A new kind of cruise ship

Courtesy Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean announced today that the ship currently (and temporarily) known as Project Genesis will have a revolutionary design: Carved into the middle of the ship will be a five-story-tall, football-field-size courtyard called Central Park; it'll be open to the elements, with landscaping (including trees), cabins with interior views, and restaurants with outdoor seating (and not all of those restaurants will require paying extra, which is good news). The ship will start sailing at the end of 2009. It all looks pretty cool: Check it out here. I learned all this at a press luncheon where RCCL chairman and CEO Richard Fain spoke. I had a question, but I couldn't work up the nerve to ask him…

Basically, I wonder whether or not RCCL is prepared to deal with passengers being able to look into each others' rooms, or passengers who are noisy (in theory, everyone in Central Park will be able to hear any arguments--or whatever the opposite of arguments are--of passengers in inside-facing staterooms). Most hotels with an atrium might have doors that face inward, but not balconies. It'll be interesting to see if there are any unintended consequences.

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