Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, August 5, 2010


Sumptuous Ships

By Nayeem Islam

Before penning this Ship review it is pertinent to ask whether such a review is needed at all. Despite these vessels playing key roles in history's great explorations and scientific and technological development, today ships rarely are our preferable mode of transportation. For many of us the closest experience of being on a ship was perhaps taking a ride on an overloaded sea truck from Teknaf to Saint Martin's island through a small part of Bay of Bengal. Ships are also public transportation and since you have to meet stratospheric expenses to have your own personal ship, it is very unlikely you will ever have your own ship. And who wants to know how fast a ship can move? After all ships are not magnetically levitated trains! Without further thought on the futility of ship reviews lets indulge on the sumptuousness of two cruise ships you would love to be in unless you are seasick.

Name of Ship: Crystal Serenity
Company: Crystal Cruises
Speed: Has a maximum speed of 41 km/h
Capacity: 1070 passengers and 655 crews
Fare: The minimum cost of a 7 day voyage is $3,575 in 2010.
Description: Crystal Serenity is the ultimate bona fide five star hotel experience in the middle of the sea. Accommodations aboard Crystal Serenity will reflect more size and choice with 85% of all outside staterooms and suites offering private verandahs. The extraordinary cuisine for which Crystal Cruises is justifiably famous is offered in the elegant Crystal Dining Room, located in the heart of the ship just off the Crystal Plaza. The Crystal Dining Room is beautifully appointed, with sweeping ocean views by day and a magnificent ambiance at night. Prego Restaurant provides you with the option of enjoying Old World charm and authentic regional Italian cuisine. While at Silk Road restaurant, all roads simply lead to contemporary Asian delicacies you never wanted to miss, even in the midst of your adventure of seven seas. And there are just enough fitness facilities to prevent the undesirable accretion of fat that comes free with such indulgence on culinary delicacies - spas, saunas, full exterior 360 degree Promenade Deck for walking and jogging, golf driving range, Paddle Tennis Courts plus indoor and outdoor pools to name a few. Shopaholics are not to be disappointed however, “Avenue of the Stars" shopping arcade with three boutiques offering upscale clothing, jewelry, and specialty items could easily substitute for Bashudhara City. The highlight of the public area is perhaps the Hollywood Theatre and the learning centre called the Studio to ensure that your passion for a state of the art cinematic experience or quest for creative works are not lost but rather preserved through the boisterous seas.

Name of Ship: Seabourn Odyssey
Company: Seabourn Cruise Line
Speed: 39 km/h
Capacity: 450 passengers and 335 crews
Fare: The minimum cost of a 7 day voyage in 2010 is $2,999.
Description: Seabourn Odyssey offers unparalleled choice in accommodations. You can choose from 225 ocean view suites measuring 295 to 1,682 square feet, 90% with private verandas with the Wintergarden Suite deserving special mention. Its layout is a labyrinth of rooms with "ooh and ah" around every corner. You enter through a discrete foyer to a complete dining area that seats six adults comfortably. In the same room there is a spacious seating area with two couches and two chairs, along with access to the common area verandah. The Wintergarden Suites' bathrooms rival a private spa. The walk-in closet off the separate master bedroom is devilishly hidden behind the bathroom, yet another "ah" moment of discovery. That bedroom features a private verandah with a hot tub outdoors. Dining delights at Seabourn Odyssey includes varied menus in four restaurants as well as in-suite dining. Seabourn's Chef Charlie Palmer's creations include a range of dining experiences from avant-garde tasting menus to casual meals on deck. Seabourn Square, the ship's main atrium, is a European-style cafe offering traditional Italian espressos and lattes at no extra charge. Burning unwanted calories is not a headache on Seabourn because upon entering The Spa you are letting your senses and spirits soar with innovative therapies, state-of-the-art fitness center and full-service salon. Your suite itself is the star attraction on Odyssey with relaxing on a Jacuzzi-style tub or watching a new-release movie in bed or your living room ranking highly on your list of preferred activities. At Sun Terraces on Deck 11, you will find a terraced enclave furnished with large sun-beds for the ultimate sunbathing experience. There are also two swimming pools on Decks 8 and 5, plus a total of seven whirlpools. When at anchor in marina settings, you can enjoy the same water sports as the smaller ships, from the signature Seabourn marina platform. Seabourn Square is the heart of the ship and home to the pursers and tour desks, Internet center, library and three duty-free retail shops.

(Sources: www.cruiseweb.com, www.cruisemates.com, en.wikipedia.org)



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