From Seatrade Insider:
=================================Enchantment to gain hinged bow, flying arches
Enchantment of the Seas' lengthening will consist of much more than adding a 151-cabin midsection, Seatrade Insider has learned. The ship will gain a number of `wow' features, including a fold-up bow
tip, dramatic arches that flank the upper pool deck, new activities including bungee trampolines and new lounges and dining venues. Weight-bearing steel suspension arches will fly above the midsection over two new pool deck features: an Island Bar and a telescoping bandshell. Six-meter-tall glass windows will enclose the area, which
also will hold a splash pool with spray jets. Passengers will be able to walk or jog over the arches high above the sea. Four bungee trampolines will be positioned forward on Deck 10.
`This is going to be spectacular,' predicted Richard Fain, chairman and ceo of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., who gave Seatrade Insider a sneak preview. In what Fain described as `a massive undertaking,' a 73-foot (22-meter) midsection built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards will be towed from Finland to Rotterdam and inserted into Enchantment of the
Seas in Keppel Verolme Shipyard. Enchantment's length will increase to 990 feet (301.8 meters) and its gross tonnage from 74,140 to 80,700. The new midsection cabins will boost lower-berth occupancy
from 1,950 to 2,252.
`The beauty of the extra cabins is you need no more fuel. The incremental operating costs are very small and the incremental revenue is large,' Fain said. Project manager KMY priced its charge
for the stretch at €40-€45m ($49m-$55m). The 1997-built Enchantment's original cost was $300m.
It's not the first cruise-ship lengthening (see next story) but, according to Fain, it will be the first carried out in a drydock. After the vessel and the barge-mounted midsection float into the
dock, it will be drained. With the Enchantment secured on keel blocks and cut in half, the bow will move forward on heavy-load skid shoes and the midsection shifted into place.
Keppel Verolme was selected because it's the only yard in Western Europe that's wide enough to handle the operation, Fain said. As part of the project, the tip of Enchantment's bow will be hinged so it can fold up during Panama Canal transits.
Enchantment will also gain new public rooms, including Boleros, a Latin nightclub; expanded shopping, photo and art galleries; a Latte'tudes coffee bar; a Concierge Club for suite passengers; and a larger spa. A new specialty restaurant will seat about 110 guests and `grab 'n' go' food stations will pop up near the pool, while the
main dining room will be enlarged and upgraded, said Kelly Gonzalez, Royal Caribbean's director of fleet design and newbuilding.
Enchantment will be out of service from early May until early July for the stretch. `The project is more demanding than newbuilding,' according to Harri Kulovaara, Royal Caribbean's svp fleet
operations, who said more than a year and a half of planning took place before the contract was signed. The most challenging part was
designing the weight-bearing arches. The blueprint is by Atkins, the UK-based engineering giant behind Dubai's iconic Burj al Arab, the world's tallest hotel.