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Articles from 2009 In November

Princess journal follows Tahitian to Ocean conversion

Princess journal follows Tahitian to Ocean conversion

One of the smallest ships in the fleet, Tahitian Princess will be transformed during a two-week docking at Singapore’s Keppel shipyard. The new moniker will reflect the global range of itineraries offered.

The fifth in a series, the Ocean Princess Drydock Journal will run through Dec. 2 on, and will be updated regularly with photos as the work progresses. New silicone hull paint and interior refurbishments including fresh upholstery, carpet and flooring are planned.

‘Response to our drydock journals has been remarkable. Passengers love to see what’s done to the ship and how much work is involved in such a short time,’ said Princess evp Jan Swartz.

Earlier journals followed Golden Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess and Coral Princess.

The latest journal can be found on the Ocean Princess page in the website’s ‘Ships’ section, with photos also posted to Princess’ Twitter feed, Facebook page and Flicker photostream.

After the drydock the newly named Ocean Princess will sail on a 16-day ‘Treasures of Southeast Asia’ cruise from Singapore to Shanghai, beginning a season of Asia, India and Africa sailings, followed by a summer of Europe voyages.

Discovery gets a makeover

Discovery gets a makeover

Since acquisition substantial investment has been spent refurbishing the public areas, including the Seven Continents restaurant and many of the cabins on Discovery with the outcome of further improved on-board facilities.

These latest projects will be part of a continued investment programme which includes refurbishment and improvements to the Yacht Club, as well as a further roll out of cabin refurbishment.

The 650-passenger Discovery will depart from Barcelona at end November for Mumbai on the first leg of her winter season in the Far East.

ALMACO to refurbish Rotterdam's crew bathrooms

ALMACO to refurbish Rotterdam's crew bathrooms

The floors of 223 crew cabin bathrooms and communal bathrooms will be modernized with ALMACO’s fiberglass laminate with tile imitation surface, which fulfills IMO Fire Test Procedures for floor coverings. These fully-certified tile imitation panels are available in many colours and take care of defects in tile flooring such as loose grouting and loose or cracking tiles, and prevent humidity from accessing the floor base. They are low in weight and designed for easy, fast installation, ALMACO said.

The bathrooms will be refurbished with fiberglass laminate shower wall panels approved for use as low flame spread material, with low smoke production and low smoke toxicity. This laminate repairs and covers damaged wall surfaces, and prevents humidity from penetrating the bulkhead.

Rotterdam will undergo the large scale makeover during the ship’s drydock, from November 18 through December 16 at Grand Bahama Shipyard. Passenger capacity will be increased from 1,316 to 1,404.

Ocean Village Two enters drydock in Singapore

Ocean Village Two enters drydock in Singapore

The company has also updated the official blog that it launched in August for consumer and trade viewers to follow the transformation of what will be its third resident ship (

Carnival svp Jenny Lourey said the future Pacific Jewel is scheduled to sail from Singapore on November 30, arriving in Sydney December 10.

Top sellers and media representatives have been invited on a one-night preview cruise to nowhere on the eve of the 70,000gt ship’s christening by Quentin Bryce AC, governor-general of the Commonwealth of Australia, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal on December 12.

Granite Transformations' versatile surfacing

Granite Transformations' versatile surfacing

Although similar in composition to quartz surfacing or engineered stone, Granite Transformations’ material has a distinctive manufacturing process, making it lighter and slimmer without sacrificing strength, the company said. Composed of around 95% natural material blended with a high performance polymer resin, it is offered in granite, quartz, recycled glass and mosaic materials.

Coming in a palette of more than 60 colours and patterns, the product fits on top of existing materials and can be used for flat and vertical surfaces, as well as flooring.

Granite Transformations’ products are ASTM tested and UNI ES IS0 certificated for heat, impact, scratch and stain resistance. Whilst not IMO-approved, they have been used in fitting out cruise ships. The company said testing and certification is discussed with the architects and designers at the outset to ensure all parties are satisfied.

Louis Majesty's transfer to Louis livery

Louis Majesty's transfer to Louis livery

As Louis Majesty, the ship will operate itineraries from the ports of Genoa and Marseille to the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and North Africa.

Louis Majesty was built in 1992 and underwent a $53m+ lengthening and full refurbishment in 1999 that added 34mtr to her eventual length of 207mtr. Passenger capacity is  1,790.

In keeping with Louis Cruises tradition, Louis Majesty will sail with Greek officers and international crew.

Galápagos Explorer II gains balconies

Galápagos Explorer II gains balconies

Balconies were added to eight premium category cabins, bringing the total number of balcony acccomodations to 24.

Also as part of a five-year transformation master plan, the ship’s restaurant, coffee station and Jacuzzi bar were remodeled. The restaurant walls received a classic wood finish and the portholes were replaced with picture windows. Hand-painted images by a renowned local artist now decorate the space.

The wall panels of the coffee station and Jacuzzi bar were replaced with more modern wood panels.

Galápagos Explorer II is operated by Canodros, S.A., based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The ship is a member of the US-based Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance

Crystal details Symphony’s $25m makeover

Crystal details Symphony’s $25m makeover

Crystal Symphony’s $25m makeover added Swarovski crystal chandeliers, cashmere throws, sunken Philippe Starck Duravit Jacuzzi bathtubs, new pool deck furniture, works by Venetian artists, service islands with new pizza ovens and woks, and dozens more upscale and behind-the-scenes embellishments.

The changes were implemented during the 1995-built ship’s October drydock at Atlantic Marine Boston.

Crystal Cruises said the vessel now offers completely transformed Crystal Penthouses, Lido Café and pool areas, redesigned Penthouses and Prego Italian restaurant, among numerous other improvements.

The 982sq ft Crystal Penthouses were remodeled top to bottom, with expanded living space, new audiovisual systems and floor-to-ceiling dining room windows. Ocean-view bathrooms offer large Philippe Starck bathtubs, glass mosaic tiles and recessed televisions.

Penthouses were redesigned in two new color schemes, with new custom cabinetry, plush bedding, flat-screen televisions and lavish bathroom accoutrements.

The Lido Café gained a refined motif with abundant natural light and colors and details inspired by the Hampton seashore. New food and drink service islands improve flow.

The Seahorse and Neptune Pool Decks now sport white deck furniture with citrus-hued cushions and throw pillows for added al fresco dining and conversational seating. With its retractable roof and new teak decking, the mid-ship Neptune Pool was replaced with additional plush seating and a large Jacuzzi hot tub.

Prego, the Italian restaurant showcasing cuisine by Piero Selvaggio, gained chocolate suede walls and red wine-colored upholstery, as well as new lighting.

All staterooms were refreshed with leather sofas replacing armchairs.

Swansea Dry Dock wins Saga refit

Swansea Dry Dock wins Saga refit

It is the first time in over 10 years that Swansea has handled such a significant ship refit and entails the facility itself being re-opened and refurbished to carry out the work. The project will provide some 300 jobs over a three-month period, enabling SDD to compete for future business.

The Saga Pearl II refit will be the most comprehensive and expensive in the company’s history and Saga will be spending in the region of £20m on a list of improvements.

As well as the addition of balcony cabins, the show lounge, restaurants, spa and swimming pool will be upgraded. A library will be created and a new cinema will be installed. New kitchens are also planned. A sports deck is to be created including the addition of a short tennis court.

Saga Pearl II will undertake sea trials in February and start cruising on March 15.

Welsh firm Harris Pye is being used for the main engineering work and will undertake a complete overhaul of the main engines, auxiliary engines, boilers, HVAC systems, electrical and automation systems as well as a large quantity of steel and pipeworks. It also will handle all hull treatment and tank coatings and related engineering work throughout the 18,500gt ship.

The Harris Pye Outfitting and BEK Divisions will fully equip the Verandah Restaurant and the Discovery Lounge and supply galley equipment for both. They will also be involved in the renewal of the crew's cabins.

‘We are extremely gratified to win these two contracts - one above the water line, the other below, and to see Swansea Dry Dock in use again after approximately 10 years,’ says Chris David, technical director of the Harris Pye Group. Saga is planning to place a number of other major contracts with UK-based contractors.

Andrew Goodsell, executive chairman, Saga Group, commented: ‘With 446 passengers Saga Pearl II will have an intimate atmosphere and the quality of service our passengers have come to expect. I am delighted that we are able to support a British yard, and that in doing so we will help with the regeneration of the Swansea docks.’


Windstar unveils product enhancement plans

Windstar unveils product enhancement plans

The Restaurant menus on all three ships will be reinvigorated with new dishes, including the flavors of destinations visited. Wind Surf’s alternative restaurant, Degrees, will gain a new rotating menu of seasonal Mediterranean dishes. Examples include Tuscan shrimp and white beans, grilled lamb loin chops with green olives, lemon and spinach, and baked snapper with Nicoise olives, tomato and basil.

Other dining enhancements include the addition of a spa menu and redesigned menu holders. Also, Wind Surf’s Yacht Club will transform into a contemporary wine bar featuring by-the-glass selections from California, Washington, Oregon, New Zealand and Australia. On each ship, during every sailing, passengers will be able to participate in sommelier-led tastings featuring crystal stemware by Riedel.

When it comes to accommodations, Wind Surf will gain spa suites with special bedding and linens, spa amenities and credits for certified organic spa services and fitness classes in WindSpa provided by The OnboardSpa Company’s O SPA London.

New poolside spa treatments across the fleet include a 30-minute reflexology session, a foot and ankle massage with Himalayan salt scrub and an hour-long traditional sports massage or Swedish massage. Spa reservations are now bookable in advance by phone, with online bookings available in December at

Wind Surf’s fitness center and Wind Star and Wind Spirit’s gyms will receive new equipment including weight machines, treadmills, bikes and stair climbers from Technogym.

Over the summer, Windstar introduced an inflatable island trampoline to Wind Surf’s watersports platform equipment. New watersports items will be added on all three ships.

The fleet’s library DVD collection has been expanded along with new titles for stateroom viewing. New travel and guide books will be added to the library. In addition to the existing iPod check-out program, Windstar will offer Kindles for reading e-books and other digital media.

In further moves, the line is adding enrichment and port lectures, and expanding on its Concierge Collection of Shore Excursions, limited to groups of six to 25 participants, by adding private excursions and customized pre- and post-cruise packages. Windstar will also add personal iPod Discovery Walks in Italy, Croatia, France, Greece, Monaco, Portugal and Spain.

In the coming year, e-Sail Docs will get a new look and feel and include additional information on ship services.