Thursday, November 29, 2007

When is Big Too Big

Royal Caribbean is due to take possession of the biggest cruise ship ever built in 2009. Code named Genesis, the ship will hold 5400 passengers. Like the new Airbus 380 for the airline industry, finding ports that can support such a ship is going to be difficult without modifications. For ports where ships do not dock but use tender boats to get passengers to shore, 5400 passengers could lead to long waits to get off ship. I have been to Cabo San Lucas a couple of times on ships that hold less that half that number of passengers, and unless we had a tour booked or some other priority to get off the ship, the wait to get off took over an hour with 2 tender locations being operated to speed up the process. But then again, when the ship is that big, maybe the ship itself is the destination and there is no hurry to disembark at the port of call. People have complained that the embarkation and debarkation processes feel like cattle calls now. I am thinking that when the ship launches, I will be holding back to see how Royal Caribbean handles that many passengers at one time.

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