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.
Of all the myriad projects taking place simultaneously, the most significant has been the addition of new suites on Deck 8. And we mean new. Celebrity ripped out about half the cabins there (see how empty it looks?) and will actually construct the new, larger staterooms on site. Elements of the suites, like the walls for instance, have arrived from Europe and just have to be slotted together.
Only the newly built suites get new bathrooms (and if you're thinking of splurging this is one ship where it's worth it as the traditional "standard cabin" bathrooms are tiny and shower-only). Would you believe these were designed and built in Finland, then shipped, completely finished, across the Atlantic?
Having arrived at the shipyard, each bathroom unit has been picked up by a crane and slotted into this cutout of Journey on Deck 8 (remember my trivia question from photo one?). They will be installed once cabins have been built.
This is the "hole." Welders cut the steel off a penthouse suite's balcony (#8088 if you're curious). When they're finished, the welders will, er, sew the chunk of steel back on. David Kelly swears you won't notice a difference.
Here's a standard balcony cabin; these aren't yet overhauled with new soft goods, beds and flat-screen televisions. They'll have mini-fridges (this was a monster effort as the existing cabinetry was too small for standard sizes so the fridges had to be custom built). Right now, cabins are occupied by contractors and some 150 crew members; the latter are here primarily to support the refurbishment workers by providing housekeeping, clean-up, and food and beverage services.