Paradise sails into Miami
Famous Fabergé Eggs Inspire Opulent Interior Design Element On Superliner Paradise
A century-old symbol of beauty and elegance -- the bejeweled Fabergé egg, created for Russia's czars as a sublime royal memento -- is the inspiration for a unique design element on Carnival Cruise Lines' new 70,000-ton MS Paradise, the world's first smoke-free cruise ship.
Throughout the 2,040-passenger SuperLiner are hundreds of Fabergé-like eggs which sit atop columns adorning the ship's vast lobby, promenade, elevator lobbies and public room entrances. They are also affixed to the top and bottom of the four glass-enclosed elevators which offer scenic views of the ship's domed, seven-deck atrium.
The use of the Fabergé egg motif underscores the central design idea of the Paradise, which, according to Carnival's interior architect Joe Farcus, harkens back to the romantic days of the great trans-Atlantic ocean liners.
"When I began thinking about the legendary ships -- the Paris, the Normandie, the Rex -- I wanted something symbolic that represented richness and elegance," explained Farcus. "What popped into my mind was the Fabergé eggs, which were made for the czars of Russia. The money they spent on these eggs was phenomenal -- it's no wonder they had a revolution!"
In the late 1800s, jewelry designer Fabergé suggested to Czar Alexander III that he give his wife an elaborately ornamented jeweled egg for Easter. The result was an annual commission for a jewel-embossed Fabergé egg for Easter, a tradition continued by Alexander's son Czar Nicholas II until the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.
The foot-tall eggs on the Paradise are mounted on classical-style pediments atop stately columns, both made of crotch mahogany -- so named because it comes from parts of the tree where branches and trunk meet to form beautiful, symmetrical grains. The eggs are enameled in turquoise cloisonné-like finishes and encased in golden lattices. Each egg is illuminated from within and encrusted with colored "jewels," resulting in a glittering re-creation of the genuine precious gems of the Fabergé originals.
African Jungle Decor Adorns Rex Dance Club
The intrigue and excitement of mysterious Africa inspire art deco visions of wild animals and native artistry in the Rex Dance Club on Carnival Cruise Lines' new MS Paradise, slated to begin sailing in November.
The 2,040-passenger, 70,000-ton Paradise is the world's first totally smoke-free cruise ship. Many of the vessel's interior design themes are inspired by legendary ships of the past.
In the case of the Rex Dance Club, according to Carnival's interior architect Joe Farcus, the lounge takes its name from the famous Italian liner of the 1930s - the sleek and speedy Rex. For the design of this lounge, Farcus chose to play upon the name "Rex," the Latin word for "king."
Images of the lion -- king of the jungle -- are incorporated throughout the dance club along with jungle and safari elements, creating a striking, up-tempo atmosphere.
"Although the original Rex, launched in 1931, did not have a lounge anything like today's flashy dance clubs," said Farcus, "it was noted for its beauty as well as its speed, and combined the classical baroque style with modern design. This is the first jungle room I've designed for Carnival, and I just imagined that if the Rex had a disco, it might have looked something like this."
Floor-to-ceiling columns surrounding the lounge are stepped, like the stones of ancient temples, and covered with imitation wild animal hides which extend upward to the ceiling, creating a mosaic of zebra, leopard and tiger skin patterns.
The name "Rex" is emblazoned upon each stepped column in polished stainless steel backlit by neon - in the same style of lettering used on the Rex's bow. Between the columns, deco-style, angular lion heads in polished black lacquer with gleaming white fangs have fiber-optic eyes which glow and change color. Four of the molded lion heads are equipped with spotlights which radiate laserlike beams throughout the room. Between the faux hide-covered columns are walls of black glass etched with an African design.
The dance floor accents the club's jungle motif with broad segments of yellow-orange stone against areas of black granite, like a tiger's stripes, and where the two colors meet, sinuous lines of color-changing fiber optics make the floor glimmer.
The glossy bar front consists of black half-cylinders with pointed, ivory tusklike posts between them. Bar stools and sofas are loosely upholstered in gray leather reminiscent of elephant hide. Simulated hides of zebra, leopard and tiger cover the black walnut-framed bar top and tabletops. Black walnut bar stools and tapered table bases are decorated with African-style paintings of giraffes.
Paradise's Piano Bar Celebrates the Spirit of America
Situated just off the atrium on Atlantic Deck, the lounge is named for the famous ocean liner, S.S. America, one of a select group of elegant trans-Atlantic passenger vessels to garner a colorful maritime salute from the Paradise, the world's first smoke-free cruise ship.
"I used the S.S. America as a source of inspiration for the design of this room because to me, the sing-along piano bar is such an American tradition," said Carnival's ship architect, Joe Farcus. "This bar is a kind of ode to America," he added.
Guests enter the America Piano Bar between two distinctive red, white and blue, floor-to-ceiling replicas of the America's smokestacks, designed by the nation's foremost naval architect, William Gibbs. The entranceway flooring depicts a large United States shield in decorative handmade glass mosaics featuring red and white stripes and a field of navy blue with white five-pointed stars. The shield motif is also featured on the back panels of the room's leather-upholstered bar stools whose polished brass bases are shaped like the eagle standards that top most U.S. flag poles. Table bases throughout the room are of a similar design.
The lounge's windows are large, circular panoramic portholes, and their shape is repeated in the round frames of six aluminum-copper bas-relief casts depicting great national treasures - the breathtaking Grand Canyon, California's awe-inspiring giant Sequoias, Yellowstone's grandeur, famed Niagara Falls, majestic Monument Valley and Florida's exotic Everglades. As a special tribute, an artful rendering in aluminum-copper bas-relief of a bird's-eye view of the S.S. America at sea is suspended over the bar's baby grand piano.
Handmade walls of molded Murano-like glass tile enwrap the lively lounge in a stars and stripes pattern, fabricated in a special process that allows red, white and blue glass to weld seamlessly together. The panels are framed and backlit, causing the tiles to glow softly with the United States' traditional colors.
The Paradise is slated to debut Dec. 6, sailing from the Port of Miami every Sunday on seven-day alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.
History of the S.S. America:
When the S.S. America was launched at Newport News, Va., on Aug. 31, 1939, the United States Lines' vessel was touted as incorporating "the high American standard of living." Shortly thereafter the 33,532-ton vessel was requisitioned as a troop ship at the outset of World War II.
America finally entered commercial service in 1946, and was the principal U.S. ship on the North Atlantic route until she was joined by the S.S. United States in 1952. The America entered cruise service in 1960, was sold in 1964, and continued sailing as a cruise ship until 1979. Out of service for most of the 1980s, the ship was eventually sold and renamed the America Star while awaiting conversion to a floating hotel. While under tow in January 1994, the vessel was caught in a hurricane off the Canary Islands, blown ashore and split in two.
Carnival's Paradise Offers Nostalgic Tribute to Famous Ocean Liner Queen Mary
Echoes and images of Great Britain's legendary Queen Mary, one of the most famous trans-Atlantic ocean liners of all time, offer classic elegance in the beautifully decorated Queen Mary Lounge on Carnival Cruise Lines' new 2,040-passenger SuperLiner Paradise, which enters service in December.
Located aft on the Promenade Deck, the Queen Mary Lounge is a popular venue for dancing, late night comedy shows and other live entertainment. It can also be used for meetings and private social functions. Like other public areas on the Paradise, the lounge's design theme pays homage to grand ocean liners that have played a role in maritime history.
"The most readily identifiable characteristic about the Queen Mary and other Cunard Line ships is their distinctive funnels, and that is the design motif used throughout this room," explained Joe Farcus, Carnival's interior architect. "This is another room that ship enthusiasts will enjoy."
The funnel shapes are used extensively throughout the room -- along the walls, framing the sofas, lining the bar front and serving as table bases. Their lower portions are veneered in Nigerian satinwood stained bright red to match the Queen Mary's celebrated smokestacks with the upper sections done in black gloss lacquer. Where red meets black is a strip of lacquered ebony wood inlaid with a clear polycarbonate tube of twinkling Tivoli lights. Even the distinctive ribs which segment the funnels are recreated in ebony inlays.
Set atop the large wall-mounted funnels are three dozen stylized brass-ringed "portholes" which house video monitors broadcasting vintage motion films of the celebrated Queen Mary and other classic liners and life aboard. Exotic myrtle burl paneling and tinted mirrors on the walls and ceiling are combined with a crisscross latticework of golden yellowheart wood studded with Tivoli light swirls, giving an impression of smoke coming from the stylized funnels.
A design feature reminiscent of the original Queen Mary's art deco accouterments is the lounge's stone flooring, which surrounds a carpeted interior. Set flush into a polished stone checkerboard of pink rose and juparana classico marble, a stainless steel "QM" monogram greets guests at the entrance to the lounge and is repeated at both ends of the bar.
Other deco features evocative of the Queen Mary include the comfortable tan leather-upholstered sofas with contrasting black piping and a designer chandelier of pink Venetian glass.
History of the Queen Mary:
Launched on Sept. 26, 1934, by England's Queen Mary, Cunard White Star Line's Queen Mary entered trans-Atlantic service in May 1936, winning the Blue Riband award for the first time in August of that year (the Blue Riband was traditionally awarded to the liner that made the fastest Atlantic crossing). In 1938, the ship won the Blue Riband again, and held the award until 1952. During World War II, the Queen Mary was placed into service as a troop transport and was credited by Sir Winston Churchill as having made a significant contribution to the Allied effort in Europe. After the war, the ship was refitted and re-entered the trans-Atlantic liner service, but as air travel increased, that trade declined, and in 1967 the Queen Mary was sold to the city of Long Beach, California, where it serves today as a floating hotel and conference center.
Recently, the Queen Mary name was revived when Cunard Line Limited announced on June 8, 1998, the launch of "Project Queen Mary." That undertaking involves the design and development for a new class of stately super liner for Cunard that will invoke the spirit of a bygone era of seagoing luxury. The project is expected to lead to the development of the grandest and largest liner ever built.
Blue Riband Library on Canrival's new ms Paradise salutes Legendary Liners
The era of legendary trans-Atlantic ocean liners comes alive for cruise vacationers in the Blue Riband Library, a graceful, museum-like room on Carnival Cruise Lines' new MS Paradise, set to debut in November.
Although its elegant interiors are inspired by famous passenger ships of yesteryear, the 70,000-ton Paradise offers its 2,040 guests the most modern cruise amenities in an atmospheric on-board setting that evokes romance and richness. "The Blue Riband Library is the anchor for the Paradise's central idea of classic ocean liners," said Joe Farcus, long-time ship enthusiast and interior architect of Carnival's "Fun Ship" fleet. "This room introduces you to many of the famous liners whose names can be found throughout the ship," he added.
The coveted Blue Riband traditionally was awarded to the liner that made the fastest Atlantic crossing. Recipients included such liners as the stately Queen Mary, the glamorous Normandie and the sleek United States - the fastest ships of their day. The winner of the Blue Riband also received the prestigious gold-and-onyx Hales Trophy. A full-size, one-meter-tall replica of that trophy is displayed just inside the library's entrance. The distinctive prize is ornamented with a globe of the earth, mythological gods of the sea and miniature paintings of Blue Riband winners dating as far back as the Arizona (1879), City of New York (1889) and Deutschland (1900).
The library's ceiling is decorated with a huge hand-painted mural of the North Atlantic Ocean and the eastern edge of the European continent, showing some of history's great shipping ports like Le Havre, Genoa and Southampton. Ocean shipping lanes also are depicted, showing the liners' routes to New York, with such classic map illustrations as lighthouses, ships in the ocean, waves and currents.
Displayed in glass cases in the library are highly detailed, custom-made scale replicas of several Blue Riband-winning ocean liners, including the noble Rex, stylish Mauretania and regal Brittania. And, beautifully displayed in gold-leaf frames throughout the salon, commissioned oil paintings illustrate more honored winners of the grand award, including the Acadia, Bremen, Baltic, Europa and Scotia.
Except for a circle of polished stone beneath the Hales Trophy showcase, the entire room has deck-like teak flooring. The library also features ship memorabilia lent by the American Merchant Marine Museum. Other decorative elements include wooden chain moldings along the walls and large anchors of polished brass surrounding the room. The showpiece library features leather-upholstered sofas and custom-woven, fabric-covered wall panels of navy blue emblazoned with gold embroidered anchors.
Located on Atlantic Deck just off the Paradise Atrium, the Blue Riband is a gracious salon as well as a functioning library which provides guests the opportunity to borrow best-sellers, pen a postcard, indulge in a game of chess or checkers, or simply relax and enjoy the new ship's smoke-free environment.
The Paradise will debut in November with a one-time two-day "cruise to nowhere" from Miami departing Nov. 25 and a three-day Bahamas cruise from Miami Nov. 27, 1998. Then, beginning Dec. 6, 1998, the ship will operate weekly cruises from Miami alternating to the eastern and western Caribbean.
History of the Hales Trophy for the Blue Riband of The Atlantic
The era of the trans-Atlantic steamships dates from August 17, 1833, when the Royal William set out on the first crossing under steam power. As ships became more technically sophisticated, a gentlemen's rivalry grew among owners of steamship lines who sought to mark the shortest crossing time between Europe and America. By the end of the 19th century, the rivalry had begotten the Blue Riband, the prize awarded to the fastest trans-Atlantic steamship, which entitled that vessel to fly a large blue ribbon as a symbol of the honor.
In 1935 Harold Keates Hales, a former member of the British Parliament, donated another emblem to honor speed supremacy on the Atlantic -- the Hales Trophy. In 1933, Hales commissioned the trophy to be fabricated by Henry Pidduck & Sons Ltd., well-known silversmiths of Hanley, England.
The Hales Trophy is made of solid silver and heavy gilt, and stands almost four feet tall, weighs nearly 100 pounds and cost $4,000 to create. The trophy consists of a globe resting on two winged figures if Victory sanding on a base of carved green onyx. An enameled blue ribbon surrounds the middle of the prize.
The award is decorated with models of old galleons, modern ocean liners and statues of Neptune and Amphitrite, god and goddess of the sea. The trophy is surmounted by a figure depicting Speed pushing a three-stacked liner against a figure symbolizing the forces of the Atlantic. The Atlantic Ocean is represented in blue enamel with the traditional ocean liner route indicated by a red enameled line.
The first recipient of the trophy was the Italian liner Rex, but by the time the trophy was ready, rex's record had fallen to the French Line's Normandie. To avoid embarrassment, Hales changed the rules of the award to state that any winner was entitled to hold the trophy for a minimum of three months. When the Queen Mary broke Normandie's crossing record, Cunard Line declined to accept the award, and the French Line allegedly returned it to the donor, Hales.
The trophy disappeared for more than a decade, until a search was mounted in 1951 to relocate it, pending the completion of the SS United States, which was rumored to be fast enough to break the Queen Mary's record. After an extensive search, the Hales Trophy was found to have been left by Hales in the care of Pidduck & Sons, the silversmiths who had fabricated it.
The United States won the Blue Riband in 1952, besting the Queen Mary's record by 10 hours, and the Hales Trophy was claimed by United States Lines. When the cruise line was forced into bankruptcy, it donated the trophy to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York.
The original Hales trophy was held on display at the academy's American Merchant Marine Museum from 1979 until 1990, when the Hoverspeed Great Britain broke the United States' crossing record by three hours and 14 minutes, and claimed the Blue Riband and the trophy. The museum's foundation and the maritime trade protested the claim on the grounds that the ferry was not a trans-Atlantic liner, as it did not have overnight accommodations for passengers. In the end, however, to avoid a costly legal battle, the museum relinquished the trophy.
Harold Hales never lived to see his cherished trophy lost, the found, then claimed by a ferryboat. In November, 1942, his overturned dinghy was found near Shepperton-on-Thames and he was listed as drowned.
On Nov. 18, 1998, Carnival Cruise Lines and Kvaerner Masa-Yards shipyard donated an exact replica of the Hals trophy to the American merchant Marine Museum in a ceremony aboard Carnival's MS Paradise in New York Harbor. The replica -- made of gold-plated bronze mounted on an onyx base -- cosy $40,000 and is on permanent loan to the museum. A second replica resides in the Blue Riband Library aboard the Paradise.
The race for the Blue Riband continues today, though the era of great trans-Atlantic passenger steamships is past. In June, 1998, the fast ferry Catalonia of Buquebus Line captured the honor with a time of three days, nine hours and 40 minutes. A month later, the Cat-Link V of Scandlines broke the record with a time of two days, 20 hours and nine minutes.
Like the Hoverspeed Great Britain, neither of these vessels carry overnight passengers. So, unlike the great ocean liners of yesteryear, trans-Atlantic passengers are no longer able to participate in the excitement of winning the legendary Blue Riband.
Carnival Cruise Line Presents Replica of Famous Hales Trophy to American Merchant Marine Museum
In a symbolic tribute to the great trans-Atlantic ocean liners of the past, Carnival Cruise Lines presented a $40,000 replica of the legendary Hales Trophy to the American Merchant Marine Museum in a ceremony on board the MS Paradise in New York. The original Hales Trophy, fabricated in 1933 for $4,000, was awarded to the winner of the famous "Blue Riband," the honor bestowed upon the ocean liner holding the record for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing between Europe and New York.
The replica was funded by Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines and shipbuilder Kvaerner Masa-Yards of Helsinki, Finland, where the Paradise and its seven sister ships were built.
Carnival and Kvaerner officials attended a ceremony on board the Paradise with museum representatives and a contingent of midshipmen from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York.
In presenting the trophy, Joe Farcus, Carnival's interior ship architect and the driving force behind the creation and donation of the replica, said, "It is fitting that the Hales Trophy be returned to its rightful place at the Merchant Marine Museum in honor of the last passenger ocean liner to win the Blue Riband, the SS United States. Carnival Cruise Lines and Kvaerner Masa-Yards are proud to have re-created this important piece of our rich maritime history."
The Hales Trophy was loaned to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in the 1950s by United States Lines, owners of the SS United States, which captured the Blue Riband in 1952. In 1971 the academy was designated the trophy's official guardian, and in 1979 the trophy was moved to the American Merchant Marine Museum when it opened on the academy's Kings Point campus. In 1990, despite protests from the academy and the maritime trade, the prize was claimed by the operator of the Hoverspeed Great Britain, a high-speed ferry that set a new trans-Atlantic record.
"The museum has sorely missed the Hales Trophy since we reluctantly surrendered it eight years ago," said Capt. Warren Leback, president of the American Merchant Marine Museum Foundation. "Carnival Cruise Lines and Kvaerner Masa-Yards are to be congratulated for making this superb replica of the historic trophy available for viewing by the thousands who visit our museum every year."
The original Hales Trophy was commissioned and donated by former member of Parliament Harold Keates Hales (1868-1942), who wanted "to present a trophy which would serve as a stimulus to the craft of speed and mechanical perfection which I have loved so well."
The original trophy is made of solid silver and heavy gilt, and stands almost four feet tall and weights nearly 100 pounds. The ornate trophy consists of an elaborate representation of mythical and maritime figures surrounding a globe on a base of carved green onyx.
Two identical $40,000 replicas of the Hales Trophy -- made of gold-plated bronze with base of onyx -- were commissioned by Carnival. One replica is displayed in the Blue Riband Library aboard the paradise; the other is on permanent loan to the American Merchant Marine Museum at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY 11024; (516) 772-5515 or -5751.
Sailing into New York City by Andy Newman
Artwork by Andy Newman
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