I'm not much of a fan of large sea-going cruise ships, though I've been on some smaller river cruises that I've enjoyed.
That doesn't mean I won't have a peek aboard a large cruise ship when I get the chance. In January I was invited with a bunch of other travel writers aboard the Crystal Symphony, which was anchored at Port Melbourne's Station Pier preparatory to a major cruise.
It's a big vessel:
After going through security and boarding the ship, we were split into groups and were led on an informal tour. Our tour leader was a Swiss musician who performs for the passengers by night, and had volunteered to show us around.
The attention to detail in the vessel's interior design was impressive; evolving the golden age of ocean liners with a hint of Art Deco, but not so much as to make it look like a movie set:
I particularly liked the "@" symbol set in marble at the entrance of the computer room:
And the cinema looked pretty cool as well:
We ended up in this ambient bar, having a afternoon tea:
Looking out from the deck, I could see this lettering on the roof of the pier way below:
Seems an appropriate message for those arriving at Station Pier, where many new arrivals in the great postwar wave of migration had their first glimpse of Australia. Passengers on the Crystal Symphony are more well-heeled, but the message still applies.
For more about the Crystal Symphony, visit this link.