From Realtà Mapei n° 28 - 8/22/2019

Ship Rescue

After a hurricane, MAPEI marine products get a cruise ship’s refurbishment back on track
Location icon Freeport

Elation. Webster’s dictionary defines “elation” as “a feeling or state of great joy or pride.” Without doubt, that word is an apt description for the travelers on and the owners of Carnival Cruise Line’s cruise ship, Carnival Elation. Sailing primarily from Jacksonville, Florida, and measuring 855 feet (261 m) long, the 2,130-passenger Elation sails multi-night cruises to the Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean islands.

One of the line’s most popular cruise ships, Carnival Elation is a floating city, with foot traffic patterns replacing automobile congestion. The thousands of partying, dancing and sunbathing tourists take a toll on her decks. Additionally, spilled drinks and food, as well as constant exposure to salt water and sea air, create a corrosive environment that cannot go unaddressed for long periods of time. So, every three to five years, the Elation – just like every cruise ship – undergoes complete refurbishment. 

At the end of August 2017, Carnival Elation sailed into dry dock at Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas, for her scheduled complete refurbishment. Specified for a large part of the restoration project was MAPEI’s Products for the Marine Industry line, which debuted in the United States in June 2017 under the stewardship of Guido Sardi, Business Development Manager for MAPEI’s Marine Division.

As expected, a shipboard jobsite is slightly different from one on land. During a cruise ship’s restoration process, “every main contractor is usually awarded one or more projects onboard,” Sardi explained. “They realize the project through, from the demolition of the existing area to the final delivery of the new area as agreed upon with the ship owner’s architect.”

Precetti Inc. was the general contractor awarded the job of refitting the mid-ship pool area of Deck 10, a project that included sanding the real teak flooring; refurbishing all bars and restaurants in this area; demolishing the existing pool down to bare steel; and applying a new coating on the pool trunk, pool beach and pool coamings. MAPEI’s marine products were specified for the work.

Nova Marine Service LLC won the bid to completely refurbish Tiffany’s Lido Restaurant on Deck 10 aft, as well as the SPA Carnival lobby and the corridors on Deck 12 forward. As with the Precetti crew’s jobsite, MAPEI products were specified for Nova Marine’s work. Sardi was on hand, dividing his time between both crews to ensure that installations followed MAPEI’s high standards.

With jobsite scheduling complete, and crews and products in place, Elation was ready for a total tear-down and restoration. She was scheduled to leave dry dock on September 27 and reenter the Carnival fleet revamped as a “Fun Ship 2.0,” with new cabins, new restaurants and even a reconfigured deck. But Mother Nature had other plans.


As Elation was entering the Bahamas dry dock for rehabilitation, a storm was forming off of Cape Verde in the central Atlantic Ocean. By August 31, that storm developed into a Category 3 hurricane named Irma. With wind speeds up to 180 mph and barometric pressure dropping to 914 mbars, Irma fluctuated between Category 5 and Category 4 designations for several days, bringing death and destruction with her. The Bahamas were right in Hurricane Irma’s path. As a safety measure, the islands were evacuated and work on the Elation came to a halt. Sardi described the scene: “The ship left Grand Bahamas Shipyard and sailed with all the contractors and Carnival superintendents and crew for some days before sailing back to the shipyard to re-start with all the jobs on board.”

Irma became the fifth costliest Atlantic hurricane in recorded U.S. history, striking the Bahamas on September 8. Although it caused no fatalities there, it caused $135 million in damage. Given the fact that Irma’s total death toll was 134and overall damage reached upward of $64.8 billion USD2, the Bahamas were fortunate to have such limited consequences.

However, by the time that work resumed on the Elation, she had already been in dry dock longer than scheduled. The race was on to complete the rehab and return the cruise ship to service.

1 John P. Cangialosi; Andrew S. Latto; Robbie J. Berg (March 9, 2018). Hurricane Irma (AL112017). PDF. National Hurricane Center, Tropical Cyclone Report. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
2 James Daniell; Bernhard Mühr; Antonios Pomonis; Andreas Schäfer; Susanna Mohr. Hurricane Irma: Report No. 1, Focus on Caribbean up until 8th September 2017. PDF. Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology. Retrieved March 12, 2018.


Working to restore the mid-ship pool area on Deck 10, the Precetti crew was responsible for ensuring that the shipboard pool and surrounding bars and restaurants were as spectacular as the architects specified — these were some of the most popular, high-traffic areas on board.

A thin layer of MAPEI’s anti-corrosive marine primer Mapecoat Guard 100 was applied to the prepared surface. Then, to level and protect, the crew used the brand-new, Marine-certified, self-leveling polyurethane underlayment Mapedeck Litescreed (an Italian product planned for an upcoming U.S. debut) mixed with Marine Filler 20. The new, Marine-certified, thixotropic polyurethane underlayment Mapedeck Litescreed Tixo (another Italian product) was used to level the uneven vertical steel in the pool beach and coamings. The Precetti team used Kerapoxy as a mortar and Kerapoxy CQ grout to install the tiles in addition to the pool mosaics.

At the same time, Nova Marine Services LLC was hard at work refitting the worn, high-traffic floors of Tiffany’s Lido Restaurant (located in the aft area of Deck 10) as well as the SPA Carnival lobby and the corridors in the forward area of Deck 12.

In each of these areas, the steel deck had been worn down by high levels of foot traffic to a point of noticeable unevenness. In order to re-level the steel substrate, the Nova Marine crew used Ultraplan 1 Plus, MAPEI’s quick-setting, self-leveling, cementitious underlayment. This was topped with Planibond EBA high-modulus epoxy bonding agent. After a broadcast of quartz sand, tiles were set with Granirapid and grouted with Ultracolor Plus (warm gray color).

MAPEI products used in the project provided rapid setting time and curing speed as well as vital durability.

Although the Elation was originally scheduled to return to service on September 28, the unexpected delay caused by Irma’s visit pushed the ship’s official re-entry to October 7 – just a week’s delay on an island ravaged by a powerful hurricane. However, time is money in a construction project, and every day in dry dock is lost revenue for Carnival; scheduled days are the cost of business, and too many unscheduled days could “sink the boat.” Thankfully, the quick curing of MAPEI products meant that the pool could be filled, the corridors walked down, the restaurants enjoyed, and the Elation returned to service without a longer – costlier – delay.

"The ship was a hive of jobsites with contractors working independently and coordinating work around one another," Sardi said. MAPEI Marine Products played an important role, helping to create a ship of which the owners can be proud. Sardi and the crew from Precetti Inc. and Nova Marine LLC certainly are proud of their work. For all involved, Carnival's Elation embodies her name.

Project information

Yard Interior/exterior floors
Location Freeport, USA
Subcategory SHIP
Built in 1998
Opened in 1998
Application Supplying products to refurbish the-ship pool area of Deck 10, Tiffany’s Lido Restaurant on Deck 10 aft, SPA Carnival lobby, corridors on Deck 12 forward
Start and finish date 2017
Application Type Floor/wall covering
Client Carnival Cruise Line
Installer companies Precetti Inc., Nova Marine Service LLC
MAPEI Coordination Guido Sardi (MAPEI Corp.)

Products mentioned in the article

Granirapid System
Granirapid System
Premium, Rapid-Setting, Flexible Tile Mortar Granirapid is the industry’s first and most flexible, high-performance, fast-curing mortar…
Kerapoxy [NA]
Kerapoxy [NA]
 Premium epoxy mortar and grout Kerapoxy ® is a premium-grade, water-cleanable, 100%-solids, high-strength epoxy mortar and…
Planibond EBA
Planibond EBA
High-Modulus Epoxy Bonding Agent Planibond EBA is a two-component, multipurpose, high-modulus epoxy bonding agent. Planibond EBA is…
Ultracolor Plus FA
Ultracolor Plus FA
Rapid-Setting, “All-in-One” Grout Replacement for Sanded and Unsanded Grouts Ultracolor Plus FA with DropEffect™ technology is an ultra…
Ultraplan 1 Plus
Ultraplan 1 Plus
High-Performance, Quick-Setting, Self-Leveling Underlayment Ultraplan 1 Plus is a quick-setting, self-leveling, self-drying underlayment…
Realtà MAPEI Tags #carnival #marine #ship

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