Guest blog by Captain Hernan Zini, Captain, Allure of the Seas.
There was a lot of good energy all throughout the ship. And like the rest of the ship, Chief Electrical Engineers Vito and Dragutin were as busy as ever. Small details pending in owner work like IT installation, CCTV cameras, digital signage and electronic mustering systems among others, all required the assistance of our Electrical team. Not to mention our propulsion system is entirely electrical, they really have to Move it, Move it!
We knew that we would be ahead of schedule due to the high speed used to successfully avoid all the different storms, so we decided to stop the last day of our crossing just outside Freeport and use the time to do the final calibration and testing of our DP system. This day was named as the “Quiet Day”, with the aim of allowing the entire crew to relax and recharge their energy before the busy inaugural period started.
The DP is a system used for dynamic positioning that is highly accurate and sophisticated. The calibration and test was mainly electrical and while the majority of the crew was enjoying incredible weather in the Caribbean, the electrical team was working nonstop from early morning till midnight when 70% of the test was completed. I remember being on the Bridge at that time looking at the tired but still positive faces of Vito, Dragutin and Piotr (among others). I was thinking…so much for a quiet day for them…I called the tests off for the rest of the night. I needed them rested for our first arrival to Port Everglades next morning at 0700. The DP test was completed during our 1st sailing out of Port Everglades on another long evening for the Electrical team… you can’t help wondering… where they get their energy from?
The Refrigeration Team lead by Franco and David had a tough job. They are responsible for the Air conditioning Plant (AC). They scrolled every single AC duct of the ship at the yard and they worked hard to help STX deliver the best AC plant possible. One of the AC compressors broke just before delivery and getting it back in place was not an easy task, as matter of fact they are still working on it. The cleaning of the chilled water system is another never ending story with so many miles of piping; they really worked hard to get the systems as clean as possible before delivery and in operations.
The efficiency of our AC Plant is one of the single largest contributors to our much lower carbon footprint onboard. To achieve that, the AC plant needs a lot of hours for balancing. This is done normally after delivery, not to mention that the ship is transiting from a colder weather to the Caribbean, so that in itself requires daily adjustments. They are still adjusting the plant and getting ready for what we call a Tropical test, when we finally can test the performance of the AC plant in warmer weather. Most importantly for many of us, they are also responsible for keeping the right temperatures in our provision area, where we keep all the food onboard…one mistake and you can say good bye to your Caramel Frappuccino or your ice cream experience. The refrigeration team did a really “cool” job!
The stories continue; equipment training, setting up drawings and documents in our offices, starting with our daily and weekly maintenance routines, going over the many non-critical alarms left in the system at delivery, checking a few leaks in some of our systems, organizing our stores and checking the final details on our 15,000 line items of spare parts ordered, there was a lot of work to be done.
No ribbon cutting, no glamour or grand openings, their stories are more silent. And in this environment you could argue that “No news is good news”. I will go further to say “No news is a job very well done”. Their job has supported in more than one way each one of all the other grand openings, whether it is an electrical installation on a particular venue, the temperature of our food stores, or navigating the ship slowly out of Port Everglades so the Divers can do their act in the Aqua Theater, the marine team has been an integral part of each one of our incredible product deliveries.
I would like to use this opportunity to say thank you and congratulations to the nearly 200 Marine Officers and Crew for their professionalism, passion and dedication. Safety and reliability is one of the most important pillars of our operation, and there is a very clear focus on that. But with their hard work they also support each one of the functional areas responsible for Delivering the WOW.
The marine crew has WOWed me!
My only request now is that they “Keep up the No News.”