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Articles from 2010 In October

MTN provides Wi-Fi network upgrade to Silversea

MTN provides Wi-Fi network upgrade to Silversea

'With the new upgraded MTN Wi-Fi network, passengers and crew can access high-quality wireless Internet connections anywhere on the ship,' said Jason Cohn, manager of IT shipboard infrastructure, Silversea Cruises. 'We will work with MTN over the coming months to roll out the Wi-Fi service across the other ships in our fleet,' he added.

The new MTN Wi-Fi networks installed on Silver Wind and Silver Spirit provide high-speed wireless Internet connectivity throughout the ships, including passenger cabins, public spaces, outside decks and pool area, as well as crew quarters. The Wi-Fi systems leverage MTN’s worldwide broadband satellite network for high-speed data links between ship and shore, and incorporate state-of-the-art distributed-network technology from Aruba Networks with technical installation support by HMS, Inc.

'Today’s cruise passengers increasingly expect the same comforts and conveniences they get when staying in a luxury hotel or resort, and that includes ubiquitous high-speed Internet connections to send and receive emails, follow their favorite websites and update their social media pages,' said Brent Horwitz, svp, MTN cruise and ferry services.

With the completion of Silversea Cruises’ upgrades, MTN now provides Wi-Fi networks and Internet cafés on more than 165 cruise ships worldwide, according to Horwitz.

Allure of the Seas: an uplifting experience courtesy of KONE

Allure of the Seas: an uplifting experience courtesy of KONE

KONE supplied and installed 24 custom-designed passenger elevators, half of which are of the fully glazed panoramic type, 17 service elevators, two escalators and three easy access lifting platforms for passengers with disabilities. All passengers elevators are based on the KONE MiniSpace type and most of the service elevators are based on the KONE MonoSpace C-process technology.

'The logistics on a ship are exceptionally important to the guest experience,' says Harri Kulovaara, evp at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. 'The elevators are core for the logistics and fundamental for a successful cruise ship design. We wanted to make sure we have a seamless flow of guests without waiting times. A lot has been done to incorporate several intelligent features to optimize the elevator utilization. We have a very strong relationship with KONE.'

As with its sister ship Oasis, the Allure of the Seas’ colossal size provided KONE with new challenges regarding the flow of passengers, crew and goods inside the vessel,' says Robert Segercrantz, director, KONE Marine. 'By utilizing the proven and reliable KONE MonoSpace® and KONE MiniSpace™ technologies, KONE was able to generate new, eco-efficient and innovative solutions to help the vessel offer fast but smooth access for passengers and crew in all areas of this extraordinary cruise ship.'

At its highest point, the deckhouse rises 72mtr above the sea level. the ship features 16 passenger decks.


Thomson Dream off for six week drydocking

Thomson Dream off for six week drydocking

David Selby, director of Thomson Cruises, said: 'Customer feedback over the summer as a whole has underlined the efforts our crew have put in to deliver a fantastic cruise experience to all our customers.  We are confident that the ship will have a long and successful career with Thomson Cruises, continuing with this winter’s Caribbean itineraries.'

Thomson Cruises has inked a 10-year bareboat charter with purchase option for the ship which was formerly Costa Europa.

After the overhaul Thomson Dream will spend the winter months sailing 14-night Caribbean itineraries with visits to Honduras, Colombia, Barbados and Cuba.

InnerSea Discoveries refurbishes 49-passenger ships

InnerSea Discoveries refurbishes 49-passenger ships

Seattle-based InnerSea Discoveries is the sister company of yacht operator American Safari Cruises. The brands are owned by Dan Blanchard, ceo, and Tim Jacox.

The two ships were withdrawn from Alaska service in 2005. Now they’re being enhanced with underwater cameras mounted on the bows, kayak-launching floats and main salons redesigned to blend the feel of a 1940s National Park Service Lodge and a neighborhood pub. The cabins are gaining flat screen televisions, DVDs, iPod docks and memory-foam mattresses.

Hull work for Wilderness Discoverer has been completed at Pacific Fisherman Shipyard, and similar work will start soon for Wilderness Adventurer, an InnerSea Discoveries spokeswoman told Seatrade Insider.

Everything else—painting, engine/systems overhauls and interior refurbishment from wallpaper to cabinetry—will be completed in-house with project management by Tim Voss, who has led the refurbishment of many vessels. Blanchard himself has overseen some 16 vessel refurbishments over the years.

Voss and Blanchard are handling the design, ordering, installation and finishing work for almost all aspects of the project, the spokeswoman said.

Completion is set by April to allow time to showcase the vessels in various public relations events.

Sembawang wins long-term Carnival Corp. contract

Sembawang wins long-term Carnival Corp. contract

Sembawang, a division of publicly traded Sembcorp Marine, called the deal a ‘breakthrough long-term maintenance and refit contract’ that will further boost Singapore’s target to be a major Asian cruise hub and reinforce the shipyard’s reputation as one of the world leaders in cruise ship repairs, refurbishments and conversions.

The contract commits the repairs, refurbishment and upgrading of Carnival ships that cruise in the Far East to Sembawang, excluding those of Princess Cruises which are too large for the facility’s drydocks. The deal was signed by Peter Fetten, svp Corporate Ship Refit, Carnival Corp. & plc, and Ong Poh Kwee, md of Sembawang Shipyard.

The agreement also commits both companies to joint planning, information and experience sharing to achieve sustainable targets in the areas of health, safety and environment, quality, cost-efficiency and timely deliveries. Sembawang said the pact will lead to a process-based improvement using best practices across Carnival’s various brands.

Fetten said the selection of Sembawang is ‘in line with Carnival’s refit strategy to work towards defining repair/upgrade processes and reinforcing success by implementing what works best across the entire fleet.’ He added that Sembawang is recognized as ‘one of the most technically competent and efficient repair yards in the world for the repairs and upgrading of cruise vessels,’ citing positive experience with various Carnival brands.

‘This contract will benefit both organizations in the planning and execution of our drydockings and upgrades in a safe, efficient and cost-effective way,’ Fetten added. ‘It is a very progressive co-operation and Carnival Corp. looks forward to instituting best practices in the way we carry out our refits and upgrades.

Sembawang’s Ong called it a deep honor to be chosen by Carnival and said the partnership will not only increase the facility’s market share in the cruise arena but also will enhance its capabilities as a world-class yard for cruise ship upgrading, modification and conversion work.

Mediterranean-style design for AIDAsol

Mediterranean-style design for AIDAsol

The interior design of AIDAsol has a Mediterranean theme with many of the rooms flooded with Mediterranean colours, including the combination of blue and white.

The walls of the Theatrium, the heart of the ship, are decorated with bright wooden profiles and classic silver leaf. Honey-colored Belinga parquet and tiles are used on the floor in front of the moving stage. There are two staircases into the theatre, over 40mtr high: one is made of metal with floodlit coloured light, producing a 3D effect. The rear staircase presents a three-dimensional pattern with its irregular sections in the form of spherical triangles, reminiscent of the designer, Panton.

The fitness and wellness facility extends 2,602sq mtr and is designed around a Greek-island theme including murals in different shades of blue on white-painted walls, classic sculptures, decorative tile mosaics, large amphorae and elaborately draped fabrics. In the Wellness Oasis, designed as an island landscape with an adjoining conservatory, guests can relax under a six meter high olive tree.

There are 14 Spa cabins and an exclusive Wellness Suite with its own sauna, heated water bed, Jacuzzi and separate balcony. The sauna is open to the sea through large panoramic windows.

There are seven restaurants onboard including Italian Bella Donna or Asian cuisine in the East Restaurant. The California Grill presents fresh burger and wrap creations, grilled steaks and crispy salads virtually around the clock.

AIDA's signature Market Restaurant is also found on the company's newest ships with its decorated stalls of exotic fruit and vegetables, juicy ham and cold meat specialties, as well as around 80 different types of cheese. Fish is served up from the ship’s own smokehouse. In the Brewery Bar, one of 12 bars onboard,  beer is brewed from purified sea water. Guests can also enjoy à la carte service in the Rossini, Buffalo Steak House and Sushi Bar restaurants.

The cabins on AIDAsol are designed in bright colors and natural materials. Impressionistic works by photographers Thomas Zika and Patrick Brandt complement the interior. Works by other internationally renowned artists such as Tim Davies, Feliks Büttner, Robert Nippoldt and Malte Brekenfeld decorate the Bella Donna Restaurant and the 18 suites on board, while paintings by the New York artist, James Rizzi, can be seen in the five spa suites.

The 71,100gt vessel will feature a 3D movie theatre complete with moving chairs and smell, feel and sense arounds. Also seen on other Club Ships are 'human' sculptures on the sun deck by concept artist, Otmar Hörl. On AIDAsol he has installed a life-size man looking through binoculars as one of his pieces.

Europa gets new engine and gourmet restaurant

Europa gets new engine and gourmet restaurant

Inside, a new 26-seater gourmet restaurant and accompanying kitchen, were fitted in the space previously occupied by Oriental, a Euro-Asian dining space(see News Headlines).

Europa is currently sailing in the Med and due to arrive in Monte Carlo tomorrow. A four day round trip cruise follows.

Last year Europa underwent a major refurbishment of all suites and penthouses.