Citation

Of Golden Eagles and Sarcophagi: The Spectacularized Terrain of a Carnival Cruise Ship

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

With its inception in 1972, Carnival Cruise Lines successfully popularized cruising for a wide audience. Focusing on the onboard experience itself, rather than on exotic destinations, Carnival sold itself as the cruise line which would obliterate the air of stuffiness that many associated with cruising. With marketing that highlighted the lack of class distinctions aboard the ships, Carnival’s marketers sold the ships as democratic spaces, emphasizing round-the-clock access to endless food, leisure, and good times for all who came aboard. Rejecting the sleek minimalism of some of the more established cruise lines, Carnival constructed over-the-top, fantastical interiors filled with juxtapositions and orchestrated chaos. From its longtime use of perennially enthusiastic Kathie Lee Gifford, to its prominent display of heavily narrated and theatrically-staged interiors, to its ice-sculpture-laden midnight buffets, Carnival Cruise ships can be read as microcosms of cultivated excess, espousing a particularly “American” aesthetic of accessible extravagance.

In this paper I will argue that the design, marketing, and media response to Carnival Cruise ships reveals Americans’ tense relationship to excess and indulgence, a relationship which also lays bare anxieties about class and taste. Through the plans of head interior designer Joe Farcus, Carnival has constructed landscapes which revel in stimulus overload, and which seek to “deceive” the senses. Discarding notions of uniformity and simplicity, Farcus and Carnival have created individualized ships loaded with idiosyncrasy, in which themes such as “American Heroes,” “Ancient Egypt,” and “Galaxies Beyond” are worked into a single narrative.

Pitching their SuperLiners as “floating museums of fine art,” possessing “the most eclectic assembly of environments on any cruise ship at sea,” Carnival and Farcus construct a narrative of seriousness behind their spaces, arguing that their SuperLiner Fantasy contains the largest single collection of fine art ever commissioned by a female artist, and that onboard bar Cleopatra’s was designed with “the help of a Gdansk University Egyptologist to ensure [its] authenticity.” Farcus often highlights his desire for historical accuracy and authenticity, discussing his disdain for “cartoonishness.”
In light of these claims, I will examine the reputation of and published responses of Carnival Cruise ships in order to demonstrate the ways in which the ships and the brand came to represent, in the 1990s, a sort of flashy vulgarity. The sensory overload of the ships’ narrated spaces, as well as Carnival’s long term relationship with Kathie Lee Gifford as the face of its “Fun Ships,” marks Carnival as representative of a sort of over-the-top optimism, campiness, and ostentatiousness which has yielded an array of responses ranging from delight and desire to outright disgust. It is this fraught relationship between delight and disdain, and its foundations in class and aesthetics, that I will be examining throughout this paper.
Convention
All Academic Convention can solve the abstract management needs for any association's annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: American Studies Association Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p508736_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Kolberg, Stephanie. "Of Golden Eagles and Sarcophagi: The Spectacularized Terrain of a Carnival Cruise Ship" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p508736_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kolberg, S. "Of Golden Eagles and Sarcophagi: The Spectacularized Terrain of a Carnival Cruise Ship" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p508736_index.html

Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: With its inception in 1972, Carnival Cruise Lines successfully popularized cruising for a wide audience. Focusing on the onboard experience itself, rather than on exotic destinations, Carnival sold itself as the cruise line which would obliterate the air of stuffiness that many associated with cruising. With marketing that highlighted the lack of class distinctions aboard the ships, Carnival’s marketers sold the ships as democratic spaces, emphasizing round-the-clock access to endless food, leisure, and good times for all who came aboard. Rejecting the sleek minimalism of some of the more established cruise lines, Carnival constructed over-the-top, fantastical interiors filled with juxtapositions and orchestrated chaos. From its longtime use of perennially enthusiastic Kathie Lee Gifford, to its prominent display of heavily narrated and theatrically-staged interiors, to its ice-sculpture-laden midnight buffets, Carnival Cruise ships can be read as microcosms of cultivated excess, espousing a particularly “American” aesthetic of accessible extravagance.

In this paper I will argue that the design, marketing, and media response to Carnival Cruise ships reveals Americans’ tense relationship to excess and indulgence, a relationship which also lays bare anxieties about class and taste. Through the plans of head interior designer Joe Farcus, Carnival has constructed landscapes which revel in stimulus overload, and which seek to “deceive” the senses. Discarding notions of uniformity and simplicity, Farcus and Carnival have created individualized ships loaded with idiosyncrasy, in which themes such as “American Heroes,” “Ancient Egypt,” and “Galaxies Beyond” are worked into a single narrative.

Pitching their SuperLiners as “floating museums of fine art,” possessing “the most eclectic assembly of environments on any cruise ship at sea,” Carnival and Farcus construct a narrative of seriousness behind their spaces, arguing that their SuperLiner Fantasy contains the largest single collection of fine art ever commissioned by a female artist, and that onboard bar Cleopatra’s was designed with “the help of a Gdansk University Egyptologist to ensure [its] authenticity.” Farcus often highlights his desire for historical accuracy and authenticity, discussing his disdain for “cartoonishness.”
In light of these claims, I will examine the reputation of and published responses of Carnival Cruise ships in order to demonstrate the ways in which the ships and the brand came to represent, in the 1990s, a sort of flashy vulgarity. The sensory overload of the ships’ narrated spaces, as well as Carnival’s long term relationship with Kathie Lee Gifford as the face of its “Fun Ships,” marks Carnival as representative of a sort of over-the-top optimism, campiness, and ostentatiousness which has yielded an array of responses ranging from delight and desire to outright disgust. It is this fraught relationship between delight and disdain, and its foundations in class and aesthetics, that I will be examining throughout this paper.


Similar Titles:
Golden Straightjacket or Golden Opportunity? Sovereign Borrowing in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

A Carnival Float, a Carnival Dinner and the Pistola fatta per la peste: The Convergence of the Real and the Fictional in the Life of Lorenzo di Filippo Strozzi.


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.