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Have Cruise Ships Become Too Big?  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3677 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2069 times:

With the recent Costa Concordia sinking, I sometimes think about, if the crew ( not the captain and some of his officers) did not do such a good job evacuating the ship, there could have been a high fatality rate on the Costa Concordia. Now Cruise ships, are in the top four largest type ships in the world, as a matter of fact, they are the second largest type of ships in the world. Now unlike tankers and container ships, cruise ships cargo is human lives, and the larger the ship, the more passengers it is likely to carry. Even though I would love to see a cruise ship that is larger than the Oasis of The Seas class, I wonder, have these cruise ships have become too large?

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLGWflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 2348 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2067 times:

I don't think they are too big, they just got to have the right experienced crew to sail them. I'd personally say these big cruise ships are as safe as flying and I would go one one tomorrow for a month if you gave me the chance.


3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3999 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2062 times:

They are not to big, however the bigger cruiseships the more experienced and better trained captains and crew is required. Size of the ships does'nt matter, if the captain is not on the bridge or in other ways have sufficient command and focus of the ship the thing with Costa Concordia will happen no matter what size.

User currently offlinepetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3376 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2037 times:

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 2):
Size of the ships does'nt matter

I would disagree. A big ship has no real disadvantage in the immediate aftermath of an incident, same ratio of life boats, same ratio of staff, same level of redundancies etc. That's all been mandated through various governing bodies. The problem comes afterwards during the shore-based rescue operations.

Already the sinking of the Costa Concordia completely swamped the island with people. The vessel had three times as many people on board as the island has inhabitants. Local emergency services can barely cope with such numbers. Fortunately the Italian mainland is nearby and the local coast guard where well equiped and trained.

Imagine this had happened not near Italy but, for example, near one of the smaller islands in the carribean or the pacific? Or worse still, somewhere remote from land like the antarctic (remember the MS Explorer sinking in 2007)? You can't count on a navy or merchant vessel being nearby when the things go rough. And even if they are, you'd need a full carrier battle group to pick-up and house 4000+ people!



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlinephotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2035 times:

The simple fact is that cruising is becoming a very competitive market segment of worldwide travel. However people want more features on their ships, more hype, more entertainment, more recreational activities.... and all at the lowest price possible. Hence the birth of the big cruise liners where the fixed costs of running a ship are cheaper per passenger than the smaller ships. Lower fixed costs means cheaper fares and higher profits to the cruise lines.

And of course that's not counting the "mine is bigger than yours" attitude that seems to accompany everything in business.


User currently offlineLGWflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 2348 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

Another thing also is that US aircraft carriers carry more people than the biggest cruise ships. They carry something like 5000-6000 people (correct me if im wrong). Even though its not passenger ships, think how many people are onboard.


3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1988 times:
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Quoting photopilot (Reply 4):
Hence the birth of the big cruise liners where the fixed costs of running a ship are cheaper per passenger than the smaller ships. Lower fixed costs means cheaper fares and higher profits to the cruise lines.

  

And, not to mention, more opportunity for more ancillary revenue in the form of onboard gaming activity, alcohol sales, boutique dining, etc. That's where the cruise lines are making their money, not the actual cruise fare itself, and as long as the cruise industry continues to go this route, you'll see ships of 110,000 to 150,000 tons being "standard size" within 5 years.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offline2707200X From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 8631 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1971 times:

I think the biggest problem with very large cruise ships is weather the harbors can accommodate the size and area it takes while on port. Cruise ships for their size have a relatively small draft. The Oasis of the Seas and Allure have a draft of 30 feet and at 230,000 tones that is quite small. A lot of container ships with less than half the mass of the Oasis or smaller cruise ships have a far deeper draft and are more prone to hitting underwater obstructions. What happened with the Costa Concordia was a case of human error and sheer neglect as can be said for the captain who allegedly tripped into the lifeboat and made his way to the island whilst telling his passengers not to get on the lifeboats.


"And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." John Masefield Sea-Fever
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1937 times:

I hate to come out and make accusations before an investigation is concluded, but all safety precautions are worthless if you put someone like this "captain" in charge.

Small or big ship, it doesn't matter. In fact the industry's safety track record is still very very good.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinedreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8866 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
With the recent Costa Concordia sinking, I sometimes think about, if the crew ( not the captain and some of his officers) did not do such a good job evacuating the ship, there could have been a high fatality rate on the Costa Concordia. Now Cruise ships, are in the top four largest type ships in the world, as a matter of fact, they are the second largest type of ships in the world. Now unlike tankers and container ships, cruise ships cargo is human lives, and the larger the ship, the more passengers it is likely to carry. Even though I would love to see a cruise ship that is larger than the Oasis of The Seas class, I wonder, have these cruise ships have become too large?

The same argument was made when Jumbo jets started flying, like the 747.

The problem here is that the captain thought it would be a good idea to divert from his course, and basically do a flyby where the ship really did not need to be. It's as if the Pilot of an A380 decided that, before landing, he would buzz a friend's house at 50 feet. You might get away with it, but it's really not a good idea, and more importantly NOT NECESSARY. And just like with big jets, the culture with large ships must be, "don't screw around, get from Point A to Point B with the minimum of diversions and avoiding every hazard possible."



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21696 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1907 times:

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 10):
The problem here is that the captain thought it would be a good idea to divert from his course, and basically do a flyby where the ship really did not need to be. It's as if the Pilot of an A380 decided that, before landing, he would buzz a friend's house at 50 feet. You might get away with it, but it's really not a good idea, and more importantly NOT NECESSARY. And just like with big jets, the culture with large ships must be, "don't screw around, get from Point A to Point B with the minimum of diversions and avoiding every hazard possible."

And, if you are going to screw around, at least have the common sense to be on the bridge when it's happening.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13141 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1889 times:

It's a good question, but my main argument against the new mega sized pax ships is that they are ugly. They have no grace or beauty about them. They are like a 1000 foot building floating their side. I have seen a few in the Hudson river at or to/from docking and they just overwhelm. Some of them may be too big in close quarters to have enough margin of safety and if something goes wrong with the engines, control systems, electrical systems, or have a freak wave hit them, it is a much larger potential for disaster despite much better safety equipment.

I would also wonder about the long-term economic situation of so many mega-liners. We are seeing a shrinkage of incomes and increasing costs of living in the USA and Europe by many working and middle class people who have fed for years the growth in the cruise industry. Cruise companies will be caught in a squeeze of costs including fuel, labor and even the costs of financing and ships themselves, yet limited in the ability to raise fares or needing to keep the ships full of pax as break-even points.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1863 times:
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Quoting ltbewr (Reply 12):
It's a good question, but my main argument against the new mega sized pax ships is that they are ugly. They have no grace or beauty about them.



In your opinion. There are others - myself included - who find them visually appealing.

But regardless of either opinion, it's clear that very large cruise ships provide significant economies of scale to their operators and will therefore continue to be built for the forseeable future.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineEY460 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1779 times:

I personally think that larger ships are safe. Cruise ships are divided into fire zone every 35 m, so larger ships have more fire zones (even 7 or 8). In case of a fire (the most likely emergency on board a ship) there is more structural protection. Larger ships are also safer in bad weather (it's not the first time that smaller ships had their navigation bridge window smashed in bad weather, with the consequence of losing propulsion/steering). Of course there is the problem of managing large crowd in case something goes wrong. The problem of large cruise ships cruising in remote areas (such as the Antartic Reason) is well known to the industry (the larger ships sailing there have similar size to the Costa Concordia). Up to know the issue has been resolved with a risk assessment and with additional safety measures but I'm sure something will change after the Costa accident.

User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5715 posts, RR: 44
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1710 times:
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The thing that concerns me as a casual and unqualified observer, about the mega cruis ships such as Oasis/Allure, is they seem under equipped in the life boat/raft department.

I am sure they meet the numbers required by SOLAS and other certifying authorities, it just seems to me that a vessel carrying 8000 or so people should have more than 14 very large life boats. I accept there seems to be a significant number of (large) inflatable rafts as well.

My concern is a small number of large boats/rafts is less desireable than a large number of smaller ones, an incident that disables a single boat leaves a much larger gap in the rescue capacity.



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineEY460 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1679 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 19):
The thing that concerns me as a casual and unqualified observer, about the mega cruis ships such as Oasis/Allure, is they seem under equipped in the life boat/raft department.

I am sure they meet the numbers required by SOLAS and other certifying authorities, it just seems to me that a vessel carrying 8000 or so people should have more than 14 very large life boats. I accept there seems to be a significant number of (large) inflatable rafts as well.

My concern is a small number of large boats/rafts is less desireable than a large number of smaller ones, an incident that disables a single boat leaves a much larger gap in the rescue capacity.

I'll try to briefly explain the lifesaving requirements for passenger ships according to SOLAS:
- Every ship has a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate which states the maximum persons (pax + crewmwmbers) which is certified to carry:
- A ship must carry enough lifeboats on each side carrying at least 37.5% of the maximum capacity;
- The remaining 25% of the capacity can be accommodated on board inflatable life-rafts or MES (maritime evacuation system), larger life-rafts which can be boarded directly through chutes;
- Before the Allure/Oasis OTS, according to SOLAS the maximum capacity of a lifeboat was 150 persons. This rule was modified to allow larger boats on those two ships and on the following larger ships.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Azerbaijan, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 14079 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1657 times:

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 5):
Another thing also is that US aircraft carriers carry more people than the biggest cruise ships. They carry something like 5000-6000 people (correct me if im wrong). Even though its not passenger ships, think how many people are onboard.

But each and everyone is a soldier with a certain amount of discipline enforced by training and everybody has a role to play in an emergency. Each knows exactly what he has to do in an evacuation and has his emergency station.

Jan


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1591 times:

Some cruise ships are probably too big to visit certain ports such as Venice:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/world/europe/15venice.html



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5715 posts, RR: 44
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 1511 times:
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Quoting EY460 (Reply 15):
- Every ship has a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate which states the maximum persons (pax + crewmwmbers) which is certified to carry:

I had no doubt that Oasis/Allure met the mumerical requirements, it is just how they do it that I have doubts about.

Quoting EY460 (Reply 15):
- Before the Allure/Oasis OTS, according to SOLAS the maximum capacity of a lifeboat was 150 persons. This rule was modified to allow larger boats on those two ships and on the following larger ships.

Modifying safety rules to suit commercial interests is not a practice to make a habit of.
EY460 by your numbers, each of the 14 lifeboats on the Oasis/Allure would have a capacity of something like 430 persons, that is almost 3 times the capacity allowed previously and makes those lifeboats into sizable "ships" in their own right.

If just one or two of those craft are incapacitated there will be a lot of pax treading water!!



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineEY460 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 1453 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 18):
EY460 by your numbers, each of the 14 lifeboats on the Oasis/Allure would have a capacity of something like 430 persons, that is almost 3 times the capacity allowed previously and makes those lifeboats into sizable "ships" in their own right.

The capacity of these boats is 370 persons. There is a short video on YouTube about these boats.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn6N1B6SvMs

Quoting EY460 (Reply 15):
I'll try to briefly explain the lifesaving requirements for passenger ships according to SOLAS:
- Every ship has a Passenger Ship Safety Certificate which states the maximum persons (pax + crewmwmbers) which is certified to carry:
- A ship must carry enough lifeboats on each side carrying at least 37.5% of the maximum capacity;
- The remaining 25% of the capacity can be accommodated on board inflatable life-rafts or MES (maritime evacuation system), larger life-rafts which can be boarded directly through chutes;
- Before the Allure/Oasis OTS, according to SOLAS the maximum capacity of a lifeboat was 150 persons. This rule was modified to allow larger boats on those two ships and on the following larger ships.

I forgot to mention something extremely important in my previous post. Cruise ships must carry an additional 25% spare capacity on life rafts. This means that each ship must have at least 125% of her maximum capacity on lifeboats and life rafts, with at least 75% on lifeboats and the rest on liferafts.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9536 posts, RR: 31
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 1413 times:

Not as long as they can navigate down the Ems River on their first journey.

Always a phantastic sight to see.

 



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5715 posts, RR: 44
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1371 times:
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Quoting EY460 (Reply 19):
The capacity of these boats is 370 persons.

EY, not disputing your (or Carnival's) math, my issue is concentrating such a large percentage of the pax /crew in such a small number of craft.

Not sure how many life rafts there are.. a brief study of photos shows something like 24 a side, let's say there are 50 to cater for 3976 people (6296 pax + 2165 crew = 8461 x 125%=10,576 subtract 6600 in 18x Life boats), almost 80 to a life raft... big rafts!!

When one looks at the failure rate of life boats, rafts etc in recent ship incidents I think the small number of (large) craft provided by the Oasis/Allure(and likely many other large ships) is likely to, as I said earlier, leave many treading water.

I believe the relatively ( I admit not completely) successful evacuation of the Concordia was in large part due to its proximity to land and the availability of competent rescue services, one shudders to think what might have happened if she was in a more remote location.



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 1361 times:

The thing is most of those "big" cruise ships operate in areas of high usage, namely the Caribbean. That's why Port Canaveral (very near the Kennedy Space Center) and the Port of Miami can accommodate these big ships. Cruise ships that ply the Mediterranean tend to be a bit smaller (in my opinion), probably due to size limitations at Mediterranean ports.

User currently offlineEY460 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 1352 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 21):
Not sure how many life rafts there are.. a brief study of photos shows something like 24 a side, let's say there are 50 to cater for 3976 people (6296 pax + 2165 crew = 8461 x 125%=10,576 subtract 6600 in 18x Life boats), almost 80 to a life raft... big rafts!!

It depends. If the liferaft is davit launched, the largest raft I've seen could carry 35 persons. If the liferaft is connected to an MES they can be larger, up to 80/90 persons.


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10907 posts, RR: 37
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 1339 times:

Many of these newly built cruise ships like the Oasis and Allure are way too big to suit my taste. The Queen Mary 2 is the Large size limit for me. The others are Xtra Large size and I have no desire to go sailing on them.


There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
25 Post contains links and images KiwiRob : I doubt we will see anything larger than an Oasis Class for a very long time, no other cruise ship operator has plans to match their size, even RCCL
26 Ken777 : That is basically how we booked our 5 day cruise (also out of Rome) and I'm looking for another bargain. Reality is those large ships are pretty nice
27 Post contains links NAV20 : For some reason, I've always taken a great interest in the Titanic disaster, and read an awful lot about it. Oddly enough, the maximum capacity of th
28 PanHAM : That's why I answered the question that way looks like a Panzerkreuzer , or like a stealth ship. Good idea BTW, the rock's can't see the ship.
29 na : I agree. The QM2, while very big, carries a "small" number of passengers compared to her size. She is also commanded by some of the best officers of
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