The Carnival cruise line recently ordered four 180,000 gross ton mega-ships, with the German ship builder Meyer Werft.
Each ship will accommodate 6,600 passengers (all berths) which is a world record. They are destined to serve their Costa/Aida brands.
Carnival’s new ships won’t be the largest by size (gross tonnes/volume), as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships at around 225,000 gross tons wear that crown. However the Carnival mega-ships will carry up to 300 passengers more than the ‘Oasis’ class ships, yet are 20% smaller.
However, Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison, who has been involved with the design process, said in a statement that the space ratio on the new vessels is the same as most of the existing ships in the AIDA and Carnival Cruise Line fleets.
He said when talking to the Miami herald: “Normally we wouldn’t discuss total capacity but because it was largest in the world, we did,” he said in the statement. “The cabins will be same or larger than existing ships and public space per lower berth is more than ample.”
Cruise line CEO’s tend to contradict themselves over time.
In an interview with Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine (2009) at The Travel Convention in Barcelona, Arison was asked if he had “ship envy” over ‘Oasis of the Seas’. He replied: “Queen Mary 2 (150,000 tons) is probably the biggest ship we will ever build. ‘Carnival Dream’ at 130,000 tons is probably as large as we will build for Carnival. I think at these sizes, we can deliver the right level of service and value.”
Arison also hinted that the biggest mega-ships were too restricted in terms of where they could sail. “We try to build within a size that will give us the most flexibility,” he said. “We like to be able to access ports like Venice and to fit under certain bridges.”
It’s not only Micky who changes his mind. I clearly remember Kevin Sheehan, the former CEO of the Norwegian Cruise Line, saying that he though their own ‘Norwegian Epic’, at almost 156,000gt, was a little too big.
In keeping with Sheehan’s word, subsequently NCL introduced ‘Norwegian Breakaway’ and ‘Getaway’ into service at around 144,000gt – 12,000gt smaller than ‘Epic’.
However later year (2015) another NCL newbuild, ‘Norwegian Escape’, a ‘Breakaway Plus’ design will enter service at 164,000gt – 20,000gt BIGGER than ‘Breakaway’.
What ever happened to “a little too big”?
Norwegian Escape Interiors HERE:
The New Carnival Megaships Analysed. See Here