As most of you know (if you don’t know, why are you reading this blog?) most of our Voyager and Freedom class ships have a Morgan sports car in the Royal Promenade. I have been asked to explain whence it comes.
The background is simple. In 1997 (it’s hard to believe it was twelve years ago) we were reviewing some of the final decorative elements intended for the Voyager of the Seas in a meeting with our lead architect for the Royal Promenade, a Norwegian named Njal Eide. Njal is a great architect who has been a key contributor to the design of all our ships since even before the Sovereign of the Seas. He was responsible for the design of many of our Centrums including the Sovereign and he is particularly noted for his use of flowing curves and circles. Njal had produced a particularly beautiful model of the Royal Promenade, and in the middle of the model, he had placed a nice little model of a Morgan Sportster complete with leather belt across the hood.
Here I have to digress and give a little background on my association with Morgans. On my fortieth birthday, our kids gave me a surprise party and my wife gave me a classic Morgan. The cars are hand made with pride in England and they only make about 540 cars a year. The frame is wood, the suspension is non-existent and the windows are removable plastic rather than roll-down glass. In short, they provide a wonderful experience and there is nothing like driving one on a spring day with the top down and the windows removed. Newer Morgans use newer engineering, but mine was a classic – ergo, the suspension or lack thereof. Unfortunately, when we moved back to the U.S. from England, we couldn’t take the car because it hadn’t been certified in the U.S. Sadness.
But then, for my 50th, she found one already in the U.S. that had been imported before the certification requirements came into effect and she gave it to me. I was in seventh heaven.
Fast forward to 1999, Njal was reviewing with us his model of the décor of the Royal Promenade and there was “my” Morgan sitting proudly in the middle of the street. It was fate. Njal didn’t know about my car and when I asked him where the idea came from, he just said, “It seems right.”
That night I went home and talked to my wife. I told her I loved the car, but I also felt a personal involvement in this new ship. I asked her how she would feel if I donated the car to the ship. I didn’t want to sell it for two reasons. Firstly, because I felt such a kinship that a sale would be inappropriate and secondly, because I didn’t want anyone to claim I had not acted at arm’s length.
My wife loved the idea and said, “It seems right.”
And that’s how my old car ended up on the Voyager of the Seas. And they were spot on: it seems right. In fact, the car was so popular that we continued with the tradition with later ships and we will continue that tradition on Oasis, albeit with a sports car other than Morgan.
 As a side note, he is so enamored of circles and curves that I once sent him a ruler and said “This is a straight edge; when used judiciously, it too can provide pleasing results.”