February 26, 2007
Naming Cruise Ships - Disney Taking Requests
A post yesterday on Brent Scarcliff’s blog, Service Branding | The Magic Of Cruise Ship Naming, really got me thinking.
Brent links back to The Cruise Log by Gene Sloan, a USA Today blog, and discusses the “startling lack of imagination” that cruise lines display when naming their ships. Yes, The Princess and Norwegian lines seem to be virtually trading names, as are Carnival and Disney.
The names “Freedom," "Dawn,” “Pride,” and “Magic” seem to be popular. This post comes just as Disney announces that it will offer two bigger, sleeker liners - you can even watch them being built via webcam. John Frost at The Disney Blog is welcoming new naming ideas.
As a naming consultant, I suggest that the name of the new ships resonate with passengers and reflect the size. I must say that Disney seems to be leaving its competitors in its wake which puts the field wide open for some more adventurous naming.
Disney cruise liners are, from one perspective, an incredible way to build the Disney brand name. As Brent points out, the weight of nautical tradition and the onus of making the name “sound like a cruise ship," as well as a a need to “be all things to all people” are the impediments here.
The name of the current flagship, “Magic,” is taken right out of Disney's brand essence to bring “magic moments” to its customers, or "family magic" as its promise. Can that name be expanded in the future? Or is it time for Disney to turn to some of the legendary names in its stable: other liners may be called “Princess” but the Cinderella name is quintessentially Disney's.
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