As we were saying in RBS101 (1), Passenger/Cruise ships are even more complicated when it comes to size. There are many possible options that could make one ship bigger than another in one aspect, but smaller than that same ship in another aspect.
This page is really only true for the day it was created. I relooked RBS 101 (2) in 2014 because of the new ships that had entered service. And, if I had to relook it in 2016 it too would have bene out of date.
The important criteria in my opinion are as follows: Length overall (LOA), GRT, and capacity. That makes things a little bit easier. Of course capacity can be measured by “double occupancy”, or “full board”, but generally double occupancy should suffice.
My reference for this information is the a list of the worlds largest cruise ships, as well as the company websites. Bear in mind that I am only dealing with ships that I have physically seen and I have also deliberately stayed with ships over 1000 ft long.
The contenders are:
Queen Mary 2
Carnival Corp. GRT 148528 LOA: 1132ft (345m) Passenger capacity: 2592 double occupancy.
Royal Caribbean Lines. GRT: 154407, LOA: 1112 ft (339m) Passenger capacity 3634 double occupancy
Royal Caribbean Lines. GRT: 137276 LOA: 1020 ft, (310m) Passenger capacity: 3114 double occupancy 3807
Norwegian Cruise Lines. GRT 144017 LOA: 1062 ft (324m) Passenger capacity: 4000 double occupancy
Celebrity Cruises. GRT 122000 LOA: 1041 ft (315m) Passenger Capacity 2850 Double Occupancy
In terms of LOA Queen Mary 2 is right in front, although capacitywise Norwegian Breakaway wins. Independence of the Seas is the winner in the GRT stakes.
At the time of writing, the largest cruise ship afloat belongs to Royal Caribbean Lines, and is called “Allure of the Seas”. Everything about her is big, with a GRT of 225282, a capacity of 5412 passengers, and a length of 1187 ft (362m).
Interestingly enough our biggest box boat in service is 1305 ft (398m) long. Allure is probably one of the biggest ships out there, although she is to be outstaged by an even bigger ship one of these days.
The most important thing about big ships is that while they may be huge, it does not mean that they are good looking. Size and bulk can ruin the ships lines, and given the propensity for strange sterns and a lack of sheer many modern cruise ships are not good lookers.
So, there you have it in a nutshell, however, you can only really appreciate the size of some of these vessels when seen against something else, or when they come past you. Personally I prefer small ships, there is something about being on a ship with 3999 other people that puts me right off.
© DRW 2013-2018 Images recreated 10/04/2016.