If you like your cruise ships big, you're going to love what Royal Caribbean
More than a thousand feet long, 154 feet wide and 240 feet high, the monstrous floating vessel will be able to take on 5,400 passengers. The gargantuan ship trumps recent orders for huge additions by Carnival
This isn't an arms race. We're not waiting for a cruise line to announce a fleet addition that is four football fields long, instead of a mere three. In fact, bigger isn't necessarily better when marketing cruise ships; some seafaring tourists prefer the intimacy of smaller boats.
The decision to go big is mostly about economies of scale. Staffing and operating costs naturally rise with larger ships, but not at the same dramatic rate as the potential revenue of incremental berth bookings. That's good news for Royal Caribbean. It's also good for a company like Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter recommendation Steiner Leisure
More ships -- and bigger ships -- have opened up cruising to new demographic groups. Disney
Yes, Royal Caribbean is likely to take full advantage of its larger ships by adding more features. All of the RCL boats include the signature rock walls, but its newest ships also include ice skating rinks and a more varied selection of live entertainment. In that sense, size does matter; keeping as many as 5,400 travelers happy means offering something to interest everybody.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that loved taking summer cruises. I remember when the pinnacle of onboard excitement was skeet shooting, shuffleboard, and frigid salt-water pools. In contrast, today's activity-packed cruise ships keep getting bigger -- and so does their potential to command a heftier chunk of the travel-market dollar.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz went on a less ambitious three-night Royal Caribbean cruise last year. He owns shares in Disney. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.