The SPA on board the Carnival Vista, Carnival Cruise Line’s new flagship. Interview with our Project Manager Marco Librizzi.

Carnival Cruise Line® is probably the most famous cruising company in the world, with a fleet of 25 ships that take passengers on short and long trips to dream destinations such as the Bahamas, Caribbean, Europe, Cuba, the Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The hugely anticipated new flagship, Carnival Vista, was built in Italy by Fincantieari: it is the company's largest ship and the most innovative ever. It can accommodate 3,936 passengers and is now officially the Group’s flagship. All Carnival ships have a spa on board, but only the last six ships of the fleet offer the Cloud9Spa experience, almost 2000 m2 of wellness over two levels, comprising a dozen treatment rooms: cabins that fill with scented steam, Finnish saunas, an infrared sauna, a thermal suite with experience showers and heated mosaic beds.What are the implications of creating a wellness centre such as Cloud9Spa on a ship like this? We asked our Project Manager, Marco Librizzi.When and how did Stenal get involved with the general contractor to create the Spa?We were awarded the contract approximately a year before the end of the work on the ship, which was to be completed on 30 April 2016. The first four months where necessary to develop the project; in September, we stepped on board and started building the spa, which took us 8 months of uninterrupted work.The contract required us to provide a “turn-key” product; starting from the bare iron structure, our area of competence was just a box of metal completely empty, which had to be delivered fully finished and equipped.What type of consulting services did Stenal provide in the initial stages of the project?Once we received the preliminary projects, with the architectural details, our work started with the feasibility study of the designer’s requirements. A SPA is not a static environment, made of just walls and furnishings, it is a complex living organism in which every element must have specific characteristics. Stenal’s greatest challenge and its main duty is to create a perfectly functional machine in harmony with the space’s architectural elements; and it did so thanks to its detailed knowledge of all the ship’s characteristics, acquired working on projects on a number of ships such as Breeze (Carnival Group) and NeoRomantica (Costa Crociere Group).What were the greatest challenges and the issues you had to overcome?Certainly meeting the tight delivery time line and all the intermediate deadlines. 30 April was a mandatory delivery date; in fact the ship left Trieste for its maiden voyage on 1 May. Additionally, the complexity of the project was increased by the presence on the construction site of other teams with whom we had to share working spaces and schedule working shifts. Eight months to start a project from scratch is not much time. As it usually happens in the ship construction sector, everything comes into shape and is completed in the last two/three months. Great organisation skills and shrewdness when it comes to dealing with unforeseen issues are essential.A shipyard is a unique environment, difficult to imagine by someone who has never experienced it; the constrictions on a cruising ship are much greater than those you would experience on a building site. Mainly they have to do with safety, especially fire prevention, both during the construction stages and during navigation; all materials and construction processes must be tested and certified for naval use and previously authorised by the shipyard.Months after the launch of a perfectly functional wellness centre of this entity, what would you consider as the main success factors?To deliver a project like this requires long, complex and detailed planning, nothing can be left to chance. Each construction detail, material used and every process must be carried out after careful and specific planning.The organisation and coordination of all workforces involved in each step of the process is essential; as are resourceful management, careful planning and great knowledge and competence.