SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Column - Commentary - Humor



July 15, 2019
Monday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
The cruise ships of today are clearly not "your grandfather's" cruise ships.

jpg  Dave Kiffer

I was thinking about that when the Queen Elizabeth visited a while back. Once upon a time, those old Cunard ships were the glamour-pusses of the Seven Seas. Of course back then neither your grandfather nor mine would be on one of those cruise ships - or luxury liners as they were called. Granted the modern "Queen Elizabeth" is more floating hotel than it is luxury liner, but you know what I am getting at.

Yes, many of our relatives indeed did sail to this continent, but that was mostly in steerage. The 18th and 19th century equivalent of airline "coach."  Now, I am not saying that flying from Seattle to Ketchikan in a middle seat between two overstuffed sport fishermen from Dubuque, Iowa is quite the same as surviving three weeks sleeping in the bilge of Princess Typhoid Mary, but just about no one I know would ever have been well-heeled enough to cross "The Pond" on of the luxury liners at their peak.

But as usual, I digress.

These new ships are definitely catering to a different group than the morning coat and white spat crowds. They have all sorts of modern amenities ranging from spas to paintball decks to go kart tracks. Whatever your "thing" is, I guarantee that there is a cruise ship out there has it, or can get it for you.

But one thing that hasn't changed much is something that I think could help them transition from 20th Century to 21st Century: the ship names.

Many of them are still being named as if they are trying to appeal to the "blue haired" set rather than the younger crowd. And, the Blue Haired set is really thinning out (pun intended). 

Take Holland America, for example. Their ships are still named after random cities in the Netherlands. Sure, it's all fine and dandy for local pride and what not, but what is it saying to the younger "generations?" It is saying we are all about cheese, dikes, and ice skating. Maybe not the best approach.

So, drumroll please, the next HA ship needs to say something different. Time replace the "Broadway Show Theatre" with a skatepark on the new ship "Gnarlydam." 

Princess Cruises originally went the way of HA and used geographical names (with the Princess tag). By the way, how many of you know that the original "princess" ship out of LA was none other that the Canadian Princess Patricia, slumming in the offseason? Amazing, but true!

And I digress, again!!

Then they started to use minerally names like Golden and Diamond and Ruby. Unfortunately they are running out good options. Do you really want to sign up for a week on the Cubic Zirconia Princess? 

So, it's time to trend to a younger demographic.   Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to present the newsest Mondo-post-hypo Panamax Ship, the "Groovy Princess."

Just imagine all the awesome color schemes that they could load into the virtual reality goggles that would be in each stateroom.  Totally, tubular!!!!!

Up to now, Royal Caribbean has felt that you can pretty much take any word and add …. "of the Seas" to it and that would be an acceptable name. Oasis, Allure, Anthem, Harmony, Chicken. Well, not that last one, but hey, I bet Starkist would pay serious bank to make that happen.

Anyway, they are likely running out of good options too, Especially ones that don't come off as weird translations from other languages ("Bright Weiner of the Seas" "Potluck Carburetor of the Seas" "Flatulent Handstand of the Seas") 

Without further adieu (what does that mean, without further goodbye?, oh wait, further ADO! Never mind!) the newest RCL ship, the "Bitchin' of the Seas."  

The Urban Dictionary says that "bitchin'" means "great, the best, hot, excellent, awesome, unbelievably good."

Really, what else is there to say?



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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.

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