As the cruise industry grows at an accelerated pace and new ships come out almost bimonthly, it remains crucial that cruise lines maintain their existing fleets to ensure quality and feature consistency across their entire product lineups. While most are up to the task, there is still room for improvement. After all, there’s nothing worse than being aboard a gleaming white new-build in a port and looking across at a shabby rust bucket.
There are some cruise lines that don’t have to make a special point about refurbishment plans because they are regularly on top of their fleets with great attention to detail. How can you tell? Take a stroll along a ship’s promenade deck and look upon the lifeboat machinery and exposed bulkheads above. If they are in immaculate condition, then you are on a finely maintained ship. These are some of the first areas where rust begins to show through and where any disregard is evident.
MSC Cruises is one that clearly dedicates time and money to keeping their ships in tip-top condition, especially when you see crew members constantly painting davits and keeping grease stains at bay. Another is Crystal Cruises with its pristine white-washed hulls, and if its efforts to not merely paint over rust but meticulously wash dirt off its riverboats are any indication, Viking Cruises’ expanding fleet of new ocean ships will be right up there with the best. Disney Cruise Line also gets an honorable mention with only a few exceptions of wear and tear.
Putting their money where their mouths are also companies that schedule major fleet enhancement programs to bring their existing ships up to a level as closely in line with their newest ones as possible.
Norwegian Cruise Line is one, spending $400 million on its Norwegian Edge rollout of refurbishments and introducing fresh features from its latest Breakaway-class to better the overall guest experience brand-wide. It’s corporate cousin, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, is doing the same thing at a cost of $125 million to ensure its current ships are up to snuff with its new Seven Seas Explorer when i
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