Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Episode 12 - Skywalkers Removal



Check out the amazing footage of the removal of Skywalkers from Grand Princess. Truly an unforgettable sight!
What happens when a ship goes into dry dock?

Sometimes, pretty dramatic stuff.

As in this week, when an iconic 160-ton chunk of the Grand Princess was sawed off and spirited away by a giant crane.

What Princess Cruises buffs know as Skywalkers Nightclub, perched high above the stern, a dizzying 18 decks over the sea, was sliced away. The structure that some people likened to a race car spoiler and others to a shopping cart handle is no more.

When the Grand Princess debuted in 1998, Skywalkers Nightclub was a curiosity, the AquaTheater or ice rink of its day. Passengers rode elevators to the ship's top deck then hopped onto a moving walkway that whisked them through a long, clear tube to reach the club.

With its floor-to-ceiling glass windows, disc jockey and throbbing music, Skywalkers was the late-night hot spot. Sitting beside the back window and gazing down at the ship's wake far, far below was a giddy experience—even without a cocktail.

But Princess decided to remove the nightclub to improve the ship's fuel efficiency. And so it came off this week, documented in a dramatic video as part of a daily journal the line is keeping of the 24-day dry dock at Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas.

It's the biggest transformation of a ship in Princess history. Apart from extracting Skywalkers, workers are adding a piazza-style atrium like that on the newer Princess vessels, a Crown Grill steak house, a sit-down pizzeria, a martini bar and seven suites.

The Grand Princess is also gaining a feature that no other ship in the fleet has: a combination library/tea lounge with a selection of 500 tea blends.

Oh, and in place of Skywalkers is the new One5 Lounge, a nightclub tucked neatly into Deck 15.

The dry dock video journal and photos are at princess.com/granddrydock.Amazing work being done at the Grand Bahama Shipyard.

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