Nobody ever said launching a new cruise ship was an easy job, but the crew of the Seabourn Odyssey have been put in a tough position — trying to launch a ship that was way behind schedule. Seabourn was supposed to take delivery of the vessel from Mariotti shipyard in Genoa, Italy on June 15; however, it ended up being three days later on June 18th. Add the fact that the press and travel agent preview cruise from Venice was set on June 22 and the crew had half the time to prepare. Several days ago, Seabourn CEO Pam Conover sent out an e-mail to guests on the preview cruise stating they almost canceled the voyage, but decided not to do so so they wouldn’t “disappoint” us.
When we arrived in our staterooms we received another ‘pardon our dust’ type of letter stating that they are doing “everything humanly possible” to get the Odyssey shipshape. The one area that remains a big problem is the spa — it is simply not finished. Contact workers are busy installing the Hydro Pool and the two Villa Spa Suites have nothing in them. Additionally, only four of the seven treatment rooms are operational. While I think the hydro area will be ready for the first revenue sailing it looks like the villas will not be ready. Spa staff tell me they are hopeful one will be ready in a few days.
I’ve been talking with a number of crew members and the more I learn about what they have accomplished in only three days time is nothing short of extrodinary. One crewmember told me the ceiling was hanging down and boxes were piled high in their department of the ship. Looking into their eyes you can see they are weary from all the work. Still, despite all the stress, the crew remains amazingly optimitistic and very accomodating. They are proud of the new ship and I am sure seasoned Seabourn guests will find the Odyssey an amazing addition to the fleet.