Today was the day of the great HAL migration. We all moved on board apart from the officers living on Navigation Deck as their cabins will only be delivered next week. So from 06.00 hrs. onwards bus after bus departed from the various hotels and brought crew members to the ship. They all could go directly to their own cabins even while the ship around them is still being finished. It gives a sort of feeling as if you are buying a new house, and while already sleeping in the bedrooms, downstairs is still being wall papered and carpeted. Your fridge is in place but the tape is still on the outside door and the instructions are still in the Freezer compartment. A ship delivery is not much different, it is just happening on a larger scale. With the crew on board, the catering has started up as well and both the Dirty Officers Mess, Petty Officers Mess and the Crew Mess are now in operation. The Food and Beverage manager has created a complete schedule which runs until delivery and this also includes test runs of the Specialty Restaurants on Board and the Lido. That should start to happen near the end of the week.
The yard has put a lot of focus on getting store rooms and lockers ready all over the ship. Although you might think that full focus would be on delivering the Guest Area’s, the ship cannot sail without stores, spare parts and supplies, some of which will be items the guests will never see. But if your cabin mirror breaks then it is found normal that a new one pops up. We can do that because the ship carries spares so we do not have to wait it until Amazon delivers a new one. But all that material is stored somewhere on the ship and the crew has to get it onboard. Now there is still time, the closer to the delivery of the ship, the more precious time will be. Plus in the middle of next week, there will be the large drills for Flag and Port State to show that the crew is fully trained and the ship can receive its passport so we can sail. While Hotel has been loading stores already for more than a week, deck and engine (new mirrors fall under the engine department by means of the Hotel Services Engineer) will start in the coming week with bringing their supplies on board.
I was not disappointed with my question of where that Opera House was located which is featured on a photo hanging on Deck 2 amidships. So we now all have to go to the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest to see the real thing. Some more photos have appeared on the bulkheads but the larger pieces of art still have to arrive. Thus today some more art from Deck 2. The wall decoration in the Ocean Bar and two photos hanging along the Music Walk. All the Art (at least as far as I know) is organized by a company called Artlink. (www.artlink.com) and they specialize in bringing forward artists and their work that is a bit more whimsical, quirky or makes people pause and think. I am by no means an Art historian but as Art is linked to the interiors of Ocean Liners and Cruise Ships I am quite fascinated by it.
If you go through Ocean Liner history until the 1920’s ships art consisted mostly of decorated wood (which covered pipes, grills and radiators) and painted ceilings and furniture which imitated what could be found in the houses of those who occupied the ships public rooms. Then Art Deco arrived and art became part of the ships design and the ships became floating exhibitions of the industrial might of the Home Country (Think about the Normandie, Queen Mary etc.) After WWII it was still showing off what a country could do but in a more minimalistic way (Think United States, Rotterdam, France). Then with the arrival of the Cruise ships Art took another turn by filling blank spaces or creating focus points.
Holland America decided for her ships to go for a ship wide theme and between 1983 and 2010 that was mainly the Rich Dutch History. From 2010 onwards there was the subtle shift towards a different theme and that culminated in the Music Walk in 2016 for the Koningsdam. Now we have a relation between the ships layout, the ships art and the ships entertainment which all comes together in one philosophy.
Today was Saturday and it was slightly quieter on board. But the painters were still in full swing and in some areas the subcontractors were still working away at paneling and carpeting and that will continue until the whole ship has been completed. The yards operation might have slowed down a little bit, ships side is definitely gearing up as more areas become accessible to use.