(12:01 a.m. BST) -- Marella Cruises' newest ship has entered a four-week dry dock as TUI's former Mein Schiff 1 -- ready to emerge in May as Marella Explorer, the largest vessel in Marella's fleet.
The ship launches on May 19th from Palma de Majorca, where it will be based for the summer, offering seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises.
Carrying 1,924 passengers, the ship will receive a complete overhaul involving 45 square kilometres of carpet, more than 60 kilometres of data cabling, 650 Wi-Fi access points, tens of thousands of litres of paint and about 3 kilometres of bathroom trim, among other materials, according to a statement from Marella.
The ship has also received 10 tonnes of branded items comprising crew uniforms and 1,000 costumes for the ship's cast, which will bring 13 new production shows to life.
Additionally, passengers can expect a speakeasy-style bar, an ice cream parlour, family-focused balcony cabins and 10 onboard restaurants -- including new sushi, pizza and tapas venues -- as well as Indigo, a first-in-fleet concept that combines a casino with a bar and nightclub, offering wraparound sea views and a high-tech DJ emulator, which allows music videos to be projected as songs are played.
Further, an at-sea partnership with luxury spa brand Champneys means Marella Explorer will feature a full-service thermal suite, treatment suites with their own showers and mini-saunas, a Finnish sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows and spa cabanas on the adults-only Veranda sun deck, which come with thermal suite access.
In keeping with its theme of naming Marella Cruises employees as godmothers, the line has chosen Hotel Operations Manager Sue Stewart and TUI retail agent Mandy Galloway based on their commitment to both the cruise line and customer service.
--By Ashley Kosciolek, Editor