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eroller

ENCHANTMENT OF THE SEAS to get lengthened!!

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I think it's great that Royal Caribbean is spending the capital to update and refurbish it's relatively older tonnage. ENCHANTMENT isn't even that old, so RCI is being quite proactive. I imagine the remaining Vision Class ships will get the same treatment one by one as logistics permit.

 

Ernie

 

 

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Royal Caribbean International Announces Lengthening, Refurbishing of ENCHANTMENT OF THE SEAS

 

Wednesday July 28, 12:01 am ET

 

 

MIAMI, July 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --Royal Caribbean International today announced plans to lengthen and extensively refurbish its Vision-class ship Enchantment of the Seas.

 

A 73-foot midsection built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards will be inserted into the ship at the Keppel Verolme Shipyard in Rotterdam, increasing the vessel's overall length to 990 feet and its tonnage from 74,140 to 80,700 tons. The new midsection will add 151 staterooms, as well as a number of indoor and outdoor public areas.

 

Enchantment of the Seas' transformation comes in the wake of extensive enhancements to other ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet. Nordic Empress was revitalized this spring and made her debut as Empress of the Seas at the cruise line's new Cape Liberty Cruise Point in Bayonne, N.J., in May. Monarch of the Seas underwent a similar refurbishment in early 2003. The line also has announced plans to revitalize Sovereign of the Seas this fall.

 

"The refurbishment of Enchantment makes tremendous sense from both an economic and a strategic standpoint. We add substantial revenue

without adding commensurate costs, while significantly improving the overall guest experience," said Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain. "We have taken what we have learned during the new-build process and applied best practices to upgrade our existing ships."

 

The additional space and extensive renovations will accommodate new public areas onboard Enchantment of the Seas, including a new specialty restaurant, Royal Caribbean's hallmark Boleros Latin lounge and Latte'tudes coffee shop, where guests can enjoy Seattle's Best Coffee® and Ben & Jerry's® ice cream. In addition, existing spaces will be extensively reconditioned. The ship's pool deck, main dining room, shopping area, casino, jogging track, fitness facility, day spa and art gallery are among several areas to be expanded and revitalized.

 

Royal Caribbean has long been a trendsetter in the evolution of the cruise ship. The line was the first in the industry to lengthen a cruise ship in 1978, when an 85-foot section was inserted into the Song of Norway. The company also extended the Nordic Prince in 1980.

 

Enchantment of the Seas will be out of service from early May until early July 2005. Launched in 1997, the ship currently sails a rotating schedule of four- and five-night cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to ports in the Western Caribbean. Following the lengthening, Enchantment of the Seas will sail a special series of cruises from three ports in the Northeast throughout the summer and fall before returning to Fort Lauderdale. She will offer itineraries of varying lengths to New England and Canada from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne.

 

The recently refurbished Empress of the Seas will be homeported in Fort Lauderdale from May 5 to Oct. 6 during special sailings for Enchantment of the Seas. Empress of the Seas will offer four- and five-night cruises to ports of call including Key West; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; and George Town, Grand Cayman.

 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 29 ships in service and one under construction. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and

Europe. Additional information can be found on http://www.royalcaribbean.com, http://www.celebrity.com or http://www.rclinvestor.com.

 

 

 

Ernie

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Thanks for the post. That is very interesting. We have sailed a lot of ships (as you can see by my signature) and Enchantment was/is in our top 3 favorites of all time. I hope the expansion is a success, we will be sure to check her out when she is done :)

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Could it be that RCCL has finally decided take advantage of one of those many spam offers that I get for men who want to "be longer! All natural! No pills! Guaranteed!"

 

They'll have to change the ship's name to "Enhancement of the Seas!" The women will LOVE IT!

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We have sailed the Enchantment a couple of times. She is a lovely ship. ;) I know that the NCL line expanded one of their ships a couple of years ago. It was an amazing process to view (on documentary TV). I vote to expand her. :D

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There was some talk of this on the boards, either earlier this year or late last year. I don't believe Enchantment was the only Vision class ship mentioned as being slated for the stretch.

 

There was also talk of the bows being "hinged" in some fashion so that they could be tipped back and allow the ships to fit through the Panama Canal.

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There was also talk of the bows being "hinged" in some fashion so that they could be tipped back and allow the ships to fit through the Panama Canal.

 

 

Mark,

I've heard the same rumor about a "hinged" bow. At 990 feet the newly lengthened ENCHANTMENT OF THE SEAS will be too long to transit the Panama Canal. I believe the maximum dimension for length to transit the canal is 965 feet, or 294.1 meters.

 

It's hard to believe that RCI would limit themselves in this way, especially considering they already have five Voyager Class ships which are too long to transit the canal. As Mark mentioned, there is talk of ENCHANTMENT actually being fitted with a hinged bow like many European ferries have. The hinged bow could be raised, and the ship shortened just enough to transit the canal.

 

I'm not sure if this is part of the refurbishment, but it is rumored. If it is true, funny that RCI did not mention it in their press release as it would certainly be an interesting twist.

 

Ernie

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The canal was built by the Isthmian Canal Company, after attempts by the French failed, under the provisions of the Spooner Act and was opened in 1914. It is 50 miles long from deep water in the Caribbean to deep water in the Pacific. Although there are 12 sets of locks total, there are only six massive pairs of locks that ships use for transit, each 1,000 feet long and 110 feet wide. Each may be filled or emptied in less than 10 minutes, and each pair of lock gates takes two minutes to open. A 30,000-pound fender chain at the end of each lock prevents ships from ramming the gates before they open. Water is not pumped into and out of the locks, but flows from the artificial lakes through culverts 18 feet in diameter. Electric towing locomotives, called "mules", pull ships by cable through the locks. Most ships require six of these mules, three on each sides. (New Standard Encyclopedia, 1976)

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As far as maximum ship dimensions, I'm going by a Panama Canal publication I received on my CORAL PRINCESS cruise last October. It states the locks are actually 1000 feet long, but the maximum ship length is 965 feet and the maximum ship width is 106 feet even though the locks are actually 110 feet wide.

 

My guess is that the maximum ship length is shorter than the actual lock due to those massive doors swinging open and closed and taking up space?

 

Ernie

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Wow. We are sailing her in a month (can't wait)! I just can't believe that RCL will the Empress from its Bermuda sailings. I know that VOS and GOS is going on 5 day cruises, but that only gives 2 days in port. I really feel that they are really going to loose a portion of the market by doing that.

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I had originally posted news of this in November and was flamed. While I was on the Mariner pre-inaugural an officer told me they planned to stretch all of the Vision class ships as well as the Empress. You will most likely see the rest of the Vision class scheduled over the next few months/years.

 

I was also informed they would be hinging the bows of a few of the vessels (Grandeur specifically) so a canal transit would be possible.

 

With the high exchange rate (USD to Euro) it's more practical for RCI to enlarge the current fleet than to build new vessels. They also want the entire fleet to have similar amenities and the only way to add these is to enlarge the current fleet as there isn't space to add Portofino, Ben and Jerry's etc.

 

You will also see the overall decor of the refurb ships changed to that of the newer vessels. They will replace the "old pastel colors" with more of the richer fabrics and colors of the newer ships.

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I had originally posted news of this in November and was flamed. While I was on the Mariner pre-inaugural an officer told me they planned to stretch all of the Vision class ships as well as the Empress. You will most likely see the rest of the Vision class scheduled over the next few months/years.

 

 

Bob,

I was certainly not one of the people who flamed you. Seems your information was right on the money!

 

I agree this makes good economic sense for Royal Caribbean. I believe the expense for the lengthening is about €45. That equates to approximately €149,000 per berth. I believe this is much cheaper than building a vessel from scratch. If you look at QM2, my rough calculations put the per berth cost at just over $300,000. I think most ships are somewhere around $200,000 to $280,000 per berth. So it would seem that stretching is a relative bargain.

 

If RCI does the same procedure to all four Vision Class ships (which I imagine they eventually will), they will increase capacity by 1208 berths, or about that of a smaller to mid-sized cruise ship. The other advantages are the short amount of time the ship will actually be out of service compared to that of building a new ship from scratch. This means RCI can see a return on the investment almost immediately. I would also imagine the financing is a bit more attractive then a newbuild, and the lower cost helps RCI from increasing it's debt, which is already quite high. Of course the other major advantage is that RCI is left with a very modern fleet, one which is updated to offer the same style and branding of amenities across the board.

 

Ernie

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According to Seatrade insider, which is where the initial information came from RCCL said they intend to lengthen additional vessels but that it will be based upon the specifics of the ship which I take to mean that the Splendour and Legend won't be lengthened due to their midship engines while the rest of the vision class will and the Nordic empress probably won't be lengthened since it just underwent such a large refurbishment. I also, have a feeling that Celebrity's Century class of ships will receive a lengthening of some sort as well. This all looks very interesting and I am really excited for RCCL as they seem to understand how important consistency across the fleet is unlike most other cruise lines which offer quite different amenities based on the class of ship.

 

Sincerely,

 

JC

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...maybe RCI can stop saying that they just don't have the new schedule posted yet! I've been getting that line for months.

 

I think I'm glad to get to sail her before the stretch.

 

Thank you for posting this. I've been watching for it since it was mentioned a while back.

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I have read many times that the length of the SS UNITED STATES was limited to 990 feet so that it could transit the Panama Canal.

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Attached is a before and after image of ENCHANTMENT from Kvaerner yard.

 

Image of before and after from Kvaerner:

enchantment_kvaerner.jpg

Larger Version

 

I enlarged the renderings, and upon closer inspection I do see a small vertical line just aft of the bow tip. I'm guessing this is the "hinged bow" that has been hinted about in the past so the ship can pass through the Panama Canal.

 

Ernie

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Talking about getting flamed.... This issue was brought up on USENET (r.t.c) and the overwhelming opinion of the self-proclaimed representatives of the cruise passenger market condemned it heartily as bad for passengers... something like "another fine ship gone to waste..." Nice to see a completely different perspective in this thread, coming from this somewhat larger sample of cruise passengers.

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