What’s in a Name: Unique and Overused Cruise Ship Titles
Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
At a time when comic gems like “Boaty McBoatface” win internet polls, there sure are a lot of tried-and-true cruise ship names also out there—almost to the point that the same ones continue to be used ad infinitum.
It just goes to prove the old adage: what goes around comes around.
Cruise ship naming employs pleasant words, suggesting rest and relaxation, and some words pop up more frequently than others. Even Royal Caribbean International’s newest Harmony of the Seas came before in the form of Crystal Cruises’ former Crystal Harmony.
This is not to say that companies are copying ideas so much as there are just certain generic words that are well suited to titles. That’s why Carnival Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises began retroactively changing basic names like Fantasy and Millennium to Carnival Fantasy and Celebrity Millennium. Now they can be better differentiated and, more importantly, branded and service marked.
Elsewhere, many reprised words are elemental or cosmic in nature like Viking Ocean Cruises’ current and future fleet, following the nomenclature of historic Royal Viking Line, but Viking Sea also mirrors Princess Cruises’ Sea Princess. Viking Sky will be similar to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky, and Viking Star and Viking Sun follow both lines: Star Princess and Norwegian Star as well as Sun Princess and Norwegian Sun respectively.
Even Norwegian and Princess parallel each other with Norwegian Dawn and Dawn Princess, but it’s the fifth Viking ship that will have the most saturated history. Viking Spirit is preceded by Norwegian Spirit plus Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Spirit and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit.
Meanwhile, most of Disney Cruise Line’s ships sound like Carnival ones: Disney Dream and Carnival Dream, Disney Magic and Carnival Magic and Disney Fantasy and Carnival Fantasy. But all of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ vessels pull from the same well as Royal Caribbean International or vice versa. Consider Seven Seas Explorer to Explorer of the Seas, Seven Seas Mariner to Mariner of the Seas, Seven Seas Navigator to Navigator of the Seas and Seven Seas Voyager to Voyager of the Seas. Silversea Expeditions also has its Silver Explorer.
Then there are the patriotic and mythic names. Carnival’s Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty have twins in Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, and each again have Carnival Legend and Legend of the Seas.
Even when names sound more unique like Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, Seabourn Cruise Line has Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest, and Seabourn Ovation will similarly repeat Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas.
Thankfully, many sister ships of matching size and configuration follow a similar naming structure to set their group apart, but things get confusing when the pattern is broken. Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Escape does not fit with Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, but it is a slightly larger version of its predecessors, so it can be forgiven.
And it would’ve made sense for Royal Caribbean to follow Radiance of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas with words like ambiance or elegance, but they inexplicably completed the series with Serenade of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas instead. The line also has Adventure of the Seas not Adventurer amid Explorer, Mariner, Navigator and Voyager. At least they are making up for it with Anthem, Ovation and Quantum of the Seas thus far, and they are also consulting with the creator of “Boaty McBoatface” for future names as well. No joke.
Perhaps a new era of ship names is upon us.
For more information on Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Silversea Cruises
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