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Some spaceships are better than others.

"The Axiom. Putting the 'Star' in 'Executive Star Liner.'"

In science fiction media, both smaller spacecraft and larger starships or interstellar spacecraft (especially the Cool Starship) revel in their unnecessary use of on-board space. Passageways will be broad with high ceilings. The bridge will be an expansive multilevel complex paneled with floating viewscreens and control panels. Crew quarters will be as spacious as a suite at the Plaza.

Compare this to Real Life military and commercial ships, where efficient use of space is a major engineering priority. Every cubic meter of volume should be dedicated to storing and sustaining as many finite resources and support systems as possible. This will be especially critical in spacecraft, which will be extremely isolated systems, and the only resources available will be those carried on board. The nearest port may be months or years away. Therefore, sustaining a space the size of a gymnasium that's manned by only five people and only stores one day's worth of snacks is a major waste of resources on a military vessel. Airships are a notable subversion in that they actually need seemingly large, wasteful interiors in order to facilitate weight distribution to the hull.

However, "cramped" and "luxurious" are also purely relative terms between time periods. A modern, space-efficient, hot-bunking military naval vessel is the epitome of space and comfort and luxury compared to ships of ancient times. A sailor from the navies of 1600 would consider life aboard, say, the Nimitz-class supercarrier Abraham Lincoln to be palatial... and probably inconceivably wasteful.

This trope is usually justified in cases of "cruise spaceships", where the wasted space is part of the point, as the passengers are wealthy enough to absorb the cost. Another major justification is how technological progress made our ships go from cramped and dirty boats to massive and luxuriously "wasteful" ocean liners, referencing Space Is an Ocean. For Sufficiently Advanced Aliens (or humans at the Crystal Spires and Togas level with access to Applied Phlebotinum), cost would naturally be nearly not an issue. This trope can also be somewhat justified in the case of spaceships that are constructed and operated entirely in space, with no intention of ever making planetfall. Most of the space issues on current spacecraft are due to the fact that it takes an obscene amount of money per pound to lift something out of the atmosphere. Another justification is when the ship is meant to be lived on for extended periods of time, for a less claustrophobic (and thus mentally healthier) environment, along with better comfort for the crew, as morale and even mental health can become a very real issue for long voyages.

Often overlaps with Unnecessarily Large Vessel. May overlap with Mile-Long Ship or even Planet Spaceship. Contrasts with the cramped quarters in salvaged Used Future spaceships.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Eltrium from Gunbuster.
  • The Nirvana from Vandread had its bridge overhanging a park. Then again, the ship wasn't designed by anyone; it just... well, no one's really sure how that happened.
  • The titular ship in Sol Bianca had large open spaces and an indoor park. It had a five (wo)man crew.
  • Subtly used in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, where the flagships of Galactic Empire are very roomy and advanced compared to the utilitarian vessels of the Free Planets Alliance. Smaller Imperial vessels seem to be as Spartan as their Alliance counterparts.
  • Jurai treeships in Tenchi Muyo!, especially those belonging to the royal family, are not simply roomy and well-outfitted, but can be ridiculously spacious and luxurious. Mikagami, Seto's personal warship, one of the most powerful in the Jurai fleet, has a huge Japanese-style landscape park (complete with a shishi-odoshi). Its crew — exactly one. But then, the Juraian Empire IS wealthy beyond belief, and they ARE Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
    • The ships of Jurai are powered by Royal Trees that draws energy from multiple dimensions from their roots, which are direct descendants of Tsunami, one of the goddesses which created the multi-dimensional Tenchi Muyo universe. Along with obscene amounts of speed and firepower, a Royal Tree can generate a pocket dimension for its crew. Like the TARDIS, a Jurai treeship is MUCH Bigger on the Inside than it looks on the outside. Essentially, the interior is pretty much as big as the owner wants it to be. A full size luxury resort and hotel, complete with wildlife park? No problem!
  • Macross has ships that house entire cities, though humanity's first one was originally an alien military craft designed for giants; while subsequent colony ships are deliberately designed to be self-sustaining cities in space capable of keeping their inhabitants in relative luxury, their military starship escorts have far more utilitarian designs.
  • While not as bad as some of the other examples, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha still managed to include a classic, Japanese-style tea room in the Arthra, one of the Time-Space Administration Bureau's Dimensional Cruise Patrol Warships. The room even had a shishi-odoshi.
  • The Peacemillion from Gundam Wing, a three-kilometer wide spaceship which seems to have what looks like a food court, where the Gundam Pilots hang out between missions. Potentially justified since Peacemillion was designed to be a space exploration/colonization ship.
  • Most Gundam meta-series ships large enough to carry Humongous Mecha seem to also have room for pretty nice cafeterias. The Argama in Zeta Gundam features a sign proclaiming (in English) the availability of beer.
    • Not entirely unjustified since Humongous Mecha in the 20-25 meter range require a lot of hangar space, along with storage for ammunition and spare parts. Those space needs easily dwarf crew accomodations for any reasonably sized crew, so it doesn't cost that much more to add a few small luxuries.
    • The Archangel in Gundam SEED Destiny not only has a large public bathroom on top of self-shower space in the living quarters, but also an imitation hot spring area complete with Japanese-style gardening scenery.
  • Mamoru Nagano and Kunihiko Ikuhara's joint Light Novel Schell Bullet gives us Gene Liners — a huge armed starliners that has everything from stylish bridges and spacious corridors with indoor gardens (see above) to the onboard spas with a Mt. Fuji replica inside. Somewhat justified in that these enormous ships not only carry paying passengers, but have to be this big to be economical, and if we have a cubage, why not fill it with something nice?
  • The interior of Space Battleship Yamato is much roomier than the actual Battleship Yamato, at least if IJN battleships were similar to contemporary American ships. Especially when one considers that half the ship's volume is occupied by the Wave-Motion Gun. They also can put up some kind of force field that allows crewmembers to walk around on the deck of the ship without spacesuits. This field is sometimes visible to the audience, and sometimes its existence is just implied, so it almost looks like the animators just forgot they were in space.
    • Also bear in mind that the actual Battleship Yamato was called the Yamato Hotel in WWII for its really spacious living area with over 10 times the crew members (also for it being anchored on shore for almost its entire life time without seeing combat), so this is not quite off the chart. In general the Yamato-class battleships were surprisingly luxurious, including air-conditioning (which was a novelty in the 1940s).
      • The only space the actual Yamato lacked was toilet space, they have a 100:1 crew to toilet ratio, and did not have a well organized system of shift thus every shift break, they have reeeaaallllyyyy loooooooong lines in front of the toilets.
  • The Elsior/Elle Ciel from Galaxy Angel. Befitting its wacky nature, it had a lot of superfluous things inside it. Also see the game entry below.
    • The manga adaptation of Galaxy Angel (which adapts the game universe, not the wacky anime universe) justified this by having Elsior a ceremonial ship armed with nothing except fireworks. The only offensive complement it had was the Emblem Frames.

    Comic Books 
  • Judge Dredd: After the Day of Chaos, four thousand of Mega-City One's wealthiest citizens decide to escape the hellhole that planet Earth has become to find a new world to settle. Their years of travel will be spent on the luxurious Mayflower colony ship, with artificial beaches, forests, a baseball park, and good dining. Unfortunately, their choice to only staff the ship with a single sheriff and no heavy duty weaponry (it was meant to be a peaceful utopia, see) means that they're all easy pickings when the four evil Dark Judges hitch a ride on the ship.

    Fan Works 
  • From Bajor to the Black has then-Sergeant Kanril Eleya favorably compares vids she's seen of Federation starship interiors to the secondhand Breen-built Bajoran frigate Kira Nerys. The bridge has twelve people crammed into a 5x4 meter room, and "what passes for Colonel Karryn’s ready room must’ve been a broom closet in a former lifetime."
  • In Fractured (SovereignGFC), a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover and its sequel Origins, the Trans-Galactic Republic's starships are viewed as this trope by technologically-inferior Citadel races. Steak? Check. Huge quarters, no hot-bunking? Check. Massive, opulent bridge windows that could be blown out in a fight? (Except not, due to extremely strong Deflector Shields)? Check.
    • It's implied being assigned to Spacelane Protection Star Dreadnaughts is highly desired, because they are even more well-fitted than your average heavy cruiser, being small cities with creature comforts to match.
  • The Endless Pantheon series, a Dresden Files/Stargate SG-1, justifies the apparent excess of Goa'uld ships. Millennia ago the Goa'uld fought and lost a war against the faerie Courts and many Goa'uld still live in fear of sidhe assassins popping out of the Nevernever. The ornamented walls are in fact massive warding arrays meant to keep faerie attackers from infiltrating the ships.

    Films — Animated 
  • Monsters vs. Aliens. Really, it's a plot necessity if you're going to have a 49 foot, 11 1/2 inch woman rampaging through it.
  • WALL•E. The Axiom is a perfect example of this. Though it is intended for people to live on it as long as needed and taking up all of Earth's remaining resources so you would imagine it should look nice. The Axiom is specifically the flagship of the line, and all the ships are intended to transport a broad cross section of Earth's population. You can get away with much less pleasant surroundings for a careful selected crew than for just any random million people. The ship being too luxurious is a big part of the plot; the human passengers are so coddled that they never have a reason to leave their self-propelled floating chairs.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Orion III spaceplane from 2001: A Space Odyssey, that carries Dr. Heywood Floyd to a space station orbiting Earth, is clearly designed for comfort and luxury. The plane is owned and operated by Pan Am, an airline that went bankrupt in real life, ceasing operations in 1991.
  • The Imperial Star Destroyers of Star Wars are quite roomy, with Vader's flagship, the Executor, being a particularly egregious example of this trope. But then, The Empire is supposed to be decadent and Romanesque, so this could be intentional.
    • An Imperial-I-Class Star Destroyer has an overall crew of 46,785 individuals, including a troop complement of 9,700. This is the smaller 'Standard Star Destroyer', which is 1.6 kilometers (or one mile) long. In addition to the crew it carries a complement of smaller ships and ground vehicles. In earth terms it could be compared to a whole carrier group, rolled into one ship.
    • This is lampshaded in the Star Wars Legends. In the first novel of the X-Wing Series, Kirtan Loor is invited to Ysanne Isard's office. It is huge and nearly empty. Kirtan wonders why Isard doesn't have more stuff, if for no other reason to flaunt her wealth, until he realizes that empty space on Coruscant, the crowded City Planet, is one of the most expensive commodities in existence.
    • The EU/Legends averts this a great deal. Freighters and other civilian ships are extremely cramped with almost no creature comforts, and one space station described in the X-Wing Series is built cramped even by the standards of such things. The EU then brings this back with a vengeance with the aforementioned luxury ships. But when you're talking about people with enough wealth to buy a planet or several, complaining about the wastefulness of resources is a bit gauche. In Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, the Jedi protagonists end up having to take a mass transit ship which was built by insectlike Verpines. It's very crowded and unpleasant, particularly to people like them, who generally have their own, better-appointed craft.
    • Also, note the conditions aboard ships like the low-rent passenger vessel that Anakin, Padme, and R2-D2 used to travel from Coruscant to Naboo in Attack of the Clones. There's a huge difference between the Republic and Imperial and Naboo ships with vast budgets supporting them, and private-sector working-class conditions. See also the Millennium Falcon.
    • The various Naboo royal ships are unarmed luxury vessels designed to transport VIPs in style, and have fairly roomy and artistically designed interiors. Completely chromed, as a mark of royalty. They usually have fighter escorts.
  • The Fhloston Paradise in The Fifth Element, which is designed to be a luxury line in space. Its interior is a combination of a five-star hotel and the Sydney Opera House. It also works as a low-altitude airship so patrons can visit the beach. Sadly, though not surprisingly, it gets blown up at the climax of the film.
  • NASA advisors to the movie Sunshine (2007) spoke out in favor of this trope. The cost of roomy quarters, in terms of air and mass, would be more than balanced out by the benefits to a crew's sanity on a long mission. As evidenced when they actually go into the part of the ship with the bomb inside, there's plenty of space around the bomb itself... and breathable air, too. Besides, they were towing a bomb the size of Manhattan, so a little additional space would hardly be noticeable. Ultimately, the movie retained a submarine-ish feel, but toned it down.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness. Spoofed when Scotty finds himself running for a control terminal which is at the end of a very long hangar bay.
    Scotty: I'm running! *pant* *pant* ...Still running!
    • The same film shows the disadvantages of this trope when Gravity Screw causes everything from shuttles to people to start falling down corridors and hangars that have suddenly turned into huge pits.
  • Realistically averted in Down Periscope, though an interesting contrast is shown in the two types of submarine interiors. Few people would call the USS Orlando, a modern nuclear sub, roomy. However, it's downright spacious compared to the USS Stingray a derelict old diesel recommissioned specifically for the wargame exercise that was the majority of the movie's plot. The Stingray's bridge is roughly as open and easy to move around as the cafeteria's snack bar on the Orlando. Also, the Orlando has room for a snack bar. This can be a case of Reality Is Unrealistic: a snack bar on a modern US Navy ship or sub is not only pretty common, it's not unheard of for some vessels to have full Navy Exchange shops (think Wal-mart for the military set) on board.
  • In Jupiter Ascending, all the personal ships of the Abrasax heirs qualify, but Titus' clipper takes the cake. It has its own cathedral inside, as well as 100 meter tall gilded statues lining the hull.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Frank N Furter's gothic castle, complete with a ballroom and swimming pool turns out to be a spaceship.
  • The Avalon in Passengers is like a cruise ship in space, with a multi-level concierge deck, a movie theater, and a swimming pool. Of course, it's a Colony Ship meant to support 5,000 passengers for four months while they socialize and train for their new lives on Homestead II, after 120 years in hibernation.
  • The Black Hole. The Cygnus is constructed on a grandiose scale to match Dr Reinhardt's ego, more suited to a generation ship than a vessel of exploration. Booth makes some sardonic comments on how much taxpayers' money was wasted to build it. This was given more overt justification in the novelization. The ship's deep-space exploration mission was originally expected to be multi-generational, with a crew of about a thousand to maintain it and pass control over to their descendants. Advances in technology left the ship obsolete; it's said that the Palomino can cover the same mission in 5 years with a crew of less than 10 that it would've taken the Cygnus decades with its full complement to perform. That same obsolescence is what motivated the recall of the Cygnus in the first place.

  • What The River of Stars started out as in Michael Flynn's The Wreck Of The River Of Stars—a luxury spaceliner.
  • Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space: The Nostalgia for Infinity is kilometers long, and features a rather beautiful grove that serves the crew as a dining room. Because the ship is manned by only five people, however, most of the ship is dilapidated. Outside the dining grove are the rotted remnants of a much larger park.
  • My Teacher Is an Alien has the New Jersey, so named because the ship has the same surface area as the aforementioned state. Occupants have to get around via teleporter. Not only are there thousands, perhaps millions of aliens aboard, but each one gets his/hers/its/dxwje's own pod/room, and there are facilities on board that will make them anything they want and have it delivered at a touch of a button. Notably, that's the smallest ship in the fleet. Their FTL drive works only with ships large enough to have a certain gravitational field. The abundant space seems to be largely incidental.
  • Capital starshipsnote  in Honor Harrington intended to serve as flagships for fleet commanders have been known to have good-sized swimming pools on them. Military starships. Of course when they can be measured in kilometers this becomes a bit more palatable. Lampshaded when after remarking that the swimming pool doubles as a storage tank for part of the ship's water, Honor decides that's the only reason the design was signed off on.
    • One novel notes that Manticoran ships are typically designed with some extra empty space on the bridge... To give them room for the additional consoles, displays, etc. that will inevitably be required when refitting the ship with not-yet-invented technology.
    • HMS Duke of Cromarty, a royal yacht built on a battlecruiser hull after the previous civilian design ship proved lacking in defenses, demonstrated that when you strip out most of the magazine capacity from a multi-megaton warship you can fit in not only several staterooms, but also a full-sized ballroom.
    • Civilian freighters, having far smaller crew requirements than warships, typically have large, spacious bridges, compared to the crowded bridges of their military counterparts. Of course the crew spaces take up a miniscule fraction of their multi-megaton size most of which is basically just empty space to store cargo.
  • Animorphs:
    • Andalites' Dome ships, as is somewhat implied by the name, include a domed park-like section (which doubles as a source of food due to Bizarre Alien Biology, making it genuinely useful, albeit probably not useful enough to justify the trope). It can be ejected from the main body of the ship if necessary.
    • Note that this is justified by Andalite psychology: Since the species evolved as centaur-like herd animals on open plains, they have even more of a need for open space than humans, with only three cities/spaceports on their entire planet. Prequels portray earlier Andalite ships having holographic skies and grass-carpeted floors. Andalites using other species' vehicles are sometimes mentioned fighting claustrophobia.
    • The same goes for Pemalite ships. Their vessels are described as toys, created for amusement. Again justified since the Pemalites were advanced enough to be able to build those types of vessels... and naive enough to forgo equipping them with weaponry or any defensive systems.
  • In Rebel Dawn the Queen of Empire, a two-kilometer long cruise ship, is the epitome of luxury. It gets raided by raided by pirates.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy has a ship which is designed to resemble, and is powered by, an Italian restaurant. Specifically, the strange and improbable mathematics that go into divvying up the check are extrapolated to allow the ship to move in strange and improbable ways.
    • Arthur even points this out when he arrives on the Heart of Gold in the TV Series.
      Arthur: Now this is my idea of a space ship—gleaming metal, flashing lights...
    • In the novels, he finds the bright, white and roomy Heart of Gold strange. When they stumble on an old spaceship, one that is dark and cramped, Ford is unimpressed, maybe even disgusted, but Arthur finds it fitting.
      • The Heart of Gold is a justified example, as it doesn't use anything near a normal drive to get places. The Infinite Improbability Drive works by manipulating probability (or, more specifically, the improbability of the ship's being in a specific location) to essentially teleport the ship to its destination. Because they don't need to spend energy to push the ship against gravity, space conservation would not be high on the list of priorities for building the ship.
  • Dahak from David Weber's Empire from the Ashes. But then again, it is a light cruiser that's the size of the moon, so having giant parks is okay.
    • Heck, Weber never really explains what most of the room aboard Dahak is used for, the stuff we're shown would occupy only trivial percentages of the interior volume. For example, they carry 200 attack cruisers the size of wet-navy Terran battleships. Only 200? Why not 20,000? Or 2 million?
    • Besides, the average deployment was 25 years, so a "normal" ship design would lead to insanity via cabin fever in no time.
  • In The Culture series, all Culture ships, including warships and small modules. At the other end, the General Systems Vehicles are worlds unto themselves.
    • Some Rapid Offensive Unit and (d)ROU classes ("d" for demilitarized) are described as quite cramped, with only a few narrow tunnels and cabins squeezed in the gaps between cubic kilometers of internal machinery. However in these cases the ships in question are designed to spend most of their time without any crew at all, and (d)ROUs at least have the massive voids where the weapons used to be.
      • (d)ROUs converted for moving people around space are seen to well appointed for comfort.
  • While interstellar travel in Sergei Pavlov's Moon Rainbow is only starting to be practically contemplated, the interplanetary travel is apparently casual enough for one of the Cool Starships in the novel to have not just an onboard swimming pool or spa, but a friggin' beach resort. Of course it's subverted in it being just improvised by a crew (with an enterprising use of the plastic aggregate from a cargo and water from propellant tanks) in an unused hold of this huge-ass freighter hauling cargo between various Outer System colonies and outposts, but it's the intent that counts here, and the ship herself was big and comfy enough to feature here.
  • In the Hyperion Cantos the Consul's ship is one of these, there's even a spherical pool maintained by force-fields. However, the Consul's ship is specifically stated to be one of only a handful of privately owned spaceships in existence. When characters go on board one of the FORCE warships it's stated to be extremely cramped.
  • The interior of a ship owned by Haxxarians (a culture whose hat seems to be "jerkass He Man Woman Haters") in Douglas Hill's Young Legionary fits this trope...albeit as designed by Fashion Victim Villains. As soon as they're given an excuse, Keill Randor and Oni Wolda gleefully trash the place.
  • Spoofed in the short story Matter of Magnitude by Al Sevcik. Earth has a mile-long battleship which it uses to enforce galactic peace, but it's forced to withdraw when it makes First Contact with an alien race whose spaceship they can't detect—it's only afterwards they realize that's because the alien spaceship is only an inch and a half long.
  • The winner, of course, is the Golden Ship from Cordwainer Smith's "Golden the Ship Was-Oh! Oh! Oh!" Ninety million miles long and very much golden ... with a crew of ... one. True, its quarters were dwarfed by the size of the ship, and twenty feet by thirty feet small compared to the space pleasure cruisers but huge compared to our current cramped quarters, but that doesn't matter much when you spend most of your time jacked into a pleasure inducing electric current. Nor the fact that the rest of the ship was foam and wires to fake the effect of a legendary unbeatable starship. In short, the universe's largest scarecrow.
  • The aptly named Titan in Stanisław Lem's Tales of Pirx the Pilot is a luxury liner described in loving detail,note  and its contrast with usual cargo spacecrafts in Pirx's rather gritty universe is lampshaded.
  • On several occasions, Liaden Universe novels have contrasted Terran ships (small, utilitarian) with Liaden ships (huge, luxurious) as a way of drawing attention to just how rich Liaden traders are.
  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator introduces the Space Hilton, which is a Hilton... IN SPACE!. Sadly it was quickly invaded by Vermicious Knids and everyone on board eaten.
  • The Great Ship in Robert Reed's Great Ship universe. Being a ship as large as Jupiter, it has natural canyons, rivers, caverns, and beaches by the thousands inside its nearly impenetrable hull. Passengers can easily claim rooms as large as Manhattan. People serving time in the brig are allowed at least ten thousand cubic meters of living space.
  • In Sewer, Gas & Electric, the huge eco-activist submarine Yabba-Dabba-Doo has numerous accoutrements not normally expected on an undersea vessel, including a ship-wide network of hamster tubes and an arboretum full of endangered plant life.
  • "Terra!" written by Stefano Benni, narrates a weird space race to reach a mythical planet that holds the secret for unlimited energy, in a future when humanity has ruined planet Earth. Three spaceships are sent from different nations, playing with the trope in every direction:
    • the "Calalbakrab" (Arabian-American-Russian flagship) is very big, with dozen of swimming pools, at least one soccer field, some shopping centers and so on. It's shaped like a scorpion, can detach three contained ships and sports an energy cannon able to vaporize entire fleets;
    • the "Proteo Tien" (Asian-European converted utility ship) lacks room and is quite spartan. Crewmen are often required to speak softly because loud noises can be heard in the entire ship;
    • the "Akai Mazinga Zuikaku" (Japanese battleship) is smaller that a regular satellite, is manned by a liofilized captain/warrior/explorer and sixty trained mice, and has a single multipurpose room.
  • L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth. The ship in question is a tugboat designed to nudge capital ships around while docking, but nonetheless was fitted by a retired admiral with spacious and gaudy accommodations, such as gem-encrusted control panels, gold and marble halls, holographic entertainment suites, and luxurious suites and kitchens. It's introduced in a chapter full of Description Porn, much of the first book in the series is spent preparing it for the titular mission, and then it spends the next five or six books sitting in a hangar.
  • Brian Daley's The Adventures of Hobart Floyt and Alacrity Fitzhugh series of novels feature this trope as often as they avert it. The most luxurious examples are such spacecraft as The Pearl, a very large iridescent blue sphere 'ship's boat' whose main passenger deck is a decadently appointed lounge, complete with bar and attractive string quartet (who all happen to be part of the ship's Security Detachment). Oh, and it's also armed to the teeth in case the landing party needs help, but you'd never know that by looking at it. Furthermore, the Pearl's mothership is one of the most powerful warships in the region, but it still finds the resources and space to support its very own Winter Wonderland habitat for the pleasure of its Master, his wife, and their guests. Be sure to wear the thoughtfully provided fur coats before you enter.
  • In Barrington J. Bayley's "The Zen Gun", the warships carry a large passenger list of sophisticated uptown types (many of them animal/human hybrids) who spend the missions partying. The ships also fight using WW II-era 16-inch battleship guns, but that's another story.
  • From the H. Beam Piper short story "A Slave is a Slave":
    An Empire ship-of-the-line was almost a mile in diameter. It was more than a battle-craft; it also had political functions. The grand salon, on the outer zone where the curvature of the floors was less disconcerting, was as magnificent as any but a few of the rooms of the Imperial Palace at Asgard on Odin, the floor richly carpeted and the walls alternating mirrors and paintings.
  • Massively averted in Mark S. Geston's Lords of the Starship. The eponymous starship Victory is gigantic, taking a century and a half to construct. It's seven miles long, one-third of a mile in diameter, with wings spanning three and a half miles and a vertical tail fin rising five-eighths of a mile above the fuselage. However, almost all of the interior space is designed to carry hibernating passengers, stacked like cordwood in their millions. On its completion, a huge war breaks out for control of it. In any case, it's all a plot by a forgotten enemy nation. The ship is a fake, designed never to leave the ground. When the battle is at its height it destroys itself and its passengers (who are probably dead rather than hibernating) and uses its immense rockets to incinerate the armies fighting over it.
  • Zigzagged in Alexei Panshin's "Rite of Passage". Four levels of the ship are quite comfortable and well-equipped, resembling a small city; one has been at least partially terraformed to simulate a planetary surface. The young people being trained for a survival trial learn that the ship has two other levels which have been stripped to provide resources for the four in general use, leading to several characters daring each other to visit one of the empty levels.
  • In Space Academy, this is the Ares to the point of parody as Vance is mystified by all of the amenities on what was supposed to be a battleship (and formerly was during the Kolahn War). After it's refit, it has carpeting and suites plus an actual mall including gift shop. Justified by the fact Vance wanted to captain a warship but it is now a vessel of diplomacy.
  • Dune: Heighliners were the only form of FTL travel in the Old Imperium, used to carry entire fleets of starships and their cargo at once. While their interiors are rarely, if ever, described, they were gigantic vessels at over 20,000 meters in length.
    • The Heighliner's successor, the No-Ship, is large enough to comfortably carry thousands of people for years at a time, with enough cargo space to house even the sandworms of Arrakis - which can grow up to 400 meters in length. And, as the name implies, it is undetectable by any form of prescience.

    Live-Action TV 
  • It's probably useful to remember, in this section, that the difficulties of filming in a realistically cramped set probably put a lower limit on the size of corridors and other spaces.
  • Star Trek tends to zig-zag this trope:
    • Word of God for Star Trek: The Original Series is that the designers knew full well that a real starship wouldn't have broad corridors (instead having narrow corridors like, for instance, real Navy ships have), but there were other, practical considerations, like being able to maneuver the cameras through the corridors to follow walking characters. The senior officer's quarters are also not all that large, and they have a chunk of space set aside for use as an office (which makes sense, as only McCoy works in an area of the ship which can plausibly have an office space for the department head). The mess hall, rec rooms, and conference rooms shown are all also relatively small given that the crew is supposed to number in the hundreds.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Federation's Galaxy Class vessels (including the Enterprise-D), are more in line with luxury liners than military vessels. In fact, when Scotty from the original series visits the Enterprise-D, he is stunned at the size of the guest room they put him in. The Ensign assigned to him initially misunderstands and offers to find him something even larger. Mind you, the Enterprise-D is the exception, rather than the rule, for Starfleet ships. One episode has the captain of a more typical Excelsior-class starship describe the Enterprise as "that luxury liner". The production designer who designed the original Enterprise's bridge once complained that the bridge of the Enterprise-D looked more like a Hilton Hotel lobby than a functional starship bridge.
    • Possibly as a reaction to the Galaxy Class, in all later series, this Trope is strongly averted. The enlisted crewmen's quarters on the USS Voyager seen in the Lower-Deck Episode; a 2-person room is about the size of a walk-in closet. Defiant-class ships are described as being cramped, and the crew quarters we have seen have stacked bunks instead of the spacious apartments afforded to everyone on Galaxy Class starships. The same goes for the Enterprise NX-01 of Star Trek: Enterprise, which has very few windows and looks far more like the inside of your average warship than a Galaxy-class starship. The captain's quarters are only slightly larger than enlisted crew quarters on the NCC-1701. In Star Trek: Lower Decks the support staff don't even get quarters, just rows of beds installed into the wall like you might see on a submarine.
  • Appears in Firefly, and illustrates the difference in wealth and technology between the Protagonists and the Alliance.
    • Averted with the Protagonists' ship, Serenity. The ship is compact and utilitarian much like a submarine, complete with visible pipes and bulkheads and airlock hatches between sections of the ship and individual crew quarters. Even the opulent quarters of the companion Inara are only larger than the other crew members because they encompass an entire detachable shuttle. Fortunately, the crew can get away from the cramped conditions of the ship relatively frequently, as most trips between worlds only take a few days, instead of months or years. The cargo hold would seem to be the exception, though Serenity is a cargo hauler.
    • Played straight with the Alliance ships, which feature huge bridges with very high ceilings, and oddly spacious interrogations rooms. Joss Whedon even mentioned in the DVD Commentary that the models of the Alliance ships were actually designed to look a little over-sized and inefficient, to signal to the audience that the Alliance itself is a little, well, over-sized and inefficient.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Robots of Death" features a self-contained mining ship that is quite luxurious, despite being crewed by people desperately hoping for a good strike, as they need the money. The crew didn't own the ship, and all the colonists lived a pampered life thanks to robots. And it seems more like they want the money rather than desperately need it; the more ore means a bigger payday when they get back to base. In fact, the reason there are humans on the mining vehicle in the first place is that while robots are competent at operating them, humans are simply better at it and will typically bring back full loads of better ores in less time than robots will.
    • The starliner Titanic in "Voyage of the Damned" was fairly spacious. Given that it was a luxury cruise ship, this is to be expected.
    • The TARDIS itself, thanks to being Bigger on the Inside, surely has the most impressive "ship floor space to number of occupants" ratio of any series ever. There's enough space inside a TARDIS to house an entire literal star! We know for sure it has a library, pool, bedrooms, closet with any clothing you can imagine, and the ship itself is capable of producing basically anything its occupants could ever need. We may only see the control room most of the time, but there's a lot of stuff in there. It's only appropriate for the ships produced at the height of the power of the richest, most powerful civilization in the history of the universe. That is not a boast. It is simply a description of the real situation. Ironically, the Doctor's TARDIS, a Type 40, is considered a literal antique by their people. We never actually get a look at a truly cutting-edge TARDIS.
  • Justified somewhat in Red Dwarf since all the crew bar Lister are dead, he and hologram Rimmer move to the more luxurious officers quarters in the third series. Also, the 'High' Red Dwarf in "Demons & Angels" was meant to be luxurious, and of course was countered by the squalid 'Low' counterpart ship. Lister and Rimmer's cramped bunkroom from the first two series was explicitly designed to resemble a submarine, right down to the different shades of grey paint.
  • The Buck Rogers in the 25th Century series has an episode called "Cruise Ship to the Stars" which features a very luxurious spaceship in the style of a cruise ship. So it was Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Babylon 5:
    • The Minbari and Centauri ships tend in general to be rather luxurious, with the latter also being heavy on the Bling of War that characterizes the rest of their society. EarthForce ships are downright dowdy in comparison, with angular and cramped designs, and the only real luxury on Earth ships is found in purpose-built luxury liners.
    • The Whitestars are tiny compared to normal Minbari ships and yet have huge amounts of empty space. On the other hand, the Minbari are more or less the epitome of Crystal Spires and Togas.
  • In Crusade the Excalibur, an Earth Alliance prototype built with Minbari and Vorlon technology, is full of vaulted ceilings.
  • Stargate SG-1: Alien ships, such as Ha'taks and Atlantis-class city ships, are generally larger and more spacious than Earth ships. The Atlanteans at least had the excuse that they were actually sufficiently advanced and one step short of becoming physical gods and were building these city-ships to, you know, live in. And to the Goa'uld, the spacious nature of the Ha'tak motherships had a dual role: to carry large numbers of Jaffa troops and Death Gliders, and to reinforce their carefully cultivated image as gods. Even the smallest Asgard ships, the Daniel Jackson-class science vessel, is larger than a Ha'tak. All Asgard ships have a standard crew of a single very small person.
  • Stargate Universe: If it weren't literally falling apart around their ears, the Destiny would have been quite luxurious. There are spectacular viewing decks and everyone gets his own room with a large bed, sheets and comfy duvet, which must have come with the ship, since no one is seen dragging a mattress through the gate during the evacuation of Icarus Base.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Atlantis is technically a spaceship. And a city, roughly the size of Manhattan with 150-200 square feet rooms having an internal height over 12 feet. But as mentioned above, city-ships like Atlantis were meant to be lived in permanently. They were designed as cities first and ships second (to the point that they don't actually have airtight hulls; they need their shields operational to fly through space), so comfort was of paramount importance.
  • Andromeda: The title ship was built for a crew of thousands rather than the five or six who currently crew her. And the ballroom and dining hall are for hosting diplomatic functions. The arboretum is large enough for a full-sized tree, but the tree's main purpose is air recycling, although the room is also used for enjoyment.
  • The Tulip in Starhunter has wide halls and large rooms. Justified in that the ship is a repurposed luxury passenger liner, though one that has seen better days.
  • Blake's 7. When the prison ship London first docks with the spacecraft that will become known as the Liberator, it's so dwarfed by the alien vessel that Stock Footage of the scene was reused for a later episode in the hope the audience wouldn't notice the tiny model London attached! The Liberator's facilities include a spacious flight deck with Artificial Intelligence Master Computer, a full-equipped surgical bay, an armory, teleport system, Escape Pods, an Unlimited Wardrobe and a treasure room holding more wealth than you'd find in the entire Federation banking system (according to Avon). No reason for the latter is ever given.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Subverted, averted and played straight in Warhammer 40,000. Imperial warships are described as having luxurious bridges and officer's quarters, but the crewmembers have tiny rooms that they have to share with far more people than would comfortably fit in them. The Eldar tend to play this straight, especially when it comes to their Craftworlds, but in the Craftworld's case it's justified as they are giant Generation Ships that house the remaining Eldar population.
    • Not to mention the fact that the human ships take so long to build, and they are so massive that there are entire colonies of degenerate humans inside, the inbred descendants of workers (and crewmembers) who got lost. Standard maintenance procedures include flooding the areas not inhabited by the crew with poison gas once a century or so in order to root out these colonies.
    • In the spinoff RPG Rogue Trader, canonical optional additions for a Rogue Trader's ship include vaulted ceilings, barracks for entire regiments of ground troops, room-sized techno-pipe organs, gladiatorial arenas, factories, and full-size churches to the God-Emperor (some of which can detach from the ship proper and be air-dropped as prefab cathedrals on worlds in need of converting).
  • Averted in Traveller in some ways, justified in others. Traveller ships are as crowded and uncomfortable as ...ships. However superior technology including the computers of thousands of years in the future allow such perks as giant screensavers on the walls, an onboard internet, and storage of massive amounts of data with enough space left over for purely recreational use. And of course a controlled climate. If you don't mind the crowding and can endure eating mainly Food Pills, and you are the sort of intrepid space hero that likes to read a lot it doesn't sound so bad.
  • Happens now and again in BattleTech. It being a feudal society IN SPACE!!, various members of the elite can afford to get a hold of luxury space transports. Some are purpose-built for luxury, while others are military designs retrofitted for comfort. However, the overall scarcity of shipbuilding facilities means that starships in general, much less luxury ones, are relatively few and far between. Just common enough to keep the interstellar economy functioning, according to Word of God.
    • Two stellar examples in the pre- and post-Time Skip eras ('Classic' and 'Age of Destruction' respectively). In Warrior: En Garde, one of Michael Stackpole's early novels, a member of royalty travels incognito on a modified military ship turned passenger transport—while things such as a communal dining hall are mentioned, the 'economy class' housing that the disguised identity travels under is noted to be about the size of a bedroom, with walls lined with fake wood laminate and a bed that folds out of a sofa. Hardly luxurious accommodations even by present standards, but compared to the cramped, sweat-sock-scented atmosphere of most military Drop Ship vessels, indulgent. This goes completely to the other end of the scale in the 'Age of Destruction' era, when a commander of one of the numerous House-loyal factions in the Republic buys the services of an enormous combat vessel capable of carrying numerous Humongous Mecha...and installs what amounts to a palace veranda on its exit port. Luxurious and ludicrous indeed, as it is purely decorative and highly exposed on a military vessel.
    • Clan Sea Fox has several drop ships that have had their mech bays converted to living space and cargo, but it's still pretty crowded given that most of the Clan live aboard such ships and even though they're the most mercantile Clan they still believe in a pretty Spartan lifestyle.
  • Downplayed on-board regular rocket ships in Rocket Age but played absolutely straight on the Jovian Pleasure Cruiser, a literal space cruise ship.

    Video Games 
  • Xenosaga is a particular offender in this regard. The Elsa, a lowly salvage ship, has a curiously luxurious interior with its own cafe, store and other amenities. The Durandal is even more ridiculous, as it has its own subway system and a park. Possibly justified in that both belong to an extremely wealthy company. Still, what little we see of the interior of military ships suggests a similar problem; though the accommodations may be more spartan, they're no less spacious.
    • Not to mention Vectors corp. HQ, The Dämmerung, a ship that is 1000km long.
  • Xenogears has The Eldridge. We don't exactly what is was for before it crashed on the planet, but we do find its wreckage, which is so huge that the giant robots everyone pilots take a really long time to walk around its interiors, and it had enough space in it for at least two giant submarine like vehicles.
  • System Shock 2 gives us two different extremes: The Trioptimum experimental interstellar ship Von Braun and the UNN warship Rickenbacker. The Von Braun plays the trope very straight—to the point that the ship is almost like a small city. Its recreation deck has a basketball court, a swimming pool, and a mall—but considering this ship was designed to carry out mankind's first interstellar journey trillions of miles from any source of supply, the creature comforts are justified. Meanwhile, the Rickenbacker averts the trope with a much more cramped and spartan deck layout. Logs reveal that a lot of the soldiers on the Rickenbacker spent their downtime on the Von Braun.
  • The titular Starship Titanic pretty much has it all: a luxury restaurant with big windows, first class rooms, the works. The only problem is that the ship has lost its mind as well as most of its crew (which are all robots) and it's up to you to set things right.
  • The Ishimura in Dead Space is actually somewhat similar to modern submarines in that although it has cramped corridors it also a has a large bridge and several open area relaxation rooms including a zero-g basketball court.
  • The Normandy SR-1 from Mass Effect is more spacious than is probably necessary, but the Normandy SR-2 from the sequel is absurdly spacious, more so than most houses. Shepard and Miranda have especially luxurious quarters. This trope is lampshaded when Shepard mentions to the ship's AI that his/her quarters are larger than those on other warships; the AI claims that, as the Normandy SR-2 was built by civilians, comfort was taken into account.
    • It also has leather seats, to Joker's delight.
    • Miranda's quarters are technically also her office, and Shepard's quarters are a chunk of waste space beneath the outer pressure hull (in other words, if the outer hull is breached, Shepard's quarters are spaced). And Cerberus spent enough on Shepard and the ship to raise, train, and equip an entire army, so cost wasn't really an obstacle.
    • Both versions of the Normandy are also somewhat lacking in creature comforts: shared bunk space (pods), a single locker for each crewman, with limited storage space otherwise, and not much in the way of entertainment in the first version. The second version is much larger, but the crew still doesn't have a lot of space (shared bunk rooms), privacy (the bathrooms are pretty much it) or entertainment (most are talking amongst themselves or just sitting in the mess hall).
    • That said, the Normandy SR-2 undergoes an interior refit in Mass Effect 3 which re-arranges some rooms on the command deck, including a meeting room and a War Room. Additionally, the observation bays on the port and starboard edges of the crew deck have been stocked for crew entertainment. Among the amenities added are several couches, a library, a poker table, an electronic sensory seat thing of some kind, a music system, and even a small and stocked bar. Given that the Normandy was being refitted to adopt a fleet flag role, this can be easily justified (You are, after all, carrying diplomats from various species at various points of the game).
    • The Tempest, the equivalent of the Normandy from Mass Effect: Andromeda, is smaller than the SR-1 and slightly more compact and efficient, though also runs with a considerably smaller crew. It still has an unusually large set of quarters for the Pathfinder, possible even larger than the space allowed for the crew quarters for everyone else to share, but given the Pathfinder's quasi-diplomatic role this may have been intended to allow for private meetings.
  • Halo:
    • So, you've just built a massive space station over a kilometer long for the sole purpose of housing a cannon that runs more or less its entire length, what else to install...? Well a command center five stories high with giant glass windows for a ceiling couldn't hurt, it's not like people are going to be shooting at it or anything!
    • Pleasingly lampshaded in the books where Covenant command centres are revealed to be located in the exact centre of their ships, surrounded by as much metal and armor as possible, and interfacing with the outside by computer screens. Makes considerably more sense than putting it in a greenhouse at the end of the ship which needs to be facing the enemy in order to shoot. Even better, the Elites are convinced that the humans are inhumanly ballsy for putting their command centers out in the open like that, (probably correctly) reasoning that it serves no tactical purpose.
    • That said, while human ships do have ill-advised command center placement, given the tech gap between them and the Covenant, it doesn't really matter where they put the bridge.
  • Defied by the Split, the proud warrior race guys of the X-Universe. Ancillary materials describe the interior of the Panther as sacrificing basically every non-combat function possible in order to create a pocket carrier mounting heavy guns and enough fighters to take on entire fleets by itself in skilled hands. Unofficial reports state that the crew and pilots are bedded in the fighter hangar, or stuffed into the cargo bay in suspended animation.
  • Played even straighter in Star Trek Online than in the parent franchise (how does a bridge that big even fit on an escort?), but at least this time they have a real-life excuse. Cryptic has stated the corridors and so forth are huge in order to prevent Camera Screw from having the POV butt up against walls and the like.
  • The Elsior in Galaxy Angel, and later, the Luxiole. The Elsior's size was such that it could carry entire biomes (such as the beach, complete with a space whale!). Not to mention convenience stores, dining rooms, medical bay, firing range, a entire park (complete with a late night snack vendor), etc. A throwaway line handwaved it away by saying that the Elsior is/was a ceremonial ship. However, it gradually became a bona fide battleship with upgrades to its weaponry (including the fearsome Chrono Break Cannon). On the other hand, other ships belonging to Transbaal Space Navy looks considerably more spartan.
  • StarCraft:
    • The Hyperion has wide corridors, paintings, marble sinks in the Commander's quarters, and a cantina. The original owner, Arcturus Mengsk had rather expensive tastes, Jim Raynor never had the time to refurbish to suit his more spartan preferences. The wide open spaces aren't very defensible against boarding actions either.
    • The Spear of Adun is pretty much nothing but wide open spaces. Though it was designed to host an entire Protoss civilization.
  • In Elite Dangerous, Saud-Kruger manufactuers pleasure craft and luxury passenger transports with an Everything Is An I Pod In The Future aesthetic. Their Orca and Beluga Liner have massive viewing decks along their roofs that are larger than a tennis court. Their extravagance is pretty telling when the Beluga Liner is almost the size of an Oasis-class cruise ship yet the Oasis holds 30 times more people.
  • The spaceship that you control in Rodina is a gunship that can be manned by a Crew of One, yet its default interior design contains several spacious rooms complete with potted plants, bathrooms and corridors where people could walk abreast, with floors connected by equally spacious staircases. All of this becomes disadvantageous when the ship catches fire and you have to run around extinguishing fire from all those superfluous surfaces.
  • Argo from BattleTech is... spaceworthy when you get her, and that's about the nicest thing you can say about her. However, if you pour a little TLC (and a buttload of money) into her, you can soon have one of the nicest ships in fiction, including a fully stocked bar and library, an arcade, a hydroponic garden and a low-g swimming pool. Given that the ship's original purpose was to be an exploration and colony ship whose crew (which would have been substantially larger than it is when being used by your player character's mercenary company) would be spending months or years away from home it was probably justified. And many of the upgrades serve a purpose beyond the game's Morale Mechanic: Upgrading the library makes repairing and upgrading your mechs go faster because Yang stocks it with battlemech service manuals and other technical reference works and uses the space as a training facility for his rookie techs, and the hydroponic gardens reduce your running costs because they're supplying food and absorbing CO2 from the air.
  • The SSL Martian Princess in Ticket to Earth has large sections of it dedicated to entertainment, shopping, and recreation (including a large indoor park), even though everyone is supposed to spend the ten-year journey to Earth in cryostasis. It's heavily implied that all starliners are this opulent. No wonder the ticket price is set at half a million, which is well outside the range of what an average New Providence citizen can afford.
  • Destiny: The Leviathan is the gigantic, mobile pleasure palace of the fantastically hedonistic Emperor Calus, who may have been ousted and exiled from the Cabal Empire but at least got to do so aboard it. Every surface that isn’t polished white marble is plated with gold and elaborately trimmed, and onboard luxuries include public baths, pleasure gardens, vast libraries, and gladiatorial deathmatches. Many of those locations are open-aired, retaining atmosphere only via Sufficiently Advanced Technology. Also, the ship itself is a Planet Eater engineered to swallow planetoids whole and process them into wine. The player also gets to visit the massive, grimy, machinery-filled engineering sections that keep the rest of the ship running luxuriously

  • The Fuseli from Starslip began its career as an experimental luxury warship named the Crimson Fall. The experiment failed: rather than developing a fierce attachment to their ship and its amenities, the crew got lazy and decadent. The Fuseli was converted into a spacegoing art museum.
  • Most of the ships belonging to Tagon's Toughs in Schlock Mercenary. Mostly thanks to having a lot of AI support they're operating with a fraction of their nominal crew strength. The Touch and Go fits especially since it was equipped with a pool deck before the Toughs got their hands on it.
    • To the point where most of the ship's space goes unused, from Captain Tagon's personal experience that letting grunts get too spread out is just asking for them to use the space for illicit activities.
    • Another set of clearcut examples of this trope are battleplates. They have their own commercial sectors and shipyards, due to their intended purpose of defending planets against wayward asteroids requiring plenty of power, which requires large plants to generate it.
      • With the advent of the teraport, much of the noncombatant sector of Battleplates (which amounts to a decent sized city) is teraported out of the interior during combat engagements to prevent unnecessary losses, leaving a good chunk of a the Battleplate's interior hollow.
  • The Sapphire Star in Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger is a "mid-range" luxury cruise worldship measured in tens of kilometers with a city's worth of permanent residents and an actual rainforest on the top deck. Practically a mobile Pleasure Planet.

    Web Original 
  • One of The Journal Entries has a throw-away mention of Pendorian starships having padded leather interiors. It is not clear how seriously to take this, but Pendor is absurdly wealthy.
  • Atomic Rockets brings up this trope on a regular basis as bad design. You have to provide air for all that living space!

    Western Animation 
  • Bounty Hamster: The luxury starship Humongous, with "ballrooms the size of football fields! Football fields the size of planets! (if they were flat)." Unfortunately the ship is so expensive, only half a dozen people in the universe can afford to travel on it.
  • Il était une fois...: The Cosmopolitan in ...Space, a large luxury liner Recycled IN SPACE! complete with a hangar to launch much smaller ships, ballrooms, a greenhouse, lookouts for passengers, a big, spacious bridge, and very likely countless stuff that does not appear in the cartoon.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: "Where Pleasant Fountains Lie": The Hysperion flagship Monaveen looks like a flying royal palace on the inside, with ornate decorations, galleries full of paintings and an entire feasting hall, and is similarly gaudy on the outside.

    Real Life 
  • Space habitat concepts from the 1970s, such as the O'Neill cylinder, featured wide open spaces on the scale of kilometers.
  • Before you scoff at this trope's prevalence, remember what the very first planes looked like, then look at this.
    • Played straight by the promotional material for it (and older similar vehicles like the Boeing 747), which invariably shows pictures of bars or gyms, in the space that any airline actually interested in making a profit will proceed to cram with seats.
  • Almost Real Life, anyway: the original designs for Project Orion were intended to be quite roomy. The nature of the Orion Drive meant that larger vessels were more efficient: a "nuclear pulse drive" operates by detonating two nuclear warheads per second behind the ship. Saving mass and wasted space wasn't really a concern. Saturn by '69!
    • Some of the designers notes even included a list of ways that they could possibly increase the mass of the ship (to better withstand the nuclear shockwaves it would be riding.) Some of the ideas were things like "two-ton barber chair" and "arbitrarily large communication system".
  • After two decades of cramped capsules, the Space Shuttle might have seemed like this. Mind you, it wasn't all that roomy: most of the Shuttle's space (hahaha) was given over to cargo; the actual crew compartment was, in effect, a very large capsule, one which was very quickly filled to capacity (seven), substantially reducing the roominess (although still much-improved over Apollo and Gemini).
  • The Hindenburg and her little-known sister ship Graf Zeppelin 2 were 1930's versions of this. Even the modern A380 double-decker widebody jet featured above has less interior space! These vast internal spaces were devoted to making them as luxurious as ocean liners. They boasted passenger decks with grand dining rooms, opulent piano lounges decorated with murals, grand staircases, bars, smoking lounges, and more besides. Even larger than the passenger decks was the keel, which runs nearly the whole length of a rigid airship. While such vast interiors may seem to represent an Unnecessarily Large Interior, they actually served the vital purposes of adding structural integrity and distributing the ship's huge tonnage to the delicate airframe.
  • For that matter, when we were just figuring out sea travel, ships were dinky, crowded little things. Now we have things like the Freedom of the Seas.
    • Royal Caribbean in general follow this trope. The Oasis and Quantum classes are by far their largest ships to date.
  • A purely mathematically efficient use of space might have a detrimental effect on the mental well-being of the crew, especially if spaceships are out of port for a very extended period of time. To give a more interesting Real Life case, the Soviet/Russian Akula/"Typhoon" class submarines (all but one has now retired) had a swimming pool, sports facilities, a sauna and a smoking room, since the subs could spend at least 180 days submerged at a time. Tom Clancy got this wrong in The Hunt for Red October, but that was more a bad guess based on other submarines. The "Typhoon" is the exception rather than the rule, although ballistic missile-carrying submarines are noted for their attention to crew comfort. If you want cramped, look at modern hunter/killer submarines or go back to World War II subs (watching Das Boot will give you an idea of how ridiculously claustrophobic these are).
    • The Akula/Typhoon sub is, in fact, a very inefficient design, due to most of its size being just empty space: its outer hull is a thin shell covering an awkward assembly of pressure hulls and capsules, forced by truly enormous size of its missiles. And then its designers thought: "Hey, if we have to make the damn sub so huge anyway, why don't we spend some of this space on crew amenities?"
    • This ended up being perfect for the Typhoon's main mission. It was meant to stay hidden beneath the arctic for weeks or even months in case of a nuclear war. It would surface afterwards, and if the Soviet Union had lost, would launch a retaliatory strike against the U.S.. It was discovered that submarine crew could not handle regular cramped quarters that long and would suffer psychological and physical health problems.
    • Some of the better amenities included a steam room, a full size gym and even a swimming pool.
    • It may also be worth noting that in most world navies (including that of the US), nuclear ballistic missile submarines are notable for having the best food in the entire fleet. According to sailors of American Ohio class subs, meals are regularly served that wouldn't seem out of place in gourmet restaurants, prepared by expert chefs from high-quality ingredients (there's a joke that a submarine is the only position in the Armed Forces where one can come back from the battlefield fatter than they'd left). The reason for that is life on a submarine is otherwise so bleak and horrible that if the crew didn't at least get really good food, their morale would plummet...
  • The age of the Great Liners from the 1880s through the 1950s, before crossing the Atlantic by airliner was routine. Steamers got so big so fast that regulations couldn't keep up. The RMS Titanic herself had Third Class accommodations as good as Second Class on smaller ships.
  • The fishing boats shown on Deadliest Catch are, first and foremost, fishing boats, designed to catch fish in frigid Arctic Circle conditions. They're hardy, tough, and routinely look weathered and old. The bunks are cramped and the personal rooms small, because when they're on the crab, the crew won't be sleeping anyway. That being said, most ships have remarkably spacious kitchens, and at least the Time Bandit has a fully functioning sauna. They're not comfortable, but they're not prisons.
    • Of course, if you're the one staggering down below deck after hours of being drenched in frigid seawater, then a hot shower and/or sauna may well have more to do with averting hypothermia than with luxury...
    • The large kitchen is needed because after a hot shower or a sauna, the next most important thing for staving off hypothermia is plenty of good, hot food. Even with that, it's not unusual for crew of these crab boats to go directly to a hospital once the ship makes port. Even if you don't get hypothermia, crab fishing is hard, dangerous work and you will get bashed around thoroughly and likely get sick.
  • Modern container ships, which need a tall bridge superstructure to see over a full load of containers and have as few as a dozen crew operating the ship at sea, have the combination of tons of otherwise empty space with few people, giving everyone relatively huge personal quarters and recreational/common areas. Some operators have decided to capitalise upon this and started renting spare quarters out to paying passengers.
  • Arktika-class nuclear-powered icebreakers such as the Fifty Years of Victory generally fulfil this trope, featuring restaurants, libraries, gyms, cinemas... Since the ships' goal is to simply be as massive as possible (comparable to a reasonable-sized aircraft carrier),note  there's a lot of space for comfort, guests, scientific equipment and really anything else.
    • And they've actually turned to be too small for the increasing traffic on the Northern Sea Route, with their successors, the New Arktika class boats being a whole 50% larger and 20% more powerful, with the still larger and more powerful icebreakers being on the drawing boards.
    • The reason they're too small is that their beam is only about 30 meters, while the whole new Yamalmax class of arctic LNG carriers, built to carry the natural gas from the Russian Arctic ports on Yamal peninsula, have the 50 m beam, neccessitating an additional work for the icebreaker to make the seas passable for them.
  • The battleship HMS Agincourt was originally ordered by Brazil for the South American Dreadnought Arms Race, then - still under construction - sold to the Ottoman Turkish Navy. When WWI began, RN quickly confiscated the incomplete superdreadnought. The luxurious living quarters were something special for the Royal Navy seamen, used to do with very little comfort, and the lavish interior got her the nickname Gin Palace.
    • In the same vein, the World War II Japanese battleship Yamato. See the Space Battleship Yamato entry in Anime on this page for more info.
  • The Baltic cruise ferries. They are basically floating five star hotels with car decks. Most people traveling between Russia, Estonia, Finland or Sweden rather opt for the ferries instead of air travel because of the superior comfort, ability to relax on board and ability to take your own car with you. While they are slower than airplanes, a good evening in the restaurant, night at the night club, pub or casino, shopping at the tax-free shop and well-slept night in the cabin usually weigh more on the scales than speed of the travel. Arguably, though, the biggest attractant is that the alcohol on board is much cheaper compared to the heavily-taxed prices in the Nordic countries.
  • The International Space Station. 837 cubic metres of pressurized volume. Or 139.5 per person, when fully staffed with a crew of 6. Especially when you compare it with everything else launched before: Mir and Skylab for example were each just about a third the size of the ISS.
  • The small sizes of real life spacecraft habitats are mostly a function of high launch costs making Every Gram Count, in conjunction with launch vehicle fairings requiring spacecraft to be compact by default. In theory, the lack of gravitational stresses, aerodynamic forces and environmental limitations could allow spacecraft to be built much more spacious for a given mass than any earthbound vehicle - Bigelow Aerospace's expandable module are one example that works around fairing limitations via inflatable habitats that expand to large volumes after launch.


The Polaris Hotel

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