Celebrity Solstice is a beautiful ship name, but does "Reflection" measure up?
Reflecting on Ship Names
Celebrity Cruises just announnced that the fifth ship is the Solstice class will be named Celebrity Reflection. The previous ships were named Soltice, Equinox, Eclipse, Silhouette and now Reflection. My question is -
why did the pattern break down?
The state of the art of cruise ships has never been better; today's vessels could only have been conceived and created by technology geniuses of first order. So, I cannot help wondering how it is that people this intelligent can come up with ship names that just don't seem to do justice to their magnificent creations.
When Celebrity announced the name Celebrity Reflection I saw a critical comment online where the poster said "I picture a senior citizen reflecting on old memories." My wife came up with a brilliant idea, in my opinion, Celebrity Reflections. Either way, the worst thing to me is that ships of one class should have thematic names that work together. I think Celebrity should have stayed with the original premise of astronomy-related names.
The "Solstice class" of Celebrity started with three thematic names; Solstice, Eclipse and Equinox, but they then followed up with Silhouette and Reflection. Not only are those not related, they don't sound like ship names to me. They sound more like wrist watches.
Celebrity already had the perfect names for these last two Solstice sister ships in its repertoire; Zenith and Galaxy. I like it when cruise lines pay homage to their previous ships by bringing back retired names as other cruise lines so often do. But even if they choose not to do that, there were other celestial names that also could have worked. Celestial is one of them.
The same people who named "Reflection" recently invented a new word for a new cruise line: "Azamara." Its Latin roots mean "blue" and "seas." I think most people agree the name feels too "concocted." New words are more memorable when created from words people already know. Going back to the Solstice class, how about Solara, Celesta, Novus or Lunaire - or any combination of those syllables?
As you probably guessed, I went to the same place Celebrity probably went; the glossary of an astronomy book. I like the idea of a theme, but I also think a name should reflect the class of ship. I admit I am still disappointed that Royal Caribbean chose "Oasis of the Seas" for the most amazing cruise ship ever built. They dropped "The Genesis Project" as the working title after years of usage within the cruise industry. With all that branding already under its belt I wanted them to call the first ship "Genesis." Yes, I wanted them to drop "of the Seas." Not only am I tired of writing it over and again all these years; but who among us didn't grow up with "Chicken of the Seas?" That has just never worked for me, sorry.
The dictionary definition of genesis is "an origin, creation or beginning." To me, that was the perfect description for an entirely revolutionary ship design. But Royal Caribbean instead held a "name the ship" contest and erased years of branding the Genesis project. The winning combination of names was, "Oasis of the Seas" and "Allure of the Seas." Like many other people, I was especially disappointed with their final selection. "Oasis of the Seas" is a huge, revolutionary, category defining ship. It deserved a BIG name, and Genesis (the beginning of the Universe) was the perfect fit. Genesis is bigger than life but an Oasis is small.
Why did they drop that name? My guess is that it sounded too "biblical" which some people may have found offensive, but when the biggest independent airline in Britain is called "Virgin," how bad can being controversial be?
Furthermore, a ship name should never have a terrestrial connotation (referring to solid ground) and the definition of Oasis is "a small fertile or green area in a desert region, usually having a spring or well." Another example is "Celebrity Summit." A summit is a mountaintop. There is no such thing as a mountaintop at sea.
Most novice cruisers can never remember the name of the ship they were on - but does Holland America have to make that even harder with names that are nearly impossible to pronounce let alone remember? How do you tell someone you just cruised on the Oosterdam with or the Zuiderdam? If you work on the Zuiderdam you probably have this conversation every day, "Excuse me, how to do you pronounce the name of this ship; is it Zider, Zeeder, Zwider or Zweeder?"
Princess was smart enough to go for the better jewels; Diamond, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire; but why did NCL choose the less valuable ones like Jade, Pearl and the generic Gem?
And what about "borrowing" existing ship names? How many ships are named Sun, Star, Sky, Dream, Liberty, Splendor, Magic or Freedom? I like the name Seabourn, (although it should have been Seaborne) and their ship names; Pride, Legend and Spirit (all names Carnival eventually borrowed). I especially like their newer names, especially Sojourn and Quest. Odyssey is a bit over-used, but it fits in with the theme. At least Carnival bought the cruise line before it borrowed the names.
Then there is Regent, whose names are also very good; Voyager, Mariner and Navigator. Too bad Royal Caribbean had to "borrow" those names for their own first class of mega-ships. But they had no fiduciary right to those names, so now you know why every ship in the Royal Caribbean Fleet has "of the Seas" attached to it - to avoid trademark issues. The same is true for Carnival, which added the "Carnival" word in front of all of its ship names two years ago.
To discuss the new name, Celebrity Reflection, go here:
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