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Are they planning any new smaller ships? Would love to see something a tiny bit smaller than what have been built. Wishful thinking [emoji6]

 

 

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Are they planning any new smaller ships? Would love to see something a tiny bit smaller than what have been built. Wishful thinking [emoji6]

Most likely not under the Royal Caribbean brand. However, I could see them adding to the Azamara brand.

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Guess we aren’t their demographic anymore 🤨

 

 

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It depends on your definition of small. Compared to Oasis, certainly - compared to Empress, never.

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Just got back from NCL. They said there are a few smaller ships coming in the next 4 years or so. The announcement got a big round of applause. Not everyone wants waterslides and rock climbing walls on a ship.

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Just got back from NCL. They said there are a few smaller ships coming in the next 4 years or so. The announcement got a big round of applause. Not everyone wants waterslides and rock climbing walls on a ship.

 

 

NCL has 6 new ships coming out in the next 7 years - 2 of them are 167,800 GT. The other 4 are 140,000 GT.

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NCL has 6 new ships coming out in the next 7 years - 2 of them are 167,800 GT. The other 4 are 140,000 GT.

As context, all Vision and Radiance class ships are below 100K GT.

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It's more cost-effective to have huge ships with tons of people aboard than many small ships with fewer paying guests. Small ships won't be happening.

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Are they planning any new smaller ships? Would love to see something a tiny bit smaller than what have been built. Wishful thinking [emoji6]

 

 

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I would love that. :)

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I’m bummed about this too. We’re not huge fans of the mega ships. I’d love to see new, smaller ships but I know it all comes down to maximizing profit.

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Just how small do you want them to be, where do you want them to go, and are there already small ships of that type going those places?

 

Just curious to see why you want new small ships, what you foresee them offering that Radiance, Vision, Serenade,Rhapsody, etc...don't already offer.

 

Also, since the smaller shops lack some of the signature features (e.g.: Royal Promenade) the larger ships are known for, the question then becomes, why Royal Caribbean? What about other popular lines - Celebrity, NCL, Carnival, etc...? Do they have smaller ships going the places you want to go?

 

My one 'small ship' experience was on Celebrity's Constellation; really enjoyed it (still big; seemed like somebody kicked over a skyscraper & made it float, but no Royal Promenade). Otherwise, it's been Royal Caribbean, Voyager, Freedom & Oasis-class.

 

Not asking to challenge your wishes; I'm curious about the reasoning behind it and I'd like to better understand.

 

Richard.

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Just how small do you want them to be, where do you want them to go, and are there already small ships of that type going those places?

 

Just curious to see why you want new small ships, what you foresee them offering that Radiance, Vision, Serenade,Rhapsody, etc...don't already offer.

 

Also, since the smaller shops lack some of the signature features (e.g.: Royal Promenade) the larger ships are known for, the question then becomes, why Royal Caribbean? What about other popular lines - Celebrity, NCL, Carnival, etc...? Do they have smaller ships going the places you want to go?

 

My one 'small ship' experience was on Celebrity's Constellation; really enjoyed it (still big; seemed like somebody kicked over a skyscraper & made it float, but no Royal Promenade). Otherwise, it's been Royal Caribbean, Voyager, Freedom & Oasis-class.

 

Not asking to challenge your wishes; I'm curious about the reasoning behind it and I'd like to better understand.

 

Richard.

 

Two of the six Vision class ships have already been sold off.

 

The writing is on the wall for the others, with Grandeur likely to be the next to go, IF they can find a buyer. :p

 

It's not just that they are not going to build any more of this size. It's that the ones that they have are not going to be around forever.

 

And that is a shame. :(

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Freedom class is the perfect size. Anything larger and I’m not interested. Too crowded for me.

 

 

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"It's not just that they are not going to build any more of this size. It's that the ones that they have are not going to be around forever."

 

I like the port-intensive, low-priced and optionally pretty long cruise options I see on smaller ships (e.g.: the Vision), so it'd be sad to see them go. Even if, with our 4-year old, I'm hesitant to book anything that doesn't have some of the frills of the larger ships...yet.

 

I wonder if another cruise line will move into the vacated niche, and provide the ship size & associated features that Royal historically did with their smaller ships?

 

Richard.

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There is plenty of cruise lines who specialize in smaller ships with diverse itineraries. It’s just not royal’s target demographic anymore.

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There is plenty of cruise lines who specialize in smaller ships with diverse itineraries. It’s just not royal’s target demographic anymore.

 

Trouble is, they're typically much more expensive :(

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It's not just that they are not going to build any more of this size. It's that the ones that they have are not going to be around forever.

And that is a shame. :(

 

Agree 100%

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It's not just that they are not going to build any more of this size. It's that the ones that they have are not going to be around forever.

 

There was a great thread on this topic over a year ago. The jist of the thread is that Sovereign/Monarch/Splendour/Legend were sold at approx the 22-25yr mark. I have no clue how any cruise line factors in capital cost depreciation, nor major renovations like bringing back Empress and Majesty, however I'll assume just for fun that 25yrs is a milestone year:

 

Past due?:

  • Empress built 1989 = 29 years old
  • Majesty built 1992 = 26 years old

Still a few short years left (unless sold for value before it's "expiry date"):

  • Grandeur 1996 = 22 years
  • Enchantment & Rhapsody 1997 = 21 years
  • Vision 1998 = 20 years

Radiance Class will be hanging around for quite a while yet.... Jewel is only 14 years young :)

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I personally love Radiance class ships. I love to feel like I’m on a cruise ship and to be able to look out at the water at most places on the ship.

 

While I do miss the ice skating rink on larger ships, I can live without it. I did enjoy the water show on Oasis but probably won’t sail on a mega ship again. I want to feel like I’m cruising and other than on our balcony, rarely saw the ocean.

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I personally love Radiance class ships. I love to feel like I’m on a cruise ship and to be able to look out at the water at most places on the ship.

 

While I do miss the ice skating rink on larger ships, I can live without it. I did enjoy the water show on Oasis but probably won’t sail on a mega ship again. I want to feel like I’m cruising and other than on our balcony, rarely saw the ocean.

I remember when Sovereign came out, largest cruise ship on the seas. All the other ships around her were half it's size. All that and not one Balcony on her. Been on each class when they first came out. Ship's been getting bigger since. My Kids/Grand Kids love Oasis class, but Radiance is the one class I will miss when it's gone...

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If the question is not specific to RCCL but ship size in general

 

if I'm not mistaken Viking Ocean's ships are each 2 years old or less and carry under 1000, 5 are in operation and #6 is about to go active.

 

There is a strong market for small ship sailing ... but they operate in a different price category ...

 

so far a 'wiz bang' .... VO has no water slides, but they do have infinity pools!

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I guess I should have been more clear [emoji4]. I really do like the Voyager size and amenities. I also like the price point on those ships. Thanks for all the feedback!

 

 

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I don't see Royal ever building anything under the size of Freedom Class. The Quantum Class seems to be a sweet spot for Royal in my opinion.

 

Since I've accepted that there will be no more smaller ships, it has become more about ship design for me, rather than size. I want a connection to the sea - I haven't sailed them, but the Quantum Class seems to do a pretty good job at that with Two70 and many venues having windows. Oasis Class on the other hand offers almost no lounges or indoor venues with sea views. Don't get me wrong, I love the Oasis Class for what they are, but that is my biggest gripe.

 

So give me as many lounges and venues with sea views as possible, and I'm fine with larger ships. I'll enjoy the small ships while they're still around.

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Trouble is, they're typically much more expensive :(

 

That is the big reason they are going away on RCI, and probably most lines in that price point. There just is not near as much profit in them. They can do so much more due to economy of scale. If they have to highly discount the smaller ships, and they do not get the economy of scale, then the money is just not there for their target market.

 

We really like the Jewel last year, but definitely wanted more options for our kids. If we go on another just my wife and I, it may change things a bit. Seems RCI is more geared towards families at this point.

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There is another factor besides age in the decision to sell off the Vision class and older ships and that is the lack of balcony cabins. 20 years ago a balcony cabin was a luxury, now they are expected.

 

 

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It is my understanding that only the smaller ships can sail out of Tampa. We are looking at possibly booking Rhapsody of the Seas out of Tampa. I haven't cruised anything smaller than Voyager class on RCCL. I'm thinking we might like this ship, even though it's older. My guess is this itinerary and ship has a more mature mix of passengers, which would appeal to me. I have to say, I love Freedom. Have cruised Freedom several times, but nothing larger.

Sandy

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Freedom class is the perfect size. Anything larger and I’m not interested. Too crowded for me.

 

 

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While the Freedom is my favorite, I find the Oasis class less crowded. (Except for the Windjammer)

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It is my understanding that only the smaller ships can sail out of Tampa. We are looking at possibly booking Rhapsody of the Seas out of Tampa. I haven't cruised anything smaller than Voyager class on RCCL. I'm thinking we might like this ship, even though it's older. My guess is this itinerary and ship has a more mature mix of passengers, which would appeal to me. I have to say, I love Freedom. Have cruised Freedom several times, but nothing larger.

Sandy

 

The Skyway Bridge prevents the bigger ships from sailing out of Tampa.

 

I just sailed on the Brilliance for the first time. The sea views and intimacy of this ship made up for much of the bells and whistles that it lacked. Having previously sailed on Voyager, Freedom and Oasis classes, I missed the ice skating show and definitely prefer their Royal Promenade over the Centrum. I didn’t miss sailing with over 1200 children :eek: - there were only 61 kids on this cruise.

 

 

While this Brilliance cruise had a more mature mix of passengers, it wasn’t just a bunch of old seniors like me.;p Lots of young professionals and couples taking a vacation from their kids rounded out the mix.

 

It all made for a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise.

 

~ Judy

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The Skyway Bridge prevents the bigger ships from sailing out of Tampa.

 

I just sailed on the Brilliance for the first time. The sea views and intimacy of this ship made up for much of the bells and whistles that it lacked. Having previously sailed on Voyager, Freedom and Oasis classes, I missed the ice skating show and definitely prefer their Royal Promenade over the Centrum. I didn’t miss sailing with over 1200 children :eek: - there were only 61 kids on this cruise.

 

 

While this Brilliance cruise had a more mature mix of passengers, it wasn’t just a bunch of old seniors like me.;p Lots of young professionals and couples taking a vacation from their kids rounded out the mix.

 

It all made for a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise.

 

~ Judy

Sounds like something we would enjoy.

Sandy

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There was a great thread on this topic over a year ago. The jist of the thread is that Sovereign/Monarch/Splendour/Legend were sold at approx the 22-25yr mark. I have no clue how any cruise line factors in capital cost depreciation, nor major renovations like bringing back Empress and Majesty, however I'll assume just for fun that 25yrs is a milestone year:

 

Past due?:

  • Empress built 1989 = 29 years old
  • Majesty built 1992 = 26 years old

Still a few short years left (unless sold for value before it's "expiry date"):

  • Grandeur 1996 = 22 years
  • Enchantment & Rhapsody 1997 = 21 years
  • Vision 1998 = 20 years

Radiance Class will be hanging around for quite a while yet.... Jewel is only 14 years young :)

 

Since the cruise lines pay very little corporate tax, capital depreciation is probably not a strong factor. However, at the 15 year mark, the requirements for class society surveys changes. You can no longer drydock every 5 years, with an underwater survey midway, but must now drydock twice in 5 years (hence more cost). Also, the requirements for checking steel thickness of hull plating and framing become much stiffer, with attendant cost to test, and the start of required steel replacement. Ship maintenance costs are parabolic over time, and the 15 year mark is the "corner" where they start to climb rapidly. However, if the revenue can be generated to cover the increased cost, the older ships will be retained. If Cuba cruises go away, or if they become more mainstream with better port infrastructure, then I would expect Empress to go away, and Majesty too.

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Since the cruise lines pay very little corporate tax, capital depreciation is probably not a strong factor. However, at the 15 year mark, the requirements for class society surveys changes. You can no longer drydock every 5 years, with an underwater survey midway, but must now drydock twice in 5 years (hence more cost). Also, the requirements for checking steel thickness of hull plating and framing become much stiffer, with attendant cost to test, and the start of required steel replacement. Ship maintenance costs are parabolic over time, and the 15 year mark is the "corner" where they start to climb rapidly. However, if the revenue can be generated to cover the increased cost, the older ships will be retained. If Cuba cruises go away, or if they become more mainstream with better port infrastructure, then I would expect Empress to go away, and Majesty too.

 

 

 

Truly fascinating.

 

I love this stuff.

 

Thank you, Chief.

 

 

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As context, all Vision and Radiance class ships are below 100K GT.

 

I have only been on three cruises and all three ships (Sovereign of the Seas, Disney Wonder, Disney Magic) have been in the 73 to 83 K GT range. So, even Radiance class ships are a step up for me LOL.

 

My next two cruises are on Adventure and Harmony, go big or go home :')

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Ship maintenance costs are parabolic over time, and the 15 year mark is the "corner" where they start to climb rapidly. However, if the revenue can be generated to cover the increased cost, the older ships will be retained. If Cuba cruises go away, or if they become more mainstream with better port infrastructure, then I would expect Empress to go away, and Majesty too.

 

Interesting stuff! Any thoughts on who buys these old, expensive to maintain ships, and how they make the profit after cost hurdle work for them?

 

Richard.

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.. Ship maintenance costs are parabolic over time ... .

I think you meant exponential.;p

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Truly fascinating.

 

I love this stuff.

 

Thank you, Chief.

 

 

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I love this type of information as well. The Chief has so much knowledge and he explains things in a way that non engineers can understand

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I think you meant exponential.;p

 

Thanks, Bob. Yes, exponential relationships generate a parabolic curve in graphical form. I was still recovering from an all nighter taking the ship down from Philly to the sea. Getting a bit old for this.

 

Smaller lines like Marella and Pullmantur are some of the typical lines that buy older ships. They operate on a much narrower profit margin than the mainstream lines, absorbing some of the cost in this way. They may also tend to place the ships in different countries of registry (flag state), choosing ones that allow some of the "less stringent" class societies to underwrite the ship. These registries and class societies charge less for their services, and will tolerate more degradation in maintenance standards than the other countries or societies, saving money on operating (maintenance) costs. They will also tend to join less "top tier" P&I insurance clubs (P&I insurance is liability insurance for virtually all risks associated with ship operation). These P&I "clubs" are mutual insurance groups of shipowners. Each group chooses their own membership, based on the past record of insurance claims the shipping line has had. Lines with fewer claims get into the "better clubs", and since the risk is shared between the members, a group that has a better claim record will pay less in premiums.

 

Some lines work on different business models, either by going "all inclusive" or knowing their target demographic's taste in service and amenities, and can tailor crew size and food and beverage budgets to match.

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Thanks, Bob. Yes, exponential relationships generate a parabolic curve in graphical form. I was still recovering from an all nighter taking the ship down from Philly to the sea. Getting a bit old for this.

 

Smaller lines like Marella and Pullmantur are some of the typical lines that buy older ships. They operate on a much narrower profit margin than the mainstream lines, absorbing some of the cost in this way. They may also tend to place the ships in different countries of registry (flag state), choosing ones that allow some of the "less stringent" class societies to underwrite the ship. These registries and class societies charge less for their services, and will tolerate more degradation in maintenance standards than the other countries or societies, saving money on operating (maintenance) costs. They will also tend to join less "top tier" P&I insurance clubs (P&I insurance is liability insurance for virtually all risks associated with ship operation). These P&I "clubs" are mutual insurance groups of shipowners. Each group chooses their own membership, based on the past record of insurance claims the shipping line has had. Lines with fewer claims get into the "better clubs", and since the risk is shared between the members, a group that has a better claim record will pay less in premiums.

 

Some lines work on different business models, either by going "all inclusive" or knowing their target demographic's taste in service and amenities, and can tailor crew size and food and beverage budgets to match.

This info brings to mind when Royal brought back Empress from Pulmantur, and had to spend much more money than they expected to make her able to cruise out of the US again.

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