A Great Ship, A Grand Experience
Now you are inside the mighty SS UNITED STATES - and looking at just one of 12 decks - and still just a 'small' area of the ship at the moment. Ship designer William Francis Gibbs said he never intended the Big U to be a hotel. Instead he set out to design the world's safest and fastest passenger liner.
Passengers accustomed to the near lavish, Cunard queen-styled liners (circa 1915 -1940) were shocked by the modern decor of the SS UNITED STATES. Gibbs could not care less - his intent was to maximize the safety of the ship and protect its passengers as the ship traveled the often challenging Atlantic Ocean. Yet, on review the Gibbs design strikes a comfortable balance between flourish and function. Come explore and see if you agree.
Today's commercial cruise ship architect might howl at the absence of arcade-like open atriums and large open spaces. But the real test would be how today's passengers would react to the spaces aboard the SS UNITED STATES. As you take a closer look, at this and other plans, instead of a few large public rooms you'll find the SS UNITED STATES has dozens of smaller (but not small) spaces. Imagine yourself strolling the ship. You'll find no end to the enjoyable spaces - and don't forget - the Big U had an incredible crew that knew how to take care of you as only the United States Lines could.
The Tourist Class Lounge was considered a favorite place by many who discovered it. Rounded in shape, with large oval windows, the space blends with the outside - as access to fresh air was just a step or two away. Off to each side, alcoves for writing or reading. Nearby the Tourist Class Theatre.
The First Class Passengers' Observation Lounge is made up of six areas each about 550 square feet (22 x 25) or more. An 87-foot wall of windows lines both sides of the lounge. Remarkably, the deck plans aboard ship reveal a strong awareness of the importance of natural light filling public spaces.
FYI: Note the Forward Boiler Hatch that rises through the ship just aft of the lounge. This puts you right underneath the forward funnel. And, for those of you waiting on NCL's refurbishment plans - you should know there are four engineering hatches - giving access for large machinery removal and replacement in each of the boiler and engine rooms. No need to cut the hull - say for example to install gas turbines...