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Cruise Feature Article
The Name Game

Mike Blanche

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," said Shakespeare. But would a cruise ship named The Rust Bucket sell as well as the SeaBreeze?

Ships' names are a subject of much discussion. We often wonder where they came from, what their history is, and whether the committee who chose them were sampling too much of the christening champagne while they were doing their work!

Some cruise lines have a long history, and their ships' names reflect this. Almost as long as there has been a Holland America Line, there has been a Rotterdam and a Nieuw Amsterdam. Whenever one of these ships becomes too old to be attractive (or some inconsiderate hostile navy sinks it--these names are nearly 100 years old), a new ship is launched to take over the name.

Some cruise lines choose names to honor various famous people. Believe it or not, there is actually a Maxim Gorky. It's a pretty nice ship, I understand, but somehow I think having a park named after him was sufficient for Maxim.

Cunard has had a history of using Queen's names; however, unless something major changes in the near term, we have seen the last of the Queens for a while. The only choice would be to go back in history. I doubt the line wants to name a sybaritic cruise ship the Queen Victoria, and while the Bloody Mary might have the right alcoholic tone, I don't foresee it, myself! The Ex-Princess Di probably wouldn't cut it, either.

Princess has been recycling its names, too. They will launch the megaship Dawn Princess soon. It wasn't that long ago that Princess had a previous DawnPrincess, but it's gone now. The same is true of the Sea Princess.


A few cruise lines have even recycled other companies' ships' names. This can make tracing the history of ships very difficult. We can, however, be relatively certain there is no waiting list for the names Stockholm, the Andrea Doria, the Morro Castle, or the Achille Lauro...or even the Marie Celeste.

So we come to Carnival. Much has been made of their choices of names. The Tropicale, one of their oldest, is not that striking a name. But then we have the Holiday, Jubilee, Fantasy, Imagination, Inspiration, etc.

Among travel agents, guessing Carnival's next ship name has become a major sport. Some suggested it might be the Gluttony. A few wags suggested the Orgasm. I personally think Exaggeration is a hot bet. Intoxication has a nice ring to it.

Apparently, Carnival had the same problem, so they had a contest to name their new megaship. The winning suggestion was "The Destiny." And don't forget the "The." Whether a name that sounds like it might be the title of a doctoral dissertation in philosophy will hit it big remains to be seen!

With all the new cruise ships beiing built, maybe Las Vegas can start a game betting on names to come. If so, I'd put my money on...The Blizzard Escape!

Mike Blanche and his wife, Dottie, are long-haul truckers for Werner Enterprises, of Omaha, Nebraska. When they are home, which is about four days per month, they live in a small cabin they built near Waldron, Arkansas. In their line of work, the only "real" vacation for them is a cruise - no white line fever, no required driving, no log books, and real service in a real restaurant! Mike is also a Section Leader in the CompuServe Cruise Forum and can be reached for question or comment at: 76061.2514@compuserve.com.

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