Cruise Ship Names 2011
Written by: Paul Motter
Coming up with cruise ship names must be harder than it seems, because so many cruise lines do such a horrible job of it.
It is always hard to name things. I happen to play in a few rock & roll bands, and finding band names is next to impossible these days, and that says a lot when you can name a rock band almost anything. Those of you who have named children know how hard it is to find something you both like and that has meaning to you. I imagine cruise lines feel exactly the same way about their ships.
Or maybe not. Would you ever run a contest to name your baby? I know I would gladly accept suggestions, but running a contest? If you ask me, when Royal Caribbean ran its contest to name the Oasis-class vessels (sister ship, Allure) the results were less than stellar, frankly, I think they are awful names.
Royal Caribbean had a perfectly grand name for the world’s biggest passenger ship ever created – they called it the “Genesis Project.” Why didn’t they stick with that? When they had their contest I entered the name “Genesis” as my submission. It didn’t win. But I still think calling the ship just plain “Genesis” and finally doing away with all of that “…of the Seas” business was the best idea ever.
Now we have Norwegian (NCL) running a contest to name its two new ships from the “Breakaway Project,” in a contest in conjunction with USA Today, and they just announced the first five finalists. Significantly, one of them is “Norwegian Breakaway” – hey, I could have thought of that. I’m guessing NCL could have thought of that, too, so it probably won’t win, but I like the fact that they kept it as a possibility.
As you can see, the rules say the name must include the pre-fix “Norwegian”, so here are the final contestants!
• Norwegian Bliss, first submitted by David Menker of Dallas, Texas.
• Norwegian Breakaway, first submitted by Kimberly Powell of Lafayette, La.
• Norwegian Escape, first submitted by Joseph Funigiello of Naples, Fla.
• Norwegian Getaway, first submitted by Dennis Hultman of Vienna, Va.
• Norwegian Journey, first submitted by Florence Pflaster of Carolina Shores, N.C
These are in alphabetic order, but I would personally pick “Norwegian Bliss” – why? It’s the only decent name there. It at least invokes an image. What does “Norwegian Bliss” look like to you? To me she is about 5’ 9” with long blonde hair, blue eyes and a figure that never stops… oops, I digress.
Norwegian Escape – sounds a bit criminal, Norwegian Getaway, same thing! I guess if you have to name a pair of ships they may as well sound like partners in crime. The “Norwegian Brothers, fastest draws on the high seas.”
Norwegian Journey – I just can’t believe such a mundane name would make it to the final five. Royal Caribbean already established the rule here – NO cruise ship can be named after a rock band!
Okay, I am sorry but I have to say this. The company says they received over 230,000 entires. When I saw what they had picked I guessed it was more like 230 entires. Out of 230,000 those are the BEST suggestions? They are so indistinct, so non-evocative, so… mundane.
But mundane names do abound in the cruise ship world – here are some of the worst cruise ship names ever, in my opinion, and I am just trying to stick to names you have probably heard:
Azure Seas – this little tub ran day cruises from San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico, for almost two decades. It was a popular and fun voyage – and most people got pretty drunk, which made it the perfect name, as nothing sounds funnier than a person stewed to the gills trying to say “Azure Seas.”
Birka Princess: The Birka line is actually based in Sweden, but that name invokes visions of Arabian teenage girls shopping in the Dubai Galleria.
Black Watch – this one is with the Fred Olsen Line, a Norwegian company based in the U.K. – Why would anyone name a ship after what sounds like a satanic rite?
I have never liked Celebrity’s names much – you should never name a ship after terms that are the opposite of maritime. Summit, for example, is a terrestrial term, Solstice, Equinox, Eclipse – we know them well, but to first time cruisers I think the name “eclipse” sounds like you are taking something away.
For the record – I do like the idea of using ancients gods; Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Venus. It was perfectly fine for our astronomers. There are many gods who do not have ships represented in the modern cruise fleet. We do have Minerva – but why? It sounds like the heroine from a Marx Brothers movie. There is even a Minerva II.
And a name that is unreasonably hard to pronounce should eliminated without prejudice; Adventurer is a good example. Armonia is another – how do you remember that? “It sounds like a cleaning product, but I have no idea what it means!”
Holland America – need I say more? Every ship in their fleet is impossible to remember: You have the Maasdam, the Ryndam, the Veendam, etc.; all hard to remember, but at least pronounceable. There are the HAL ships that sound like they have an infestation, the Rotterdam and the Volendam. Finally there is the Nieuw Amsterdam, the Zuiderdam and the king of tongue twisters, the Oosterdam.
What do you think Norwegian should name its two new ships – two of the five listed names (here they are again) – or something completely different?
• Norwegian Bliss
• Norwegian Breakaway
• Norwegian Escape,
• Norwegian Getaway
• Norwegian Journey
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Posted: September 7th, 2011 under Paul Motter.