When is a Cruise Ship Too Big?

by Miguel R. Quinones


I feel like I have been reading about Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas for years now. The new cruise ship, which will be the largest in the world, will finally make her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, on May 29, 2016.

How big exactly is the Harmony of the Seas? Well, the New York Post recently published an article trying to answer this question with 10 crazy facts. Among these are the following:

● This monster is a whopping 1,187 feet long — 165 feet more than the Eiffel Tower is tall,according to the Daily Mail’s math and monuments bureau.

● She can clown-car in 6,410 guests, each of whom will be equipped with GPS wrist trackers so they don’t get lost. For reals.

● She has seven nonironically designated “neighborhoods”: Central Park, Boardwalk, Royal Promenade, Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.

● She has the tallest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss, which is actually dry, not water-based, and you scoot down its 10 stories via mat. We’re sure it hurts less than it sounds.

● She somehow manages to move at all thanks to four 7,500-horsepower bow thrusters (hitting 22 knots at cruising speed).

Click here to read the entire article.


I am certainly intrigued by this behemoth, but I am not sure if it is simply too big to be enjoyable. Between passengers and crew, there could be as many as 8,500 people on board!

Are you more like or less likely to cruise on the Harmony of the Seas because of its size?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Smitty March 19, 2016 - 8:02 am

At 227,700 gross tons, this ship is almost double the displacement of a modern US Navy nuclear aircraft carrier.

I asked this exact question (how big is too big) to a captain on a celebrity cruise a little over a year ago. He said, “the ships get bigger, but the ports stay the same”. I took this to mean, as the ship’s get bigger, the number of destinations that can accommodate them is reduced. Tendering 6000+ people from the ship to a shore destination is not an option. The port facilities required to handle that many people, efficiently, will have to be improved for sure.

My opinion is, if you are looking for a “destination” cruise, choose a smaller ship so you can get into the really interesting areas of the world. The areas that the big ships cannot reach. As a bonus, you avoid the enormous crowds as well. If you are short of time, and/or funds, choosing a mega ship can be a “destination” in and of itself.

Marshall Jackson March 19, 2016 - 12:21 pm

Ships like Harmony of the Seas, and her sisters Allure and Oasis are much more of a destination attraction all their own. I’ve only cruised on Allure of the Seas, and it’s an experience not quite like any other cruise I’ve taken. MrsMJ and I actually did not leave the ship for a 7-day stretch during a back-to-back on Allure a few years ago. I found Allure to feel remarkably uncrowded, considering that we were on board with a total of 6,231 guests. There are over 2,000 crew on board as well. The logistics behind keeping all of that in order are remarkable, I think.

I’m anxious to sail on Harmony if for no other reason than checking out The Abyss. 🙂

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Robert Fitzpatrick April 5, 2016 - 9:36 am

People that take these enormus ships are also taking enormous risks. Our small Princess ship was tied up next to one in Flordia. It looked like an apartment building and like it would tip over if a breeze came up. Why don’t they just go to Disney World for all the bells and whistles As one article I read said the don’t know they are on a cruise anyway unless something goes wrong like bad weather or the norovirus

Marvel Wanderer May 19, 2016 - 10:04 pm

That is a really bad idea & a ship that big would take the joy out of your adventure. The bigger they are, the farther they sink. Screw that noise & this ship can’t possibly accomodate 6000+ people to safety, in a safe manner as well. That is too many people on a boat & country’s should have laws for how big a ship is allowed to be. This can only mean, that Royal Caribbean doesn’t give two birds about people’s safety, just about the $. Scenario: Think like Titanic, yet 6000+ people panicking & not enough room for all 6000+ people to make it safely off the ship. A ship of this magnitude is sure to attract thieves as well. From Credit Card thieves to Hard Time criminals. Lots of Criminals, some who’ve never been caught will be enjoying your goods. Things to think about before going a ship too big for sea. The sea can be very unforgiving & very random. I wonder how she’ll hold up in a rough storm? Nonetheless, carry on. ~ Marvel Wanderer


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