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The fifth new ship of Grimaldi Group's Grandi Navi Veloci fleet
by Stefano Fermi (10 Aug, 1999)
The Excellent design
The Excelsior, the fifth new ship of Grimaldi Group's Grandi Navi Veloci fleet, is based on the same project as her twin, the Excellent, which was delivered last year.
The most significant changes to the already advanced Excellent design primarily concern the stern area.
A New Stern Area
The airy, curved glass-enclosed panoramic promenade on Deck 8 (Atlantic Deck), which overlooks Deck 7 (Pacific Deck), the Lido and the pool, has been redesigned to form a complete circle linking the Lido below by way of two summetrical sweeping spiral staircases that dominate the far end of the stern.
This change has given the stern a more majestic and impressive appearance.
What is more, the entire stern area of Deck 8 can now be used as the Ponte Sole sun deck, which can accommodate 200 deck chairs or chaise loungers for sun lovers who have an easy access to the Lido and pool below by way of the two spiral staircases.
On the Verandah is the Ice Dream ice cream parlor and a fourth snack bar for passengers who don't want to leave the pool and the sun.
A splendid double staircase leads to the Main Hall located on the stern of Pacific Deck, which has always been the location of the main lounges.
Restaurants and Cafeteria
Abaft the large Main Hall is the A' la carte restaurant L'Espadon, with a new and original layout and seating for 210 persons.
Before the Main Hall, the large Transatlantica cafeteria (280 seats) has been divided into an endless number of cozy corners to create a feeling of privacy and intimacy.
Also in the cafeteria area is a second restaurant called the Zafferano, which seats 115 and can be separated from or functionally integrated with the cafeteria, depending on the particular use of the ship.
Heading towards the prow, the Arcade and Shopping Mall have also changed shape and location.
Now all the shops have been moved to the prow area, while the Griffe Cafe' Piano Bar has been shifted from right to left to make room for the spacious Casino, which has more than doubled in size and is worthy of the most modern cruise ships.
The Magnifica Lounge
Passing through the Hall at the stern, one reaches the Magnifica Lounge, the largest and most luxurious ballroom and night club with a surprisingly new and different layout.
The central part resembles a theater with curved tiers of chairs and sofas, while the mezzanines along the side have comfortable lounge areas which are easily turned into seating at show time.
The panoramic Observation lounge at the prow has been enlarged to accomodate more passengers, but is still a cozier and astern of the Magnifica Lounge.
The Belavista Lounge
On the Sky Deck above, the panoramic Belavista Lounge, the Gli Scacchi game room and the Library, with reading and writing areas, have changed layout, architectural design and color scheme.
Further astern of the Belavista Lounge are the spacious Euro convention hall (355 seats), the four pullman chair lounges named after the European capitals of Rome, London, Paris and Madrid, and, finally, the large children's playroom decorated with a Merlin the Wizard theme.
The New York Club disco
On the Caribbean Deck, the much larger New York Club discotheque, with seating for 130, has a brand new layout. Its striking decor combines futuristic high-tech elements and large mirrors with classic gilt frames.
The carefully chosen elegant materials and color scheme of the interior design and furnishings, greatly contribute to the success of the ship.
Sophisticated polycromatic marble, rare woods polished brass and mirrors are used extensively.
Warm and attractive colors, from rosy beige to deep garnet red, from creamy white to navy blue and the brand new Jaguar green in the Magnifica Lounge, a unique touch for Grandi Navi Veloci, create tastefully elegant atmosphere with dramatic flair that is gracious and comfortable nonetheless.
Several details and decorator accessories of the interior design are vaguely inspired by 1930s style and striking Art Deco motifs.
Splendid original works by artists such as Concetto Pozzati, Gianmaria Potenza, Roberto Cosimi, Lino Di Vinci, Barbara Vagnozzi, Alessandro Gambuzza and Giorgio Facchini also decorate ship areas.
The same careful attention has been paid to the decorating scheme for the 387 cabins consisting of 38 suites, 83 outside cabins and 262 inside cabins, including 4 for disabled passengers.
All are stylishly decorated down to the smallest detail and have a private bathroom and amenities such as adjustable air conditioning, closed circuit and satellite TV and piped-in music.
All food and beverage preparation and catering systems onboard comply with the P.H.S. (Public Health Safety) laws in force in the United States.
The Excelsior, like the other vessel of the Grandi Navi Veloci fleet, only dumps treated waste at sea.
Untreated solid and liquid waste is processed and stored in sealed tanks, which are later disposed of by authorized companies.
The cruise ferry has a gross tonnage of 40,000 grt, a lenght of 202 metre and a beam of 31 metre. The passenger capacity is of 2,300 passengers (387 cabins and 918 pullman seats).
The Excelsior was designed by Giuseppe De Jorio's architectural firm of Genoa and costs more than 215 billion lire (around 116 million of USD).
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