An estimated 20 million travelers will be going on cruises this year. With the cruise industry being a billion-dollar enterprise, the facts and figures that go along with taking a cruise vacation can surprise even the most seasoned traveler. Below are a few statistics that may surprise you when it comes to cruise ships and the cruise ship industry.

Size of the Ship

Unless you have been on a cruise, it can be hard to imagine just how big these ships are. In fact, many of them are simply massive. The Symphony of the Seas measures at 1,188 feet long, which is the length of over four football fields and twice the height of the Washington Monument.

The average Royal Caribbean cruise ship can accommodate over 5,500 guests, including 2,200 crew members. Essentially these ships are like floating cities, with their own restaurants, bars, shops, entertainment and activities. With that many guests on board, you would think that the quarters would be tight, but that is actually the opposite. Ships are normally divided into different “neighborhoods,” which is what gives the feel of being in a floating city or town. Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas has seven different neighborhoods, including the Boardwalk, Central Park, Entertainment Place, Pools and Sports Zone, Youth Zone, Royal Promenade, Vitality Spa, and a Fitness Center.

Understanding the Economic Impact

The cruise industry brings in billions every year. According to a report released by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, in 2016, the cruise industry brought in an estimated $126 billion, as well as one million jobs and $41 billion in wages and salaries for those working in the industry. It is also astounding to realize how much money these companies bring in per minute. It is reported that Carnival Corporation earns $31,181 per minute, while Royal Caribbean brings in $16,165 per minute. The top six cruise companies are said to bring in $65,000 in revenue every 60 seconds.

It is also reported that over 24 million people went on cruises around the world in 2018 alone. This figure is up 16.77 million from 2008. Of the parts of the world that supply the most passengers, North American passengers made up 13.89 million of those taking cruises while 6.23 million Europeans went on cruises.

The Cost of Taking a Cruise

According to Cruise Market Watch, the average cost per day for a cruise passenger is $212.80. This total cost includes $161.26 for the ticket and $62.16 for any spending the passenger does on the ship, as well as miscellaneous expenses. If you want to live the life of a high-roller, however, the most expensive room available on the Symphony of the Seas costs $50,000 for a seven-day voyage. This suite is called the Ultimate Family Suite, which is two stories, and comes equipped with a slide, full-size whirlpool hot tub, air hockey table, and popcorn machine.

High Price Ships

In 2017, Royal Caribbean launched the Symphony of the Seas, which is the world’s largest and most expensive ship, costing the company $1.35 billion to build. It took over three years to construct and required the help of 4,700 workers to build it.

Death and Disaster at Sea

In 2018, an estimated 25 million people went on a cruise. There were also 200 reported deaths at sea.  Some passengers are concerned about falling overboard a cruise ship, however the likelihood is slim. Most of the overboard incidents that occur on cruise ships are the result of reckless behavior or intoxication.

The Age of a Ship

The average lifespan of a cruise ship is about 30 years. Most ships will go through a number of modifications, renovations and even name changes during this time. It is said that the world’s oldest active passenger ship, the Sea Cloud, was first launched in 1931. The ship even served for a period of time during World War II as a weather ship for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Environmental Impact

According to data from the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, the average mid-size cruise ship can emit anywhere up to 150 tons of fuel per day. When compared to the amount of fuel emitted by passenger cars, these emissions equal roughly one million cars. The reason for this high level of emissions is the fact that cruise ships never are “off.” Even when they are docked, the ship still remains running and emitting and processing fuel at all times.   

Water at Sea

All cruise ships come equipped with their own water park at sea, but one ship takes the cake when it comes to offering water attractions. Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas boasts a record 25 swimming pools, as well as whirlpools, waterslides and surf simulators.  Some of these ships have massive pools, too. In fact, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Sea has an Aqua Theater on board that is 16 feet deep, which is deep enough to have high-diving shows, as well as scuba diving lessons.

Toilet Facts

With that many people on a cruise ship at any given time, you can only imagine just how much waste builds up during a cruise voyage. What happens to all of that sewage? The unfortunate fact is most of it ends up in the sea. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that over one billion gallons of sewage is dumped into the ocean every year by cruise ships.

If that fact did not put you off your lunch, this one may do just the trick. According to another 2017 study, it was reported that swimming pools in hotels and cruise ships can contain anywhere up to 20 gallons of urine. Most cruise ships have smaller pools than hotels, of course, but the fact that any amount is in there to begin with can give you reason to squirm.

Understanding the Average Cruise Ship Passenger

The average cruise passenger is said to be 46-years-old, which is down from the average age of 56 which was reported in 2002 and 50 in 2011. This average age is actually the lowest it has been in over two decades. Many people attribute this decrease to the extra efforts cruise companies have made in marketing to younger travelers. 

Food and Beverage Options  

Cruise ships also come with a variety of different dining options for passengers. Most people picture the buffets when they think of cruises, but many of these ships come with over 20 different dining options.  We have some important tips on avoiding foodborne illnesses at sea. The amount of alcohol on any given cruise ship is also astounding. The Oasis of the Seas is said to be stocked with 31,900 bottles of beer, 900 cans of beer, 6,000 bottles of wine, 293 bottles of scotch, 765 bottles of rum, and 820 bottles of vodka.

Staying Fit at Sea

According to a survey by Bon Voyage, the average cruise ship passenger gains roughly a pound per day. However, the good thing for passengers is that most ships come with numerous exercise options, including classes and full-sized running tracks.


If you have been injured on your cruise, on a wet and slippery deck, down a poorly lit staircase or steep gangway, in port on an excursion, or on a tender boat- it is important that you speak as soon as possible with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims against cruise lines. Most cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights.

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is a personal injury firm located in Miami, Florida since 1991.  We have fought hard to hold cruise lines accountable when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety.  We are available 24/7 and encourage you to contact us even if you are still on your cruise. The sooner we can begin our investigation and preservation of key evidence, such as the CCTV footage of your trip and fall, slip and fall, assault or other type of injury the more likely we will be able to understand and prove how the incident occurred. Remember, the cruise lines have the most aggressive and well-funded defense lawyers in the world- protecting their profits.  You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, transportation reimbursement and pain and suffering.  Call us today and speak with a cruise ship claims lawyer about your potential claim- toll free 1-866-597-4529, 305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.



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