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Old July 25th, 2010, 10:44 PM
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Default Ships, old and new.....

When cruise ships were ocean liners, there was a certain romance about the ships, The names, the profile, the stacks, etc. Fast forward 100 years or so, and we are in what seems to be, a race between the cruise lines to see who can gave the biggest, the baddest, the most technology, etc, etc, etc!

So, to many, these hulks of the sea, are so far from how many of us started our cruise history, it's amazing.

So, what's your opinion of the new ship designs, the painted hulls, and the skyscraper heights? How about the cruise lines selecting the competitions names, for their new ships? How many Dreams, Splendours, and Dawns do we really need? Are the lines hoping some confusion on the part of new cruisers, will get more bookings? I bet it happens!

So Cruisemates....simply looking at the ship, not considering the interiors at all, what to you think?
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Old July 26th, 2010, 12:27 AM
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Boy--that's a good one--where to start??
First of all, ( and this is just my personal opinion ) I think the painted hulls on the NCL ships are gaudy looking. I wouldn't spend the money it costs to build a ship and paint it up like something from a cartoon movie.
And, you have to consider that time catches up and changes most things.
Several years back people who cruised were a different clientele than those who cruise today. People used to want to get away to relax, take it easy , to have a vacation from the hustle and bustle of the work-a-day world. Now, people want to take the hustle and bustle with them.
People used to like a slow stroll around the promenade deck late at night or after dinner--have a smoke, kiss their lady, look at the moon, etc.
Years ago, crossing the ocean was by ship was the main way to travel from continent to continent. Then the airplane changed all that, leaving the ship owners with having to come up with something to do with the ships rather than scrap them or let them set and rust.
This is where the recreational cruising started to come in-- as it did, more and more people started jumping on the band wagon, meaning more and bigger ships, then of course one-up-man- ship started and it's not slowed down yet.
Each line has to have a gimmick--an ice rink--an indoor garden--an outdoor golf course-- a zip line across the ship, etc. Buffets that feed people three times the food they need, etc. and so it goes.
The cruise lines just develop and sell what the passengers are wanting--X dollars to sit on a computer while at sea--X dollars to make that all unimportant cell phone call-- bingo---spa treatments--specialty restaurants, huge gambling casinos --it all adds up to what the customer wants--most don't cruise for the same reasons people did several years ago.To give the passengers today what they want, they have to have bigger ships,fancier ships, catchy names, --something and anything the other guys don't have to attract the people.And people equals money!
You might be surprised at the people who cruise that can't tell you the name of the ship they are going on or where all the stops are.I see that all the time. Some don't even care.
Trip mentioned how many ships of the same name do we need--I"m beginning to wonder how many ships the Caribbean can accommodate.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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I totally agree that sometimes bigger isn't better. I go on a cruise to relax, let loose, have some fun, be catered to, eat too much, sightsee, do what i want when i want not feel i have to do this, try this, see this while on board
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Old July 26th, 2010, 09:28 PM
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Until I actually see the ships up close and personal I can't give a total answer; however I will say this; Norweign Epic looks ugly. It looks out of balance, and it surely isn't sleek looking; That being said; Oasis of the Seas doesn't look like the perfect cruise ship either. But I will say, if I can get past the ugly looks of these two huge ships, I love the inside and all the things you can do onboard. I love options; the more options the better; it gives me more to do during my time onboard. I think the nicest ship in the fleet is Freedom of the seas; it still looks like a cruise ship. it's large but there is enough to do onboard to keep anyone happy. I have been on Majesty and Splendour of the Seas. Had a great time on both ships; but, there isn't enough for me to do. I can not stay still for too long without looking for something to do. Just walking around the larger ships is enough to keep me occupied for awhile. I can't wait to sail Allure of the Seas in Jan. I can have so much fun moving from one place to the next. this is my opinion and I hope I don't offend anyone by saying I like the larger ships.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 11:47 AM
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The painted hulls of NCL screams "fun" to me. Long gone are the days of the strolling on the decks after dinner. We are off to the deck party or karaoke. Sleep I can do that a work. I want to get on a ship and have some serious fun. I spend time either at work or commuting to work or doing chores around the house. I love cruising because I get on a ship someone takes care of me and my cabin while I'm out doing all those fun things I don't have the time to do during the rest of the year. I do have to say it's not true that long gone are the days of strolling on the decks after dinner. You can do that on Celebrity. I tried a Celebrity cruise once it was all about relaxing. To me it was horribly boring. It doesn't suit me.

I do worry with the Oasis and Allure that supply will out weigh demand and cause the cruise industry big problems in the future. Would I cruise the Oasis if I could get a decent airfare and cruise price. I sure would. I think Carnival is going in the right direction fun and affordable ships with interesting ports of call. After you have a cruised a while your feeling is take me somewhere new. Carnival does that at least crusing out of the West Coast they do.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by LisaK View Post
I totally agree that sometimes bigger isn't better. I go on a cruise to relax, let loose, have some fun, be catered to, eat too much, sightsee, do what i want when i want not feel i have to do this, try this, see this while on board
Oh Lisa,I so agree with you.. I don't need a bowling alley or rock climbing or even an ice skating rink (to see a show maybe)..Although I have to admit the Soltice never, ever felt crowded nor were there long lines.. That is one of the reasons I love trans-atlantic cruises...more days and hours to do...whatever I want..
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:54 PM
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Today, as was the case a century ago, ship design is a matter of form-follows-function.
Today's ships are mostly party boats rather than ferries, which is what the grand ocean liners really were. The crossing between North America and Europe was commonly known as "The Atlantic Ferry". Transportation from Point A to Point B.

Shipping lines have always been in competiton with each other for Biggest. Fastest. Most Luxurious. Fanciest... what have you. Whether 100 years ago or now, same story. The most famous rivalry was between Cunard Line's Queen Mary and the French Line's Normandie.
Or, really, Great Britain vs. France.

Today's mega-ships are built for island drifting for families and for partiers. People demand balconies, hence the huge condo-like superstructures. As today's ships no longer carry cargo, and with advances in marine architecture, there is simply no need for long bows or tapered aft decks or tall multiple funnels.
That said, some of today's ships seem needlessly gaudy and awkward, at best.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:53 PM
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To me the ugliest ship has to be the Epic. I don't mind the painted hulls though some to me are not the best designs. I do love the faces on the Aida ships. I don't need all of the extras that you get on RCI newer ships or NCL's newer ships especially all the resturants of NCL.

To me great ship has a promenade deck that goes completely around the whole ship outside. We both loved the promenades on the Princess ships.

The one newer item of ships that we do really like is the large screen by the pool, we have seen some pretty good movies and if it happens to be a sports event we can handle that too.

Neither of us are into the gambling but we will check out the slots at least once. We have found that unfortunately most of the shows are not to our taste but that is okay.

As to the names, yes it can be confusing espeically to people new to cruising. Both RCI and Carnival need to figure out a new way to name the ships.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 07:15 AM
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The biggest changes from 100 years ago was from, as already mentioned, a mode of transportation to a sailing vacation.

I kinda like the hulls on the NCL ships, I have also seen the AAIDA ships in the Caribbean with even gaudier hauls then NCL.

Ships will continue the progression to be "resorts at sea". I can even envision more and more "Cruises to nowhere" in the future. The cruise lines who are the most innovative within cost restraints will cash in I am sure.

I agree with another reader who said they would sail on the Oasis or Allure if the prices were cheaper. I can't believe that those mega ships fill every cabin for every cruise with the prices they are charging.

The future of cruising will be determined by economics. If job loss in America continues to rise we will probably see the cruise industry start to really migrate towards China and Australia leaving a few ships in the Caribbean. This time we are in in Cruising history, I believe, is the Apex, I can't imagine it getting any better then it is today.

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Old October 2nd, 2010, 06:33 PM
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When I took my first cruise way back in 1985 much of the elegance and grace of ocean travel was still present. Many of the ships were converted Atlantic liners with the beautiful lines of a real ship and many other ships were still built with that graceful look in mind.

The best of today's ships are a pale imitation of those beautiful vessels and the worst look like nothing so much as over-sized car ferries. With the abandonment of voyages that might often experience dirty weather and a need to get the vessel to it's destination as quickly as possible, we have seen many of the aspects that made those vessels so beautiful. Year round sailings in the endless summer of the Caribbean no longer require enclosed promenade decks to enjoy the beauty of the sea. The ability to avoid high seas and a need to get their first has allowed the ship designers to dispense with those beautiful hull forms that contributed so much to the romance of the ocean liner as well.

Ocean travel as an end unto it self has been replaced with activities that cruise lines consider far more lucrative as well. What cruise executive would rather have their ship passengers be able to enjoy the beauty of the open sea instead of sitting in front of a slot machine endlessly jamming 20 dollar bills into them with the hope of striking it rich. Why cater to those few among us who continue to carry ourselves with grace and class on formal night when they can pack the ships full of people in blue jeans and flip flops. Why worry about a ships seaworthiness when a giant box so can be so much more efficient in packing the people and extra cost activities in.

Look at these beautiful ships and point to anything even half so lovely, elegant or classy that is sailing the oceans of the world today.
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