Design Solutions: Showering at Sea - Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe

Design Solutions: Showering at Sea

Roman, shower manufacturers for over 35 years, are used to solving design problems. While their design and specification teams are used to bespoke designs, those for cruise ships are the most challenging.

In most hotel design scenarios, Roman are able to provide a variety of solutions or an alternative installation method for the client. No such luxury generally exists in cruise ship specification! Space is normally at an absolute premium and the fixing points are pre-determined. While, in our daily lives, showering plays a key part, shower enclosures are one of the last fittings to be specified in cruise interior design.

Roman are generally presented with a space and then required to offer a solution – and fast. As is the nature of cruise ship design, the bathrooms are compact but fully functional and luxurious. Cruise interior musts include: doors that can operate in limited space and a durable and easy-to-clean product that looks good.

The case study

The above images highlight the design problems that Roman encounter. The designers have maximized the active showering area but the layout of the bathroom and walls mean that the shower was not a recognizable shape or size – and clearly walls cannot be moved. Therefore, the solution was to make a special sized shower tray in Roman’s solid surface moulding plant. The moulds are quick to manufacture and relatively low cost when large volumes are involved. The RomanStone material is naturally anti-slip so is ideal for hospitality and cruise ships. 

The shower enclosure was essentially missing one side due to the wall. Also, the fixing point for the Door was at 45 degrees. This required Roman to design a new wall profile in their aluminum extrusion plant. This, again, was completely bespoke to the project. They operate with eight ranges of products and have built up a huge array of hardware over the years so meeting the rest of the requirements was straightforward.

Tight timeframes

However, the next challenge came once the drawings were signed off. To have a completely functioning tray and enclosure in a mocked up room in Italy. If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, it had to be within two weeks… That is when manufacturing everything in the UK comes becomes such an asset.

The other image shows a simpler solution to a not too dissimilar scenario. The answer? A special, very tight, bend on the toughened glass. Whilst the tray, glass, extrusions and hardware might be the most visual aspect of the products, they weren’t the trickiest to execute. Probably the most intricate and time consuming in design terms were some of the smaller detailing, such as seals, capping, bracing and injection mouldings. Without the evolution of 3D printing, the chances of a fully functioning prototype delivered in two weeks would be all at sea.

Providing solutions

Whilst providing bespoke design solutions might be challenging for Roman’s design, specification and production teams, they do serve to highlight the benefits of manufacturing capability in Britain.

Roman have commented on the cruise interiors industry:

In short, cruise ships are an excellent market to be involved in. The clients genuinely appreciate the capabilities required.


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