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9th January, 2012

Who needs a crane when you've got the carpet gang?

The Carpet Gang

Hello again from sunny Palermo.

After having to endure a very cold and wet two weeks on a ship full of holes, the sun has finally come out again and started to warm us up. When we complained about the weather to some of the Fincantieri managers, who had assured us it was always mild and sunny in Palermo, they told us it was very unusual and must be because we had brought too many English people here. Since the Italians have returned, they do seem to have brought the sun back with them - so long may it continue.

This week we have started to see the refurbishment of some of the cabins. New carpet has been laid in some of them, in a similar design and colour to some of the original carpets which will remain.

The new carpet was shipped in a 40-foot container and there were 75 rolls of 2-meter carpet each weighing170 kilos. The reason I know this is because upon delivery the cranes unfortunately became inoperable owing to high winds and technical difficulties. Therefore we had to rely on good old-fashioned manpower provided by the restaurant team and I.

New bathroom sinks

Ever resourceful and getting better by the day at recycling, redirecting and borrowing, we found an abandoned trolley just at the right time, as you can see. The boys are complaining that they ache today so I have put them to work carrying furniture to keep those muscles from seizing up.

The bathrooms have also been unpacked and installed. The marble vanity areas are very attractive, as are the new bathroom floors. Sturdy but stylish grab rails are being installed as I write this.

The new chairs have been unwrapped and I can assure you they are very comfortable. Some of the cabins are now 80% finished and starting to look very inviting. Of course we have to make sure we keep them clean and in tiptop condition until you come aboard - and there’s a long way to go until then. Therefore the carpets are covered and the new bed linen and furniture carefully stored. In the meantime, we have to accommodate our work force in them in order to vacate more cabins for their makeovers. It’s a never-ending game of musical beds.

Cabins 80% finished

I hope that I can soon show you some pictures of the new build balcony cabins on decks 8 and 10, as I’m sure these will be a real crowning feature of our new ship. On a personal note, I will be glad when the work finishes in those cabins as I am currently living below most of the very noisy work. As soon as any of the public rooms start to take shape I will of course also update you on that.

Well, not much else to report on at the moment. Uncle Albert is still living in hope of getting fed better than Sapphira but there’s little chance of that.

We’ll all be up bright and early again tomorrow as work starts at 7am every day here, as ‘Chi dorme non piglia pesci’ and we sometimes have to remind ourselves ‘La calma è la virtù dei forti’.

Fino al prossimo tempo,


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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.