I compared 141 cruise ships from 8 major cruise lines to see which offered the most space based on passenger capacity and ship volume.

*This post has been updated from its original writing and reflects the latest cruise ships to enter the market, including cruise ships that will debut in the next year.

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.

Related: What is the best cruise line for you?

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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.

Related: Cruise ships with the best passenger to cruise ratio (mainstream lines)

Photo credit: Cruise Fever

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.

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, Utopia of the Seas will have a massive GT of 236,860.

Read more: The true cost difference between a balcony cabin and interior stateroom

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. 

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At the end of the page I have also listed all 141 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.

 The cruise ships below are sorted by the space/passenger ratio. The higher the number the more space per passenger is available on the ship.

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass RatioCarnival Venezia135,2254,09033.06Carnival Horizon133,5003,93433.93Carnival Panorama133,5003,93433.93Carnival Vista133,5003,93433.93Carnival Radiance101,5092,98434Carnival Sunrise101,5092,98434Mardi Gras180,0005,28234.08Carnival Jubilee183,9005,37434.22Carnival Sunshine102,8533,00234.27Carnival Elation70,3672,05234.3Carnival Paradise70,3672,05234.3Carnival Celebration181,8085,28234.42Carnival Breeze130,0003,69035.23Carnival Magic130,0003,69035.23Carnival Dream130,0003,64635.66Carnival Conquest110,0002,98036.91Carnival Freedom110,0002,98036.91Carnival Glory110,0002,98036.91Carnival Liberty110,0002,98036.91Carnival Valor110,0002,98036.91Carnival Splendor113,3003,01237.62Carnival Luminosa92,6002,26040.97Carnival Legend88,5002,12441.67Carnival Miracle88,5002,12441.67Carnival Pride88,5002,12441.67Carnival Spirit88,5002,12441.67

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

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass RatioEnchantment of the Seas82,9102,25236.82Grandeur of the Seas73,8171,99237.06Vision of the Seas78,7172,05038.4Rhapsody of the Seas78,8781,99839.48Spectrum of the Seas169,3794,24639.89Odyssey of the Seas167,7044,20039.93Anthem of the Seas168,6664,18040.35Ovation of the Seas168,6664,18040.35Quantum of the Seas168,6664,18040.35Allure of the Seas225,2825,49241.02Liberty of the Seas155,8893,79841.14Harmony of the Seas226,9635,49741.29Wonder of the Seas236,8575,73441.31Freedom of the Seas156,2713,78241.32Symphony of the Seas228,0815,51841.33Navigator of the Seas139,9993,37641.47Utopia of the Seas236,8605,66841.79Serenade of the Seas90,0902,14641.98Oasis of the Seas226,8385,40042Radiance of the Seas90,0902,14342.04Brilliance of the Seas90,0902,14242.06Jewel of the Seas90,0902,11242.66Independence of the Seas155,8893,63442.9Icon of the Seas248,6635,61044.32Adventure of the Seas138,1933,11444.38Explorer of the Seas138,1943,11444.38Voyager of the Seas138,1943,11444.38Mariner of the Seas139,8633,11444.91

Royal Caribbean cruise ships in order from newest to oldest.

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass RatioNorwegian Getaway145,6553,96336.75Norwegian Breakaway145,6553,95936.79Pride of America80,4392,18636.8Norwegian Spirit75,9042,03237.35Norwegian Epic155,8734,10038Norwegian Sky77,1042,00438.48Norwegian Escape164,9984,26638.68Norwegian Jade93,5582,40238.95Norwegian Gem93,5302,39439Norwegian Pearl93,5302,39439.07Norwegian Star91,7402,34839.07Norwegian Jewel93,5022,37639.35Norwegian Dawn92,2502,34039.42Norwegian Sun78,3091,93640.45Norwegian Bliss168,0284,00441.97Norwegian Encore169,1163,99842.3Norwegian Joy167,7253,80444.09Norwegian Viva143,5353,21944.59Norwegian Prima143,5353,09946.32

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

Cruise ShipsGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass RatioMSC Sinfonia65,5422,54626MSC Armonia65,5422,16030.34MSC Opera65,5912,16030.37MSC Lirica65,5911,98433.06MSC Preziosa139,0723,95935.13MSC Musica89,6002,55035.14MSC Orchestra92,4002,55036.23MSC Poesia92,6272,55036.32MSC Seaside153,5164,13237.15MSC Seaview153,5164,13237.15MSC Grandiosa181,0004,84237.38MSC Virtuosa181,5414,84237.49MSC Seascape170,4004,54037.53MSC Seashore170,4124,54037.54MSC Seashore170,4124,54037.54MSC Magnifica95,1282,51837.78MSC Euribia184,0114,83838.03MSC Bellissima171,5984,50038.13MSC Meraviglia171,5984,48838.23MSC Divina139,0723,50239.71MSC World Europa215,8635,20041.51MSC Fantasia137,9363,27442.13MSC Splendida137,9363,27442.13

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

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 RatioDisney Magic83,3381,750 / 2,70047.62 / 30.87Disney Wonder84,1301,750 / 2,70048.07 / 31.16Disney Dream129,6902,500 / 4,00051.88 / 32.42Disney Fantasy129,6902,500 / 4,00051.88 / 32.42Disney Treasure144,0002,508 / 400057.42 / 36Disney Wish144,0002,500 / 4,00057.6 / 36Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass RatioCaribbean Princess112,8943,14235.93Crown Princess113,5613,08036.87Emerald Princess113,5613,08037.87Ruby Princess113,5613,08036.87Enchanted Princess141,0003,66038.52Discovery Princess141,0003,66038.52Sky Princess143,7003,66039.26Royal Princess141,0003,56039.61Regal Princess142,2293,56039.95Majestic Princess143,7003,56040.37Sun Princess175,0004,30040.81Grand Princess107,5172,60041.35Island Princess92,8222,20042.19Diamond Princess115,8752,67043.4Sapphire Princess115,8752,67043.4Coral Princess91,6272,00045

See all Princess Cruises ships from newest to oldest.

Cruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/pass ratioCelebrity Millennium90,9402,21841Celebrity Summit90,9402,21841Celebrity Reflection126,0003,04641.37Celebrity Constellation90,9402,18441.64Celebrity Infinity91,0002,17041.93Celebrity Silhouette122,4002,90242.18Celebrity Solstice122,0002,85242.78Celebrity Equinox122,0002,85242.78Celebrity Eclipse122,0002,85242.78Celebrity Beyond140,6003,26043.13Celebrity Ascent141,4203,26043.38Celebrity Edge129,5002,91844.38Celebrity Apex129,5002,91044.5

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

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Cruise LineCruise ShipGross TonnageDouble CapacitySpace/Pass RatioMSCMSC Sinfonia65,5422,54626MSCMSC Armonia65,5422,16030.34MSCMSC Opera65,5912,16030.37Carnival Carnival Venezia135,2254,20832.16MSCMSC Lirica65,5911,98433.06CarnivalCarnival Horizon133,5003,93433.93CarnivalCarnival Panorama133,5003,93433.93CarnivalCarnival Vista133,5003,93433.93CarnivalCarnival Radiance101,5092,98434CarnivalCarnival Sunrise101,5092,98434CarnivalMardi Gras180,0005,28234.08CarnivalCarnival Jubilee183,9005,37434.22CarnivalCarnival Sunshine102,8533,00234.27CarnivalCarnival Elation70,3672,05234.3CarnivalCarnival Paradise70,3672,05234.3CarnivalCarnival Celebration181,8085,28234.42MSCMSC Preziosa139,0723,95935.13MSCMSC Musica89,6002,55035.14CarnivalCarnival Breeze130,0003,69035.23CarnivalCarnival Magic130,0003,69035.23CarnivalCarnival Dream130,0003,64635.66PrincessCaribbean Princess112,8943,14235.93MSCMSC Orchestra92,4002,55036.23MSCMSC Poesia92,6272,55036.32NorwegianNorwegian Getaway145,6553,96336.75NorwegianNorwegian Breakaway145,6553,95936.79NorwegianPride of America80,4392,18636.8Royal CaribbeanEnchantment of the Seas82,9102,25236.82PrincessCrown Princess113,5613,08036.87PrincessEmeral Princess113,5613,08036.87PrincessRuby Princess113,5613,08036.87CarnivalCarnival Conquest110,0002,98036.91CarnivalCarnival Freedom110,0002,98036.91CarnivalCarnival Glory110,0002,98036.91CarnivalCarnival Liberty110,0002,98036.91CarnivalCarnival Valor110,0002,98036.91Royal CaribbeanGrandeur of the Seas73,8171,99237.06MSCMSC Seaside153,5164,13237.15MSCMSC Seaview153,5164,13237.15NorwegianNorwegian Spirit75,9042,03237.35MSCMSC Grandiosa181,0004,84237.38Holland AmericaMS Rotterdam99,9352,66837.46Holland AmericaMS Nieuw Statendam99,9022,66637.47MSCMSC Virtuosa181,5414,84237.49MSCMSC Seascape170,4004,54037.53MSCMSC Seashore170,4124,54037.54CarnivalCarnival Splendor113,3003,01237.62Holland AmericaMS Koningsdam99,8682,65037.69MSCMSC Magnifica95,1282,51837.78NorwegianNorwegian Epic155,8734,10038MSCMSC Euribia184,0114,83838.03MSCMSC Bellissima171,5984,50038.13MSCMSC Meraviglia171,5984,48838.23Royal CaribbeanVision of the Seas78,7172,05038.4NorwegianNorwegian Sky77,1042,00438.48PrincessEnchanted Princess141,0003,66038.52PrincessDiscovery Princess141,0003,66038.52NorwegianNorwegian Escape164,9984,26638.68NorwegianNorwegian Jade93,5582,40238.95NorwegianNorwegian Gem93,5302,39439NorwegianNorwegian Pearl93,5302,39439.07NorwegianNorwegian Star91,7402,34839.07PrincessSky Princess143,7003,66039.26NorwegianNorwegian Jewel93,5022,37639.35NorwegianNorwegian Dawn92,2502,34039.42Royal CaribbeanRhapsody of the Seas78,8781,99839.48PrincessRoyal Princess141,0003,56039.61MSCMSC Divina139,0723,50239.71Royal CaribbeanSpectrum of the Seas169,3794,24639.89Royal CaribbeanOdyssey of the Seas167,7044,20039.93PrincessRegal Princess142,2293,56039.95Royal CaribbeanAnthem of the Seas168,6664,18040.35Royal CaribbeanOvation of the Seas168,6664,18040.35Royal CaribbeanQuantum of the Seas168,6664,18040.35PrincessMajestic Princess143,7003,56040.37NorwegianNorwegian Sun78,3091,93640.45PrincessSun Princess175,5004,30040.81CarnivalCarnival Luminosa92,6002,26040.97Holland AmericaMS Eurodam86,2732,10441CelebrityCelebrity Millennium90,9402,21841CelebrityCelebrity Summit90,9402,21841Royal CaribbeanAllure of the Seas225,2825,49241.02Royal CaribbeanLiberty of the Seas155,8893,79841.14Holland AmericaMS Nieuw Amsterdam86,7002,10641.17Royal CaribbeanHarmony of the Seas226,9635,49741.29Royal CaribbeanWonder of the Seas236,8575,73441.31Royal CaribbeanFreedom of the Seas156,2713,78241.32Royal CaribbeanSymphony of the Seas228,0815,51841.33PrincessGrand Princess107,5172,60041.35CelebrityCelebrity Reflection126,0003,04641.37Royal CaribbeanNavigator of the Seas139,9993,37641.47MSCWorld Europa215,8635,20041.51CelebrityCelebrity Constellation90,9402,18441.64CarnivalCarnival Legend88,5002,12441.67CarnivalCarnival Miracle88,5002,12441.67CarnivalCarnival Pride88,5002,12441.67CarnivalCarnival Spirit88,5002,12441.67Royal CaribbeanUtopia of the Seas236,8605,66841.79Holland AmericaMS Oosterdam82,3051,96441.91CelebrityCelebrity Infinity91,0002,17041.93NorwegianNorwegian Bliss168,0284,00441.97Royal CaribbeanSerenade of the Seas90,0902,14641.98Holland AmericaMS Westerdam82,5001,96442Royal CaribbeanOasis of the Seas226,8385,40042Royal CaribbeanRadiance of the Seas90,0902,14342.04Royal CaribbeanBrilliance of the Seas90,0902,14242.06MSCMSC Fantasia137,9363,27442.13MSCMSC Splendida137,9363,27442.13CelebrityCelebrity Silhouette122,4002,90242.18PrincessIsland Princess92,8222,20042.19NorwegianNorwegian Encore169,1163,99842.3Holland AmericaMS Volendam60,9061,43242.53Royal CaribbeanJewel of the Seas90,0902,11242.66CelebrityCelebrity Solstice122,0002,85242.78CelebrityCelebrity Equinox122,0002,85242.78CelebrityCelebrity Eclipse122,0002,85242.78Holland AmericaMS Zaandam61,3961,43242.87Royal CaribbeanIndependence of the Seas155,8893,63442.9Holland AmericaMS Zuiderdam82,3051,91642.96Holland AmericaMS Noordam82,5001,91643.06CelebrityCelebrity Beyond140,6003,26043.13CelebrityCelebrity Ascent141,4203,26043.38PrincessDiamond Princess115,8752,67043.4PrincessSapphire Princess115,8752,67043.4NorwegianNorwegian Joy167,7253,80444.09Royal CaribbeanIcon of the Seas248,6635,61044.32CelebrityCelebrity Edge129,5002,91844.38Royal CaribbeanAdventure of the Seas138,1933,11444.38Royal CaribbeanExplorer of the Seas138,1943,11444.38Royal CaribbeanVoyager of the Seas138,1943,11444.38CelebrityCelebrity Apex129,5002,91044.5NorwegianNorwegian Viva143,5353,21944.59Royal CaribbeanMariner of the Seas139,8633,11444.91PrincessCoral Princess91,6272,00045NorwegianNorwegian Prima143,5353,09946.32DisneyDisney Magic83,3381,750 / 2,70047.62 / 30.87DisneyDisney Wonder84,1301,750 / 2,70048.07 / 31.16DisneyDisney Dream129,6902,500 / 4,00051.88 / 32.42DisneyDisney Fantasy129,6902,500 / 4,00051.88 / 32.42DisneyDisney Treasure144,0002508 / 400057.42 / 36DisneyDisney Wish144,0002,500 / 4,00057.6 / 36Disney 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.

Read more: How to avoid crowds on a cruise ship (best tips)

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