ON BOARD FIESTA IN THE MID-1990s
& AS SEAFRANCE CÉZANNE
1: CAR DECKS, AFT BAR, SHOPPING CENTRE & PLAYROOM


All pictures
© matt@hhvferry.com except where stated
e-mail: matt@hhvferry.com
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Above & below: Two views looking forward on the upper vehicle deck (Deck 2) on board the Seafrance Cézanne showing the clear, wide open spaces available for the carriage of freight as well as vehicles. This deck was fitted with a mezzanine level which can be seen clearly in the second picture stowed agains the deckhead out of use.
Link: Click here for a Seafrance Cézanne deckplan
Above & below: Linking the two huge garages on Decks 1 and 2 is this ramp on the port side. This was part of the ship's original specification as the ro-ro Ariadne and its retention when the ship was converted to a passenger ferry gave the Fiesta and her sister a nearly unique (but in reality, little-needed) level of flexibility on the Dover Strait in the 1990s. Of the ships the pair ran with and competed against, only the Sealink 'Saint' class of the early 1980s could match or better this arrangement. The second view shows the empty upper vehicle deck with the ramp in the background.
Above & below: 'Le Pub', complete with the distinctive central skylight (above) which allows light to flood in from the upper outside deck. The decor is radically different from the soft pastels this space had in the early Fiesta days, but structurally the lounge remains intact, including in particular its forward bar servery (below) where the flambouyant ceiling detailing (reflecting the shape of the bar counter itself) of the ship's Warren Platner Associates design team is now painted all white.
Above: Looking aft in 'Le Pub' on Seafrance Cézanne in 2004. This space acquired the predominantly green colour scheme in the January 1996 refit when the Seafrance brandings were introduced, but has been further refitted over the subsequent decade: the green chairs visible above were introduced over a period of time, running for several years alongside the rather larger Fiesta originals (also reupholstered in green) until the latter were all replaced in the 2002/03 refit by the matching blue chairs seen here. At the same time the bar received a new carpet.
Above: Looking aft in the starboard side arcade leading past the shops to 'Le Pub' in 2001. The majority of the original shopping centre windows from the Fiesta days have now been replaced by wooden paneling with advertising boards. The original clusters of triple light fittings remain.
Above & below: Above can be seen a simplified plan of the main lobby (left/forward), shopping complex (centre) and playroom (right/aft) from the Seafrance era. Unlike on Fantasia, where the original playroom was later removed to make way for additional shopping space, the basic layout of the areas remained unchanged aboard Seafrance Cézanne although like her sister the small sea kiosk on the starboard side was removed to maximise Duty/Tax Free space - newspapers were in later years sold from the information desk in the main lobby. Changing shopping habits caused some internal rearrangement of the shopping complex over the years - the original design emphasised a rather regimented layout of supermarket-style shelving but this later gave way for a more open-plan style. During the 2002/2003 refit a new exit was created (below), passengers now making their purchases and then exiting directly into the port arcade rather than returning to the main entrance on the main staircase as had previously been the case.
Above & below: Original Fiesta-era decorative details on the Seafrance Cézanne. Above some of the distinctive original signage in the starboard side arcade and (below) one of the large human-sized pictograms which originally graced the entrances to the toilets. These were not covered over until about 2001.
Above & below: The original playroom was refitted after the creation of Seafrance in 1996; in conjunction with the London Science Museum, the space was recreated as an interactive area known as the 'Science Museum Afloat'. However this did not last too long and by 1999 the area had reverted to a more standard playroom format, this time as one of Seafrance's standard 'Le Cirque' Play Zones. The picture above shows 'Le Cirque' in 2004, looking in from the starboard side arcade. On the right hand side there were originally windows which overlooked the playroom from the adjacent shopping centre, but these have now been removed.
Above: The entrance to the shopping centre from the main staircase off the amidships lobby on Seafrance Cézanne in 2002 - above the entrance had originally been one of Warren Platner's decorative logos, in this case a simple but huge 'SHOPS' logo for the shopping complex but this has now been replaced by a nondescript Seafrance Shopping image.
Above & below: Entering the ship at the aft end of the lower passenger deck, Deck 3, the main public room here is the main bar. On the Fiesta this was the Carnival Bar, before becoming 'Le Pub' under Seafrance in 1996. The space was significantly refitted in about 1994 when it assumed much of the decor of the new Stena Line 'Stingers' brand which was being introduced on the British Sealink ships. The Fiesta's bar however, retained its original name. (Picture above courtesy Richard Seville)
Above: Inside the Fiesta's shopping centre after it had been slightly re-arranged in the mid-1990s, and the original blue carpet had been removed.