Posted October 3rd, 2011, 05:21 PM
So this is the origin of the lounge name now used on all the OTS ships? Was always a little curious about the "Viking" reference on a line that is not otherwise Scandanavian themed. The Crown part makes a bit more sense with "Royal".
Actually three major Norwegian shipping companies founded Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in 1969 (operating three ships during the 1970s) and was the first line to design ships specifically for warm water year-round cruising. I love reading about maritime history and find it rather fascinating. I love the facts, photos and memories and hope that the following will be of interest (including the concept of the Viking Crown Lounge!):
Royal Caribbean's first vessel was the 700-passenger Song of Norway (1970), and introduced glass-walled dining rooms, expansive sun decks located in the middle of the ship, and the company's signature Viking Crown Lounge. Edwin Stephan, one of the company's founders and Royal Caribbean's president at the time, got the idea for the lounge from the revolving restaurant atop the Space Needle at the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. He anticipated that not only would passengers have a terrific view from this cocktail and observation lounge, but its design would set the vessel apart from other ships and make Royal Caribbean vessels instantly recognizable.
In 1971, the Nordic Prince entered service in the Caribbean and the company began offering passengers air/sea vacations, with the air fare to Miami included in the price of the cruise. The following year, with the introduction of the Sun Viking, Royal Caribbean became the biggest cruise line in the Caribbean with weekly departures from Miami on 7 and 14 day vacations. For the remainder of the decade, Royal Caribbean focused on establishing its name brand. In 1978 Royal Caribbean took the unprecedented step of cutting the Song of Norway in two and adding an 85-foot midsection, increasing the passenger capacity to 1,000. This was the first cruise ship to be lengthened in this way.
09/15 RCI Jewel of the Seas (California Coastal), 11/09 RCI Radiance of the Seas (Baja),10/07 Crown Princess (Canada/New England), 06/04 RCI Serenade of the Seas (Alaska), 12/01 Radisson Paul Gauguin (South Pacific), 11/01 RCI Viking Serenade (Baja), 10/01 RCI Radiance of the Seas (Pacific NW), 12/00 RCI Voyager of the Seas (w. Caribbean), 12/99 Radisson Paul Gauguin (South Pacific), 12/96 RCI Grandeur of the Seas (Bahamas), 11/95 Celebrity Horizon (s. Caribbean), 09/95 HAL Statendam (Alaska), 04/95 Majesty Royal Majesty (w.Caribbean), 03/95 NCL Windward (s. Caribbean)