Ship's Stair & Elevators
Stairs and Elevators of ms WesterdamThe ms Westerdam was covered and filled with beauty. Every way we turned we ran into something else that made us ooh and ahh. The simple act of changing decks was always brightened by the artistic touches that the ship's designers included. (To catch a view of some of the art we saw on the cruise visit our Ship's Art page.) The stairs and elevators worked side by side and they shared a lobby on each deck that was beautifully decorated. When we turned from the passageway that leads from our cabins this is what we saw: this lushly carpeted stairway leading up to the 6th Deck, and the smaller stairs on either side leading down to the 4th deck.
When moving from the top of the ship all the way down to Deck 1, each deck had its downward exit on the smaller stairs, which led to a landing, and then finished the downward move on the large center stairs.
Just like these on the Promenade Deck, many of the stairs had brass plaques giving directions to various locations that passengers might wish to visit. The plaques would indicate whether a passenger needed to go up, down, or proceed on the current deck in order to find his destination.
Some of the stairs would have signs that indicated which deck you were on, and/or show where the lifeboat assembly stations were located, just in case.
And they would alternate sides from deck to deck so you wouldn't always get the same information at each deck as you traveled through several decks.
Each time you went down one of the smaller stairways, or up one of the larger ones, you would be faced with a piece of art. It might be a painting, or a carved plaque. But it was something that nearly always cried out for your attention.
Invariably there was a nautical theme to the art on the various landings. Many had paintings that included a cruise ship in some exotic location.
I am not sure what these two brass seals are representing, or what the simulated document is beneath them, but they looked cool anyway.
Here is a close up of one of the brass seals.
Another landing artisitic decoration; this brass plaque shows a goddess with a water pitcher on the upper left corner, and a god (or maybe Galileo with his telescope) at the upper right with the Latin words: Repertvm Orbis Terarum inscribed across the top. It looks like someone added a second 'R' later and made it: Repertvm Orbis Terrarum which I believe is more correct. The term Orbis Terrarum is commonly found to be applied to atlases, especially the Theatri Orbis Terrarum Enchiridion I am assuming that the Repertvm is a something like "map" or "report" of the details of the disk (Orbis) of the earth (Terra). At the bottom of the plaque are three daughters of Zeus, the three Graces (Kharites): Aglaia (goddess of beauty, glory, magnificence and adornment), Euphrosyne (goddess of good cheer, joy, happiness), and Thalia (goddess of feasts and banquets).
This drawing was large enough to require some distance from it to get it all in. Unfortunately the detail is lost at the same time.
One final landing painting showing two ships at sea. The dark wood frame matched the wooden railing, and joined with the velvety ceiling, inset lights, and even the clock, showing 10:22 (a.m.) in making the voyager feel pampered with luxury.
All the way at the top of the forward stairs, holding up the roof at Deck 10 stood multiple figures of the imposing god and goddess of the sea: Poseidon and Amphitrite, the parents of Triton the merman god, who was thought to be half man and half fish. Amphirite's hair was gold and Poseidon's was silver, and with their arms crossed high overhead, these towering figures looked down upon anyone so bold as to climb the stairs. However, once you managed to pass safely, they continued to look down and you were completely ignored by them.
We didn't use the elevators very often, but we still enjoyed the areas dedicated to them. From the beautiful carpeting, chosen to highlight the rest of the items in the area (for example the vase in the middle of this picture is surrounded at the base by a large red circle in the carpet), to the colorful ceiling, the room is luxurious.
This is another view of the forward elevator area on Deck 8. The doors are covered with a wood simulation finish, surrounded by the nautical friendly brass. Brass doesn't rust, and when it tarnishes, it still can be polished up to a high sheen. The elevator buttons are set on a round brass plate, and the deck map sits above, to give guidance where desired for those just arriving. Eight lights are set in a circle over the potted tree, making sure that the passerby will not miss this item. The ornamented bench in the background is set with carvings depicting various mythological events and creatures.
Walking down the forward stairs into the elevator area on Deck 3, off in the distance we can see the large world map that is mounted on the bulkhead, where LEDs indicated the current ship's position. Mounted on the left bulkhead of the passageway leading to the map is the large computer touch screen where the interactive program could be accessed to get ship's information, such as the current latitude and longitude. In the foreground the designers set the decorative piece aft of the large red circle of the carpet. The elevator doors, and the mirrors, set into the bulkheads are richly ornamented with artistic carvings.
I believe this is the Rotterdam Deck, and of course the elevator waiting area was once again set with art. The golden colored chairs were set like bookends to the two golden relief works hanging on the bulkhead. On the left was a figure of a woman, the muse of painting no doubt, with pallet in hand, and painting a picture of a goddess in flight. Around her is clearly her studio for doing her artistic work. There are other decorative touches as well with the peacock in the background and the cupids below. On the right there is a sculptor at work. He appears to be looking over at the painter at work (and who could blame him?) but in reality, he is sculpting the head of a model who is positioned directly behind him. The scene shows several parts of his sculpting studio, including previously completed art and various modeling devices.
These seahorses adorned the opposite wall when you came up to the Lido Deck (Deck 9) on the forward stairs. Behind those closed doors was the Hydropool area.
The elevator doors were works of art in their own right. This door was on Deck 5, the same deck that our staterooms were on. The carpet, the door and the framing all join together to make a luxurious statement. Even the deck sign is exquisite, and the elevator push buttons look like they are part of the "First Class" section. The floor indicator is digital and up to date, but the overall feel is of an earlier day. There are no television sets pounding at your head as you wait for your elevator. There are few indications that you are not in a top flight hotel in the best part of town. It is a fairyland, created from a richly decorated dream of a talented group of ship builders. Excellent!
At the Lido Deck, the doors were bracketed by two statues of dancing girls that were virtually identical, with one clear exception: the one on the left of the doors had a tambourine in her left hand, while the hands of the one on the right were empty.
The aft elevator doors appeared golden in this shot.
This was normally a busy area, because the Lido Deck was an active place and along with the aft elevators opening up here, this was also the very top of the aft stairs. The Lido Restaurant was just forward of this point and the aft pool was just behind.
In the second shot the setting is still showing the golden tinge of the lighting, but in the third shot, the flash brings out the silver in the door as well. They put so much time and talent into building this ship!
These doors on the forward Deck 3 elevators are carved with flowers and crossed with a paisley-like pattern. The brass is polished to a mirror surface and shows why they call these "luxury liners."
This door belongs to one of the glass exterior elevators that allowed its passengers to see the view outside of the ship as they moved from deck to deck. The glass in the door is etched with acid to display the exact same flower and paisley pattern that was in the regular elevator doors.
When we dropped down the forward stairs to see these elevators, we felt like we were in the depths of the earth. It had the feeling of fire and brimstone, or Madam's little house of ill-repute. As it turned out, the casino was just next door, and the red walls continued right into that room.
From the other side...looking out of a "Scenic elevator" into the ship at Deck 7, the Rotterdam Deck. The Scenic Elevators were located together with the center stairs and elevators, and they were mounted on the sides of the ship, with their doors facing inward, and their glass backs facing out to sea (or to see, if you prefer
There were two special case stairways onboard. The first was the Atrium. In the Atrium the stairs ran from the Deck 1 up to Deck 3. In and around the stairs there was a little collection of environments where you could eat, drink, and be merry. At the very top of this little world was the ship chandelier, glass, and well lit. It was continually turning so all sides of the glass sailing vessel were presented to anyone who was patient enough to stand and watch it turn. How dead indeed the heart of one who did not do that at least once during the cruise. I was guilt of watching a great many revolutions of that beautiful little craft. On Deck 3 this stairway was surrounded by the Ocean Bar and various chairs and tables.
On Deck 2 the ship chandelier was still a prominent feature in the landscape. The stairs brought passengers down into the starboard side Windstar Café with tables for patrons to have their coffee, or their food from the Odyssey Restaurant located on the port side. All the way on the bottom, on Deck 1, was the actual Atrium Bar where drinks could be purchased and passengers could sit and visit.
The last stairway in this section is the one that went from Deck 10 down to the Lido Deck right below. The respective points of terminus were exterior and interior to the ship, and that meant that some accommodation had to be made to keep the weather on the outside. This was accomplished through the mechanism of an enclosed entrance on Deck 10. A nice little "glass house" was formed around the top of the stairs and anyone going down, or coming up, simply had to push/pull the door open and step from one environment into the other. The stairs themselves were quite pleasing to the eye, as spiral stairs almost always are. Moving from the deckchairs and skylight area of the Observation deck, taking the stairs down will bring you to the Lido Pool area, coming out right beside the ping pong table, and pool showers.