This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Spring/Summer 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
When AIDA Cruises’ AIDAsol was caught in rough weather last December, a statuette holding a large lamp fell over and the head and fingers broke away. Facing the arduous and expensive task of finding a replacement statuette, AIDA Cruises called in the help of Magicman, a UK-based company that provides innovative and bespoke repair, restoration and rejuvenation services. Within days of the call, one of Magicman’s skilled technicians had reattached the broken parts and strengthened the statuette to ensure that it could be safely returned to the public area for guests to admire.
AIDA Cruises is just one of many operators that has benefited from Magicman’s services. “Hundreds, or even thousands, of passengers embark and disembark cruise ships every week, so there’s a very high chance that stains, chips, bumps and other surface damage will occur,” says Mark Henderson, chief executive of Magicman. “Add to this general wear and tear and aging, and it’s easy to see why cruise operators need to constantly make small repairs to rejuvenate cabins and common areas.”
Repairing and restoring, rather than removing and replacing, damaged furniture, doors, fixtures and decorative fittings offers multiple benefits.
“Each cruise brand tends to have its own distinct style and interior design concepts can vary across the fleet, so often vessels have custom-designed items that are very expensive, difficult or even impossible to replace,” says Henderson. “Magicman is able to repair or restore such items much quicker than the cruise operator can source, transport and install a new replacement – and we can do it without removing the item or surface, which can potentially cause ancillary damage to the surrounding area. This saves time and reduces costs, while minimising waste.”
Magicman’s team can also be despatched anywhere in the world at short notice. For example, when a failed operating mechanism caused severe scratches on the stainless-steel shutter in the Lido Café onboard Viking Cruises’ new Viking Orion last August, Magicman’s team flew to Italy, changed the mechanism and restored the shutter within five days.
“High passenger demand for cruises is forcing operators to extend the period between ships’ maintenance docks, or at least to shorten them so they only carry out the most urgent engineering and safety improvement works,” explains Henderson. “Scratches, scuffs and burns on surfaces are minor but they have great impact on how passengers perceive the quality of the ship. Magicman’s Riding Crew can board ships while they’re in service to carry out upgrades and ensure they remain in top condition throughout the year.”
Feedback indicates that customers value Magicman’s services. “We’re very pleased to say that more than 95% of our customers give us a 9 or 10 Net Promotor Score, while the remaining 5% rate us as 6 or above,” remarks Henderson. “Magicman’s reputation for providing high-quality craftmanship has enabled us to develop complimentary fit-out, electrical, decoration, upholstery and related services. This guarantees that cruise operators benefit from high standards of workmanship across their fleet.”
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