NCL‘s striking hull designs — featuring jewels, flowers, a radiating sun — have become something of a calling card. But none of the line’s previous liveries could have prepared us for Norwegian Breakaway, whose Peter Max-designed paint work was officially unveiled Tuesday.
If the response to the first cruise ship hull designed by a famous artist taught us anything, it’s that one cruiser’s “smashing!” is another’s “violation of child labor laws.”
In a Cruise Critic poll, some 41 percent said no sir, “I don’t like it at all,” compared to roughly a third who became immediate fans of the 40,000-squre-foot floating mural. For the remaining 25 percent, the design produced a mere “Meh,” the Internet’s equivalent to a shrug of the shoulders. (By the way, all this controversy seems epically familiar.)
Lovers and loathers alike were happy to expound on their views.
“I love it! Perfect for NYC and it will surely brighten the dowdy docks!” gushed D Ann Melland on Cruise Critic’s Facebook page. “Unique! That’s what art is all about. Would you rather a blah logo or a palm tree?” added Danielle Cavazzi.
Facebooker Robert Ryan praised the piece, calling it pure Peter Max. “Quite frankly,” he said, “the piece was commissioned knowing what [Max's] work is like .. and it is VERY NYC! Besides, NCL is always ahead of the curve.”
“Absolutely ugly and tacky,” countered Facebooker Any Where But Utah. “Why can’t the ships stay pristine looking instead of being tacky pop art billboards?”
“I’m hoping the higher ups at NCL change their minds … there are some really nice hull designs on [NCL] ships, but this is not one of them,” posted debandbruce on the Cruise Critic Message Boards.
Brian McLarty considered the piece a harbinger of sorts. “This is the first step towards ships hulls being used as ad space,” he wrote in the news comments. “I can see it now. Ads for Budweiser, Ford and Apple computers …”
Award for the snarkiest response (and there were many) went to Joe Mariani. “It looks like NCL might have violated child labor laws by hiring a group of fourth graders to paint the hull. Someone better check that out! ;),” he wrote on Facebook.
“What will happen if NCL decides to reposition the vessel?” wondered Jordan Bailey, referring to the Big Apple theme and the ship’s debut homeport. “That Liberty face and city skyline might look out of place in somewhere like the Mediterranean!”
But while the nays seemed to take the day, they certainly didn’t have a majority — and there are still a large contingent of undecideds for NCL to win over.
“I am not sure if I like it or not,” wrote Beverly Ward, one of many representatives from the powerful “Meh.” voting block.
Follow along on our NCL’s Project Breakaway page.
Get your very own Lido Deck subscription.