Friday, April 15, 2011

Watch The Grand Princess Transformation

Quite possibly what is the most significant transformation of any cruise ship ever is underway right now. It certainly is a milestone in Princess Cruises’ history as Grand Princess is in the midst of a 24-day intensive drydock that will change her profile inside and out. It’s a fascinating process and Princess Cruises is sharing it in a daily video journal chronicling the event.

Hosted by Grand Princess Cruise Director Martyn Moss, the videos, as well as photos, are available at the Princess Cruises web site and on YouTube. From the first installmentwhen you get a first look at the beginning of the ship’s transformation as it sails to the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamasto the final unveiling, the journal will include daily updates through May 4.

While performing the makeover, approximately 1,400 workers will be busy around the clock adding many of Princess’ trademark features, including the signature Piazza atrium. Several new spaces will also be created including a unique tea lounge and library called “Leaves”; “Alfredo’s,” a full-service pizzeria with an open kitchen concept; and a new nightclub called “The One5,” which will take shape on deck 15. One of the most dramatic video momentsand one you won’t want to missis certain to be the removal of the distinctive Skywalkers Nightclub, which is being taken off to improve the ship’s operational performance, including greater fuel efficiency.

“Our passengers really loved following the photo journals we offered during previous drydocks,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “So for this, our most extensive transformation, we wanted to take it to the next level and enable viewers to follow along with daily videos. We expect Martyn to share some intriguing behind-the-scenes footage of the work that goes on during a project of this magnitude.”

Among the other changes highlighted in the video journals will be the transformation of the ship’s atrium to the Piazza, complete with the International Café and Vines Wine Bar. Among the new restaurants to be added is the Crown Grill, the line’s classic steakhouse and seafood restaurant. Also part of the renovation will be the addition of seven new suites; remodeled casino, boutiques and art gallery; enhancements to the Horizon Court, Lotus Spa, and wedding chapel; and the addition of Crooner’s Martini Lounge.

To get you started, here’s the first video episode:

The newly renovated Grand Princess will debut on May 5 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where she will depart on a transatlantic crossing for her summer and fall homeport of Southampton, from which she will cruise on a variety of European itineraries.

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