Floating Hell-hole 1..

6th June 2006, 19:32
Not my idea of a quiet holiday....press item....

There's big, bigger and now Freedom of the Seas.

The world's largest luxury liner -- taller than the Statue of Liberty and longer than an aircraft carrier -- will sail out of Miami today on her maiden voyage to the western Caribbean.

She sets a new standard for big. The latest fleet addition for Royal Caribbean International, Freedom comes in at 160,000 gross registered tons and is capable of carrying 4,375 passengers.

But it won't hold the record for very long. As cruise lines seek to maximize their profits amid a weakening Caribbean cruise market, they want to attract people whose idea of a vacation is more than betting on bingo and bellying up to the buffet. The bigger the ship, the more restaurants, entertainment and other amenities it's likely to have.

And Freedom has its share on its 15 decks, including a wave pool that simulates surfing and a boxing ring in the largest-ever cruise ship gym. There's also a brightly colored water park for children, and for their parents, whirlpools that are cantilevered off the side of the ship.

Royal Caribbean plans to introduce two more similarly sized ships in the next two years. Then, in 2009, it plans to come out with a 220,000-ton behemoth capable of carrying 5,400 passengers, now known only by its code name, Genesis.

``At some stage, people will say, `OK, enough already.' But ships of Freedom's size will be what you see at ports all around the world 10, 15 years from now,'' said Tony Peisley, an industry analyst and author of a new book, ``The Future of Cruising -- Boom or Bust?''

Freedom's closest competitor now, Cunard Line's 2-year-old Queen Mary 2, is more than 151,000 tons and carries 3,090 passengers.

Cruise lines worldwide will take delivery of seven new ships this year with an average capacity for 3,319 passengers, up from an average of 1,773 for 13 new ships in 2000, according to Peisley.

``Nobody's building small ships anymore,'' he said. ``They're building them larger because it's more profitable for them. And the reality is the passengers like the bigger ships.''

Carnival and Royal Caribbean, the No. 1 and No. 2 cruise ship operators, together made $3 billion last year, up 27 percent from 2004.

As their ships have grown, so have their sales from tickets and onboard spending. Although more waiters and bartenders are needed on bigger ships, they're paid mostly in tips rather than wages. And the bigger ships burn roughly the same amount of fuel, thanks to technological advances.

Royal Caribbean built Freedom to appeal to today's vacationer who craves action. Besides the wave pool and boxing ring, there's a rock-climbing wall, an ice-skating rink, a full-sized basketball court, and a sports pool for volleyball and other games.

The fact that Freedom also happens to be the world's largest luxury liner isn't the point, said Adam Goldstein, president of Royal Caribbean.

``We build bigger ships to encompass more choices,'' Goldstein said. ``We're not sitting around saying, `Hey, can we get two more tons?' We're sitting around saying, `What do families want?' ''

So far, the response to Freedom has been positive. The ship is heavily booked through the year's end, with summer fares for the seven-night cruises costing $500 to $700 more than on other vessels cruising the Caribbean.

But Freedom faces numerous challenges, primarily a weakening Caribbean cruise market and concerns about another unusually active hurricane season. And some say cruisers are growing tired of visiting the same Caribbean ports again and again.

Freedom, which cost $800 million to build, won't solve that because it's too big to tie up at smaller, off-the-beaten-path ports such as Virgin Gorda and St. Kitts. Instead, its weeklong cruises from Miami will stop in Cozumel, Mexico, and George Town, Grand Cayman, two of the most heavily visited ports, as well as Montego Bay, Jamaica and Labadee, Haiti.

``We have people now who just go on the ships and don't want to get off. They've been to every port two times, four times, eight times,'' said Sylvia Berman, president of Post Haste Travel in Hollywood, Fla., who characterizes the need for new ports as ``desperate.''

Also, some wonder whether cruising on Freedom will be too Disney-esque, referring to the potential for huge crowds and long lines.

``These are beyond floating resorts,'' said Stewart Chiron, president of Joystar Cruises, a Miami-based travel agency. ``I mean, how many resorts that you know of hold that many people?''

Goldstein said Royal Caribbean is limiting passenger capacity to 3,600 and gradually will work its way to 4,375 to allow crew members to adjust.

Previously, Royal Caribbean's biggest ships were its five 138,000-ton Voyager vessels, introduced in 1999.

Rival Carnival Cruise Lines, meanwhile, is building a 130,000-ton vessel, its biggest yet. But President and CEO Bob Dickinson said he is in no hurry to top Freedom.

``We're not interested in having the largest for the sake of having the largest, or else we would have responded to the Voyager-class ships,'' Dickinson said. ``We're about having fun ships and a certain camaraderie.''

Dan Charette, a 41-year-old real estate agent from the Tampa Bay area, plans to sail on Freedom in October. He prefers smaller ships and is ``a little apprehensive'' about going on Freedom. But he's eager to try new activities.

``There's just so much to do,'' Charette said. ``I'll try the wave pool if the line isn't too long.''

6th June 2006, 20:09
4 to 5 thousand passengers going ashore for the day, should be fun last off will have to have a quick look around otherwise they will miss the sailing. Will there be enough coaches!!!.

6th June 2006, 20:17
To me that would be the leisure time to relax and enjoy the ship...no point in spening the day disembarking / embarking / barking mad is there..?!


Frank P
6th June 2006, 23:21
Good report Rushie.

1. If I wanted to go rock climbing, I would go to an outdoor leisure centre!

2. If I wanted to surfing, I would go to a surfing beach!

3. If I wanted to go ice skating, I would go to an ice rink in Blackpool!

4. If I wanted to go on a real cruise, I certainly would not go on that thing!

Cheers Frank

6th June 2006, 23:27
the idea now for the u.l curise liners is the ship is the destination,the ports that can accommodate them will become fewer and fewer .to transfer passengers ashore you would need launches for 200 people.time is of the essnse on cruises

7th June 2006, 11:17
I am going on one almost as big as Freedom of the Seas next April, the Navigator of the Seas at 138,000. So it will be interesting to see how they cope with so many passengers. It took long enough for Oriana to disembark her passengers a couple of weeks ago of around 1,975. they began at 0900 and I went off at 1030, and there were still groups behind me.

Also of course, those who have read my posts since I joined SN know that I do not regard these floating holiday centres like Freedom of the Sea as liners even though cruise companies and best part of the population refer them as cruise liners or even worse, just liners. None of the new ships at least, except QE2 and now Queen Mary 2 have ever taken passengers from A to B simply as a means of transport on a scheduled 'line voyage'. I won't repeat my earlier posts expect to repeat what Captain Wally Vickers of Canberra told me in December 1972 when Canberra arrived back in Southampton after her final line voyage from Sydney. He said: " Canberra has ceased to be a liner and will become a full time cruise ship, and then explained that the word liner came from line voyages. I then researched the origin and found that Captain Vickers was right, but I have either lost some of this material when I moved 6 years ago or is stuck away in the loft under piles of bags, and would take ages to research again. Others says the word comes from Ship of the Line. My own research showed that as Captain Vickers said, our ancestors added an R to line to make one word to describe the trade of all vessels plying this trade whether cargo or passenger i.e passenger liner and cargo liner. But whoever is correct, one thing is for certain, cruise ships do not fall into either catagory whatever modern dictionaries may say(as pointed out by other members in the past) unless they carry passengers from one place to another like the old days, they will never be liners whether dictionaries say so or not. I will never accept that language moves on to attatch the word liner to a vessel that is no more than a floating holiday resort. But having said that, I suppose all era's go through the same change and we just have to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to it knowing that we can't stop changes whether good or bad?!. But I do wish that some dictionaries in particular would do more research into the history of liner, and take note of the words of Stephen Payne OBE, designer of Queen May 2 when he went on record saying she was the first passenger liner built since QE2. He did his research before making such a statement, so it is a pity others don't do the same such as dictionaries who some people take as gospel.

By the way, I did ask the Staff Captain on Oriana what he said to passengers if they called his ship a boat something that annoyed skippers of yesteryear. He said Oriana was certainly not a boat. But went further by saying that Oriana is not a ship either, but a vessel. He said that a ship is a three masted sailing ship. That was new to me because I was always told by old-school captains, and naval admirals etc that that a ship has covered deck, ships carry boats, but boats do not carry ships, and the only large vessel that is a boat is a submarine. So to be told that a ship is a three masted sailing ship certainly opened up this debate?!. David

iain mac
7th June 2006, 11:45
strictlyspeaking,a ship is a sailing vessel with three or more masts square rigged on all.

7th June 2006, 11:51
Hmmm....surely ships have developed since then.? That seems like the original dictionary description.


iain mac
7th June 2006, 12:12
I was in the mn for 32 years and whether she wasa 250,000ton tanker or a10,000 ton
reefer they were always boats,most if not all of my shipmates also referred to them as

7th June 2006, 12:26
Yes we did Ian but it was slang and we knew it was slang, that is the difference whether you are at sea for 32 years or 132. We referred to the Orient line ships as 'O' Boats, but it was slang. We knew that they were actually ships. But the majority of people I speak to literally think a ship is a boat. But we have been down that road before here on Ships Nostalgia(not Boat Nostalgia which it would be if ships were boats or Boating Forecast not Shipping Forecast etc!!). My sailing friends however would not agree with the Staff Captain. But all the skippers I sailed with in the past if you called their ship a boat they would soon put you right. I remember Captain Dallas on Arcadia, a well respected P&O skipper telling a passenger that the only boats connected to his ship were lifeboats?!. David

Pat McCardle
7th June 2006, 12:54
I thought they were Motor Vessels or Steam Ships? My first vessel was a cargo liner, liner being on a regular route service ie GB to NZ to GB. (Thumb)

7th June 2006, 16:02
You are right Pat, nice to see cargo liner mentioned. They still ply regular routes to Australia and NZ, and hopefull always will. Passengers may get from A to B by air now, but I think it will be a while before all the worlds trade is carried by air if ever?!. David

7th June 2006, 16:13
Put it this way.....

If you happened to be run over (in your BOAT) by the "Jahre Viking"....would you really admit to the lads down the pub that you'd been run over by a BOAT...?.....NO......you'd say you ran into the biggest SHIP in the world....

BOATS still have sails....and Ellen McArthur aboard....SHIPS are metal (and yes I discount FastCraft as being ships)...c'mon...who on the Mersey, Tyne, Tees or Clyde would ever admit to building BOATS...?

Let's have a poll of members here.....2 questions -

1. Should we rename this website "Boats Nostalgia"..?
2. If we did...who would take any notice of it...?

Answers on messages in bottles to....


Jeff Egan
7th June 2006, 16:20
Used to be lots of boatbuilders on the Tyne still are one or two.

7th June 2006, 16:25
Nothing wrong with that Jeff...but what's the biggest they build..?


Jeff Egan
7th June 2006, 16:28
Boats or ships ? As far as ships or boats are concerned bigger is'nt always better

7th June 2006, 16:36
Well you said they were boatbuilders...so boats.

If they still build ships though...be interested to know of it and the types.



Jeff Egan
7th June 2006, 16:44
c'mon...who on the Mersey, Tyne, Tees or Clyde would ever admit to building BOATS...?
Lots of good boatbuilders on all these rivers would admit to building very good boats as for ships, yes they are still building ships on the Tyne, two are fitting out at the moment, in the past they have built just about every type of vessel there is from Super Tankers to War Ships to great Passenger liners and last but not least canoes.

Pat McCardle
7th June 2006, 18:19
Don't forget the Wear, as in Sunderland, once the biggest SHIPbuilding town in the world. As for boats, a submarine is a boat. As days gone by the train from Victoria to Southampton was known as the 'Boat' train. I believe a boat is a vessel with no decks, whereas a ship has? (Thumb)

Jeff Egan
7th June 2006, 18:40
Did you know the South Tyne, the Wear and the Tees all have their source at Cross Fell, not many people know that.

7th June 2006, 18:50
Excellent shipbuilders the yards of the Tyne...and the Wear were...but the original observation was - "what you described as a ship"...how you've made it into a canoe is quite fascinating..!

I do however applaud the canoe builders of the Tyne...Here's to 'em...and he who paddles it....


Jeff Egan
7th June 2006, 19:07
Everyone knows a ship is a square rigged sailing vessel and if we are being historically correct only a square rigged sailing vessel can truely be called a ship, in modern day parlance a ship is something different but for a quirk in history we may have been calling what we know as ships, Barques or Sloops. Then we would be members of Sloops Nostalgia.

7th June 2006, 19:22
Fair enough then....welcome everyone to -


Any change of a new section especially dedicated to lovers of coracles..?

Jeff Egan
7th June 2006, 19:26
No, it just dosent quite roll off the tongue, I'll stick to "ships nostalgia"

Pat McCardle
7th June 2006, 20:41
Everyone knows a ship is a square rigged sailing vessel and if we are being historically correct only a square rigged sailing vessel can truely be called a ship, in modern day parlance a ship is something different but for a quirk in history we may have been calling what we know as ships, Barques or Sloops. Then we would be members of Sloops Nostalgia.

A Barque is square rigged. A Ship is a vessel fully square rigged on 3 or more masts (Thumb)

8th June 2006, 01:29
at what point did passengers become guests?

John Rogers
8th June 2006, 03:01
When the title of Chief Steward became Hotel Manager,thats what they call them on the cruise ships.

Jeff Egan
8th June 2006, 10:26
Pat a barque is not fully square rigged it has fore and aft sails also, but it is just muddying the water to the point I was trying to get across, nautical terminology changes through the generations just like the rest of language the main thing is that we understand each other. I read a while back that lots of phrases from various ethnic groups are now being absorbed into Cockney, even by the younger "White" community older eastenders were up in arms at this but didnt their Fathers and Gradfathers bring a lot of ethnic words into the English language?

John Rogers
8th June 2006, 19:36
Dom, to add to my previous post in regards to Guest, I guess its from the old days ,when you booked a Passage you became a passenger. Now you dont book a passage to anywhere,you buy a berth on a cruise so you become a Guest.

8th June 2006, 21:00

Call me a pedantic old bugger (you would not be the first) but a guest is someone invited to stay with you - no commercial transactions are involved (although I have to concede that there is an old expression paying guest meaning a lodger).

A hotel doesn't invite you - you book a room and pay them. Same applies to a cruise as far as I can see so guest is not appropriate.

Passenger implies a passage from one place to another and was quite appropriate in the past. I suppose with a cruise this is not really quite right as they are often circular trips. Perhaps the people paying to go on cruises should be called cruisers - but unfortunately this expression has another connotation in some circles! (*))

Personally I don't like this usage - it is just another example of the erosion of the meaning of words. Much as I like the US, your country sets a bad example to the world in ways of devaluing the English language. One of many examples that really gets up my nose is the recent usage of the word "awesome". No longer used to describe overwhelming experiences it now gets used to describe the taste of the latest flavoured yogurt with nuts and billberries.

I would like to disband the politically correct police but redeploy the officers into the Protect the English Language Police.

Bah! Humbug!!!


John Rogers
8th June 2006, 21:14
It is all about money and commercialism, and I agree with most of your post, but there is a thing as a Hotel Guest I believe.

8th June 2006, 22:57
31 posts ago Rushie kindly told us about the new 'Freedom of the Seas'......its amazing (I won't say awesome) how these threads turn out sometimes! (*))

John Rogers
8th June 2006, 23:52
Peter,how about "Fantastic"

9th June 2006, 01:25
Hot topic this one and I am prepared to get my fingers burnt, I learnt something similar to that said by Pompeyfan but with a slight twist, at sea school we were instructed that a boat " was any vessel that would fit on a ship ".
We were also instructed that "we were not seaman but only Commercial Travellers".
Last cruise I was on was the maiden cruise for Fair Princess out of Sydney, she had been laying up somewhere for 12 months before that and came illprepared but nicely painted, in a lot of areas the aircon gave up, the plumping gave up, fresh water gave up and her speed was reduced to half for some time, luckily I was in the right half of the ship and even though we missed one island, had a wonderful time.
Better to be 2 of about 1200 on a classic liner with half of her intended services than 2 of 3 to 5000 sheep in a floating pen.
Also mentioned to the Chief Steward that I had been Pool Attendant on Iberia and a bottle arrived at the dinner table.
P&O paid a lot of compensation for that cruise and a lot since, only last week an outward from Sydney pulled into Brisbane with a virus onboard Pacific Sun, there was more wingeing going on than last year when the Poms won back the Ashes.

9th June 2006, 02:38
Don't know about that 'old' business but I agree about the mangling of the language.
You have a 'visitor' coming into your home and I suppose he/she becomes a 'guest' if invited to stay over??
Could it be that "Passenger" wit 9 letters is maybe too hard for some to get around, and "Guest" with 5 is easier?
Just call me a cynic, but don't call me old.
David D.

9th June 2006, 09:08
Here's another article about the thing.....sounds vile. Thing is I like the bit about "you don't have to sail anywhere"...may as well dock it as a theme park then..?!!

Visitors, guests..?...Neither...I would suggest "inmates" as more appropriate.!

Press release 08 June -

Freedom of the Seas: Excess is success on giant new ship

Royal Caribbean International has put to rest the skeptic's question, "What's there to do on a cruise ship?"

If the line's new Freedom of the Seas is any indicator, the answer is "everything."

The 160,000-ton vessel, which debuted in late May and nudged out the Queen Mary 2 as the biggest cruise ship, , brings with it an ever widening world of whiz-bang amenities. Frankly, there's so much to do on board this behemoth, it could stay put and not sail anywhere at all. Freedom-huge and jam-packed with options-really mimics a city at sea. (If you include its elevators, you could say it even has a local transportation system.).

The $800-million ship, sailing on Caribbean cruises out of Miami and already heavily booked,, brings the cruise industry some good news. Several deaths, including a honeymooning groom who went missing from a Royal Caribbean Mediterranean cruise last summer and 12 Celebrity Cruises passengers killed in a March bus accident in Chile, along with several incidences of widespread illnesses onboard ships, have dampened bookings and caused some lines to slash prices. Two punishing hurricanes seasons in the Caribbean haven't helped either.

Super-sized ship

While in a class all its own, Freedom has all that its Voyager-class precursors have... and then some. One industry wag dubbed it "Freedom from the Seas" because, unless you bring binoculars, you won't ever see the ocean on a ship this huge.

Freedom's statistics are startling. It soars to 15 decks high. At 1,112 feet in length, if stood upright it would rise taller than New York City's 1,046-feet-high Chrysler Building and tower over Paris' 986-feet-high Eiffel Tower.

From another perspective, the ship is as wide as the White House is long and can carry 4,375 passengers with all berths filled. Add 1,360 crewmembers and the behemoth will haul nearly 6,000 souls per sailing.

It's hard to imagine anyone being bored on board. Especially sports enthusiasts. Even if you aren't an athlete, you're likely to enjoy watching other passengers take full advantage of what Freedom offers-like FlowRider, a 40-foot by 32-foot water surfing simulator, complete with bleachers. Or watch boxers sparring in the gym's first-ever-at-sea boxing ring. And the gym has scores of high-quality exercise machines without any sense of being cramped.

Many cruisers already can recite some of the ship's high points by heart: the rock-climbing wall and the ice-skating rink, for example. Even here, though, Freedom is synonymous with steroids: its expanded rock-climbing wall is 43 feet high by 44 feet wide with a central spire and 11 climbing zones.

On our recent tour of the ship, while it was docked in Bayonne, N.J., we found the vessel's interior beautifully designed and decorated colorful and lively, without the excesses of some megaships. Lots of light pours through nearly 62,430 square feet of windows, a signature aspect of Royal Caribbean's ships, arguably the airiest afloat.

More than most mammoth vessels, Freedom really does feel like a land-based resort, offering deck after deck of diverse amenities. Nevertheless, it's surprisingly simple for a passenger on board to navigate. (Maybe we're just getting used to big ships.) Much on Freedom is, of course, oversized to accommodate its complement of passengers-its super-sized casino, for instance and the triple-level main restaurant. Most of it, though, is nicely p****d for comfort with lots of nooks and crannies. Freedom even raises the bar on bars: there are 16 of them ship wide. The heart of this ship is its 445-feet-long and several-decks-high promenade, which spans the interior of the ship. It's a destination unto itself. More like a boulevard, the promenade invokes a village street with lots of places for the locals to hang out. It boasts a malt shop; a coffee shop; a burger joint; a pizzeria; bistro; library; book store; Internet cafe; a pub or two; a romantic wine bar; a champagne bar; a Ben & Jerry's emporium; and a barber shop. Families won't want to miss H2O Zone, a water park with brightly colored sculptures that includes a circular current pool and a swimming pool fed by a waterfall. Among Freedom's more highly touted new features for adults: cantilevered whirlpools on spa deck that extend 12 feet out from the sides of the ship to vertiginously view the ocean 112 feet below.