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View Full Version : How often do ships go in Drydock?


cruise182
September 14th, 2004, 10:18 AM
How often do ships go in Drydock? What is done when they do go in? Thanks

spongerob
September 14th, 2004, 12:11 PM
I'm not really sure if there is a set schedule or if a drydock is planned when enough major work can be planned to make taking the ship out of service necessary. I seem to recall someone saying that a major drydock refurbishment is undertaken about every ten years. The schedule can be changed for other reasons, though. For example, the Grand Princess has been sailing for about 6 years and will be drydocked in October. This was done in place of two scheduled repositioning cruises that were withdrawn several months ago. A big screen similar to the Caribbean Princess will be installed, and I expect a lot of freshening will be done. I'm not sure what other mechanical work is scheduled.

If something serious happens, such as the engine replacement that will have to be done on the Dawn, drydocking will take place as soon as possible. The timing has as much to do with the severity of the problem and the availability of spare parts as it does finding an available shipyard to handle the work. There is also the consideration that cancelling cruises on short notice will cost a lot of money through the refunds and credits that will be issued. Anything that would force an emergency drydock would have to be serious enough to threaten the safe operation of the vessel.

lstone19
September 14th, 2004, 12:22 PM
Also keep in mind that there's a big difference between putting a ship in drydock and just having it out of service for maintenance. A drydock is exactly that - dry exposing the hull below the waterline for work in that area. Refurbishing the interior, adding a movie screen up top, etc., does not require the ship to be in drydock.
If the ship is actually in drydock, assume the primary reason is for below the waterline work. While other will also be done, drydocks are expensive and no ship is going to be put into an actual drydock unless the planned work requires it.
I cringe when I read stuff like "XYZ Princess is going into drydock. I wonder if it's to do install the movie screen." Maybe they will but that's not the reason it's going into drydock as if that was all that was planned, it would be done with the ship in the water.

cruise182
September 14th, 2004, 12:47 PM
Maybe I should rephrase the question......How often are ships taken out of service for routine maintenance?

bdjam
September 14th, 2004, 04:24 PM
Princess used to dry dock their ships on average once a year for routine maintenance. As a previous poster said, there is underwater maintenance work that needs to be done in dry dock. The “routine” dry docks usually last only about a week.

Major refurbishment sometimes is done in conjunction with regular dry docking. As noted, hanging a movie screen isn’t something that needs to be done in dry dock, but it’s done in conjunction with the regular maintenance schedule.

Usually dry docking is done at the end of a specific sailing “season.” For example, ships finishing with Alaska seasons are usually dry docked in either Victoria, Portland or San Francisco. Coral Princess is currently in Victoria dry dock. Regal and Grand Princesses will be dry docking at the end of their New England seasons. Sun Princess will be dry docking in San Francisco for four days after her Alaska season…and on and on.

Then there’s Dawn Princess – in order to complete the engine repair she needs, a hole has to be cut in the hull below the waterline – hence her dry docking.

Druke I
September 14th, 2004, 04:33 PM
I agree with BDJam - Princess normally schedules drydocking once a year, and does hull sanding/painting below the Plimsol line (waterline).

Much of the routine maintenance done on ships, other than that during the course of a cruise, is done in "wet docking". Other than the hull painting and major engine work, there is no need usually for a dry dock.

Cruisin'Chris
September 14th, 2004, 05:19 PM
I agree with BDjam and Druke, but in a recent conversation I had with the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) on the Dawn, he indicated that they've been stretching the time between drydocks to more like every 18 to 24 months. This is quite different than the every 12 months previously maintained. Looks like they're catching up on all them though!

Anybody know, is the Regal's drydock also her schedule refurbishment? I read she is scheduled for a major rehaul which will, in essence, make her resemble her sister the A'Rosa Blue (formerly Crown Princess). Just curious. Love these ships!!

bdjam
September 14th, 2004, 06:39 PM
I agree with BDjam and Druke, but in a recent conversation I had with the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) on the Dawn, he indicated that they've been stretching the time between drydocks to more like every 18 to 24 months. This is quite different than the every 12 months previously maintained. Looks like they're catching up on all them though!

Anybody know, is the Regal's drydock also her schedule refurbishment? I read she is scheduled for a major rehaul which will, in essence, make her resemble her sister the A'Rosa Blue (formerly Crown Princess). Just curious. Love these ships!! That’s one reason I said that they used to have an annual schedule…if you look at where the ships are, there does seem to be a longer stretch than there used to be. And we all know what’s up with Dawn Princess.

I was on Regal Princess in August and yes, the dry dock is for part of the refurbishment. Apparently – from officer talk on board – the total make over is in the $35 million department, and the first phase will happen in the 2004 dry dock – the main changes will be the establishment of the steakhouse and moving of the pizzeria. The rest of the changes – which as indicated will make the arrangement of Regal Princess more like the current layout of former Crown Princess – are happening in 2006 and are not confirmed.

Druke I
September 15th, 2004, 11:22 AM
Reference the changes to Regal Princess - we are hoping it is done before our Mar 2006 'round the Horn cruise.

Always thought the "dome" was misused as a casino!