THAT’S A BIG CALL
There’s more to naming a ship than you might think
Ever wondered how cruise lines come up with the name of a new ship? It’s a big call as the ship will be sailing for years under that moniker. There are varying factors involved, some complying with tradition and others as a way to promote the type of experience a guest might expect on that particular vessel. From Norwegian Bliss to Harmony of the Seas, and Enchanted Princess to Cunard’s more traditional Queen Elizabeth we look into the what, why and how cruise lines bestow names upon their ships.
LET THE PUBLIC DECIDE
In keeping with its “freestyle cruising” philosophy, Norwegian Cruise Lines has left it to the public to decide on the name of some of its Breakaway class ships. Around 100,000 Facebook fans voted for the names Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss. While these choices seem in line with the brand, we all know a public vote can be risky (and entertaining too), look at the name of the polar research vessel as voted by the British public – Boaty McBoatface – with an overwhelming 124,109 votes. Another contender was “It’s bloody cold here” with 10,679 votes.
An obvious and smart marketing choice is to keep the cruise line’s name in the title, as Princess Cruises does with its fleet from Majestic Princess to Sky Princess which will arrive in October 2019. Its newest announcement is Enchanted Princess, set to sail in 2020.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean uses “of the Seas” in its ship names including Majesty of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and the musical overtones of Symphony, Harmony, Anthem and Ovation of the Seas.
Cunard uses names of queens for its ships. There’s Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. The name of Cunard’s new 3000passenger ship, being launched in 2022, is awaited with great anticipation. At the recent World’s Leading Cruise Lines Summit, Cunard’s David Rousham, vicepresident UK and international development, hints that the name has been chosen and it will be shared later this year.
“It’s appropriate to the brand,” he says. Someone in the audience suggested Queen Catherine but it might be a little premature for that, another shouted Queen Camilla.
“The name is a really fascinating subject,” David says. “Cunard is known as a brand but actually the ship names are often referred to in a more loving way by ex-Cunardists.”
David says most people have aspired to cruise on the QEII.
“It’s fascinating to see people talking about how they’re still going on QEII but the QEII is now a hotel ship in Dubai, so we need to ensure the new ship name is appropriate for the branding … we don’t want it to dominate too much because Cunard should be the lead for our brand.”
When the 3900-passenger Carnival Splendor sails into Australian waters in December 2019 she will have undergone the full “Aussiefication” in everything but name. There will be barista-style coffee, fresh menus for Australian tastes and a new water theme park but the actual title of the ship will not have the added U in Splendour. How come? To add a U would cost $250,000. It’s not just a matter of plonking that letter on the side of the ship and shifting the others up a bit, there’s red tape involved, the name would need to be re-registered. Carnival saw the money would be better spent on the significant bowto-stern upgrade before she sails to Sydney for year-round cruises.