Game of names, from Emer­ald to Ex­plorer

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AFLOAT - LOUISE GOLDSBURY

Is it any won­der many trav­ellers think all cruises are the same when ships have such sim­i­lar names?

In Aus­tralian fleets, we have Pa­cific Dawn, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Sun Princess, and un­til re­cently, Pa­cific Sun. Things started look­ing up when Princess Cruises an­nounced plans to off­load Dawn Princess to P&O, but then P&O de­cided to re­name it Pa­cific Ex­plorer, when we al­ready have Ex­plorer of the Seas. Royal Caribbean owns Ex­plorer of the Seas, as well as Voy­ager of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Nav­i­ga­tor of the Seas. Sounds a bit like Re­gent Seven Seas’ Ex­plorer, Voy­ager, Mariner and Nav­i­ga­tor?

By the way, Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess be­long to Princess Cruises, not Royal Caribbean. But Royal Caribbean does have Le­gend of the Seas, Lib­erty of the Seas, Free­dom of the Seas and Splen­dour of the Seas; not to be mis­taken for Car­ni­val Cruise Line’s Car­ni­val Le­gend, Car­ni­val Lib­erty, Car­ni­val Free­dom and Car­ni­val Splen­dor.

Still with me? Then there’s Car­ni­val Spirit, Car­ni­val Pride and Car­ni­val Breeze, while Wind­star Cruises has Wind Spirit, Star Pride and Star Breeze (and a Star Le­gend ...). Oh, and let’s not for­get Car­ni­val Magic, Car­ni­val Fan­tasy and Car­ni­val Dream, ver­sus Dis­ney Cruise Line’s Dis­ney Magic, Dis­ney Fan­tasy and Dis­ney Dream.

Mean­while, in Asia, Dream Cruises has just launched Gent­ing Dream. I guess no­body men­tioned SeaDream I, SeaDream II, Thom­son Dream and Alaskan Dream Cruises’ four Dream-suf­fixed ships.

Don’t get me started on Hol­land Amer­ica Line, guilty of re­cy­cling names for 140 years, and all end­ing in the same three let­ters. There are 15 of these “dam” ships. Maas­dam, which is sail­ing its first sea­son down un­der, is the fifth (dare I say damned) Maas­dam. The line’s other Syd­ney-based ship, No­or­dam, is the fourth in­car­na­tion. So far, the world has en­dured four Nieuw Am­s­ter­dams (and one plain Am­s­ter­dam) and five Sta­ten­dams. Guess what’s com­ing in 2018? Nieuw Sta­ten­dam.

Next year, Nor­we­gian Cruise Line is send­ing us Nor­we­gian Star, as op­posed to Star Princess, and Nor­we­gian Jewel, not to be confused with Pa­cific Jewel, Jewel of the Seas or Scenic Jewel.

Scenic is a re­peat of­fender, du­pli­cat­ing Pearl, Emer­ald, Crys­tal, Di­a­mond, Ruby, Jade, Gem, Sap­phire, Spirit and Eclipse from var­i­ous lines. Sis­ter com­pany Ev­er­green Tours has Sun, Dawn, Emer­ald and Ra­di­ance, just like other Aus­tralia-based ships, not to men­tion Sky and Star. Vik­ing Ocean Cruises uses Sky, Star, Sun, Sea and Spirit, plus 60-odd river­boats named af­ter, um, vik­ings.

Per­haps as a last re­sort, P&O turned to the pub­lic to come up with mean­ing­ful monikers, lead­ing to votes for Skippy, Crikey, Croc and a whole range of flow­ers, in­dige­nous words and char­ac­ters from Game of Thrones. And who can for­get last year’s Bri­tish poll topped by Boaty McBoat­face. My only thought was that it would be more ac­cu­rate to be called Shippy McShip­face.

Clearly giv­ing up, the management at Royal Caribbean asked the cre­ator of Boaty McBoat­face to come on board as its chief nam­ing of­fi­cer. Although the job was of­fered on April Fool’s Day, they se­ri­ously need all the help they can get. My next cruise is on Some­thing of the Seas, fol­lowed by Princess Some­one to some­where else. What’s in a name, any­way? A ship by any other name would sail as sweet.

Louise Goldsbury is the se­nior editor of cruise­critic.com.au.

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