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The Master of Design: Joe Farcus,
Carnival Cruise Line's Ship Architect

by Roy Witman © 2008

Who in the world came up with these ideas? Aboard the Carnival Celebration you'll find yourself transported into the heyday of New Orleans Mardi Gras. On Fascination and Hollywood, you can step back into the golden era of ocean liners with vintage designs throughout the ships. But who thinks up and executes these amazing design plans? Joe Farcus, that's who!

Joe Farcus is the ship architect for Carnival Cruise Lines. It is his vision passengers see each time they step foot onto a Fun Ship®. Raised in Miami Beach, Florida, Farcus always fantasized about ships. His constant sketching of ocean liners was no doubt part of the reason he pursued an architectural degree. After graduation from the University of Florida in 1967, Farcus landed his first Carnival project - the redesign of the Carnivale - while employed for a local architectural firm.

Described as bold, daring and sometimes even brash, Farcus creates interior designs from his heart and his imagination. Working from an initial central concept, Farcus expands from idea to application, as his vision touches every part of the ship. From atriums to restaurants to staterooms, full control of the aesthetics of the ship is placed in the hands of this one man, as he gives each ship its own distinct personality.

Miracle is whimsical with an array of fictional characters splashed about throughout her common areas. Spirit is refined, featuring a Louis XIV-inspired casino and Chippendale Internet Café. Destiny is dazzling and bright with a towering mirrored atrium elevator that stretches nine-decks high.

Where do the ideas come from? The Amber Palace show lounge (on Glory) was fashioned after the Amber Room in Russia while the Starry Night Jazz Club (aboard Pride) was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's painting of the same name.

What lies ahead for future ships? Freedom, set to debut in 2007, will carry a central theme of Decades Through the Centuries. From ancient Babylonia to the Victorian era to 1970s disco and beyond, passengers will walk through time, as they sail the sea. When asked about the concept, Farcus replied, “I thought it would be interesting to go back in time to find inspiration for the various public rooms. As always, I tried to use the function of the room to suggest how the room will reflect the central design idea.”

And other ships? What does Farcus hold in store for them? Splendor is slated to enter service in the fall of 2008, and Carnival has a super liner (yet to be named) under construction and scheduled for delivery in fall 2009. “I design each ship to tell a story, and it gives me great joy to be able to share these stories with guests.” So much so, in fact, that Carnival will soon be broadcasting videos aboard ship highlighting Joe Farcus and his design process.

With a seemingly never-ending supply of brilliant design concepts, Joe Farcus will surely continue to contribute to the fun that the Carnival Fun Ships® have become so famous for.

Read more about the Carnival Cruise Line.

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