Cruise ship refit in Cadiz

This has to be one of the best dry dock ports around, only a 10 minute walk and you’re into the lovely historic city of Cadiz..
But first the job we’re here to do, is on a 27 year old cruise ship being fully refitted and we’re on to re-do a very heavily warn dance floor.
Unfortunately when working on refits not all of your materials tend to turn up, in this case none of our flooring gear arrived, mainly due to our contractor not reading emails properly… But there are quite a few other companies on board carrying out work and luckily we came across two Lägler Hummels, our site manager found the owners who were more than willing to lend us one for a couple of days.

But this was the only real floor sander we had and the only grit belts they had was 60, so this took some work going over years of re-applied lacquer and also discovering that whoever had sanded it before had no idea how to use a belt sander and left lots of chatter marks…

At this point we felt we needed a much needed walk around Cadiz, admittedly we only got as far as the bars but along the front just after the main square are some lovely restaurants serving fantastic tapas at €4-5 a dish, but our favourite place was The Cabin, which had a wide range of craft ales (never got through them so must go back) and great food, Burgers were fresh and tasty, as was the giant plate of chicken wings…, But the favourite was the large nachos with mild chilli mince in the middle covered with cheese and dips, this with a pint and live football was perfect and made you forget the chaos of the refit.

Now the refit, imagine a building site, everything in site is pulled down and pulled up, kango’d, welded, sanded, painted, stratoflexed and rewired…
This all going on while we’re doing a floor, which is where I’m now going to advise anyone trying this at home without the proper gear to think again.. because once we’d used the belt sander we only had two festool RO 150 orbitals to do the edging and finishing, luckily these are the only orbitals I would use and advise you to use , as they are geared and tear through the floor with the right grit far easier than some cheap Black & Decker.
This was hard work though, after belt sanding with the 60 grit we used the festool RO 150 with 80 grit discs, then finished on a 120 grit, do not however be tempted to angle the orbital into the floor, it will leave pit marks and will look terrible once lacquered.
Now this dance floor took two of us a full week 7 days doing a 12hr day, to sand it and give it two sealer coats and two top coats of lacquer, so be prepared to put the time and effort in if you do decide to hand sand.

Once finished we had our final week touching in damaged elevators and all restaurant areas.., luckily a refit normally only lasts between 2-4 weeks, because if you’re living on board you have to put up with no air con and the ships get very hot without it, so your cabin feels like a sauna, most days from 7-7 your toilet won’t flush and no water and quite often when the water comes on at 7 it’s only the cold ?
You also get regular power outages and no tv…. But they do give you a contractors bar from 7 till about 11, so at least you can have a few beers before dinner, which can also be hit and miss… But I get to visit the world and work with some great people that stick together and help each other out (well generally, there’s always some some you don’t get on with)

Now back in Norwich to quote on a couple of floors and some Hard Surface Repairs before flying up to Aberdeen for some panelling work.

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