Editor's Note: Prior to its debut in New York on May 5, 2007 -- just a few weeks after our visit to the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport -- the foundling Celebrity Journey became part of the industry's newest cruise line: Azamara Cruises. The ship is now known as Azamara Journey.
At some point in the next week, Celebrity Journey will get an exterior paint job that fully reflects its new name -- and new ownership. But at this point in dry dock at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, it's still the Blue Dream. Notice how the 30,000-ton ship seemingly perches, rather precariously, on a series of blocks? No worries, though; it's as stable as it is on sea (probably even more so!). Here, we're looking at the ship's stern and something's not quite ... aligned ... on one of the upper decks. Know what it is? First one to write to me at email@example.com with the correct answer wins a Cruise Critic prize.
Any major ship refurbishment project starts with the basics -- and in this case the basics start with the blueprints. Tillberg Design, which put the plan together, is a Swedish firm that specializes in, among other things, marine interiors (its credits include ships such as Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Disney Magic, Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas and NCL's Norwegian Pearl).
Getting onboard is not as easy as you'd think. Javier Alegre, a manager in Celebrity's new-build department, greeted us on land and escorted us to the ship -- via the "tower of terror." A staircase-cum-ramp-cum-obstacle course, this structure, frankly looking quite rickety, is the only way to climb up to the level of the ship's entrance. (That's Celebrity P.R. honcho Liz Jakeway hanging off the railing.)
It's to Javier's credit that he didn't lose anybody (god help anyone who wears, er, inappropriate shoes, such as high heels).