Every year, we slip the Emeraude into dry dock, and every year we emerge with little to no visible difference. There are differences, to be sure, and I know exactly where they are down to every last rivet.
Last year, for example, we overhauled our bow thruster, a mechanism that enables the vessel o dock sideways. The typical passenger doesn’t pay much attention to our bow thruster, or the condition of the steel plates of our hull, or the myriad technology that guides the Emeraude. We make our annual changes, and we take to the waters of the bay looking much the same as we always have.
But this year is different. This year, we’re planning the most significant refurbishment of the cabin experience since we launched eight years ago.
The dry-docking begins May 28 here in Halong Bay. As soon as we’re out of the water, two separate teams will descend on the Emeraude — one to handle the regular maintenance, and the other to work some wonders in the cabins.
In the bathrooms of each cabin, we’re re-imagining the space entirely. There’s nothing we can do about the size of the space, of course. That’ll stay the same, but everything else changes. The shower will no longer come from a handle-head. Instead, we’re installing rainforest showers for a more enjoyable rinse. We’re putting new sinks into the corners. We’re moving the toilet. We’re repositioning the door. We’re installing mosaic tile as an enhancement to the visible swaths of steel. We are sacrificing a bit of the old school, nautical feel, but we’ve been cruising for eight years in that fashion. It’s time for a change.
In the sleeping area of the cabin, passengers will also notice significant changes. The wall coverings will be new. We’re changing mattresses and duvets. There will be new lamps. We’re bringing in new furnishings. We’re repositioning doors so that the space itself, though it won’t be any larger, will feel more expansive. And really, that’s what matters most. How do you feel about the space.
This is a big job. In dry-dock, we’re cutting metal to make this happen. But when it’s done and we’re cruising Halong Bay again, it’s going to feel like a brand new day.