Photo courtesy of Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited
With so many new cruise ships coming out at any given time, it may be easy to forget that the existing fleets are being refurbished along the way as well, and Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited is one of the busiest maritime facilities contracted for such purposes in the world. For 2016 alone, it has 20 cruise ship refurbishments scheduled at its three floating dry-docks, many of which have already been completed.
Among the ships serviced this year are ones from Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Fathom, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and more. Remarkably, major overhauls are completed at the shipyard in weeks when a new ship takes years to be built originally. Notable ones already completed include the Azamara Journey (pictured in midground above), Fathom’s Adonia and the Liberty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean (pictured in foreground above).
These refurbishments are not just maintenance calls either, although that is a major focus of them. In many cases, it’s about redesigning the ships to meet the lines’ latest brand standards and to keep existing ships as interesting to cruise travelers as the newest ones. The Azamara Journey, for instance, was in during January for a 14-day refit to make the former Renaissance Cruises ship stand out more with its own significant redesign, and the Adonia changed brands entirely.
The Adonia, which now operates under Fathom, Carnival Corporation’s latest cruise brand, heading to the Dominican Republic and Cuba for “Impact Travel” experiences, switched hands from P&O Cruises for its new deployments. While the ship, itself a former Renaissance Cruises vessel, still effectively operates under P&O, it has been rebranded with new logos applied to the smokestack, sides and bow, all work completed along with mechanical service at Grand Bahama Shipyard.
Even more encompassing was the work done to the Liberty of the Seas. Not only were the azipod propulsion system refreshed, a scrubber system installed and cabins grafted onto the top decks, but also an entire waterpark was added, again to keep it current with new ships like the Harmony of the Seas, in fact the largest cruise ship in the world. In the process, the Liberty received its own set of Perfect Storm water slides as well as its unique Tidal Wave boomeranging one.
The shipyard itself is maintaining its dry-docks while it most recently completed work on the MSC Divina. Graham Couser, vice president of sales and marketing, said, “We are dedicated to staying current with the technological developments of the industry, focusing on the specific needs of our customers. We listen to what they have to say and are committed to meeting those demands with continual upgrades to our yard and service.”
Towards the end of the year, the facility was expecting cruise ships from Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Silversea Cruises.