This post may not interest most people but if it keeps Biggus Punnus on the edge of his seat it must be worth something.
There are quite a few objects, items, equipment, materials and supplies that are difficult to get on board cruise ships. Every item has a solution if there is enough time and a little bit of translation from English to French.
20' Containers (like the one being loaded into a truck in the picture). These are the handiest items around. Subcontractors like to build workshops in them and then pack them full of materials which makes them high priority moves when the ship first gets dry. There were two boxes already here at the shipyard waiting to go up for USS (www.uss-us.com) which is a contractor installing a new AWP (Advanced Wastewater Purification) system.
The first two boxes were no problem. Deck eleven, port side, facing each other so the guy who runs 'em can build a little roof between the two and have a pretty good sized workshop. The fun ones were the boxes that needed to be landed on the bow. This class of vessel has a heli-deck on the most forward part of the bow and it's only rated to handle four and a half tons. Another sub (MSP) is installing new crew cabins on the bow just aft of the helo deck. Their 20' container weighed over three tons so that pretty much maxed out the bow. Enter Sea Level Marine. These subs are refurbing the gift shops and also have a container that needs to be onboard.
You know, I just read this and realized that it's crap. Guess I'm not a good story teller at all. I'll try to shorten things up.
Right now there are four 20' containers on deck eleven, port side and one container on the heli-deck on the bow. There is another 20' container on it's way that will need to be unloaded (swap out one of the boxes on deck eleven for a time) and one more container (currently lost in the stellar shipping system we use) that has gym equipment in it. This will have to be dropped on the pool deck (deck ten) AFTER the new Bolidt flooring is done drying. This class of ship is made so that deck eleven is only a partial deck and open in the middle where the swimming pools are so that loads can be dropped over deck eleven down onto deck ten. Most cruise ships have a similar setup somewhere on the top decks.
If you've never heard of Bolidt you should take a look at it. It is a synthetic flooring system that is poured onto the existing deck and cures almost completely smooth. Then they cut lines into the deck which are filled with a black grout-like substance and sand the whole thing so it looks like teak decking. Pretty slick, needs re-sanding in five years and is expensive as hell. (www.bolidt.com)
The mattresses. Not sure where I left off with these. There are two-thousand mattresses (unknown to everyone until just before they started showing up). Right now we have eight hundred on the ship, six hundred in a warehouse about a mile away and six hundred (hopefully) still waiting in Italy. The reason I insert hopefully is because I am trying to halt the last six hundred in Italy. Worked it out with the hotel director that they will be trucked to Helsinki in June and put on board when the ship comes through that port. Score one for me. The eight hundred that are on board got there with those magical 20' containers. Rented two containers, got support from the hotel side on the ship and on the pier, load the containers with new mattresses on the pier and throw 'em up on deck eleven where a conga line of hotel workers unloads the new and backloads the old. Drop container number one and load number two, reverse process on the pier and repeat. Probably took less than four hours to do the eight hundred but it completely ties up the crane cause it's easiest to leave the box hooked up on deck eleven while they are unloading and backloading.
The six hundred in the warehouse will require a little extra coordination. Need to hire local stevedores to load the mattresses into trucks at the warehouse because ship's crew can't work that far away from the vessel. Stevedores load the new onto trucks which drive to the shipyard, which are then unloaded by ship's personnel and put onboard in the previously explained manner. A fifty-three foot trailer takes two hundred and two mattresses so we'll need three trailers. Hoping to move them all in one day to save on the cost of the stevedores. Will probably cost around three thousand Euros for an eight hour shift of the stevedores.
Gonna have to split this post up cause I still have to tell you how we load all the materials for the new AWP system (aside from the container on deck eleven) and maybe I'll tell you how we're going to get five truckloads of food stores onto the ship on the tenth.
If this post were any drier it'd be jerky.