Company Name: MJM Marine
Specific Team: Silver Origin Outfitting Team
Silver Origin is an ultra-luxury destination ship, the first of its kind for Silversea. MJM was undertaking the outfitting when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, severely impacting the business and the cruise industry. This suddenly presented the team with unprecedented challenges in the final months of the project. Despite all of these challenges, the team at MJM completed the outfitting successfully.
The areas on board the ship that were being outfitted by MJM were the public areas and suites. Public areas included the restaurants, gym, spa and observatory. Accommodation included the owner suites, royal suites, grand suites and classic verandas. MJM had a new collaborative relationship with the owner, Silver Seas and the ship yard, De Hoop. Of the relationship, Patrick Janssens, De Hoop CEO said,
“Shipyard De Hoop is building and designing vessels for over 130 years now, each ship is unique and tailored around the Owner’s vision. On luxury expedition cruisers as the Silver Origin, the level of integration between construction, installations, equipment and outfitting is more complex than on any other ship design.”
“The innovative technical features and installations have to ‘marry’ with the design interior and exterior. Clients expect a perfect match with artist renders, and we aim to deliver on that promise. Such results can only be reached with an open collaboration on all levels and on all stages of the build. We are proud of the good collaboration between us and MJM, it has led to a strong synergy and a beautiful end result.”
By adopting a solution based and can-do approach, along with collaboration with the shipyard, De Hoop, and other contractors onboard, MJM were able to complete the outfitting works on board the ship destined for the Galapagos Archipelago.
Due to the global impact of Covid-19, the normal systems that we followed for the order and delivery of materials had changed dramatically. The majority of items which were manufactured by MJM had been completed before the biggest impact of the pandemic hit in March, however anything required after this, both in-house and external suppliers proved significantly more challenging. Contact with suppliers was also more challenging due to staffing issues and a lot of people now working from home.
Team and Welfare
As the project was planned in phases to take place in multiple locations, something the team are very experienced in, this presented a range of different challenges due to the changing guidelines around Covid-19. These changing guidelines had a knock-on effect on the resources we had onboard to deliver the job. There was a significant reduction in our workforce to ensure we could comply with social distancing measures.
The experience was new and unsettling to everyone as no one knew what was going to happen or how the pandemic would change life as we knew it. We therefore facilitated any staff who did not feel comfortable to carry on in the current climate and allowed them to make there way home to their families before international borders closed.
Due to the ship being a new build, our accommodation was not aboard, but on an on-site floating residential facility. Effectively the team became bubbled and moving between two vessels for work and non-work periods which later in the pandemic became the operating practice for projects to come.
One of the keys to managing the team during these unprecedented times was good communication to keep everyone informed of the changing situations. We were also keeping daily contact with the client team and the MJM Senior Management Team. As we were facing uncertain times, we ensured that we were keeping an eye on everyone’s mental health and welfare which became paramount to ensuring positive staff moral. This is where the little things made a big difference. MJM Head Office organsied care packages to be sent out for the team to include items such as deodorant, toothpaste, drinks and snacks, shampoo and shower gel so they didn’t have to worry about how or where to get these things.
Kevin Douglas, Vice President, Royal Caribbean Group, said, “We are extremely grateful to the team from MJM Marine and De Hoop for their hard work and determination in the midst of such a challenging and unprecedented time in our industry. When Coronavirus was declared a pandemic, the team had to quickly adapt their working practices and get used to a whole new way of working and living to get the outfitting of Silver Origin completed. As the rest of the world slowed down or ground to a halt, the resilient team at MJM Marine and De Hoop kept on working, in line with new government safety guidelines, to see the project through to the end. The work was of the highest standard and quality, matched equally by the service we received.”
Damian Casey, MJM Contracts Manager said of the experience, “Good teamwork and collaborative working have never been needed on a project as much as they were needed on seeing the completion of the Silverseas Origin during a global pandemic. No amount of training could have prepared us for working in the situation that we faced, and our resources both physical and mental were challenged at times beyond measure. However, the resilience, determination and creativity of the team ensured that the high standards expected were delivered by MJM.”
Health and Safety
The safety of our team and everyone we were working with was paramount. We implemented strict sanitary procedures including twice daily temperature checks, a colour coded sticker was put on the team members helmet to identify that they had been temperature checked, enhanced cleaning procedures and strict social distancing measures were in place along with a one-way system throughout the ship. The procedures and practices which we adopted at the time may not seem so strange to anyone reading this now as it has become the ‘new norm’ but the team on Silver Origin were living this firsthand and didn’t know what to expect next. On the back of these experiences and advancements in science and technology we now benefit from regular rapid testing, self-test verification and of course the vaccines, all which combine to ensure that future projects face less disruption and risk from the virus.