For many people, the prospect of taking a vacation is exciting; the prospect of taking an extended cruise vacation with many exciting ports of call can also be appealing. Cruise ships are designed to provide vacationing passengers with a variety of entertainment and travel options: on a weekly basis, passengers on a cruise ship may eat more than 16,000 half gallons of ice cream.
Cruise ships are actually designed to have deep holding areas for food storage; in the unlikely event of a breakdown while at sea, ships should have no difficulty feeding passengers and crew alike. Some types of offshore vessels are specifically designed to provide repair services for cruise ships or cargo ships that require mid-voyage maintenance.
Vessel parts are typically kept in stock on offshore vessels in case of unexpected breakdowns, and crews are generally trained to provide welding services, engine and turbine repair, and other general metalwork for cruise ships and commercial trading vessels. Specialized parts and equipment may be airlifted to stranded vessels if required, and repair crews should be trained for every contingency.
Sometimes, parts of a vessel cargo hold may need repair, in which case crew and passengers are typically offloaded to smaller vessels while crews complete repairs. Offshore support vessel crews may also be able to provide oil rig repair for offshore drilling operations; services provided may vary by location, and individual repair companies should be able to provide a full list.
In case more extensive repairs are required, a ship may need to return to port for dry docking repairs. Cargo vessel parts and equipment may be more readily available on land, and some welding projects may be much easier to undertake and complete. An experienced installation team should be able to provide fairly comprehensive repairs at sea, enabling ships to return to port and seek further services if needed.
Some parts of a vessel cargo hold may eventually succumb to wear and tear along the lines of pre-existing welds. Shipping and travel companies that perform regular maintenance are more likely to spot potential leakage or damage in port, rather than finding that they need to make repairs while at sea.