All text and photographs (unless stated otherwise) © Paul Timmerman
No one could have envisaged the huge success Carnival Cruise Lines would have in the following years (see Company Histories), when they started operations in 1972 with their second hand Mardi Gras. Two more former liners were introduced shortly afterwards.
To their three converted liners were added Tropicale (1981), Carnivals first newbuilding and a series of (near-) sister ships Holiday (1985), Jubilee (1986), and Celebration (1987).
The Grand Atrium
Carnivalsí success knew no limits and so they embarked on an ambitious scheme of 8 sister ships, Carnivals first mega-ships, measuring 70.000 GRT.
Apart from a series of 8 sisterships (actually two series of 4 with minor differences) built for Renaissance Cruises between 1989 and 1992, a shipbuilding programme of this size was unheard of. Nowadays, also Princess Cruises and RCCL order series of cruise vessels, but so far not more than 4 or 5 identical ships. Contract prices for Carnivals Fantasy class ships vary from $ 225 mio to $ 330 mio. They were built between 1990 and 1998.
Pool, Lido deck
Inside they feature the same asymmetrical lay-out introduced by Holiday in 1985 with a promenade on the starboard side by which all main passenger facilities can be accessed.
Their interiors are without exception designed by Joe Farcus, who has designed all Carnival ships from the start in 1972 with Mardi Gras.
Farcus has used a variety of themes when designing the interiors of the Fascination-series of cruise ships.
Ecstasy - reflects the urban scene,
Sensation - where sounds and lights must stimulate the human senses,
Imagination - classical details and mythology,
Paradise - reminiscent of former famous passenger ships.
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