Oh Villa Vie, Where Art Thee

 The launch of Villa Vie Odyssey has been marked by multiple delays, causing considerable frustration among passengers. Initially, the departure was scheduled for May 15, 2024, from Southampton. However, this was pushed back to May 30, with the port of departure changed to Belfast. The company states that the initial delay was to ensure that the operational enhancements aimed at elevating the overall experience and safety of its residents were fully implemented.

The ship’s launch was further delayed due to extensive refurbishments. Initially expected to leave dry dock on May 21, the ship remained there until May 30 because the process took longer than anticipated. The delays continued as issues with the steelwork in one of the greywater tanks were discovered, requiring additional days for correction. This pushed the departure to June 4.

Despite these efforts, another delay occurred when the ship’s rudder stocks, crucial for navigation, were found to need replacement. This delayed the launch once again, with the new departure date set for June 15. These rudder stocks are vital for the ship’s ability to turn efficiently, and their failure could compromise the vessel’s ability to navigate.

The Villa Vie Odyssey, a former Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship built in 1993, is undergoing a massive transformation to support its ambitious plan of a 1,301-day world cruise. The ship plans to visit 425 ports across 147 countries, making the preparation and refurbishment processes particularly critical. Given the ship’s age and the extensive nature of its planned journey, ensuring all aspects of the vessel are in peak condition before departure is crucial.

The cruise line has remained in communication with passengers, setting up a dedicated hotline to address concerns and covering all change fees incurred due to the delays.  Additionally, passengers have been invited to ship tours to experience the amenities onboard before the actual departure. The cruise line’s emphasis on safety and quality has been appreciated by many, although the repeated delays have understandably led to growing concerns about the vessel’s overall seaworthiness.  Many of these guests have already moved out of their homes, sold their possessions and have flown to the departure town.  Additionally many cruise content creators and influencers were initially set to sail on the journey with many pulling out lately due to delays and other changes.

Villa Vie Residences claims that they remain committed to providing an exceptional experience, ensuring that all issues are resolved before the Odyssey sets sail. The cruise line insists that these delays are necessary to the safety and satisfaction of its guests.  The company continues to ask for grace and understanding as this is an unprecedented residential cruise concept

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