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Articles from 2009 In July


MSC Splendida uses Fidelio Cruise software suite

MSC Splendida uses Fidelio Cruise software suite

Emilio La Scala, gm of MSC Cruises’ technical department, said Fidelio Cruise software helped set new service standards on MSC Fantasia which the company aims to repeat with sister MSC Splendida.

The newer ship’s software and the installation have benefited from the earlier experience with MSC Fantasia, added Fidelio Cruise president Tony Heuer.

Much of the IT on board is designed to support ship staff but the Fleet Management System also enables shore-based managers to track financial transactions and activity demand on a regular basis. ‘They can have updates once a day or more often if they wish,’ Heuer said. ‘This enables them to monitor the performance of revenue-generating outlets on board, including restaurants, bars and casinos, as well as the popularity of particular activities such as shore excursions, spa treatments and business centre usage.’

Fidelio Cruise’s Check-in Module takes a photograph of every passenger as they embark and stores details centrally on the Ship’s Property Management System. Unique and specially encrypted cards are created for each individual.  

Features include the recognition of multiple credit cards per passenger, group invoicing and the automatic handling of discounts and gratuities. Passengers can review their spending at any time, at the front desk or by using interactive television in their cabins. Meanwhile, the cards enable MSC Cruises to track passengers continuously, allowing them to see whether people are ashore or on board.

Access to MSC Splendida’s MSC Yacht Club is limited to those passengers with specially encoded VIP cards, who reach the area via dedicated lifts.

Australia office for Harris Pye; cruise repairs a target

Australia office for Harris Pye; cruise repairs a target

Working from its Singapore facility, the Group has already completed a substantial number of projects in the Australian offshore sector. ‘Opening a base in Australia makes sound commercial sense,’ says Mark Prendergast, managing director of the Harris Pye Group. Don Moffat, who previously worked as technical director at the group’s Singapore facility, has been appointed managing director of the Australian office.

Moffat identifies the increasing number of cruise ships based in Australia and making seasonal port calls as providing a growing market for general marine repairs on trading vessel.

He notes Carnival Australia alone is targeted to increase from the present 300,000 passengers annually to a million per year by the end of 2010 with two new vessels being added to the fleet. Harris Pye Australia looks forward to building upon the relationship we have with Carnival UK, he added.

With the acquisition of Parsons comes in-house design capability for steam plant components plus the ability to undertake general boiler performance assessment; investigation and requirements for firing on alternative fuels; optimization of and proposals for enhanced waste heat recovery; and complete energy audits including diesel powered generation, air conditioning etc.

The Harris Pye Group has grown from 10 staff in 1976 to 750+ employees in the UK head office, Dubai and Singapore and offices and repair facilities in Scandinavia, Portugal, Brazil, Bahrain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and Australia.

Celebrity Equinox art includes Galaxy pieces

Celebrity Equinox art includes Galaxy pieces

The curatorial concept, ‘The Essence of Equinox,’ was developed by Celebrity Cruises and International Corporate Art. Balance, harmony and the yin-yang principle of opposing elements to create equilibrium were the driving forces behind the selection.

The works are by internationally established, mid-career and emerging artists, many hailing from Europe and Latin America. Included are abstract expressionist works by Joan Mitchell and John Chamberlain, pop art masterpieces by Roy Lichtenstein, humorous urban life observations by Red Groom and colorful geometric designs by Sol LeWitt.

Celebrity also commissioned two site-specific installations. The creation by  Argentine duo Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt consists of an enormous, suspended vase dotted with more than 500,000 Swarovski crystals that holds a live, 18ft tree in the upper portion of the Grand Foyer. The piece is paired with a sparkling display of the maxim ‘Here Comes the Sun’ spanning four decks.

In ‘Still Life for Leisure,’ the second commissioned installation, Los Angeles-based Jose Pardo, known for emphasizing social interaction as art, transformed the ship’s Ensemble Lounge vestibule into a site for relaxation, with a minimal cushioned bench and other furnishings set amid color and light.

Upgraded Oosterdam completes 300th sailing

Upgraded Oosterdam completes 300th sailing

The voyage followed extensive upgrades at Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard which added new staterooms, dining options, public areas and a specialty wine bar to the 2003-built ship.

New are Canaletto, an Italian specialty restaurant, 34 staterooms, an Explorations Café in the Crow’s Nest, a larger Pinnacle Grill restaurant and a Pinnacle Bar with a focus on US Northwest wines.

An expanded and upgraded retail arcade includes the high-end jewelry shop, Merabella. A home theater-style screening room was installed for audiovisual presentations to small groups. And the ship gained an environmentally friendly ‘wet cleaning’ machine, to replace the dry cleaning process using perchloroethylene.

Further, Oosterdam implemented new enrichment programming in the form of Digital Workshops powered by Windows and led by Microsoft-trained teachers.

For the remainder of 2009, the ship will sail alternating 12-day Eastern and Western Mediterranean cruises between Venice and Barcelona, a 16-day Atlantic crossing, one 19-day Panama Canal voyage and six seven-day Mexico cruises round-trip from San Diego.

Watching the world go by in Azura’s Planet Bar

Watching the world go by in Azura’s Planet Bar

A crew is currently filming footage for the audiovisual wall and visitors to the line’s website can view the first blog by director Duncan Swinhoe at www.pocruises.co.uk/planetbar providing a run down of the filming on location in Australia, including Surfer Paradise and Sydney fireworks.

P&O Cruises' head of brand marketing Philip Price said: ‘We have asked the film crew to do one thing and that is to film the most dramatic natural and man-made wonders of the world.’

Other panoramic scenes that will be on display in the Planet Bar include the Forbidden City and Mount Fuji from the Orient, Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon from America, Stonehenge and the Northern Lights from Europe, Table Mountain and Egypt’s pyramids from Africa and tigers in Ranthamborbe National Park and the Taj Mahal in India.

HAL plans high-end rooms for Prinsendam

HAL plans high-end rooms for Prinsendam

Sixteen of the rooms will be deluxe verandas and two will be slightly smaller verandas. Four will be standard insides. Passenger capacity will increase to 837 from 793.

The addition of the staterooms aft will expand the pool deck to allow for more deck chairs and the new bar.

Other standard maintenance and technical service will take place along with upgrading of the laundry and galley equipment.

HAL said the new staterooms will be fully finished while the Prinsendam is under way. They will be bookable for the 54-day ‘Quest of the Argonauts’ voyage sailing March 24 round-trip from Fort Lauderdale to the Mediterranean and Black Sea with stops in New York City and Bermuda on the return.

The Prinsendam entered service in 1988 as Royal Viking Sun and later sailed as Seabourn Sun prior to moving to the HAL fleet in 2002.

Marseilles seeks drydock bids

Marseilles seeks drydock bids

The Marseilles Fos port authority is seeking bids from repair specialists with recent experience of handling high added value ships such as car ferries, cruise vessels and LNG carriers.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have a workforce of appropriate size and quality, capital of more than €200,000 and annual turnover of at least €15m. In return the port is offering a 15-year concession that also covers offices, workshops and two afloat repair quays with a total length of 450mtr.

The winning bid is due to be confirmed early next year.

Meanwhile the drydocks will be made available to occasional users such as sub-contractors or shipowners with technical control capacity.

Cruise traffic in the first five months of 2009 rose 19% compared to last year to 158,000 passengers.

New bridge watch alarm system from Uni-Safe

New bridge watch alarm system from Uni-Safe

The alarm system ensures the continuous monitoring of the bridge operator’s fitness during ‘one man bridge’ operations and is produced in accordance with international laws governing such operation. The product is currently being tested for IMO approval.

Under new IMO regulations existing passenger ships and ships over 3,000gt will need to have a Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) complying with IMO performance standards from July 1, 2012. The equipment should be installed in connection with the first survey after the deadline.

All cruise ships constructed after July 1, 2011 need to be equipped with a system.

Uni-Safe Electronics, which has 15 years experience in the maritime sector, has sold over 600 units of is current bridge watch alarm system, introduced in 2004.

ALMACO’s turnkey contract for Pullmantur’s Sovereign

ALMACO’s turnkey contract for Pullmantur’s Sovereign

ALMACO's scope of work included providing the new bar San Marco, replacing the previous Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and coffee shop on Deck 5; creating a new bar on Deck 8 for the discotheque on the starboard side and upgrading the existing one on the port side; and extending the pool bar grill in The Grill on Deck 11 to include new hot and cold counters.

The 1988-built Sovereign (ex Sovereign of the Seas) belonged to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines before being transferred to Pullmantur. The ship is now operating seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean from Barcelona.