Mega cruise ships

Here is a topic that I have come across recently regarding the cruise ships that are coming off the line this and next year.

A questions has been asked about the seaworthiness of these mega ships. The ones with super high decks and shallow draft. Recently a cruise ship had a bit of difficulty during a rough storm in the Atlantic. There were some comments about some passengers and fears of capsizing due to the imbalance and the ship being top heavy.

It would amaze me that any corporations running these cruise lines would intentionally endanger the paying customer and staff, but just looking at the size of these ships make me wonder a bit. Now I have a cruise booked on NCL to Bermuda next year and I may toss in a cruise in later this year depending on the value of the Canadian Dollar, so I won't stop cruising.

I would like to hear other thoughts on the matter. Just looking at the size of these mega ships......


Tags: Seaworthy?

14 Answers

I would probably cruise on one out of curiosity, but I think they're too big.

I might as well, with the destination being the ship itself, Just to see for myself.

I have oft wondered the same thing, but curiosity has me revisiting the web pages.

I do see an RCI megaship cruise on the horizon somewhere.

Yes I am concerned too. When one says "mega ship" I assume they are talking "Large Resort Ships" (2,001--6,500 passengers.) I have posted this comment every time I completed a review on the larger ships we have been on:

"I am not at all satisfied with the emergency procedures, facilities for such and the drills etc, or the lack thereof, needed to cope with a disaster at sea involving a vessel of this size. The complexities of such give me the chills when I contemplate the potential of a catastrophic accident at sea involving fire, collision or other seagoing eventualities, particularly if the vessel experiences a rapid list to one side or the other. It doesn't appear to me that Carnival Corp learned much from their Costa Concordia sinking."

I'm not certain of the US safety jurisdiction involving foreign bottom vessels like this, but I believe they have some. More than likely the US Coast Guard is delving into what happened to the "Anthem of the Seas" and that unusual list that lasted so long, but I don't know if it will be made public. I would really like to see the NTSB involved here. I recall reading one time that the NTSB has statutory authority over all transportation accidents and incidents including those involving the US military however they tend to defer all of the time.

Another area of related concern for me, looking at the detail of new ships scheduled to come out in the near future, is the lines seem to be cramming more and more guests on board in relation to gross tonnage. For instance, the next Princess due out in 2017 will be of the Royal Class but is designed to be 143,000 gross tons and carry 4,140 guests while its current sister, the Regal, is a little over 141,000 gross tons and is pretty crowded with 3,500 passengers.

I wonder how much influence the safety boards in the U.S and Canada have over foreign registered vessels? As I mentioned before, I'm sure there are standards for cruise ship construction, but just looking at the size of the mega ships, really make me wonder.

I agree with the concerns with these mega ships. I have yet to sail on one. The largest ship I have been on is the grand class Princess ships. From what I have read and heard, I think I will not be on one anytime soon.

I would try one of the mega ships just to try it.... but most of them you have to make reservations for dinners and shows in advance of your cruise. For me part of vacation on a ship is not having to plan every thing in advance. How do I know what night I will want to go to the steak house 3 months before I get on the ship ??? How do I know in advance what night I will feel like seeing a show or what night I may just want to hit the Piano bar and make it an early evening ?

As for safety, I read that the claim of listing 45 degrees was way over and reports have the list at 18 degrees. With the new ships that have been designed by computers to withstand the sea I have faith in them. The Anthem did not have any structure damaged, all damage was cosmetic according to articles that I have read. She was sea worthy to go out the next cruise.

I still like the mid size ships that still feel like a ship, not a floating resort and amusement park.

Yea, 45 degrees is one heck of a list for sure. I remember, during my early flying days, finding out that in a 45 degree bank, while maintaining a constant altitude, in a coordinated turn the load was 2 Gs. In other words, if you were sitting on a scale when doing that it would register twice your weight. Of course a ship going into a turn with a 45 degree list is going to be anything but coordinated, and more than likely a list like that is probably due to stuff that might make the ship ready for sinking.

It is my understanding that it isn't so much the degree of list that concerns marine surveyors but the ability for a vessel to rapidly recover. Back when I was playing around with commercial fishing I enrolled in a number of courses dealing with seafaring, if I recall correctly, the deeper the draft of the vessel the better and faster the ability to recover from a severe roll.

We were on the old Royal Princess more than once, one time when the new Grand Princess was still in the shipyard the captain of the Royal was explaining to me how the new Grand, at 2.5 times the gross tonnage of the Royal, would have the same draft and be able to negotiate the same shallow ports like the one we were in at that time, Venice, (incidentally that captain went on to be the first captain of the Grand Princess).

Anyway, that has held true with all these new huge ships, they have a very shallow draft in relation to their bulk, in other words, relatively flat bottoms. Now, it is my understanding and experience to believe these huge ships have had rare opportunities to be tested in super high seas due all the safeguards today in operations and weather reporting necessary to protect guests from danger and unpleasant sailing. Hey, we can attest to that, almost all our voyages have been on calm seas even though we have had to circumnavigate big blows. So what happens when one of these giant ships gets really tested? Perhaps the design of the Anthem of the Seas might be telling us all something.

For shallow draft I remember the old Viking Serenade that was built as a ferry with two levels to carry RV's. When RCI took over Admral cruise lines it converted those 2 decks to cabins. The ship was like a barge and even in some calm seas if it was going slow it would rock side to side. One night at dinner it started rocking and about 1/4 of the MDR cleared out getting sick.

They look too top-heavy to me.


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