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May 25, 2006

Carnival Freedom Interior Design Celebrates Decades Through The Centuries From Ancient China To Art Nouveau


New 2,974-Passenger SuperLiner Debuts with Mediterranean, Greek Isles Cruises in March 2007

MIAMI (May 4, 2006) — When the 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom debuts in Europe in March 2007 it will feature an interior design theme that takes guests on a journey through the centuries by decade. From ancient Babylonia to the heyday of disco, from the 19th-century Victorian era to the contemporary style of the 1990s, the public rooms of Carnival Freedom celebrate many periods in time.

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Freedom is scheduled to enter service with a series of 12-day Mediterranean cruises —including the line’s first-ever visit to the Greek Isles and Turkey — beginning March 14, 2007.

“I thought it would be interesting to go back in time to find inspiration for the various public rooms,” said Joe Farcus, Carnival’s ship architect. “As always, I tried to use the function of the room to suggest how the room will reflect the central design idea.”

When guests step into Freedom’s Millennium atrium, they will be transported into the near-future decade of the 2010s represented by cylindrical forms painted in iridescent lacquers that take on red or gold tones — depending on the angle — and cutouts of wood veneer that have been dyed to look like tiger skin, lined with polished copper. Curved railings are done in blue glass, and the theme is carried on to the elevator lobbies where stainless steel elevator doors are decorated with applied copper designs.

Glass and copper chandeliers hang from the ceiling amid columns and beams accented with special iridescent glass tiles. Smaller versions of the chandeliers are used as wall lights with color-changing internal lighting.

The Victoriana show lounge is named after Britain’s Queen Victoria, whose name also is associated with the fashion style that peaked in the 1880s. The room’s design evokes theaters in London’s West End with ornate moldings, fancy marble and gold leaf. The walls adjacent to the stage feature scattered giant curlicues with twinkling lights, and arches between the windows contain pre-Raphaelite paintings from the era. The eye-catching centerpiece of the theater is a mural-decorated dome with a crystal chandelier.

The 1990s were all about style, and that is reflected in the forward and aft restaurants — the Chic and Posh Dining Rooms, respectively. The walls feature a combination of striking polished marbles and a special wood veneer laminated in a fashionable python skin pattern. Marble and antique gold grillwork with fruit, vines and leaves is mounted between the banquettes. The mood of the restaurants can be changed dramatically through innovative lighting strips containing small color-changing light bulbs that meander around the rooms and create a sparkling effect.

Named after Louis XIV, the Sun King Supper Club represents the glory days of the 18th century. A statue of Louis as the Sun King — a nickname given to him from a role he played on stage — greets diners as they enter the restaurant and an impressive period chandelier hangs in the skylight dome with smaller versions suspended throughout the room. Other design features of the era include elaborate tapestries, antique mirrors on the walls and a large mural depicting the court of the King in trompe l’oeil.

The Player’s Sport Bar shines with chrome, sports medallions and memorabilia highlighting the 1950s, often referred to as the “golden era of sports.” The bar features a canopy done in lacquer and adorned with photographs of famous sports teams from the mid-20th century. Giant plasma screen televisions throughout the bar ensure that no one misses a big play.

Club 02, the ship’s teen club, pays tribute to the new millennium with a distinctly contemporary design. Plasma screens throughout the room serve as kinetic art, with continuously changing posters, paintings and landscapes. In the adjacent game room, LED digital clocks are positioned along the walls and ceiling with the year constantly changing to highlight the first decade of the 21st century.

Guests will feel at home in platform shoes at the Studio 70 dance club which will focus on the 1970s when disco was in its prime. An updated version of the famed Studio 54 disco in New York, Studio 70 will have giant “70s” on the walls done in a colored stainless steel with interior color-changing, pulsating lights, while sofas are done in giant seven and zero shapes with upholstered seats and glass backs. The room’s black interior comes to life with spinning mirror balls hanging from the ceiling, completing the distinct retro atmosphere.

Guests choosing to enjoy a glass of wine on the promenade will step back in time to the 1890s at Bar Nouveau. Designed in art nouveau style with a stained-glass backlit dome and inlaid marble walls and floor, the wine bar features small tiles curved out into coves along the ceiling made of sandblasted mirror for an unusual effect.

Representing the earliest epoch featured in the ship’s design — 1000 B.C. — the Babylon Casino recalls the Babylonian palace of its most famous king, Hammurabi, and takes its theme from the famed Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon. A reproduction of the legendary Ishtar Gate is done in blue-glaze brick with applied mythological animals and decorations of flowers and geometric designs, while brick columns with Babylonian winged figures are found throughout the casino. The fabled Hanging Gardens are depicted on polished stainless steel with painted flowers.

Merging the ship’s name with the theme of the interior décor, the poolside Freedom Restaurant incorporates the modern design style of the 1980s. Various replications of the Statue of Liberty are incorporated into the restaurant décor, and copper sunbursts echoing Lady Liberty’s headpiece can be found in the tabletops and on the walls.

Among other decades represented in Carnival Freedom’s public rooms are the 1940s in the Habana Cigar Bar, with barstools and tabletops resembling cigars; the 1770s in the Monticello Library evocative of the American colonial style; the 1910s in Scott’s piano bar, named after ragtime piano master Scott Joplin; the 1930s in Swingtime jazz club, hearkening back to jazz’s early days; and the 900s in the Dynasty Room, an homage to ancient China.

Carnival Freedom is scheduled to debut in March 2007, operating 12-day Grand Mediterranean and 12-day Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises from Rome (Civitavecchia), through October.

The 12-day Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises depart March 14 and 26, April 7 and 19, June 18, Aug. 5, and Sept. 22, and feature Naples, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; Izmir (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey; Athens (Piraeus) and Katakolon, Greece; and Livorno, Italy, as well as an overnight call in Rome (Civitavecchia).

The 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” cruises depart May 1, 13 and 25, June 6 and 30, July 12 and 24, Aug. 17 and 28, Sept. 10, Oct. 4 and 16 and visit Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy.

Press Release by Carnival Corporation

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Posted by Denise at May 25, 2006 09:00 AM

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