One of the most oft-spoken phrases has to be that ‘the biggest isn’t always the best’, but it’s a phrase that the senior managers of cruise companies clearly choose to ignore. How else can we explain their continued ambition to build the biggest cruise ships in the world? Here’s a look at some of the leviathans that are steaming towards us in 2016.
Royal Caribbean are aiming to hold that crown for some time to come as its new ship, ‘Harmony of the Seas’, launches next spring. It will carry 5,479 passengers who’ll be able, amongst other things to slide down the longest water slide at sea –dropping over 10 decks – or be served by a robot in the Bionic Bar. The 16-deck ship will have seven neighbourhoods. No wonder, as they’ll be 2,394 staff onboard too, so creating a floating small community of over 7,800.
Denied the biggest prize, cruise company Regent of the Seven Seas has gone for the most luxurious ship title instead. Their new Explorer vessel get underway next summer. As well as occupying the most expensive suite afloat (the top suite costs £6,000 per night) its passengers can dine in eight restaurants, attend a cookery school, a casino or even a cigar lounge. Although not necessarily in that order.
Cunard will be hoping that the multimillion pound facelift that its giving to its flagship Queen Mary 2 garners it some accolades too. It might win the prize for creating the largest number of cabin categories. The Britannia Club Balcony is aimed at passengers who don’t want to splash out on a suite but do want to indulge in their own exclusive dining room. This new cabin class brings to twenty the total number of cabin categories that passengers can choose from, bewildering for some but representing the ultimate in choice and customer service for others.
Big ships, small ships, mid ships or expedition ships. Sea cruises or river cruises, cruise passengers are certainly spoilt for choice in a way that their friends who choose to fly instead simply couldn’t conceive of. But who knows, could we yet be offered the choice of a wing seat or one near the loos?