Crystal Serenity (photo: Asmussen)The keys to a successful drydock? “Planning, timing and supervision,” according to Steven Spendlove, director of technical operations for Crystal Cruises, and who is in charge of the Serenity’s $17 million November drydocking in Spain.

Among the main highlights for the nine-day drydock is technical work. First, Crystal is doing major maintenance work on the port-side Rolls-Royce pod, changing out bearings at a five-year interval instead of the manufacturer-recommended 10-year

Next, the luxury line is transforming the Lido and Tastes area on Deck 12.

“It’s going to be a big upgrade,” said Spendlove, pointing to a complete redesign of the Lido.

The nine-day drydock will be followed by a one-day sea trial, with transit times from and to Lisbon at each end.

Spendlove, who estimated he has been involved in over 100 drydockings, said the yard decision was quite easy after visiting and reviewing all the options in Europe.

Major work on the portside pod will result in efficiency gains, and Spendlove said he plans to replace a seal in the starboard pod while the ship is in drydock.

New venues are scheduled to receive LED lighting, both to cut down on energy use and to ditch other bulbs that can spill mercury if they break.

Other technical items, such as the reverse osmosis plant, will be serviced.

A new silicone coating will be applied to the 2003-built vessel’s hull.

New PURE hypoallergenic staterooms set to debut mean that air ducts will have to be pressure cleaned as well.

“The entire process is a big challenge, and we have put a lot of effort in. It’s a huge team effort,” Spendlove continued. “This is one of the best planned drydocks I’ve ever been involved in.

“We’ve been allowed to work together as a group, and planning here is the name of the game.”

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Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2013