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Old October 1st, 2010, 09:59 PM
AshleeBelle AshleeBelle is offline
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OK thank you for letting me know.

There are a couple of things I would like to point out to you. The first is that although Holland America's names may be both unspellable and unpronounceable to you and I they are part of a tradition with HAL that stretches back over most of a century and possibly beyond. Quite frankly each of those names has significance for HAL and is part of a tradition in ocean travel that can only be matched today by the Cunard line. Asking them to depart from them for the sake of the English speaking world's inability to spell or pronounce the names currently in use would be no different then people in China requesting that the name of the Queen Mary 2 or Queen Victoria be changed to something that they better understand or were able to spell. In my opinion it would do immeasurable damage to the reputation of a line that takes pride in it's traditions and that caters to a clientele that cherishes and respects those same traditions.

Of the Seas started in the mid 80s with Sovereign of the Seas which as we all know was the first of the modern mega-ships. She was originally named for HMS Sovereign of the Seas a British warship built in the 15th century. If you don't mind I will cut and paste the relevant section of her wikipedia entry to show why RCCL chose this name.

[I]Sovereign of the Seas was ordered in August 1634 on personal initiative of Charles I of England, who desired a giant Great Ship to be built. The decision provoked much opposition from the Brethren of Trinity House, who pointed out that "There is no port in the Kingdome that can harbour this shipp.[I]

As you can see RCCL was making a point of celebrating the size and grandeur of this ship with their name choice. This tradition continued with the first two classes of mega-ships they built with names like Monarch of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas and Splendor of the Seas. Given that this was taking place at a time when Carnival was coming up with such classy and memorable names as Sensation, Jubilee, and Celebration and NCL was starting to call every ship they built Norwegian something (as if they owned a copyright on Norwegian owned and operated cruise ships) I find it refreshing that RCCL reached for something that really imparted a sense of character and class to their ships. Maybe it has grown old now that we are in to the 5 or 6th generation of mega-ships from RCCL. But I still find their names among the more inspired and beautiful of the ships being operated today. One final note if Sovereign had not been named for HMS Sovereign of the Seas should could have just as easily be name for Donald McKay's Sovereign of the Seas. An equally grand and beautiful ship for her time.

I do agree that it was foolish for Celebrity to abandon their astronomy based names, but honestly it could have been far far worse then it is. At least the new names still impart a sense of class and style to their vessels and honestly in this day and age that's almost more then a traditionalist can hope for or expect.
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