Diamond Cruising Review

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Diamond Improvements to Ship
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Ship Improvements

This is a new section of the CruisingReview which will focus on ship improvements and innovation. New shipbuilds are numerous, and older ships require renovation to be successful in an line.

Ships older than five years need renovation, more than 10 years need replacment

Overall Impressions of the Diamond

What I liked best about the ssc Radisson Diamond was its futuristic look, huge amounts of deckspace, consolidated deck plans, and twin hulls. The teak decks on the main top level were beautiful and maintained quite well. The central atrium surrounding the stairs and elevator between decks was light and airy. Because of the large wide hull, there were only three primary decks to traverse, which is a real treat when used to monohull ships with 10 to 12 decks.

The catamaran design gives stability and huge amounts of deckspace

Hits
Efficient
Misses
- Atrium center stairs
- Windows lounge
- Main dining room
-Fresh flowers in rooms and common areas
-Variety of food
-Complementary wine, sodas, water
- Outside bar fore and aft work very well
- Buffet style eating works well for breakfast and lunch
- Little hot water on level nine cabins
- Golf driving and putting area
-Only lowered marina once
-Lack of real plants on ship
-Lack of regional "Latin American" food

Get rid of the golfing area and ugly green carpet

My first set of improvements would be to do away with the golf driving and putting area, and cover the top forward deck (which has indoor/outdoor green carpeting) with teak deck as with the rest of the ship outdoor area's.

Relocate the Spa and Workout Room

The Spa and workout area should be moved down below decks someplace, it should not be at the most premium ship space (on top). In addition, the "walking track" can be done away with all-together. I saw it used only twice during the entire week.

Move the outside eating area from amidships to aft

While the buffet style eating area which is set up for each breakfast and lunch amidships works quite efficiently, it would be better served aft, where the space is never used, and always empty. There is already a bar back there which was closed during our entire voyage. The eating area amidships commands some good (but not great) views of the ocean underway, but is prone to excessive winds and intense Sun. The staff usually will set up shade umbrellas which work well to keep the Sun off, but struggle constantly with the wind. I would put a permanent canopy over the aft section (to protect from rain, wind, and the occasional stack emissions. The canopy would be sectored glass with a thin film coating of solar cells. This would not only block out 50 percent of the sun, but would also generate up to two kilowatts of electricity. If more shade were needed, the umbrellas could still be used. Instead of setting up grills amidships, make a permanent outdoor barbecue style installation on the aft deck, and even allow passengers to "grill their own" steaks or burgers. Also have a prep grill at the aft bar serving area for "a-la-minute" cooking.

Install solar hot water heaters amidships

The amount of useful Sun energy in the Caribbean is amazing. Just a small amount of this thermal energy could be harnessed to heat water, and provide a free source of badly needed shower and tub water for deck nine cabins. These vacuum tube solar water heaters allow most of the sunlight through, while capturing valuable thermal energy to heat the water. The installation would look very futuristic, and provide a high return on investment (without increasing the fuel demands of the ship to supply hot water).

Install an Eco Dome on the top deck

In place of the walking track, Spa and workout area, I would install a segmented glass and timber framed dome area. The glass would have a thin-film solar voltaic panel adhered to it to block a portion of the Sun, while generating up to 2-10 kilowatts of power. The area within the dome would be contain hydroponic gardens as well as two large solar ovens.

Hydroponic Gardens

Hydroponic gardens are not a new idea to the hospitality industry. For a hotel in the Bahamas, it was a necessity to provide fresh herbs and vegetables for the gourmet restaurant (which was difficult if not impossible to find a dependable supply flown in by air everyday. All of the herbs and most of the vegetables could be produced onboard ship, with a hydroponic garden. In addition, fresh flowers and small fruit trees could also be grown, in hydroponic containers. Passengers would be welcomed to tend the gardens as well as seek refuge there with the addition of several sitting areas. The ships grey-water could be utilized by the flowering plants (any non-consumable plants) saving and reusing valuable water.

Hydroponic gardens would supply fresh vegetables to the restaurants onboard

Solar Ovens

The addition of two "Sun Oven- Villager" solar ovens would not only be a novelty for passengers, who can try their hand at solar cooking, but would easily provide the bulk of bread aboard the ship. Other menu items could also be cooked, such as beans, rice, and meats.

Timber Frame

The Eco-Dome on top, would be an industry first. It's Art-Deco appearance through the use of laminated "timber frame" beams would warm the appearance of the glass structure while provided a very rigid support system. At night, low intensity lighting, included fiber optic, lightwire and LED could be used very effectively for mood setting.

Where are the hammocks ?

The first task I would accomplish here is to provide a number of overhead eyebolt stations where passengers could hang hammocks or hammock chairs. There is nothing more pleasurable than laying on a hammock, on a tropical cruise. Yet I have to see one on any cruise ship. There are a variety of hanging chairs which are equally as comfortable. The eyebolt stations could also be used for self-watering hanging plants, or a variety of hanging art (including mood lighting, suspended self-recirculating waterfalls, etc.).

There is nothing more relaxing than a hammock

Pool area enhancements

Finally, the last major enhancement I'd make would be the installation of a above-deck-level meandering pool-stream. Get rid of the pool altogether. In its place, install a 4 foot deep, 3 foot wide, meandering stream (resembling a stretched out Japanese soaking tub. The sides of this stream would have built-in benches for sunbathers. The stream would meander to the bar, so that passengers could float on by for a drink. The entire stream would be purified by the Sun, via a "Floatatron" which uses solar energy to produce ions that purify the water. This would preclude the need to constantly change the water on a daily basis, and would eliminate the need for chlorine or other harsh chemicals.

Install a meandering stream, so that guests could float on by the bar for a drink

Marina Enhancements

To make a more "Eco" friendly ship, I'd first convert the Yamaha Personal Watercraft (WaveRunners) to battery and electric motor power. While you won't get the range and time on water, you'll certainly have a world-class environmentally friendly watercraft (no noise). Next I would install two fishing chairs on the marina, and give passengers to fish while underway by lowering the marina (in low wave conditions) near the ocean. Since the ship only travels at 12 knots, this is an acceptable trolling speed. In the Pacific waters, Tuna and sportfish could easily be angled. If some Tuna were caught, have the chef prepare some fresh "sushi" for the guests. What better way to entertain passengers and crew alike ! Finally, I would add some sailboats, like Sunfish or Lasers to the mini-fleet. Since the Diamond draws nearly 24 feet, it is not a shoal-draft ship, and cannot get close to many of the islands in the San Blas. But if it could, the marina is a perfect watersports platform.

 

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