Ugly Ship Contest


Apr 11, 2001
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Nothing Grand about this torturous staircase- more of a ladder. The only spectacular entrance made here being a 3 point landing on one's nose, couture gown wrapped unceremoniously around the neck. Points given however for nicely starched napkins.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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My first thought, after "why?" was of the probable bottleneck each evening as the predominantly middle aged and elderly passengers attempted to climb it after eating- pausing for breath and thinking "thank goodness only thirty more feet" as they went. I am sure that the downward journey you described took place almost as frequently.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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The attempt to make the World City sort of resemble the Cassandre Normandie poster on one of the site's search icons was fairly pathetic. Freedom Ship is the uglier of the two designs, but would lend itself nicely to an Irwin Allen project. I did not read far enough into the site to see what the ship offers to warrant the word freedom in its name, but considering the cost of moving and supplying such a behemoth, it will not be freedom from high prices and astronomical rent.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Regarding that Russian monstrocity, my bet is that the designer was hoping for a more stable hull which would in turn make for a better gun platform. Not a bad aim for a warship. The problem as I see it is that the bloody thing must have been slow as molassas on a cold day and cumbersome beyond belief to manuever.

That low freeboard would make taking the beast onto the open ocean a really chancy proposition too. The USS Monitor is a graphic example of what happens when you take a ship with little freeboard out onto the open ocean, especially into bad weather! (She sank!)

As a sailor, I have some very real reservations about the Worldship. To call the thing huge is a grand understatement and I can only imagine what sort of chore maintainance is going to be. Sooner or later, the time will come when a lot of work will have to be done on the hull for the sake of preservation and to deal with the sort of wear and tear that anything in a seaway is subjected to.

Eventually, unless somebody can invent a way around it, the thing will have to be drydocked...only drydocked where? There's nothing big enough in the world to deal with it. And if the bloody thing sinks, the 9343 killed when the Wilhelm Gustloff was torpedoed will look like a minor boating accident on the pond.
 

Matthew Lips

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Mar 8, 2001
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Freedom Ship looks like a Soviet-era architectural monstrosity from somewhere on the fringes of Moscow or East Berlin. The other horror story could pass for a prop in a B Grade sci-fi potboiler.

As for that almost-vertical staircase - imagine trying to climb THAT in rough seas! Guess the owners were sued out of business by a string of broken-boned passengers!

Seems there is more to designing attractive floating objects than meets the eye...
 
P

Patricia Bowman Rogers Winship

Guest
Not only is it an ugly ship, it sounds like an attempt to insulate those who either can afford, or THINK they can afford it in a private floating island away from the rest of the hoi palloi. Sounds like a fool's paradise in every respect.

Pat W.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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The floating city concept has been kicking around, with no success, since at least the mid 1980s. I think the principal stumbling blocks, hideous ugliness aside, are that if it is a timeshare it will be, by neccessity, so overpriced that one could more easily buy a timeshare ashore and spend the difference on something else, and that if it ISN'T a time share it will require A) literally thousands of people who are retired and/or independently wealthy who B) want to give up virtually every aspect of their current lives and C) like ships enough to spend all of their time aboard one which will probably have too deep a draft to enter any of the better ports. The only thing rarer than people who fit that description are, evidently, backers who have enough confidence in the idea to put up serious money.
 

Dave Moran

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Apr 23, 2002
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I LIKE the idea - stick all the rich swanky saddos out on a boat in the middle of the ocean, away from us normal people. Let them bob about the world in their climate controlled monstrosity whilst the rest of us get on with things, secure in the knowledge that sooner or later it'll hit an iceberg, or a typhoon, or an uncharted rock or something ...

Why, wouldn't it be nice to reflect on the idea of Lord Archer, Geri Halliwell, Robin Williams, Robbie Williams and Cher floating about in a non-too well built boat with the toilets backed up, the bar running out and, just for the laugh, the telly only able to show black and white pictures.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Add the Baldwin family; Sean 'Puffy' Combs; Barbara Streisand (please!); anyone who has ever appeared on American Idol; Regis Philbin; the Hilton Sisters; anyone who has ever dated the Hilton Sisters; anyone who has ever refered to them as 'fabulous' in the press; Mayor Bloomberg; the Clintons; Calvin Klein, and I think you are on to something. And to further sour the deal, have the entertainment onboard be a reduced cast version of 'Cats.'
 
Feb 14, 2011
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I may be in the minority here...
as I think the ss United States has the ugliest INTERIOR of any liner..
Her exterior is graceful, but her interior was as elegant as 3rd class of the Megantic...



regards


Tarn
 

Jim Kalafus

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They were rather spartan by liner standards, but with the possible exception of the theatre not really ugly. The Ballroom, First Class Dining Room, and Navajo Bar were even somewhat appealing.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Was just digging through the photo archive, trying to find the ugliest interiors and I kept going back to Colonna Hall on the otherwise excellent Conte di Savoia as the most inexplicable, absolute worst, anachronistic room ever placed aboard a liner. Mauretania (1939) was a ship which showed just how depressingly 'heavy' Art Deco could be. Zodiac Suite on Andrea Doria; The Howard Johnsons-inspired Deluxe First Class cabins on the France (1960s); Willem Ruy's Mermaid staircase; QM2 as she was, internally, in 1969 are other least favorites. Leviathan, Majestic and Berengaria also fail to please.

Funny thing about United States was that her interiors WERE elegant when conceived. 'Applied ornament' was considered vulgar and outmoded during the immediate post war years (witness the endless succession of really poor buildings from ca. 1950-1975 on Third, Park, Madison, Sixth and Seventh Avenues, midtown in NYC) and what now appears to be badly dated and relentlessly plain was, in its day, described as 'clean' 'sleek' and, constantly 'functional.'
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Jim, that grand staircase photo you posted was like somthing out of a nightmare...
Its the kind of stairway one takes climbing to and from a urine soaked subway station..
It certianly doesnt bring to mind the elegance of a trans Atlantic liner.

Perhaps we should have a 'best grand staircase thread' your image is the worst, and Olympic/Titanic would be the best..
regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Best staircase?
Paris- Grand Hall.
Normandie- Smoking Room/Grill Room connector.
George Washington
Ile de France- Main Hall, pre war
Colombie- Main Hall
Nieuw Amsterdam (1939)
France (1960s)- Chambord Restaurant
Priscilla (Fall River Line)
l'Atlantique: First Class Dining Room

Worst: Willem Ruys "Mermaid" staircase.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Hi Jim
Ill agree, the enormous stairway on the Normandie was breathtaking...
Im surprised Olympic/Titanic isnt on your list...The Olympic class grand starway was a work of art....
Even the Empress Of Ireland had a nice staircase...

Jim, you mentioned the QM2 was a ship of "1000 staircases'- Did she have a 'main grand staircase'?
Do any of the QM2's staricases compare in beauty to Normandie's sprawling staircase?

regards

Tarn Stephanos


ps- The grand starcase on the France (1912) was very nice, albiet cluttered..
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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QM2 Staircases: There is only one "Grand" staircase aboard the ship, in the mall-like atrium. It misses 'elegant' by a few miles, since it so exactly mirrors every upscale department store stairway you have seen since about 1986. The enclosed passenger staircases are much nicer looking, some are quite elegant in fact, and the best liner art aboard can be found on their landings. The port and starboard spiral staircases aft of the Planetarium, 'though only one deck high, have considerably more flair than the central staircase in the lobby/atrium. There are a pair of nice staircases in the Brittannia Dining Room, but they too are arranged port/starboard rather than central in the room and so the descent is more subtle than grand.

About the Titanic Grand Staircase- I am not really fond of any liner interiors from about 1890- the Paris, with the exception of a few of the rooms on the George Washington. My taste in designers runs more towards Joseph Urban and Louis Sullivan than it does Mewes and Davis, and so my list of personal favorites leans heavily towards post WW1 ships.
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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The WORST to me inside out is SuperStar Virgo. Too commercialised, too modern, too much like a gigantic floating funfair.

Anyone here has taken Star Cruises before??
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Correct me if Im wrong, but wasn't there an additional top deck added to ther France/Norway? I assume this means that if an officer was on the bridge wing, there was an additional deck above his head?
I wonder if this new deck hampered Norway's appearence..


Regards


Tarn Stephanos
 

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