When a British couple made news several years ago for sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in their tiny, homemade boat, reporters wanted to know what traveling was like for them. Limited amenities, rough weather, and having to replace parts while at sea? It couldn’t have been pleasant. The couple reported that “The sailing is terrible, but the stopping is marvelous.”
Cruise ships, which exist more for a pleasurable experience of “stopping and shopping” than they do for transportation purposes, are continuing to increase in popularity among travelers looking for an exciting vacation. Most cruise ships take circular routes, fueling and bringing food on board at their home port and taking passengers to several “ports of call,” where they can disembark and have local adventures.
Vacations aboard cruise ships have increased, taking almost 20 million people on trips in various parts of the world every year and generating almost $30 billion yearly in revenue for the companies that sell vacation packages, airlines, and private vacation brokers.
In the event that a cruise ship needs to be repaired away from its home port, there are many options for different parts of vessel maintenance. Some repairs can be completed by onboard personnel, while in the event full repair service is needed while the cruise is underway, the cruise ship may temporarily dock at an offshore support vessel. Anxious cruisers are reassured by staff that the supply of spare parts is ample, and that they will get home safely and in a timely fashion.
In order to undergo all the parts of vessel maintenance that must be done before the ship is seaworthy again, cruisers may be delayed in getting to their next port of call. Full repair services are essential for cruise lines that wish to provide top quality service to their cruising guests. Specialized parts and equipment must be provided for top-of-the-line cruise ships while they are offshore.