It’s three sims in length, you need to set your draw distance to over 600 metres if you want to see it all in one go, and the upper deck is over 30 metres above sea level.
However you look at it, the SS Galaxy is an amazingly impressive build. Cruise ship, wedding venue, ballroom, recreational centre, shopping mall, home – the ship is all of these, and more. I first came across her when looking for a new dance venue and had no idea what to expect. Since that time, she’s become a familiar place I love to visit and introduce friends to.
If you use the Landmark Tp, you’ll arrive at the default boarding point on a floating pier located towards the aft end of the ship. Unless you have Draw turned up, it’s hard to appreciate exactly what you’re facing – but don’t let that put you off.
The pier itself forms a part of the ship’s recreational facilities, offering dinghy sailing, fishing, scuba diving, windsurfing and jet skiis. For the romantically inclined, there are wooden rez-on-demand rafts that will take you on a tour around the ship. The rafts provide a gentle commentary about the Galaxy, slowing periodically alongside points of interest. Set your local time to midnight if you want to add to the romance and enjoy a cuddle as you sail! If you prefer, you can take one of the rez-on-demand dinghies and plot your own course around the ship.
Entering the Galaxy, you might think you’re actually arriving at a luxury hotel – the embarkation area resembles an upmarket hotel lobby, complete with glass-panelled ceilings and rich carpeting on the floors. Pride of place here goes to a scale model of the ship, with a wall-mounted deck plan and guide located on the far wall, behind the main information desk. To the left lays the main section of the aft shopping mall, while to the right a broad companionway leads forward through the centre of the ship.
As the embarkation area is in the aft sim, it’s usually best to start your exploration here and gradually work your way forward. To do this, take the elevator up to Deck 5. This will deposit you in one of the galleried walkways that lead you past some of the many suites and staterooms that are available for rent. Some of these are quite huge, and extend over two or three decks of the ship, offering plenty of room and balconied views out over the sea. Continue aft past these and up a short flight of steps and you arrive on the stern deck – and a recreational heaven.
Here you can try your hand at putting (L$10 for 30 mins), or go sky diving (a personal favourite from waay back) – standard and pro chutes on sale at the vendors or pick up a basic freebie – and even add a bubble game to your skydiving fun; if you’re feeling really energetic, take a short walk up the starboard side and give the rock climbing wall a go. If none of this grabs you, plonk yourself in one of the deck chairs and watch the world go by – you might even witness the comings and goings of a helicopter or two over the aft helipads (four in total: two for public use, two for the use of the occupiers of the ship’s two stunning Aft Staterooms, which are provided fully (and tastefully) furnished and which have a personal prim allowance on top).
Directly forward of the recreation area and helipads sits the huge dome of the Galaxy’s galleried Zodiac Ballroom with its circular dance floor, raised stage, upper gallery seating area and – way up at the top of the dome – a private dance area just for two.
Passing through the ballroom, you arrive at the upper section of the aft shopping mall, with doors either side leading back out to the upper deck. Take the port side doors, and you’ll find yourself coming out near another game I’ve always enjoyed aboard the Galaxy – the skeet / clay pigeon shooting (L$10 a game).
Moving forward from here, you’ll come to the first of the sim boundaries that divide the ship into three parts. At one time these were highlighted – and needed to be, as crossings could be a bit rough; but in difference to those that say “sim crossings are getting worse”, here’s one place where that is not the case. Approach the crossing gently (eyes on your co-ordinates!), and you’ll get over it with virtually *no* rubber-banding.
Once across the boundary, you’re in the midships section of the liner, and can visit the ice skating rink, take a splash in the upper deck pool area, or pop down and walk among the trees of the arboretum. The pool and rink offer plenty of room for fun, with skates available from the rink-side vendor in the case of the latter.
The forward end of the ship houses the huge and ornate wedding area, complete with trestles of flowers, tables, chairs, a dance floor, reception area and the ceremonial area. A chapel is located in one corner of this area, providing a place for quiet introspection.
Across the companionway from the chapel is the ship’s bridge, where you can take a look over the controls and generally play Captain. Above this is the forward observation lounge with room for dancing or sitting and chatting. Directly below the bridge are the Galaxy’s two enormous forward suites, each of which spans three decks.
Also at the fore end of the ship lay the Boiler Room Nightclub and the Galaxy’s spa and fitness centre. The latter includes a pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and exercise machines for that perfect pumped prim look – note that it is also “clothing optional”!
For those who like dining out in Second Life, the Galaxy offers a choice of restaurants. My personal favourite is the Japanese garden, featuring individual chalets where you can dine in comfort, drinking in the night-time ambience and enjoying the company of friends.
And it doesn’t end there – there is more to discover in and around the SS Galaxy, but I’m going to leave this as a taster and tease. If you want to find out more, you should take time out and pay the SS Galaxy a visit – you won’t be disappointed.
Places mentioned in this article
- The Boiler Room Nightclub
- The Zodiac Ballroom
- The pool deck and skating rink
- The health spa
- The Japanese garden restaurant
- The Wedding chapel and bridge
- Follow news on events aboard the Galaxy through the in-world group by following @SSGalaxyEvents on Twitter.
Recommendations when visiting the Galaxy
- Make sure you turn up your draw distance as far as your system can comfortably handle
- If you want to get around the ship quickly, make sure you pick up and Information Card from one of the many note card givers around the ship – they contain a host of useful landmarks
- Be aware that the ship is home to a lot of people as well as a place to visit
- Give yourself plenty of time to explore
- Keep an eye out for the holodeck
- If you’re confused as to where you are, look out for one of the cutaway plans of the ship to orient yourself.