What makes the spaces on cruise ships so important?

The quality of spaces on board cruise ships are so important to the feel of the ship – creating areas to be enjoyed by the cruiser and representing the brand ideals of the cruise line. The term ‘Spaces’ includes everything from the cabins to the restaurants, to the spas and bathrooms, to the public and outdoor spaces; it is the first category in the Cruise Ship Interiors Awards.

The first sub-category in this area is ‘Best Cabin Design’. Cabin design is a tricky business – balancing comfort with limited space, designers need to do a massive amount with very little to create an air of luxury for all travellers. As well as this, the build of a ship will often require rooms of many shapes and sizes – meaning designs need to be as adjustable as possible. Luckily, designers are very adaptable and quick to adjust – and are adept at creating flexible spaces that can be used for multiple purposes. The same can be said for the bathrooms – which will be represented in the ‘Best Bathroom Design’ sub-category.

The creation of comfort and luxury should translate into the spa and wellbeing areas – both essential parts of a cruise ship that need to be heavily considered and well-designed. These will be rewarded in the ‘Best Spa/Wellness Design’ sub-category. The components of wellbeing rooms in particular need fastidious consideration – with each constituent part required to make up an air of relaxation and calm.

Once outside the cabin and into the public spaces, there is still a lot – if not more – that designers need to think about. Public spaces are one of the paramount exhibits of a cruise line’s stature – they will be one of the first spaces seen by the cruiser, and will most likely be the spaces the cruiser spends the most time in. As such, they are required to wow and amaze the traveller – as well as being smart, clean and up to date – making the spaces a compelling design challenge represented by the ‘Best Public Space’ sub-category. This is combined with the need for easy navigation – designers need to consider clear and accessible wayfinding tools when designing public spaces.

This includes restaurants – cuisine is a crucial part of a cruise, and as such is represented by its own sub-category in the Awards: ‘Best Restaurant Design’. Onboard restaurants are varied in styling and cuisine, and are often designed to represent a particular culinary era – for example ‘Jacques’ on board Oceania Marina, modelled after a Parisian Bistro. Space is limited in hospitality already, and doubly so on cruise ships – especially in the galley. This means that designers need to be incredibly space-conscious in the design of onboard restaurants, ensuring they are creating the impression of comfort – if not downright luxury – that doesn’t falter at any point.

The same aspects of design need to be adapted for outside spaces – represented by the ‘Best Outdoor Space’ category – with the added challenge of the weather. To combat the elements at sea, designers need to strongly consider the materials they use in the design of the space – whilst still creating a captivating, entertaining outdoor space.

What are we looking out for in submissions?

The judges will be keeping an eye out for submissions that break the mould of conventional spaces – using innovative ways to create comfort, luxury and enjoyment in every detail. Remember that making the most of your space is key and focus on what makes your project stand out over the others and why it’s worthy of an award. Whether it’s making the best use of space in a cabin, creating a unique culinary experience with your restaurant design, or crafting an exciting outdoor space, the judges are excited to see what you have to offer.

You are allowed to enter as many submissions as you like – as long as they are all unique and were completed at any point after 20th September 2017. You are required to submit a 500-word entry description, along with a maximum of 6 images. You are also able to upload one PDF (max 6 pages) – check the guidelines for more detailed info.

Get your submissions in today – the deadline for entry is the 15th January 2020, with the finalists being announced on 25th February, so the clock is ticking!