasis. You could grow that market and repurpose that little ship almost anywhere.

 

Never say never, but it makes sense why they are hold for now.

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4 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

However, you hit a plateau where these new ships can't visit every port. There is only so much demand for mega ships to Cozumel, Nassau, etc. Meanwhile, other smaller ports could use a bigger ship than they have, but smaller than Oasis. You could grow that market and repurpose that little ship almost anywhere.

 

Or you could invest a lot of money into developing private destinations and ports that can accommodate the big ships (CocoCay, Dominican Republic, Antigua).

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It's in Del Rio's interest to dissuade ports around the world from expanding to accommodate larger ships.  Australia and New Zealand are prime examples.  If those countries expand their ports the megaships will take control of a large segment of the cruise market there.  

 

There will always be a market for smaller destinations served by smaller ships.  Boutique cruise lines will have a place for a long time.  The mass cruise market is where the mass money is right now.  That is where more growth is occurring.  MSC is gaining traction there.  Carnival brands are beginning to go mega.  Royal is the king of mega.  NCL is looking at falling into 4th place.  

 

By spreading misinformation and possibly dissuading some ports from investing in expansion Del Rio takes a swing at the efforts of his competitors that continue to outpace his own growth.  Imagine the folks fighting port expansion projects - "Look!  megaships are over!  Don't expand the port!".  

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4 hours ago, dgramling said:

the future will be climb a glacier, ride a helicopter, etc.  

 

Sailing on Rhapsody in 2013 I did the helicopter/glacier hike, hiked up Mt. Roberts, kayaked to the Davison Glacier in Haynes... Alaska has always been an outdoor adventure, perhaps not advertised as much as it is today.

 

 

4 hours ago, jakeil7 said:

Are the ports in that area capable of handling that size of ship or is this like the Oasis type trips where you end up giving up ports for ship size?

 

Yes, Ovation is capable as was evidenced by Ovation's very first cruise in Alaska:  Hubbard Glacier, Sitka,  Ict Strait, Skagway, Juneau, Endicott Arm... all areas that Radiance Class and all other small ships go to. Ovation's itinerary does not do all of them today for various reasons... one of them because the cruise starts in Seattle and they need to port in Victoria to appease the PVSA (foreign port).

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