Simulating A Cruise Ship 
Ship simulators have been around for many years to help ship designers predict performance, evaluate harbor designs and help harbor pilots to learn the best ways to bring a particular ship into a particular harbor. Most of these have been developed through government funding and are far too technical and expensive for use by those with more casual interests in ship handling. Windward Technology now provides a low cost and fun alternative for the rest of the world - Cruise Ship Captain and Captain of the Queens. Both programs for Windows PC's provide an accurate and informative simulation of piloting several types of ships into various harbors. Neither is intended for formal training of harbor pilots but will both educate users as to how large ships are controlled and provide many hours of challenging entertainment. 
Various factors must be modeled into any accurate cruise ship simulator: 
Primary thrust forward and reverse can be provided by: 
Classic design with 1 - 4 propellers that are connected to the engines by fixed shafts. 
Pods with propellers mounted on rotating pods that contain electric drive motors. 
Steering is implemented by: 
One or 2 rudders mounted behind the propellers. 
Rotation of the pods. 
Relative thrust provided by 2 or more propellers. 
Thruster propellers in the bow and/or stern. 
Course and speed are determined by: 
Inertia and shape drag of the ship. 
Currents. (Not implemented in this simulation) 
Understanding how all of these factors interact is the key to piloting a cruise ship. The following pages can give you clues as to how many of these factors interact in the simulation.