Cruise ships often have more impressive décor than most shore-side buildings. In fact it is often braver décor than most buildings have.
Many ships also have impressive art collections on board. Some ship even have art work on deck and sport impressive hull-art.
How important is a ships décor really is to the passenger experience?
Cruise lines obviously think that the décor is VERY important, given the fact they spend millions of pounds/dollars on it and regularly undertake refurbishments, re-styling the decor.
I’ve certainly been on board ships where I have loved the décor . I’ve also been on board ships where the décor has not generally been to my liking. However sometimes different public rooms are created by different designers, so it is very possible to love some rooms, think some are mediocre and dislike others – all on the same ship.
There certainly used to be a different between UK and US style décor on-board ships.
For example P&O ships décor was regarded as rather tasteful to the reserved and often very traditional Brits, when compared to the Las Vegas ‘glitz’ of many American ships. However by American tastes it was understated’ or even bland.
Since Carnival acquired P&O and provided new mega-ships, we have seen more vibrant décor for British passengers. There have also been frequent visits of big US ships to UK ports offering cruises for Brits. I believe the British cruising masses are getting acclimatised to a more bold colour schemes and more glitz.
Joe Farcus, the American Navel Architect, has designed some mind-blowing interiors for Carnival and Costa ships. He calls it ‘Entertainment Architecture’. It’s very original, very colourful and often very loud. It’s Las Vegas ‘Glitz’ in style with maybe a hint of psychedelia. His work is definitely not to every-bodies taste.
Décor and ‘taste’ changes over time, of course. I think the pure-glitz has gone out of fashion and in some cases is being replaced with a more sophisticated cappuccino-café style, as I call it.
For example the ‘Norwegian Cruise Lines’ (NCL) ships built between 2001-2007 (Star, Jade, Gem etc.) all have very colourful décor in places, not unlike Farcus’s work.
However NCL’s ‘Norwegian Edge’ which is a $400 million revitalization program of their fleet, will see the décor updated. For example, the image above is Norwegian Gem’s original Atrium décor. Below is the refurbishment which less over-the-top, being more sophisticated.
So how important is the décor to you? Have you been on board a ship where the décor was not to you liking? Do you love some ships décor? Please tell me.