Going, Going ... San Juan's Cruise-Ship-Obstructing Pier Sculpture Gets the Axe

October 7, 2010
Sculpture-San-Juan-Pier Crews in Puerto Rico are continuing to dismantle a notorious pierside sculpture that prevented the 130,000-ton, 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream from making its inaugural call in San Juan last December.

As reported by the Associated Press, the demolition process began last weekend with strategically placed explosives, and Cruise Critic readers on the message boards have been following the work all week. The removal of the sculpture, which debuted in 2006 and was partly financed by Royal Caribbean, will make space for larger cruise ships to dock at the pier.

We were curious what the soon-to-be-destroyed structure looked like, and Cruise Critic member F22Smitty obliged us with a shot (pictured).

Posters were of varying opinions as to the aesthetic quality of the piece, which the AP described as "a giant paper airplane propped up by grey legs."

Jessemon's critique was blunt. "The wing thing was hideous and has been for years...."

Dear23 didn't try to overthink it. "No clue what it was supposed to be, but I dug it anyway."

Tom-n-Cheryl took a more middle-of-the-road stance. "I thought it rather a bold statement (art) - certainly not very functional, but it definitely drew the eyes!"

At the time, Carnival Dream was unable to properly fit in its assigned pier, due to the orientation of the structure and the ship's overhanging life boats. Tom-n-Cheryl, who was onboard for the missed cruise call, posted a picture of the letter sent by Captain Carlo Queirolo to passengers. "We know you are having loads of fun aboard the beautiful Carnival Dream," it read, but "while attempting to dock in San Juan, we unexpectedly discovered an obstruction on the dock that made it unsafe to come alongside without damaging lifeboats." Passengers were offered $20 in onboard credit for the missed port.

Are you sad to see the sculpture go, resigned to its fate, or happy that an eyesore has been removed? Join the discussion.

--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor

Photo appears courtesy of Cruise Critic member F22Smitty.