Astro Ocean Confirms Major Refurb Before Cruises Start in China

New Look Stateroom

Astro Ocean Cruises has confirmed it will spend a month to refurbish the Piano Land, taking the opportunity with the ship out of service to make some key upgrades prior to a planned resumption of service later this spring.

A date when cruises could start again, presumably from Shanghai for the Chinese brand, was not announced.

The Piano Land, which is the former P&O Oriana, is heading to a drydock in Zhoushan operated by COSCO for the work. The facility has previously handed emergency repairs for both Royal Caribbean International and SkySea Cruises.

Among major interior upgrades, Astro Ocean is adding a new class of suites to the ship that will also offer their own dining area, similar to other "ship within a ship" concepts in the market (pictured above).

Suite guests will also get priority embarkation and disembarkation, as well as private VIP shopping experiences, a special amenities kit as well as free WiFi and discounted spa treatments. 

Other staterooms will get a third berth, encouraging family travel, the company said.

Onboard Shops

The ship will also receive a completely new HVAC system that allows 100 percent fresh air circulation if needed. The company said specific staterooms will be set up for any medical situations, and that they may also re-enter service without any interior staterooms available for guests, which would trim occupancy on the ship. Special training for crew on cleaning standards is also ongoing, according to the company. 

The ship's duty-free shopping area, which has already been expanded, will now triple in size and welcome 100 new international brands, spanning decks 6 and 7.

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