As you may know during the coming months the Fantasy class of ships will undergo many new and exciting changes. The first of these vessels is the soon to be renamed Carnival Inspiration.

Here then is the first of three special reports live from the scene. Our reporter is my mate Preston Bircher who I have known for 15 years. Preston started as an Entertainment Technician onboard and is now based in our Head Office in Miami. However, he spends very little time there as he can usually be found in shipyards and on new buildings designing and supervising the installation of our entertainment staging, sets, lighting and designs. So, here is Preston’s first report ON THE CARNIVAL INSPIRATIONS EVOLUTION OF FUN.

Preston Bircher

Dear John:
I’m here on the Fun ShipTM Carnival Inspiration in Charleston, South Carolina at Detyens Shipyard for the renovation and installation of new shows in the Paris Lounge. (Where we’re removing ceilings and walls to make the stage bigger and upgrading all the technical to be ready for the next generation! And adding many safety features for the security of the cast, band and stage-crew environment.)

I heard that you wanted to know how things are going… so here you go!
There was excitement here in today as the steel for the supports of the White Water Waterslides arrived today from Vancouver. All of the fiberglass slide portions are just entering the city limits. It seems that “Evolutions of Fun” is becoming a reality!

You can see by the pictures that I’m sending you that the deck-11 aft (Verandah) is all cleared and ready for all the substructures that will make up the Carnival Water Works Spray Park. The hole where the small swimming pool trunk was is being decked-over, as are the two penetrations for the former Jacuzzi tubs were. All the teak decks were removed and saved for reuse. I was in the pier-side warehouse yesterday – the size of some of the structures are huge! It’s going to be an amazing place.

Forward on deck-10 around the Lido Patio Pool – the old slide is long-gone. As it the former “scruppers” that surrounded the main pool. Now it’s all open and ready for water to cascade over and creating a “wet beach” area surrounding the pool. The two Jacuzzis are going to have hut-like roofs over them. And the Italian stretched-canvas structure will replace the hand-crank mini-cover that used to cover the stage.

Also around the Lido Patio Pool two large spiral stairs were just installed. That’s going to make the entire Lido and Verandah area so much more maneuverable! (not to mention that the Bar Waiters can get to the deck-11 area easier and faster!)

Another upgrade is the new and much larger Camp Carnival. It’s going where the ping-pong tables were on deck-11 (Verandah) forward – just aft of the Atrium. Then to make sure there is even MORE space to work on your tan, they’re adding a wrap-around deck outside the new Camp Carnival.

Spa Carnival is 100% all new. An all new reception with water feature. Aerobics & weight area is all new – actually the aerobics is being relocated to where the Jacuzzis were… and the skylight being removed to make space for the improved golf-swing cage (which is a part of the new City Sports Park – miniature golf!). All of the dark-red tiles are being removed and replaced with light-colored tiles… new changing rooms with beautiful wood lockers and seating space.

The treatment rooms are completely new. All ready for the staff to bring in all new treatments – so that the Carnival Inspiration can offer many of the same treatments that are offered on the larger Destiny/Conquest/Spirit-classes of vessels.

And I can’t forget the re-branding of the eight Fantasy-Class ships. No longer are their names different from the rest. The m/s Inspiration is now going to be known as the m/s Carnival Inspiration! I’m also attaching some pictures of where the name “was” on the bow of the ship – and with the logo on deck-12 over the life boats. (Also a few interesting pictures of the steel letters sitting on the pier ready to be hoisted up and welded to the ship’s hull.

Then there’s the largest project on the ship – the rebuilding of the 1,026 staterooms and cabin corridors. All new cabin interiors, flat-panel televisions and new bathroom modules! Now that is one huge undertaking. Don’t forget that most all of the contractors are living on the ship as well. So it is a very tightly choreographed ballet of accommodations.

New dining rooms, removal of fixed seating in the Candlelight Aft Lounge for larger dancing space and Group Meetings.

I must say that to keep all of the crew and contractors happy, Hotel Director Ron Ness, and Food & Beverage Manager Luis Alvarez, have made sure that the Coffee Shop is open all day – you know we all need are espressos and iced-mocaccino-non-fat-latte drinks to keep us going! In addition to the water stations placed throughout the vessel, there are portable iced soda stations placed around the vessel so that contractors on short breaks can grab an iced cold soda or bottle of San Pellegrino (many Italian contractors) to quench one’s thirst. And to top it all off… the ‘Crew Lounge’ is also open extra all-day hours that is located next to one of the specified smoking areas. A happy crew is a good crew!

Well… I will start sending some pictures soon!
Give my love to Heidi and all the gang there on the FunShipTM Carnival Freedom! See y’all when you get to Miami!
Preston

PHOTO 1 – Inspiration letters removed
Carnival Inspiration’s Evolution of Fun
PHOTO 2 – letters on the ground for the ship’s bow
Carnival Inspiration’s Evolution of Fun
PHOTO 3 – were the “logo” letters were and are being replaced with the new name (you can see the word Carnival behind the #1 lifeboat & rescue boat)
PHOTO 3 - were the “logo” letters were and are being replaced with the new name (you can see the word Carnival behind the #1 lifeboat & rescue boat)

PHOTO 4 – letter for the stern of the ship sitting on the pier
PHOTO 4 - letter for the stern of the ship sitting on the pier

PHOTO 5 – supports for the White Water Waterslide(s) on the pier
PHOTO 5 - supports for the White Water Waterslide(s) on the pier
PHOTO 6: Water Spray Park w/funnel
Water Spray Park w/funnel
PHOTO 7 – Water Spray Park pool being covered
PHOTO 7 - Water Spray Park pool being covered

Lido Patio Pool without old slide – Camp Carnival being built – and new spiral stairs on the port side
the side of steel cutting shed at Detynes Shipyard.

Lido Patio Pool without old slide - Camp Carnival being built - and new spiral stairs on the port side

Lido Patio Pool without old slide - Camp Carnival being built - and new spiral stairs on the port side

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.