ON BOARD FANTASIA AS STENA FANTASIA
& AS P&OSL CANTERBURY
1: CAR DECKS, AFT BAR & LOBBY
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Above & below: By 1995, the aft Samba Bar had been completely refitted, becoming one of the first examples of Stena's new 'Stingers' brand which was rolled out fleet-wide. The typical yellow and dark navy blue trim considerably toned-down this area's previous vibrant colour scheme. The merger with P&O saw a further complete rebranding with the new Silverstones Sports Bar taking Stingers' place - a third completely new look in just nine years. The Silverstones brand was spread across the P&O Stena Line fleet but the unique space on the 'Canterbury' offered greater potential than, for example, the box shaped equivalents on the Pride of Dover and Pride of Calais. Largely red and black in colour the skylight again provided a focus and here a racing car was to be found slung beneath with the flags of Formula 1 teams draped on the sloping deckhead to either side (below).
Above and below: The lower freight deck on board the 'Canterbury' during her final months on the Dover Strait.
Above & below: The original bar counter in the aft bar in the Stinger's era (above) and re-clad in black as part of Silverstones (below).
Above: Warren Platner's 'epic' central staircase on board the P&OSL Canterbury during the P&O Stena days. Essentially unchanged from its original state, it now features a combination of plain blue carpeting and laminate flooring. This view shows how the areas beneath the upward sweeps were used for shop displays. The telephones were a later addition, replacing the original dedicated phone boxes in the upper lobby.
Above & below: Looking across to starboard in the main lobby on P&OSL Canterbury in 2001. After the Platner team went to the considerable trouble of creating an exceptionally tall height for the lobby, Stena somewhat undermined it by fitting false ceilings above the change and information desks, hiding for good the Platner purple signage and the top of the stretched-semi-circular shelving. In 2001, Thomas Cook still held the franchise for the bureau de change, as they had throughout the Stena era; after P&O assumed full control of the ship in 2003 (below) this was brought under the P&O Ferries name.
Below: A final view of the lobby, during the P O Canterbury's final weeks UK service in early 2003. The dark night-time setting, clusters of impatient passengers and unemptied trash bins allied to the visual and physical clutter of various free-standing promotional signs gives Platner's unique space a curiously inelegant feel. The end is near.
Above: In the mid-1990s, demand for yet more shopping centre space caused Stena to reorganise the Stena Fantasia's Shopping areas, forward of the bar. The small original Sea Kiosk and the playroom on the starboard side were removed, both being resited in what had previously been seating at the aft end of the cafeteria area forward, on the port side just forward of the lobby. The additional space created was merged into an enlarged shopping area. The original layout was also stripped out and was replaced by one large duty and tax free shop. A further, more modest, overhaul of the space occurred after the P&O Stena merger. The view above shows the area towards the end of the Stena Sealink days, with laminate flooring having replaced the original carpet and a totally redesigned layout.