In order to stay fresh and relevant in the eyes of their guests, hotels and resorts must execute renovations on a regular and rolling basis. From minor updates like a fresh coat of paint to major overhauls like a complete interior remodel, renovations make even the oldest properties feel new again. Cruise ships, as hoteliers, are compelled to do the same.
Case in point: the luxury cruise line Silversea, which this week announced that its all-suite, 388-guest Silver Shadow cruise ship will undergo an extensive refurbishment this November.
Part of what's dubbed Project Invictus, Silversea’s long-term plan to grow and enhance its fleet, the project will encompass all guest accommodations, as well as several public spaces. Guest suites, for instance, will receive new lighting, carpets, furniture and headboards, as well as new bathrooms and a fresh color scheme. The ship’s casino, meanwhile, will be moved to a new deck and completely redesigned, as will Connoisseur’s Corner, a lounge specializing in fine cognacs and premium cigars. Several of the ship’s bars and restaurants will be renovated -- including La Dame, its beloved French restaurant -- as will its spa and fitness center, which will receive new steam rooms and saunas, refurbished treatment rooms, new furniture and flooring, and updated fitness equipment.
The space formerly known as the Observation Lounge will become the Observation Library, offering a curated collection of books and a quiet space for reading at the fore of the ship; the pool area will receive new outdoor furniture, refurbished teak flooring, a new canvas awning with integrated lighting and new outdoor heaters; and conference rooms will be updated with new décor, furniture, upholstery, carpets and wall/window treatments.
Finally, the space currently occupied by the lobby, boutique and casino will be turned into the new, open-plan Atrium, which Silversea describes as “a social hub featuring an updated interactive reception area” with multiple boutiques and the Arts Café, a new coffee-shop concept that will feature bold artwork alongside coffee, pastries and sandwiches during the day, and cocktails at night.
“We are committed to maintaining the impeccable standards of the Silversea experience, and this major refurbishment of the Silver Shadow represents a significant investment for the benefit of our guests,” Silversea CEO Roberto Martinoli said in a statement. “Whether relaxing in the new Atrium or sipping a cognac in the expanded Connoisseur's Corner, our guests will notice not only a revitalized look but also greater choices and flexibility as a result of this project’s enhancements.”
The newly refurbished Silver Shadow will embark on its first voyage -- a seven-night itinerary to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale -- on Dec. 3, 2019.
Three More Refurbished Ships
Silversea isn’t the only group-friendly cruise line that’s investing in its fleet. Here are three more ships that have recently been refurbished:
• Oceania Sirena. Last year, Oceania Cruises announced OceaniaNEXT, a major initiative to modernize its aging fleet. The initiative’s first step is a $100 million refurbishment of the four ships that constitute its Regatta Class, including the Oceania Sirena, whose refurbishment is scheduled for completion this month. The 684-passenger ship will receive updates to all 342 of its staterooms and suites, each of which will be completely redesigned with new furnishings, décor and finishes. Instead of dark woods and brown hues, accommodations will feature a bright, airy, ocean-inspired color palette of gray, taupe and seafoam green. They also will receive new, modern bathrooms and technology upgrades, including USB ports and an interactive TV system with weather forecasts and on-demand movies. Public spaces also will be overhauled, including the Grand Dining Room; the main bar area, Martinis; the Reception Hall and Upper Hall; specialty restaurants Toscana and Polo; and the Library. The other three R-class ships receiving updates are the Oceania Insignia, which completed its refurbishment last December; the Oceania Regatta, which will complete its refurbishment in September; and the Oceania Nautica, which will complete its refurbishment in June 2020.
• Seven Seas Mariner. As part of a $125 million fleet-refurbishment program, Regent Seven Seas Cruises in April 2018 unveiled the new and improved Seven Seas Mariner, a 700-passenger, 350-cabin ship that received “dramatic new culinary experiences, elegant new suite designs and completely renewed elegant guest spaces,” according to the cruise line, which sails the ship to Alaska in the summer and to Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in other seasons. As part of the refurbishment, guest suites were updated with new beds and furnishings, as well as new artwork. Also updated were the shipboard Canyon Ranch Spa, which received a completely new design; the Card Room; the ship’s boutiques; the casino, which was rebuilt from the steel up; the fitness and aerobics center, which received new equipment; the ship’s restaurants, which received new interiors and, in some cases, new menus; the pool deck, which was updated with new teak flooring and a new mosaic-tiled pool; and the library, which was remodeled and relocated.
• Crystal Serenity. In November 2018, Crystal Cruises introduced the newly refurbished, 980-passenger Crystal Serenity. The reimagined ship features several new dining concepts, including Waterside for international classic and modern cuisine, the Marketplace for buffet-style breakfast and lunch, Churrascaria for Brazilian-style barbeque, Silk Kitchen & Bar for Chinese food and the Stardust Supper Club for Rat Pack-era, black-tie-optional evenings that include dinner and live music. Other improvements include a new Broadway-style production show; 36 new Seabreeze Penthouses and two new Seabreeze Penthouse Suites, each of which offers personal butler service, walk-in closets and spa-like bathrooms; new TVs with on-demand entertainment systems; upgraded WiFi coverage; and redesigned enrichment facilities, including the Computer [email protected], which has received new carpeting, seating and computer equipment, and The Studio, a multifunctional "enrichment room" that has been newly divided to offer a classroom for language, art and other instruction and a separate dance studio for private lessons.