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Cruise FactsCruise Ships With the Best/Worst Space to Guest Ratio: 8 Cruise Lines...

Cruise Ships With the Best/Worst Space to Guest Ratio: 8 Cruise Lines Compared

I compared 128 cruise ships from 8 major cruise lines to see which offered the most space based on passenger capacity and ship volume.

While many factors can have an impact on how crowded a ship may feel, there is a simple formula for figuring out the passenger space ratio.  Additionally, this allows us to compare different ships by the same metric and see how it compares with out experience on the ship.

How the passenger space ratio was calculated on our chart

The formula for the passenger space ratio is simply the gross tonnage (GT) of a cruise ship divided by the passenger capacity of that vessel  (Gross Tonnage ÷ passenger capacity).  In our list we used the standard double-capacity for each ship.  

It’s important to understand that some lines may more commonly exceed the double-capacity figures especially if it’s more usual for families to travel with that line.  Likewise, since the exact number of passengers on a cruise at any given time will be different it’s important to note that this part of the equation should be somewhat flexible.

What is gross tonnage anyway?

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A common misconception is that the gross tonnage of a cruise ship is a measurement of weight.  However, it has nothing to do with weight at all.  In fact, gross tonnage is a unitless measurement of the volume or space of a cruise ship and includes all of the enclosed spaces of the vessel.  This is an important factor, as some areas of a ship’s open-air decks will not be included in the figure.

How else is gross tonnage used?

Ever wonder why some ship’s have bigger fees than others?  Well, the gross tonnage plays a factor.  The overall GT of a ship determines things like registration fees, regulations, safety rules and port dues, depending on each individual port.

Some of the largest cruise ships in the world belong to Royal Caribbean Cruises and have a gross tonnage of over 200,000. In fact, Wonder of the Seas has a massive GT of 236,857.

Other important factors

While using the passenger space ratio can be a simple way to compare ships and how crowded they may feel, it’s not a perfect measurement.  Factors like the overall flow of a ship’s design, how the programs are spaced out, the times in which various events take place, and the demographic of a ship all play a greater role in the feeling of being crowded on a cruise ship.

Additionally, depending on what you like to do on a cruise you might have a vastly different experience than someone else on the very same cruise simply based on what times you took part in different programs, shows, and meals.

So, this list is just a fun way to compare ships based on space and capacity.

I have sorted each cruise line separately so you can compare ships within a specific line, which I think personally is a more accurate way to compare how crowded a cruise ship may or may not feel.  This is simply because each cruise line handles passenger flow differently. 

At the end of the page I have also listed all 128 cruise ships in a chart so you can compare all of them at the same time.  The lists below include the following cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, and Holland America Cruises.

The larger the number in the right hand column the more spacious a ship may feel. At least that’s the idea. A number in the 20’s would feel crowded and cramped while a number in the high 40’s and above may feel spacious.

 

Carnival Cruise Line: ships by passenger space ratio

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass Ratio
Carnival Horizon133,5003,93433.93
Carnival Panorama133,5003,93433.93
Carnival Vista133,5003,93433.93
Carnival Radiance101,5092,98434
Carnival Sunrise101,5092,98434
Mardi Gras180,0005,28234.08
Carnival Sunshine102,8533,00234.27
Carnival Elation70,3672,05234.3
Carnival Paradise70,3672,05234.3
Carnival Celebration181,8085,28234.42
Carnival Breeze130,0003,69035.23
Carnival Magic130,0003,69035.23
Carnival Dream130,0003,64635.66
Carnival Conquest110,0002,98036.91
Carnival Freedom110,0002,98036.91
Carnival Glory110,0002,98036.91
Carnival Liberty110,0002,98036.91
Carnival Valor110,0002,98036.91
Carnival Splendor113,3003,01237.62
Carnival Legend88,5002,12441.67
Carnival Miracle88,5002,12441.67
Carnival Pride88,5002,12441.67
Carnival Spirit88,5002,12441.67

See our list of every Carnival cruise ship currently in service in order of newest to oldest here.

Royal Caribbean Cruises: ships by passenger space ratio

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass Ratio
Enchantment of the Seas82,9102,25236.82
Grandeur of the Seas73,8171,99237.06
Vision of the Seas78,7172,05038.4
Rhapsody of the Seas78,8781,99839.48
Spectrum of the Seas169,3794,24639.89
Odyssey of the Seas167,7044,20039.93
Anthem of the Seas168,6664,18040.35
Ovation of the Seas168,6664,18040.35
Quantum of the Seas168,6664,18040.35
Allure of the Seas225,2825,49241.02
Liberty of the Seas155,8893,79841.14
Harmony of the Seas226,9635,49741.29
Wonder of the Seas236,8575,73441.31
Freedom of the Seas156,2713,78241.32
Symphony of the Seas228,0815,51841.33
Navigator of the Seas139,9993,37641.47
Serenade of the Seas90,0902,14641.98
Oasis of the Seas226,8385,40042
Radiance of the Seas90,0902,14342.04
Brilliance of the Seas90,0902,14242.06
Jewel of the Seas90,0902,11242.66
Independence of the Seas155,8893,63442.9
Adventure of the Seas138,1933,11444.38
Explorer of the Seas138,1943,11444.38
Voyager of the Seas138,1943,11444.38
Mariner of the Seas139,8633,11444.91

Royal Caribbean cruise ships in order from newest to oldest.

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Norwegian Cruise Line: ships by passenger space ratio

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass Ratio
Norwegian Getaway145,6553,96336.75
Norwegian Breakaway145,6553,95936.79
Pride of America80,4392,18636.8
Norwegian Spirit75,9042,03237.35
Norwegian Epic155,8734,10038
Norwegian Sky77,1042,00438.48
Norwegian Escape164,9984,26638.68
Norwegian Jade93,5582,40238.95
Norwegian Gem93,5302,39439
Norwegian Pearl93,5302,39439.07
Norwegian Star91,7402,34839.07
Norwegian Jewel93,5022,37639.35
Norwegian Dawn92,2502,34039.42
Norwegian Sun78,3091,93640.45
Norwegian Bliss168,0284,00441.97
Norwegian Encore169,1163,99842.3
Norwegian Joy167,7253,80444.09
Norwegian Prima143,5353,09946.32

See every Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship in service from newest to oldest here.

MSC Cruises: ships by passenger space ratio

Cruise ShipsGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass Ratio
MSC Sinfonia65,5422,54626
MSC Armonia65,5422,16030.34
MSC Opera65,5912,16030.37
MSC Lirica65,5911,98433.06
MSC Preziosa139,0723,95935.13
MSC Musica89,6002,55035.14
MSC Orchestra92,4002,55036.23
MSC Poesia92,6272,55036.32
MSC Seaside153,5164,13237.15
MSC Seaview153,5164,13237.15
MSC Grandiosa181,0004,84237.38
MSC Virtuosa181,5414,84237.49
MSC Seashore170,4124,54037.54
MSC Magnifica95,1282,51837.78
MSC Bellissima171,5984,50038.13
MSC Meraviglia171,5984,48838.23
MSC Divina139,0723,50239.71
MSC Fantasia137,9363,27442.13
MSC Splendida137,9363,27442.13

See all MSC Cruises cruise ships in order from newest to oldest.

Disney Cruise Line ships by passenger space ratio

Note: There are two different numbers for capacity on Disney. The first number is for double capacity and the second is for maximum capacity. I thought it was important to have both since many Disney cruises have families with more than 2 occupants in a cabin.

Cruise ShipGross TonnageCapacity (Double/Max)Space/Pass Ratio
Disney Magic83,3381,750 / 2,70047.62 / 30.87
Disney Wonder84,1301,750 / 2,70048.07 / 31.16
Disney Dream129,6902,500 / 4,00051.88 / 32.42
Disney Fantasy129,6902,500 / 4,00051.88 / 32.42
Disney Wish144,0002,500 / 4,00057.6 / 36

Princess Cruises: ships by passenger space ratio

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass Ratio
Caribbean Princess112,8943,14235.93
Crown Princess113,5613,08036.87
Emerald Princess113,5613,08037.87
Ruby Princess113,5613,08036.87
Enchanted Princess141,0003,66038.52
Discovery Princess141,0003,66038.52
Sky Princess143,7003,66039.26
Royal Princess141,0003,56039.61
Regal Princess142,2293,56039.95
Majestic Princess143,7003,56040.37
Grand Princess107,5172,60041.35
Island Princess92,8222,20042.19
Diamond Princess115,8752,67043.4
Sapphire Princess115,8752,67043.4
Coral Princess91,6272,00045

See all Princess Cruises ships from newest to oldest.

Celebrity Cruises: ships by passenger space ratio

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/pass ratio
Celebrity Millennium90,9402,21841
Celebrity Summit90,9402,21841
Celebrity Reflection126,0003,04641.37
Celebrity Constellation90,9402,18441.64
Celebrity Infinity91,0002,17041.93
Celebrity Silhouette122,4002,90242.18
Celebrity Solstice122,0002,85242.78
Celebrity Equinox122,0002,85242.78
Celebrity Eclipse122,0002,85242.78
Celebrity Beyond140,6003,26043.13
Celebrity Edge129,5002,91844.38
Celebrity Apex129,5002,91044.5

 

Holland America Cruises: ships by passenger space ratio

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass Ratio
MS Rotterdam99,9352,66837.46
MS Nieuw Statendam99,9022,66637.47
MS Koningsdam99,8682,65037.69
MS Eurodam86,2732,10441
MS Nieuw Amsterdam86,7002,10641.17
MS Oosterdam82,3051,96441.91
MS Westerdam82,5001,96442
MS Volendam60,9061,43243
MS Zaandam61,3961,43242.87
MS Zuiderdam82,3051,91642.96
MS Noordam82,5001,91643.06

The below section is a list of all the above ships in one table. These are again listed in order from least spacious to most spacious based on our passenger space ratio formula.

All 128 Cruise ships by passenger space ratio: sorted least to greatest

Cruise LineCruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass Ratio
MSCMSC Sinfonia65,5422,54626
MSCMSC Armonia65,5422,16030.34
MSCMSC Opera65,5912,16030.37
MSCMSC Lirica65,5911,98433.06
CarnivalCarnival Horizon133,5003,93433.93
CarnivalCarnival Panorama133,5003,93433.93
CarnivalCarnival Vista133,5003,93433.93
CarnivalCarnival Radiance101,5092,98434
CarnivalCarnival Sunrise101,5092,98434
CarnivalMardi Gras180,0005,28234.08
CarnivalCarnival Sunshine102,8533,00234.27
CarnivalCarnival Elation70,3672,05234.3
CarnivalCarnival Paradise70,3672,05234.3
CarnivalCarnival Celebration181,8085,28234.42
MSCMSC Preziosa139,0723,95935.13
MSCMSC Musica89,6002,55035.14
CarnivalCarnival Breeze130,0003,69035.23
CarnivalCarnival Magic130,0003,69035.23
CarnivalCarnival Dream130,0003,64635.66
PrincessCaribbean Princess112,8943,14235.93
MSCMSC Orchestra92,4002,55036.23
MSCMSC Poesia92,6272,55036.32
NorwegianNorwegian Getaway145,6553,96336.75
NorwegianNorwegian Breakaway145,6553,95936.79
NorwegianPride of America80,4392,18636.8
Royal CaribbeanEnchantment of the Seas82,9102,25236.82
PrincessCrown Princess113,5613,08036.87
PrincessEmeral Princess113,5613,08036.87
PrincessRuby Princess113,5613,08036.87
CarnivalCarnival Conquest110,0002,98036.91
CarnivalCarnival Freedom110,0002,98036.91
CarnivalCarnival Glory110,0002,98036.91
CarnivalCarnival Liberty110,0002,98036.91
CarnivalCarnival Valor110,0002,98036.91
Royal CaribbeanGrandeur of the Seas73,8171,99237.06
MSCMSC Seaside153,5164,13237.15
MSCMSC Seaview153,5164,13237.15
NorwegianNorwegian Spirit75,9042,03237.35
MSCMSC Grandiosa181,0004,84237.38
Holland AmericaMS Rotterdam99,9352,66837.46
Holland AmericaMS Nieuw Statendam99,9022,66637.47
MSCMSC Virtuosa181,5414,84237.49
MSCMSC Seashore170,4124,54037.54
CarnivalCarnival Splendor113,3003,01237.62
Holland AmericaMS Koningsdam99,8682,65037.69
MSCMSC Magnifica95,1282,51837.78
NorwegianNorwegian Epic155,8734,10038
MSCMSC Bellissima171,5984,50038.13
MSCMSC Meraviglia171,5984,48838.23
Royal CaribbeanVision of the Seas78,7172,05038.4
NorwegianNorwegian Sky77,1042,00438.48
PrincessEnchanted Princess141,0003,66038.52
PrincessDiscovery Princess141,0003,66038.52
NorwegianNorwegian Escape164,9984,26638.68
NorwegianNorwegian Jade93,5582,40238.95
NorwegianNorwegian Gem93,5302,39439
NorwegianNorwegian Pearl93,5302,39439.07
NorwegianNorwegian Star91,7402,34839.07
PrincessSky Princess143,7003,66039.26
NorwegianNorwegian Jewel93,5022,37639.35
NorwegianNorwegian Dawn92,2502,34039.42
Royal CaribbeanRhapsody of the Seas78,8781,99839.48
PrincessRoyal Princess141,0003,56039.61
MSCMSC Divina139,0723,50239.71
Royal CaribbeanSpectrum of the Seas169,3794,24639.89
Royal CaribbeanOdyssey of the Seas167,7044,20039.93
PrincessRegal Princess142,2293,56039.95
Royal CaribbeanAnthem of the Seas168,6664,18040.35
Royal CaribbeanOvation of the Seas168,6664,18040.35
Royal CaribbeanQuantum of the Seas168,6664,18040.35
PrincessMajestic Princess143,7003,56040.37
NorwegianNorwegian Sun78,3091,93640.45
Holland AmericaMS Eurodam86,2732,10441
CelebrityCelebrity Millennium90,9402,21841
CelebrityCelebrity Summit90,9402,21841
Royal CaribbeanAllure of the Seas225,2825,49241.02
Royal CaribbeanLiberty of the Seas155,8893,79841.14
Holland AmericaMS Nieuw Amsterdam86,7002,10641.17
Royal CaribbeanHarmony of the Seas226,9635,49741.29
Royal CaribbeanWonder of the Seas236,8575,73441.31
Royal CaribbeanFreedom of the Seas156,2713,78241.32
Royal CaribbeanSymphony of the Seas228,0815,51841.33
PrincessGrand Princess107,5172,60041.35
CelebrityCelebrity Reflection126,0003,04641.37
Royal CaribbeanNavigator of the Seas139,9993,37641.47
CelebrityCelebrity Constellation90,9402,18441.64
CarnivalCarnival Legend88,5002,12441.67
CarnivalCarnival Miracle88,5002,12441.67
CarnivalCarnival Pride88,5002,12441.67
CarnivalCarnival Spirit88,5002,12441.67
Holland AmericaMS Oosterdam82,3051,96441.91
CelebrityCelebrity Infinity91,0002,17041.93
NorwegianNorwegian Bliss168,0284,00441.97
Royal CaribbeanSerenade of the Seas90,0902,14641.98
Holland AmericaMS Westerdam82,5001,96442
Royal CaribbeanOasis of the Seas226,8385,40042
Royal CaribbeanRadiance of the Seas90,0902,14342.04
Royal CaribbeanBrilliance of the Seas90,0902,14242.06
MSCMSC Fantasia137,9363,27442.13
MSCMSC Splendida137,9363,27442.13
CelebrityCelebrity Silhouette122,4002,90242.18
PrincessIsland Princess92,8222,20042.19
NorwegianNorwegian Encore169,1163,99842.3
Holland AmericaMS Volendam60,9061,43242.53
Royal CaribbeanJewel of the Seas90,0902,11242.66
CelebrityCelebrity Solstice122,0002,85242.78
CelebrityCelebrity Equinox122,0002,85242.78
CelebrityCelebrity Eclipse122,0002,85242.78
Holland AmericaMS Zaandam61,3961,43242.87
Royal CaribbeanIndependence of the Seas155,8893,63442.9
Holland AmericaMS Zuiderdam82,3051,91642.96
Holland AmericaMS Noordam82,5001,91643.06
CelebrityCelebrity Beyond140,6003,26043.13
PrincessDiamond Princess115,8752,67043.4
PrincessSapphire Princess115,8752,67043.4
NorwegianNorwegian Joy167,7253,80444.09
CelebrityCelebrity Edge129,5002,91844.38
Royal CaribbeanAdventure of the Seas138,1933,11444.38
Royal CaribbeanExplorer of the Seas138,1943,11444.38
Royal CaribbeanVoyager of the Seas138,1943,11444.38
CelebrityCelebrity Apex129,5002,91044.5
Royal CaribbeanMariner of the Seas139,8633,11444.91
PrincessCoral Princess91,6272,00045
NorwegianNorwegian Prima143,5353,09946.32
DisneyDisney Magic83,3381,750 / 2,70047.62 / 30.87
DisneyDisney Wonder84,1301,750 / 2,70048.07 / 31.16
DisneyDisney Dream129,6902,500 / 4,00051.88 / 32.42
DisneyDisney Fantasy129,6902,500 / 4,00051.88 / 32.42
DisneyDisney Wish144,0002,500 / 4,00057.6 / 36
Disney has 2 groups of numbers under capacity. The first is double capacity and the second is maximum capacity. Since Disney typically has a lot of families with children on the ships I wanted to include both numbers.

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon got hooked on cruising after his first cruise on his honeymoon, and today he is always looking for cruise deals and reading information about the cruise industry. Jon lives in the foothills of North Carolina and wishes there were a cruise port that far inland. Jon can be reached at [email protected]
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