World's Biggest Cruise Liner Oasis of The Seas


Dave Gittins

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Cheer up! At least Aker Yards can't build them any higher. To get to the open sea, the ships must pass under Denmark's Great Belt Bridge, which has a minimum clearance at high tide of 65 metres.

Personally, I preferred the cat and the lion cub on the same page.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Personally, I think it's way, way over the top. Gimme portholes any day.<<

They do tend to be a lot more resistant to damage in heavy seas. Let's hope that they manage to steer clear of any nasty weather.
 

Joe Russo

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Give me portholes too. That thing reeks of a suburban mall placed on a barge.
Also with 6000 guests, I'd say they are targeting the same demographic that enjoys walking the crowded strip in Las Vegas or a packed Epcot Center. Although I wouldn't see myself flocking to this, I'm sure they know what they are doing to attract people who will love this and aren't currently cruising.
This isn't my thing, but at the same time I'm totally fascinated and can't look away.
 

Dave Gittins

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"Might as well stay in a fancy land-based resort and enjoy Neiman Markus and go-carts to boot."

Don't give them ideas! These ships could easily accommodate a go-cart track. How about a roller-coaster?
 

Joe Russo

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There is already a carousel on the stern in those renderings if you look closely.
Maybe Disney will get an idea from this and have a theme park on their next mega cruise ship!
 
Feb 4, 2007
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Right on! Let's see now, we'll have:

*The Little Mermaid Beauty Salon wherein the staff spontaneously swirl around and burst into song with renditions of "Under the Sea" as they brush their patrons' hair with sharp forks;

*Finding Nemo Activity Center wherein patrons are led to believe they are entering a theater to watch an instructional program, but really, they enter a one-way submersible which sends them 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (literally) to really find Nemo. A good way to get rid of the whiny kids and less-than-stellar parents if you ask me.....

*Pirates of the Caribbean Water Show where the bullets are real, the swords are sharp, the rum is strong, and among other possibilities, you WILL get wet.....

For an additional non-refundable fee, special passes to Davy Jones' Locker are available for the lucky few.....
 

Jim Kalafus

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I like it. To be blunt, with the exception of the period of roughly 1950-1965, liners have NEVER been examples of good taste or advance design. What they HAVE been, at least in first class, is gloriously vulgar and at least ten years out of style when brand new. Except for the Ile de France.

Today there is the familiar wail about ships that look like buildings and not ships. In my youth there was the wail about ships that looked like buildings and not ships (Michelangelo and Raffaelo/QE2 come to mind) which seemed VERY evocative of the reviews of the Berengaria and Majestic which likened them to seagoing hotels and bemoaned the passing of ships that looked ike ships...and so on and so on clear back to the Atlantic (1851) whose straight bow sans sprit, odd rounded stern, and grand hotel interiors caused certain reviewers to cavil...and bemoan the death of graceful ships and their replacement by 'floating teakettles.' Glad to see that the same TRULY Victorian sentiment has now entered its third century.

>Might as well stay in a fancy land-based resort and enjoy Neiman Marcus and go-carts to boot."

Why should those NOT be on a ship? Seagoing malls date back as far as the Bremen and Europa~ witness the wonderfully crass galleria on l'Atlantique, complete with auto dealership and....come to think about it...moaning reviews about ships with overly florid interiors and exteriors that did not look like ships. And the go-cart runs are no more....bizarre....than the multiple efforts in Victorian days to coordinate bicycle runs that did not propel passengers overboard in inclement weather.

>Also with 6000 guests, I'd say they are targeting the same demographic that enjoys walking the crowded strip in Las Vegas or a packed Epcot Center.

That's the demograpic liners have sought since at least 1920. The Atlantic crossing could never have been described as MENSA at sea~ we've all seen the entertainment programs from prewar voyages; nor did the lines seem particularly determined to separate themswelves from....uhhh..."The Low Arts." Because they WANTED a clientele impressed by the fact that Mary Pickford or Marlene Dietrich had recently been aboard....

You seldom saw mathematicians or professors of logic as the coverboys or covergirls on the "Aboard Our Ships" monthly magazines distributed by the various companies. From early on it was mass-market celebrities all the way, because they did not to corner the niche market of the true urban sophisticate....what they wanted was the LARGE demographic of people with disposable incomes and questionable taste who's be impressed by the fact that...Snitz Edwards..."had been amongst our guests last month." So, the Vegas crowd has been a staple of the industry since at least the moment that publicity photos of Jack Pickford and Olive Thomas were issued to the press by their shipping company of choice.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>The Little Mermaid Beauty Salon wherein the staff spontaneously swirl around and burst into song with renditions of "Under the Sea" as they brush their patrons' hair with sharp forks

Less bizarre than CGT issuing multiple PR blurbs about the triumphant crossing of "Fred Snite: The Man In The Iron Lung" including a line-sanctioned press photo of a formal dinner party in either Caen or Rouen Suite... with formally attired service staff at attention and Mr. Snite suspended upside down at the head of the table in his iron lung, viewing the party in a mirror mounted to the devise.

Poor taste and relentless publicity are hardly new in this aspect of the travel industry.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>Uhhhhhh...an auto dealership? That's...that's....words fail me. How long did it last?

The ship made its debut circa October 1931 and burned ca. January 1933, so the auto dealership lasted a year and three months. It made sense to have one~ first class on l'Atlantique was aimed at wealthy Argentines, and wealthy Europeans, making their seasonal 'avoid winter' pilgrimages to and from their respective countries. Buying a car on board simplified the grand tour considerably.

>As for myself ~ gimme masts, funnels, and actual portholes any day o' the week.

Is that not unlike choosing a hotel on shore based upon the fact that it has a water tank on the roof and awnings over the windows, rather than upon the services provided within? Funnels, while they existed, were the bane of travelers because of the endless rain of clothing-ruining smut, and their acrid reek, which made walking or sitting on deck far less romantic than advertising photos (taken whilst the ship as docked, I may add) suggest. Masts in no way affected, or affect, the passenger experience, and portholes were eliminated because of the VERY real sense of claustrophobia induced by being in a small room with a circular window a foot or less in diameter as its only source of natural light. Plus, people on cruises WANT to see the ocean~ which is why they are on cruises~ and giving them an all-but-nonexistent view in the name of design tradition makes no sense.

One can contrast what constituted contemporary good taste in design, and what constituted 'pouring it on for the yokels' quite easily in NYC at the moment. Take in the Normandie panels at the Met. Then walk over to the "east 40s" and check out the Lescaze residence (1934) at 211 East 48th. After which, subway up to the Grand Concourse (after checking out Radio City Music Hall) and take a look at the artwork which adorned ca 1935 apartment building aimed at the 'comfortably well off urban professional.' Now, having made that trip, one must then ask after removing the rose colored glasses of nostalgia, did the Normandie favor what constituted smart design and progressive architecture (put another way, "good taste?") when she was brand new, or did she strike one as being a bigger and better version of the lobby of a movie theater or apartment house aimed at the middle class of her era?

She was the spiritual forerunner of this new Oasis ship....
 

Grant Carman

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Jim

Great post, and I agree 100%. I remember when my grandparents used to come to Canada every second year, and would fly one way, and take one of the Cunard liners back, (I think Sylvania was their favorite). When those liners were withdrawn, they took CP a couple of times, but complained that it was like staying at the local office building.

Some things never change. I'm sure that when the QE and QM were launched, that people complained about them as well. After all, the styling of them was what we now call Mayfair Modern, (art deco is reserved for French design), which many many people didn't like.

It all comes down to the fact that cruise ships are in business to make money. So they design the ships to give people what they want. Most people don't want to spend a week sitting on a deck chair, and the companies take that into account.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>The ship made its debut circa October 1931 and burned ca. January 1933, so the auto dealership lasted a year and three months.<<

Okay. Learn something new everyday, and it looks like it was something of a success. Was it enough of a success that this was attempted on any other ship or did the idea burn with l'Atlantique?
 

Jim Kalafus

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The auto dealership and mall on l'Atlantique:
132625.jpg

atlantique_mall.jpg

atlantique_mall_2.jpg


Here is a wonderful illustration of what I mean in my earlier post when I said "What they HAVE been, at least in first class, is gloriously vulgar and at least ten years out of style when brand new."

artwork_january_bad_taste_copy2.jpg

From a trade magazine, post Titanic, pre-WW1, comes this wonderfully illustrated article about good taste and poor taste in theatrical design. Note that "poor taste" is a dead ringer for portions of the Titanic/Olympic lounge melded with the cabin that Mrs. Baxter and Mrs. Douglas occupied....

...which is why it makes me snicker when I read terms like 'stylish' and 'elegant' applied by present day writers to these ships because, by the standards of the day, they were neither. What they were, was 'safe' and retrograde, and not AIMED at the intellectual crowd....their target audience was people who got wealthy selling stove blacking who wanted to make a splash and travel in something suitably vulgar while doing so, and the interiors reflected the comfort zone of that demographic. In short...Carnival...Vegas....mentality adapted to 1912 standards.

In that light, embrace The Oasis...she's the great granddaughter, and stylistic equivalent, of the very ship that inspired this site.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Oh....thanks, Grant!

>I'm sure that when the QE and QM were launched, that people complained about them as well. After all, the styling of them was what we now call Mayfair Modern,

Queen Mary got poor marks. Famous quote about first rate material, first rate craftsmanship, appalling results appears in many books.

Funny thing is, if you want to 'deconstruct' the floating hotel ethos and TRULY build a ship that satisfies the "when ships looked like ships" crowd, what you'd end up with is the Britannia of Charles Dickens fame. The lasting monument to which is the detailed account that explains lucidly why people wanted ships that DIDN'T look like ships in the first place. Virtually EVERYTHING that followed her seems to have been negtively critiqued by SOMEONE for being too elaborate internally or too 'ugly' externally.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Here is a wonderful illustration of what I mean in my earlier post when I said "What they HAVE been, at least in first class, is gloriously vulgar and at least ten years out of style when brand new." <<

Those colours in that first photo were a real assault on my eyes, but I think that was the point. What looks stylish in black and white doesn't always look that great when seen as it really was.

>>their target audience was people who got wealthy selling stove blacking who wanted to make a splash and travel in something suitably vulgar while doing so, and the interiors reflected the comfort zone of that demographic.<<

The "If you've got it, flaunt it" mentality and it's a mentality that's alive and well today. Doesn't really matter much if you're talking about wine or ocean liners, the way of thinking is exactly the same.

>>Funny thing is, if you want to 'deconstruct' the floating hotel ethos and TRULY build a ship that satisfies the "when ships looked like ships" crowd, what you'd end up with is the Britannia of Charles Dickens fame.<<

Which wasn't a very comfortable ride when you get down to it. I've read some portions of Charles Dickens accounts and what he and a lot of other passengers put up with on a "real" ship would provoke a revolt these days. The food was barely edible after a few days and if mouldy cabin biscuits and fruit didn't sit well, the heavy pitching and rolls would make sure that anything which went down wouldn't stay down. Even in the 1st Cabin, the toilet was a chamber pot and the conditions down in steerage were appalling to say the least.

To sweeten the pot, there was always the possibility of being swept overboard to drown even if the ship didn't come to a bad end, and a lot of the early sail and steam packets did come to a bad end.

The "romance" of the sea is waaaaaaayyyyyyyy over rated.
 

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