Don't forget that just because a ship is large doesn't mean that it is crowded or not crowded in public areas. I previously mentioned how the ratios can give one a general idea of what to expect. What ever the size of a vessel, so much depends upon the what type of cruise experience the cruise line intends to provide. Two companies can each have almost identical ships, one company can cram theirs full of guests while the other takes a more moderate approach toward booking the ship.
A good example is two of the Princess vessels, which were virtually twins when originally leaving the ship yard, the Coral Princess and Island Princess: The Island Princess not long ago underwent a huge reconfiguration. From the reviews I've seen from guests very familiar with both the Island and Coral, is that Princess is receiving a resounding F minus for alterations to the Island. We have sailed on the Coral and I really liked the ship. But I've read enough and heard enough now that we avoid booking the Island. Here is a pretty good summation of the changes which I copied from a poster on another forum.
"Improvements: --A slightly expanded and redesigned Horizon Court-An International Cafe replaces La Patisserie-- An Expanded Sanctuary----That's it for the good.
Literally EVERYTHING ELSE is a non-improvement: - The compete removal of a major entertainment venue (the Universe Lounge) - Reduction in size of a major onboard revenue generator (casino)- The loss of all aft public viewing access on Promenade, Dolphin, Caribe, and Baja Decks - An exercise and aerobics venue with NO windows to the outside - No additional dining or entertainment venues - No enlargement of any public spaces- 110 plus added staterooms and suites (220 more guests on board)."