- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

27 November 2018; Nieuw Statendam Building, 3 days to go.

A look over the Seaview Deck. I think the yard cannot wait to get us out of here as all that blue steel are the first pieces of a puzzle to construct a Costa Ship.

We woke up to a nice and dry day and later on the sun came out and it was very pleasant outside. The Norwegians would have called it a warm day; the Italians were all bundled up as to them it was still a cold day. For me as a Dutchman, I could walk outside in just a shirt if I was on the sunny side. So very pleasant. For everybody the regular work continued with finishing up, cleaning and installing equipment and materials so the ship can run as expected.

Last night we had the black out and in a period of 2 hrs. the Chief Engineer and his team shadowed the yard while they went through all the tests. On the bridge the same was happening. At 19.35 they stopped the main engine and then all the lights went out. The emergency generator came on and the tests started. One of the important tests is to see if all elevators come down to deck 3 (lifeboat deck) and remain there with the doors open. If not all elevators can be used, the Chief Engineer will assign one in each Staircase and these lifts will be manned by the Emergency Elevator Operator team, who will be riding the elevators from deck to deck so every deck receives equal service. Also Watertight Doors and Fire screen doors were tested, as they have to work without any power available. For that they have compressed oil pressure or compressed air pressure in bottles.

Now there is the option that the Emergency Generator will fail. If that happens we have a battery backup. Enough power to keep emergency lighting and other important equipment going for about 30 minutes over the whole ship. That 30 minutes links into the requirement that we have to be able to lower all the lifeboats and life rafts in 30 minutes. Which means we will have light for the whole period that the embarkation goes on and the lowering away.

By 21.30 hrs. everything was finished and all the crew, who had gone to the movie ashore, could walk back on board. A lot of crew had gone into Venice (the local bus stops outside the door) and they came back at their own convenience.

The Crows nest is receiving its furniture and the styles reflect the multi purpose room it is to be.

As we are nearing the end of our stay here, the immigration officials required a full face to face check of all crew on board. In a similar way as the CPB in the States does every 90 day with a Full Crew Inspection. That took quite a bit of time as every crew member was checked against the European Database to see if all passports were in order. But now we can sail.

Tonight we have the crew party ashore. It is a way for the company to say Thank you for  all the hard work done by the Officers and Crew. Some of the Officers such as the Staff Captain, Chief Engineer, Hotel Director and quite a few deck officers and engineers have been here from nearly the beginning and they have done a lot of work to help getting the ship to where it is now. We did the same for the Koningsdam and everybody is going to the same place again where the “Heineken Experience” will provide a party. I went last time and it was not good for my ears so this time I will stay on board and make sure the ship does not sail away without us.

That sailing away is getting easier as today the Yard removed all the Storm Lashings. All the heavy wires and hawsers, which kept the ship in position, regardless of the weather. Now we are moored with just our own mooring ropes as we normally do in every port. The weather is forecast to remain nice for the remainder of the week, so we do not foresee any issues.

This is hanging in the forward Pax. staircase. To stay with the ships musical theme. J.S Bach could have looked at it but also the Beach Boys as it links both eras.

Another piece of art today. At first glance it looks like a painting that would be more at home on the ceiling of a 17th. Palace than on a HAL ship. But if you look closer you see that it is painted on a surfboard……………….. The people who have selected all these paintings and other artwork, ArtLink, are also the ones who have taken over the Art Concession on board.

The Art Gallery on Deck 3.

Their Gallery is located on deck 3 forwarded of the upper level Queens Lounge, and their art is going to be considerably different than what was offered by Park West the previous concession. Today they were hanging the first pieces on the walls and what I saw did appeal to my personal taste. Luckily I will not be tempted to buy anything as my apartment has mainly sloping walls and what is straight is already full.

Weather: The same as today, dry and most likely no clouds. Good for all the work going on.


  1. Captain Albert,
    Thank you for your always wonderful commentary and insider information. Your entries are always fascinating.

    I wonder if you could tell us why the magnificent work of Steven Card seems to have been discontinued on the newbuildings? His wonderful ship paintings have graced the forward stairwells for so long I miss seeing them on the newest ships.

  2. Penelope McCarthy

    November 27, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    The time is fast approaching that we will be joining you on board! We are very excited to see that the ship is going to be ready for us, and looking beautiful. Hope you have tested all the eating places!

  3. Can I ask something completely different? (Monty Python)

    What is it I keep reading about some special partys on the maiden trip and for excample an onrange party. Where everone is asked for wearing something orange. Does the ship provide the bitterballen then?

    • Yes,

      on the shake down there will be an orange party in the evening and everybody has been requested to wear something orange. If there will be bitter ballen I do not know, but on the Koningsdam and the Nieuw Statendam that is never a problem as bitterballen are served daily in the Grand Dutch Café.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert.

  4. I would be interested to see some pictures of the engineering spaces & the bridge during the sea trails. Would is her top speed? How many azipods does she have, what type, two fixed, two moveable or four moveable? Really am enjoying reading your up dates & hope to some day cruise on her.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      the speed trials were in August already but I will devote some blog space to the engine room spaces and engineers during our Trans Atlantic crossing.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  5. Nice to see larger tables in Crowsnest where we can play cards or other activities

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