I am on a flight home from Turku after another fascinating visit to ALLURE OF THE SEAS. And no matter how many times I visit the yard, no matter how many times I meet with our people there, no matter how many times I look at the product itself, I am always in awe.
I am supposed to be a cold, hard-nosed businessman; it says so in my job description. But it is hard not to get emotional about this ship and the people who create and operate her (and yes, ALLURE is a she). Her grandeur and her beauty are simply wonderful to behold and I was excited to see her as she approaches completion.
She is scheduled for delivery on October 28th and the state of her construction was remarkable. I don’t think that I have ever seen a ship at this stage of construction so ready. Despite regular status reports and photographs from the newbuilding team, I was astounded by how far along she was. I even called Adam Goldstein to discuss how this might change his visit here next week with a press group and/or the inaugural activities. Attached is a photo of Harri Kulovaara and me walking by Sorrentos to give you a sense of how close to ready the ship is.
We then had an interesting discussion with the yard. One key yardstick we and the yard use to keep track of progress is the number of outstanding “Remarks”. A Remark is any item our inspection team complains to the yard about. It can be as simple as a sticky desk drawer or as major as the engine won’t start. With an inspection team now at 115 (persnickety) people and growing, there are always a lot of remarks. To put this in perspective, OASIS left the shipyard with over 6,000 remarks that took weeks to resolve.
So, what should our target be for ALLURE? To my surprise, the two teams agreed that we should target leaving the shipyard at the end of October with zero remarks. That would be virtually unthinkable for a normal ship, but for ALLURE it is an amazing target. The beauty of such a target is not that the remarks are an issue (virtually all the remarks would never be noticed by our guests) but that it frees both teams from having to deal with them and allows them to focus on more important things like making the perfect Mojito.
I came away, as I always do, invigorated and eagerly anticipating the day when ALLURE makes her entrance. Like a beautiful woman getting dressed for the Ball, she will look even better with all her fine outfits and jewelry. But she already has a presence and one can already see how her many spaces and activities will function.