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8 Coolest Cruise Ship Atriums

  • If the bridge is the brain of a cruise ship, then the atrium is certainly the heart. Found on nearly every ocean vessel, the atrium is a hub for everyday activities, events and parties and central to a ship's shopping, dining and entertainment venues.

    Some atriums stand out from the pack as being truly spectacular. Here, we've hand-picked our eight favorite cruise ship atriums.

    Photos: Cruise Critic

  • 1

    Koningsdam

    Framed by a stainless steel sculpture of spokes and spirals, Koningsdam's atrium is like a three-deck-tall work of art. The atrium -- which is capped by a ceiling with ever-changing projections of sunny days and starry nights -- is central to passenger service desks and a variety of dining venues, including Pinnacle Grill, Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Cafe.

  • 2

    Seven Seas Explorer

    Regent's Seven Seas Explorer oozes luxury, and the opulent theme is only furthered by the ship's awe-inducing atrium. This central space -- which spans seven decks -- houses two impressive staircases, a massive crystal chandelier and a circular floor that's inlaid with fine Italian marble.

  • 3

    Queen Mary 2

    The Grand Lobby on Queen Mary 2 received a major upgrade in 2016 during the ship's £90 million refurbishment. Cunard stripped out the lobby's two elevators and added high-back chairs, a baby grand piano and new decor, including a bright, starburst-style carpet.

  • 4

    Norwegian Escape

    Located on Deck 6, Norwegian Escape's atrium hosts a variety of classes and contests, movies and live demonstrations. Most notable is the space's floating glass staircase and its LED chandelier, which changes colors throughout the cruise.

  • 5

    MSC Divina

    Nothing is quite like MSC Divina's atrium, which houses four towering Swarovski staircases. Each step -- and there are 100 of them -- is inset with hundreds of tiny crystals.

  • 6

    Carnival Vista

    Carnival Vista's atrium deviates from the line's typical decks-high design. Equipped with a relaxed seating area, a bar and a three-deck-high LCD funnel (called Dreamscape) with slow-moving digital images, Vista's atrium feels more like a hotel lobby than a cruise ship hub.

  • 7

    Empress of the Seas

    Empress of the Seas may not be the newest Royal Caribbean ship, but its atrium feels almost space-age. Marked by a panoramic glass elevator and flanked by a variety of restaurants, shops and bars, this color-changing atrium also hosts acrobat acts, live music and cruise ship parties.

  • 8

    Celebrity Eclipse

    The Lawn Club isn't the only place you'll find foliage on Celebrity Eclipse. Located inside the ship's atrium is a living tree, suspended between the lobby's four glass elevators. Down below, cruisers will find a grand marble staircase and foyer, a wide variety of art and daily events -- including those from the line's popular Top Chef partnership.

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