Constructing a Cruise Liner

It’s difficult to imagine the sheer scale and precision of engineering and fitting a cruise ship. Often with a population of more than many villages, hopefully after reading this, you’ll have a greater appreciation of the skill that goes into building these massive floating hotels.

Cruise Lines
Cruise Lines

Fabrication and Materials

Shipbuilding today has evolved into a high tech science. The techniques and materials that were used in the first half of the last century have become obsolete. Since 1950, ships have been constructed almost exclusively of fabricated steel or, more recently, aluminium alloys. Cruise ships, due to their massive size, have to be constructed in pieces called prefabs and assembled in dry dock before they can be launched and tested at sea.

Assembly of the Hull and Spatial Planning

Once the hull has been welded together and the ship has been evaluated for seaworthiness the fun can begin. The basic structure of a cruise ship is not much different from that of any other seagoing vessel, except the staterooms and corridors tend to be larger and the décor is definitely more lavish. Cruise ship lines are constantly competing about who can put out the largest and most opulent cruise liners.

Designed for Comfort

Is your flat at home equipped with a plush queen sized bed, whirlpool bathtub and flat screen TV? Your cabin on the cruise ship just might be, depending on who you sail with. When a cruise ship is built today no expense is spared. Unlike their predecessors in the days of old when corners were cut and the lowest bid was king, the players in the shipping industry today have learned painfully what happens when they try to save money on construction costs.

Luxuries Abound and Plenty of Places to Play

The creature comforts don’t end when you step out of your room on cruise holidays. Lounges and pools are plentiful on cruise ships, along with bars, restaurants, game rooms, and of course those romantic spots where a couple can be alone and watch the stars and the moonlight glisten off the water. Worried about sea-sickness? Even the queasiest will have a hard time feeling a cruise ship rock at all. Cruise ships are constructed using a “U” shaped hull design for maximum displacement and stability.

Modern Technology, Cell Phones, and WiFi

Just because you go off to sea on a cruise doesn’t mean you have to leave those wonderful electronic gadgets behind. In addition to flat screen TV’s in the cabins, cruise ships today also offer state-of-the-art entertainment and communications options throughout the ship. You can use your cell phone on virtually all major cruise lines and most of the modern day ships have WiFi and internet cafes where you can surf the web or do a little work while you’re on board.

Entertainment

Other amenities that may be included when a cruise ship is constructed are casinos, movie theatres, and amusement rides for children and adults. Anything that you see on dry land in the world of entertainment is usually available at sea also. Some cruises also have live shows and fireworks displays. Modern technology has made that possible. Storing or using pyrotechnics of any kind on a ship was unheard of just a few short decades ago.

Recruiting the Best in the Business

A position on a cruise ship pays well, more than that same position pays on the mainland or even on resort islands. The final stage after constructing a cruise ship is choosing the personnel that are going to staff it. For this, the industry accepts only the very best in the business. It’s not hard to be selective because anyone who works in the hospitality industry wants a dream job that takes them out to sea and pays them twice as much as what they make at home.

Expect to See Former Naval Officers

Those who operate the ship are also among the finest in their industry. Many cruise ship captains and officers are former naval personnel who have retired or completed their term of service. The same is often true of the engineers and maintenance people, many of whom have advanced maritime degrees and education. It is said that a seafarer will always be a seafarer so it’s no surprise to see sailors with decades of experience working for all of the major cruise lines.

What will the future bring?

The cruise ships of today, compared to those built in the 1960’s and 70’s, are like something out of a science fiction novel. The internet didn’t exist back then, nor did cell phones, aluminium alloys, modern pre-fabrication techniques, and many of the other elements that go into building ships today. What will the future bring? Only time will tell. One thing that is clear though is that people will continue to sail the seven seas and cruise ships will allow them to do that in safety, style and comfort.

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About the author: Sarah Van Rensburg is an avid travel writer. She covers a wide range of travel-related topics but with a focus on cruise holidays.

Cruise Lines Get More Environmentally Friendly for 2012

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Cruises are more popular than ever and can make for a memorable time. With all the concern about the environment today, many cruise lines are going green and becoming environmentally friendly for their cruises 2012 agenda. That way, eco-friendly customers can rest assured that the cruise line shares their environmental concerns. Here are ways that some cruise lines are not only offering amazing vacations but helping to save the planet, too.

1. Holland America Cruises took the first step in fuel savings by looking at the tides and using them to decrease the usage of fuel. Going against the tides takes more energy so the cruise line arranged the docking schedules to use the tides to the greatest advantage. Another way they save fuel is painting the outside of the ship with a silicone-based paint that decreases drag in the water. To help on cooling costs, they tint the windows to cut out some of the sun’s energy. Taking their eco-friendly attitude one more step meant using towels over again, using natural soap and green cleaners, and having low flow faucets and showerheads.

2. Family friendly Disney Cruise Lines are showing their environmental consciousness by starting a huge recycling program on board their ships. Practically anything that can be recycled is being recycled and that includes metal, cardboard, aluminum, and plastic. Any materials that can be used again are donated to places along their route that are in need. Disney Cruise Lines also uses lighting that saves energy and for onboard laundry, they use water that has been reclaimed from the cooling system. To save fuel, Disney Cruise Lines have taken steps to make their ships lighter.

3. Another cruise line that is going green is Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. They no longer use disposable table ware or plastic water bottles on their ships. To also reduce waste, they order bulk condiments to cut down on extra packaging. They look for ways to offer their guests options for reusing a product or using a biodegradable one. For fuel efficiency, they have modified the design of the hull of the ship, altered their motors, and repainted the ships to decrease drag. To the tune of 100 million dollars, they upgraded the water purification system to an environmentally friendly one.

Now when you go on a fabulous cruise, you don’t have to leave your eco-friendly beliefs at home. Your adventure will be even more enjoyable knowing the cruise ship is reducing its carbon footprint.