Attractive and Ugly Cruise Ships


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Adam Lang

Guest
Alright, everyone--here's another one of my polls. I know a lot of people on this site who have strong feelings about the look of cruise ships today and are more than welcome to talk about it on this threat
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Ok, this is the question: Which present-day cruise line (other than Cunard, since I think most of you would probably answer that) has the most attractive fleet, inside and out? And which line has the least attractive ships?

For my first question, I think it's a tossup between Disney and Holland America, but in the end I would go with Holland. I've always admired their navy blue hull and the sleek look of their ships. The inside is well-designed (but I think it would be better if HAL wasn't owned by Carnival Corp.) and never over-the-top. Congrats, HAL.

Time for the latter question. Without a doubt, I think Carnival has the worst-looking cruise ships. Their newer ships have shrunk the bow to almost nothing and look way too glitzy. I actually don't mind the funnel too much--it's an original, interesting design. The inside is a story in itself. The decor is way over-the-top, borderlining tacky. A simpler design would be a lot more attractive.

-Adam Lang
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Of those I've actually seen, I'd give Oriana good marks for her generally clean lines and overall appearance.

The worst I've seen is Star Princess. She features a sort of 'spoiler' on her stern and her upper deck is cluttered with untidy structures that look like afterthoughts. A feeble attempt has been made to conceal her multiple exhausts, which look like they've been nicked from a factory roof. Somebody said that from head-on she looks like a frog wearing sunglasses.

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Dec 3, 2005
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And not sensible sunglasses either, but those ridiculous futuristic wrap-arounds types. On the whole, I'd say that any ship that's the right color (Black sides, white superstructure) is better looking than most of the milk cartons sailing about. I find the coloring makes them look longer and sleeker, like a passenger ship should look so I'll go with Holland-America. The Princess ships are definitely the worst though. I never heard of ships that go so fast that they worry about the stern lifting up and losing traction. At least Crown Princess was spared.
 
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Adam Lang

Guest
The thing I really hate about the new Princess ships are the steep, backward sterns! From the back, they almost look like skyscrapers. I really miss the graceful sterns that gently slope up to the top of the ship like transatlantic liners and early cruise ships...
 
Dec 3, 2005
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I prefer sterns that lean backwards rather than forwards. Forward-leaning sterns, combined with sharply raked bows always make the ship look someone kicked it in the tail. I think Jerry Seinfeld said it best. To paraphrase "It's like pulling up behind a huge, ugly, giant metal a** that blocks out the sun."
 

Dave Gittins

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I couldn't get a really good photo of the stern of Star Princess. Our port has gone security crazy.

Here's one I managed to get from a distance.
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Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>I really miss the graceful sterns that gently slope up to the top of the ship like transatlantic liners and early cruise ships...

But, they waste space. From a design point of view, the new sterns represent a far more sophisticated approach than the older sterns, using the criteria of form following function. Since the view from within, that the passengers are going to be experiencing for seven days, is the one that matters most, it makes perfect sense to square things off. Attaching a cruiser or counter stern because it "looks pretty" or "more like a ship," and producing banks of unsellable cabins makes no sense from either a financial or- when you think about it- practical aesthetic sense. It is the reaction of the passengers to the view from within that SHOULD be the designers #1 goal.

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Even the most rabid ship fan would be hard pressed to find anything to like in this stern cabin, and the reaction of just an average tourist to a cabin with 90'sq of ceiling space and 10' sq of floor can well be imagined.

Think of the squared off sterns as being an exciting and updated version of the galleon look, if one MUST long for the designs of old.

Funny, too, that people's judgment seems so skewed when it somes to ships. Place yourself on dry land for a second, and imagine checking into a hotel with an elaborate Edwardian facade and overdecorated public rooms, but with miniscule sleeping chambers with a chamber pot under the bed and a communal bathtub at the end of the hall, and virtually no coordinated activites or sources of entertainment other than ones devised by one's self. And a staff whose courtesy is proportionate to the amount of money you have spent. Now, imagine that, having checked in, you are unable to leave the hotel for a week. Would the reaction be "Ahhh great, at last a REAL hotel, not one of those showy ones with atriums and flush toilets" or would it be "oh my god, I'm in hell?"
 

Joe Russo

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Apr 10, 2006
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I agree with you on Princess having the ugliest of vessels. They look like big plastic beauty appliances by Conair or a big travel iron. What is the purpose of the big "handle" on the square stern? As if some giant kid will come and pick it up like a toy.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>Jim, to what ship does the above cabin belong? I take it the pic depicts a 3rd class or a crew cabin?!

Normandie. Third class.

>I suppose when you're on the ship, you don't have to look at it.

And nice to know that whatever one spends on a cabin, the above horror will not be waiting on the other side of the door when it is opened. As a frequent voyager I'll sacrifice a counter stern which I am never going to see anyway for the convenience of a cabin in which the floor space is equal to the ceiling space, and the peace of mind of knowing that even if I spend minimum fare I am not going to get dumped into a 90' sq. box that not-so-subtly whispers "Class System."

So, in the B.o.F. language of ship lovers, I am grateful that we have returned to the days of the galleon stern, when ships looked like ships and not those blocks of flats with tapered hindquarters that relentless modernists like Samuel Cunard, E.K. Collins and Brunel foisted upon us.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>Even the most rabid ship fan would be hard pressed to find anything to like in this stern cabin,<<

I certainly don't, and I'm the sort of old deckplate sailor who's used to sharing a berthing compartment with up to 120 people...but then I was getting paid to put up with that! If I'm the one who's forking over the cash, I expect a roomier cabin, an en suite bathroom, a comfortable king or queen sized bed, usable floor space, and privacy!

>>Would the reaction be "Ahhh great, at last a REAL hotel, not one of those showy ones with atriums and flush toilets" or would it be "oh my god, I'm in hell?"<<

The smart money is on the second option and if somebody was dumb enough to design a ship like that these days, I hope he's not too surprised to find precious few takers among the traveling public.

Old style decor may have a certain appeal, but as attractive as they may be, I don't know of anyone who can get a good nights sleep on heavy oak paneling, heavy granite tile, and wrought iron balustrades.
 
Dec 3, 2005
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I don't mind square sterns so much. I just wish they had a proper poop deck. A big place to lounge around and watch where you've been. QM2's would have been nice if they hadn't of tried to combined the two styles. Now she looks kind of like she has her tail in a vice.
 

Jim Kalafus

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I'm booked into a stern view cabin on a voyayge at the end of this month, and so will better be able to report on what it is like to occupy one. The view, no doubt, will be spectacular, but there are the dual problems of vibration and pitch about which to wonder.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Zenith. Once a year, I like to recreate the New York/Hamilton vacation route of the Furness liners Monarch and Queen of Bermuda. I recently received word, from a friend of mine whose tastes~ and inability to suffer fools in silence~ parallel mine, that things aboard her are 'not as they once were' but I'm heading into this with a positive attitude AND one of the stern view cabins that I have avoided, for reasons previously stated, since around 1991.
 
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Adam Lang

Guest
"I'm booked into a stern view cabin on a voyayge at the end of this month, and so will better be able to report on what it is like to occupy one. The view, no doubt, will be spectacular, but there are the dual problems of vibration and pitch about which to wonder."

Not to mention privacy issues, either! This is more of a problem on QM2 because of 2 pools and a restaurant all in the aft section, but imagine sitting on your balcony where people sitting at the pool can just look up at whatever you're doing. That shouldn't be much of a problem on Zenith, though--you'd only be looking onto a little bit of deck. On the first and only cruise I went on a month ago, I was in an inside stateroom with my family on the lowest deck on the mid section of the ship, so I don't really know how it feels to fall asleep to the rocking of the ship. I might be wrong, but a little bit of swaying might be relaxing--almost like a hammock!

-Adam Lang
 
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Kyle Johnstone

Guest
I had an aft outside cabin overlooking a public deck on a recent 17-night crossing/cruise.

When the QM2 made her debut, people were furious that some of the most pricey cabins overlooked public decks, and the cry went out "but people can see you!!"

So?

What are you planning on doing where you can't stand the thought of being in someone's eyesight? Napping in your deck chair? Reading?
Or....?
Privacy issues are strictly a matter of a state of mind.
Afterall, do some people really think that they are so special that other passengers are going to feel compelled to stop and stare?

Other than the ocassional passing glance, the truth is nobody is interested, nobody cares.

As far as cabin motion aft, on this crossing, there hardly was any, and no vibration whatsoever. This was an Atlantic crossing, but the seas were unusually calm.
 

Joe Russo

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I agree with you there Kyle. If anyone is staring into the QM2's duplex apartments, they are most likely looking curiously at the accommodations and probably looking right past the rich old CEO or oil prince who are just about the only ones able to afford such luxury.
 
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Adam Lang

Guest
I think it's more about being secluded than an issue of privacy. That being said, I'd like to re-word my statement above to that matter. People buy balcony rooms to have their own little spot to read, nap, etc. that's away from the hussle on the public decks. Sure, anyone could sit in a deck chair by the pool, but people like their balcony rooms because they are quiet, secluded, and peaceful (given that you don't have noisy neighbors).

So when a person buys a cabin on an aft deck and see a pool and loads of other people moving around and making noise, that's just like sitting by the pool, which wouldn't be the reason to by a balcony room.

I'm not saying aft rooms are terrible, if my description is a bet exaturated. I really wouldn't mind one very much, but I'd still definitely prefer a quieter room on the side of the ship. Also, I was referring to the QM2 and other ships with a lot of aft deck space. An aft room on any other ship (like the Zenith) would be a lot quiter, given it's lack of a pool.

-Adam Lang
 

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