An army of workers is ripping apart the interiors of Grand Princess, popular among British cruise passengers, as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment of the 13-year-old ship.
Fans familiar with the vessel after her frequent visits to the UK – it sails from Southampton during the summer – can watch the progress of the refit on a daily video diary hosted by British cruise director Martyn Moss. There is also a growing collection of pictures on Princess’s Flickr album.
One of the most dramatic moments will be the removal of the ship’s signature Skywalker nightclub – the distinctive handle high above the stern.
About 1,400 workers will be busy until May 4 adding many of the newer Princess trademark features, including the Piazza atrium, a tea lounge and library called Leaves, Alfredo’s pizzeria, Crooners’ Martini bar and a new nightclub called The One5. Seven new suites are being added, the casino is being completely refitted, and there will be enhancements to the Horizon Court buffet restaurant, Lotus Spa, and wedding chapel.
“We have seen from past refits that passengers love to keep up-to-date with what is happening on board and, as a British favourite, the Grand Princess video updates are set to be ‘must-see’ viewing,” said Pieter Van der Schee, head of brand marketing for Princess Cruises UK.
“Martyn will be showing everyone exactly what is entailed in a drydock refit of this scale as he goes behind the scenes for this exciting video diary.”
When the refit has been completed, Grand Princess will head for Fort Lauderdale and then cross the Atlantic to visit Cork, Dublin, Glasgow, Holyhead and Falmouth before arriving back in Southampton on May 21. The ship will be sailing to the Mediterranean, the Norwegian fjords and the Canaries throughout the summer before setting off for the Caribbean in early November.