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loub

Are Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship innovations just a novelty or here to stay?

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Do you think Royal Caribbean’s latest ship features are gimmicks or will they last the test of time? I just can’t make up my mind. I know the whole cruising industry is seeing a power shift towards “bigger is better” but I’m not sure such brash attractions will keep people coming back for more.

 

Do you think long-standing traditions are on the way out only to be replaced by novelty ideas or will more traditional cruising prevail?

 

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I must admit I love traditional cruising, all about the wine and dine. We did sail on Harmony of the seas 2 years ago and really enjoyed it but I did think the 'extras' on board like the slide at the back and the carousel were a one time deal. Once we had done we had done it! I think the entertainment on board is spectacular and I don't use that word often! so different to the usual stage shows on all other cruise lines, so in that respect I would say bigger is better!

I completely understand the attraction for people with children, personally I wouldn't go again  . . . . I was too knackered after just 3 days :wacko:

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We started our cruising days with Royal Caribbean nearly thirty years ago and I have always said I think we made the right choice at the time as it was the beginning of our 'love affair' with cruising, it was in the days before the 'mega ships' and if I'm honest what they offer now wouldn't appeal to us at all but I think RCI have been very innovative in how they have moved forward and whilst not my cup of tea I can see the appeal for many especially those with children.

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I suppose all the time cruising numbers continue to increase, companies will look for innovative ways to attract custom.  It certainly attracts many - especially new - cruisers but I am not one of them either.  I am a traditionalist too and have no desire to be served by a robot bartender or surf or go up in a glass pod on the top deck of the ship thanks.

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Hi Loub,

This is just my personal opinion.

Traditional cruising is on its way out along with most of us who have enjoyed it over the years. All cruise lines are having to attract new customers and statistics show that the new customers are coming from the 'Family with Children' sector who are currently holidaying at land based all inclusive resorts in the sun. Resorts have improved over the years and those operated by RIU, SOL, Iberostar and others are true 4 star resorts. These people have over the years seen holiday resorts offering more and more for the children and therefore to attract them away from those resorts, the ships have to offer something similar. We also have to remember that although over 2 million people from the UK cruised in 2017 this is a drop in the ocean when compared with the numbers from the USA, South America and Canada who love their theme parks. Hence the cruise lines ordering large ships with lots of features.

This morning I returned from the inaugural cruise of Norwegian Bliss, 168,000 gt, 4,000 passengers, 27 dining options, 14 bars and lounges, the largest race track at sea and already many of you are recoiling at the thought. But there is another side, the largest observation lounge at sea featuring floor to ceiling windows 2 decks high giving wonderful 180 degree vistas, furnished with beautiful colour coded settees and armchairs. Restaurants offering some of the best food I have had at sea, cabins with showers in large glass cabinets that have multiple jets at varying heights and angles to massage you whilst you shower. For those that want the old fashioned shower you just turn the other jets off.  Succulent steaks cooked as ordered, fresh Sushi in the buffet, a separate seafood restaurant. No dress code, just smart casual. This ship has something for everyone, young and mature alike, if you want something special then book The Haven with its own suites, pool, sunbathing area thus allowing you to switch from mega ship to intimacy. Give it a try, you may actually like it. As I said at the beginning, just my opinion. 

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13 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

Hi Loub,

This is just my personal opinion.

Traditional cruising is on its way out along with most of us who have enjoyed it over the years. All cruise lines are having to attract new customers and statistics show that the new customers are coming from the 'Family with Children' sector who are currently holidaying at land based all inclusive resorts in the sun. Resorts have improved over the years and those operated by RIU, SOL, Iberostar and others are true 4 star resorts. These people have over the years seen holiday resorts offering more and more for the children and therefore to attract them away from those resorts, the ships have to offer something similar. We also have to remember that although over 2 million people from the UK cruised in 2017 this is a drop in the ocean when compared with the numbers from the USA, South America and Canada who love their theme parks. Hence the cruise lines ordering large ships with lots of features.

This morning I returned from the inaugural cruise of Norwegian Bliss, 168,000 gt, 4,000 passengers, 27 dining options, 14 bars and lounges, the largest race track at sea and already many of you are recoiling at the thought. But there is another side, the largest observation lounge at sea featuring floor to ceiling windows 2 decks high giving wonderful 180 degree vistas, furnished with beautiful colour coded settees and armchairs. Restaurants offering some of the best food I have had at sea, cabins with showers in large glass cabinets that have multiple jets at varying heights and angles to massage you whilst you shower. For those that want the old fashioned shower you just turn the other jets off.  Succulent steaks cooked as ordered, fresh Sushi in the buffet, a separate seafood restaurant. No dress code, just smart casual. This ship has something for everyone, young and mature alike, if you want something special then book The Haven with its own suites, pool, sunbathing area thus allowing you to switch from mega ship to intimacy. Give it a try, you may actually like it. As I said at the beginning, just my opinion. 

Hi OWT, given your experience across many cruiselines and ships your opinion is very much valued on this forum by myself and no doubt others.

I actually agree that traditional cruising is now dying out somewhat on most lines, there are still several who embrace parts of it but on the whole things have moved on.

Not being a mega ship fan I read with interest your thoughts on Norwegian Bliss, from what you've said I'll certainly be considering it in the future, I need to move with the times and from what you've shared it doesn't sound all that bad, so thanks for sharing.

HLM.

 

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Well traditional cruising may be on the way out. A great pity if OWT is proved right. Even so I'll never be tempted on one of these mega ships. I'm not interested in anything they have to offer. I really don't see the point of the Haven as I would still have to get on and off at the ports with thousands and thousands of people. Hopefully there will still be something to suit us for as long as we are able to cruise.

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The RCI ships, and others, have evolved over the last 20 years since the introduction of their first mega ships, in RCI's case its Voyager class.  Clearly the features they now include have been tried and tested by millions of passengers over that period, and the most popular have stood the test of time and become established favourites, and the popularity of all these new features are a result of passenger approval.

So I doubt they are a flash in the pan phenomena.

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I like many others like the old traditions of cruising and can fully understand the need to please the family market, BUT the next generation Is not far behind us. So I hope there will always be a market for the smaller ships. You get to the time when your own children have grown up you don’t want to be surrounded by other people’s. My worst nightmare would be Disney on Sea.

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Well if traditional cruising is on it's way out then thank goodness so am I :rolleyes:

We keep reading ' times are changing' and I wouldn't disagree with that, the 'mega ships' are proof they are but all the 'thirty somethings' with young families will one day be 60+ .. I wonder if climbing walls/flowriders/ice skating rinks or whatever is currently on offer will have the same appeal in 30 years time .. somehow I think not !! 

There will always be a market for the more mature cruiser, whether the cruise lines choose to recognise that is up to them but 'pile em high and stack em in' will only appeal to a certain age group and as I've said before they are not the ones with the 'disposable income'  

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On 4/21/2018 at 6:51 PM, Oldworldtraveller said:

Hi Loub,

This is just my personal opinion.

Traditional cruising is on its way out along with most of us who have enjoyed it over the years. All cruise lines are having to attract new customers and statistics show that the new customers are coming from the 'Family with Children' sector who are currently holidaying at land based all inclusive resorts in the sun. Resorts have improved over the years and those operated by RIU, SOL, Iberostar and others are true 4 star resorts. These people have over the years seen holiday resorts offering more and more for the children and therefore to attract them away from those resorts, the ships have to offer something similar. We also have to remember that although over 2 million people from the UK cruised in 2017 this is a drop in the ocean when compared with the numbers from the USA, South America and Canada who love their theme parks. Hence the cruise lines ordering large ships with lots of features.

This morning I returned from the inaugural cruise of Norwegian Bliss, 168,000 gt, 4,000 passengers, 27 dining options, 14 bars and lounges, the largest race track at sea and already many of you are recoiling at the thought. But there is another side, the largest observation lounge at sea featuring floor to ceiling windows 2 decks high giving wonderful 180 degree vistas, furnished with beautiful colour coded settees and armchairs. Restaurants offering some of the best food I have had at sea, cabins with showers in large glass cabinets that have multiple jets at varying heights and angles to massage you whilst you shower. For those that want the old fashioned shower you just turn the other jets off.  Succulent steaks cooked as ordered, fresh Sushi in the buffet, a separate seafood restaurant. No dress code, just smart casual. This ship has something for everyone, young and mature alike, if you want something special then book The Haven with its own suites, pool, sunbathing area thus allowing you to switch from mega ship to intimacy. Give it a try, you may actually like it. As I said at the beginning, just my opinion. 

Hi OWT,

Interesting, as always, to get this glimpse of your recent Norwegian Bliss experience.  Certainly The Haven option makes it potentially a little more attractive as far as I am concerned.

DavidH

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The Small ships today were the big ship some years ago? things progress after a fashion, maybe not for me or others but my daughter and young son think they are great, plenty of choices on them.Dining ,drinking or just entertainment ,no need to get of the ship if thats your choice.

I sailed on Navigator and Independence when the first sailed from Southampton ,and enjoyed both ships, and they are still going strong, will the wheel turn full circle and we go back to more formal cruising who knows....Davybe

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On 22/04/2018 at 2:15 PM, Countrygirl said:

I like many others like the old traditions of cruising and can fully understand the need to please the family market, BUT the next generation Is not far behind us. So I hope there will always be a market for the smaller ships. You get to the time when your own children have grown up you don’t want to be surrounded by other people’s. My worst nightmare would be Disney on Sea.

Have you ever been on any of the Disney Cruise Line ships?

Having done 3 trips myself you will be amazed at how many adults are travelling on DCL without children, being Disney everything is provided to a very high standard and they are expert in creating adult only areas where under 18's are not admitted. Yes, there are plenty of children but you could easily get away from them and never a shortage of sun beds.

DCL have 2 ships the Magic and Wonder that are just over 80,000 tons, so have that small ship vibe and with a smart casual dress code have hit the right note for cruising going forward.

It's a reason why DCL are regularly at the top of US cruise reviews, but with only limited trips to Europe is also why UK travellers really no little about them.

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13 minutes ago, thecartoonman said:

Have you ever been on any of the Disney Cruise Line ships?

Having done 3 trips myself you will be amazed at how many adults are travelling on DCL without children, being Disney everything is provided to a very high standard and they are expert in creating adult only areas where under 18's are not admitted. Yes, there are plenty of children but you could easily get away from them and never a shortage of sun beds.

DCL have 2 ships the Magic and Wonder that are just over 80,000 tons, so have that small ship vibe and with a smart casual dress code have hit the right note for cruising going forward.

It's a reason why DCL are regularly at the top of US cruise reviews, but with only limited trips to Europe is also why UK travellers really no little about them.

Each to their own Cartoonman but having been in port with Disney ships on many occasions I can safely say it wouldn't be for me, having said that I have been to Disney and loved it but it wouldn't appeal as a ship destination at all, just as well we all have different tastes and the choice is there.

Edited by *Dancing Queen*

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1 hour ago, thecartoonman said:

Have you ever been on any of the Disney Cruise Line ships?

Having done 3 trips myself you will be amazed at how many adults are travelling on DCL without children, being Disney everything is provided to a very high standard and they are expert in creating adult only areas where under 18's are not admitted. Yes, there are plenty of children but you could easily get away from them and never a shortage of sun beds.

DCL have 2 ships the Magic and Wonder that are just over 80,000 tons, so have that small ship vibe and with a smart casual dress code have hit the right note for cruising going forward.

It's a reason why DCL are regularly at the top of US cruise reviews, but with only limited trips to Europe is also why UK travellers really no little about them.

No I have not been onboard, but like Dancing Queen I have been in port and dont like what I see. Call me old fashioned (and only in my 60s) but I don’t like Theme parks, Disney world, and being surrounded by kids who’s parents consider themselves  to be on holiday and let the children do what they want and yes I have experience this.   Each to our own choice.

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