November 12, 2013 | By Adam Coulter | 1 Comment
We were lucky enough to be invited onboard Hebridean Princess
Monday. The almost-50-year-old ship (it celebrates its birthday in March) is most famous for being chartered by HM The Queen — twice. But the ship is unique for many other reasons, including its original fittings and a throwback to a simpler time. Here are some of the quirkier aspects of this historic vessel.
There are few other cruise ships we know of where you can relax after dinner in front of a fireplace. Above is the view of the huge fireplace in the Tiree Lounge onboard Hebridean Princess. (It’s worth noting that it’s not a real fire.)
Each passenger gets personalized stationery and a passenger list for the sailing they are on, complete with where the other passengers hail from. The information left in each room is bespoke to that room, as are the lavender smelling salts (top left in the image), and hand-painted tissue box below the lamp.
The chain-operated telegraph — the ship’s internal communications system — is still in use. When it’s being used, you can hear the chain rattle round the ship.
The equipment on the Bridge is not just for show — all of these panels are still very much in use.
No ID cards or scanning in and out when passengers embark or debark — instead Hebridean Princess uses this method or recording who’s onboard and who isn’t by turning the room names round to face the panel.
The ‘gym’ consists of a treadmill and a bike, and can be found on the old car deck. There is also a punchbag and a pulley for lifts, but these are mainly used by the crew.