The balance of maintaining existing cruise ships and launching new ones, while enhancing the fleet to be as consistent and attractive to travelers across the board, is no doubt a challenging one, but it’s a challenge that cruise lines accept with fervor. The biggest hurdle, however, is making the most of only a few weeks to refurbish an existing ship versus the years dedicated to building a new one.
The reality is that there is less of a rush to launch a new ship than there is to bring an existing one back online once in dry-dock, and the reason is simple. Cruise ship capacity can only generate revenue if it is actually sailing, and taking an existing vessel out of service reduces that established potential. A new ship is all gravy and doesn’t deplete the coffers until it is first introduced and later refurbished itself.
So, while it took Cunard Line a year and a half to first build its flagship Queen Mary 2 (pictured above), for example, the company only had 25 days to recently remaster it. Now to be sure, the superstructure was already in place, saving lots of time over the initial construction, but going through nearly every interior bow to stern to remodel them in less than three weeks is no small task.
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