Chinese Cruise Line Begins to Staff Up Again

The Piano Land

Astro Ocean Cruises may be planning to restart operations soon as the cruise company and its recruitment partner have started an aggressive recruitment drive in China for both marine and hotel jobs aboard the Piano Land, which is the former P&O Oriana.

While the one-ship brand offering a variety of technical and nautical jobs, it is also recruiting a full entertainment staff including stage production crew and singers and dancers, signaling it plans to have paying guests aboard in the near future.

The company also said it is looking for 32 galley workers and a number of cabin stewards, which would be needed for a ship in revenue service.

With China the first country to shut down due to COVID-19, the Chinese cruise fleet was laid up in late January. It could also be the first to come back, as first reported by Cruise Industry News.

Astro Ocean Cruises spent most of April using the downtime to refurbish the Piano Land, making upgrades prior to a planned resumption of service.

The Piano Land drydocked in Zhoushan and the company added a new class of suites to the ship that will also offer their own dining area, similar to other “ship within a ship” concepts in the market.

Suite guests will also get priority embarkation and disembarkation, as well as private VIP shopping experiences, a special amenities kit, free WiFi and discounted spa treatments.

Other staterooms will get a third berth, encouraging family travel, the company said.

The ship also got a new HVAC system that allows 100 percent fresh air circulation. The company said specific staterooms will be set up for any medical situations, and that they may also re-enter service without any interior staterooms available for guests, which would trim occupancy on the ship.

The Piano Land’s duty-free shopping area, which has already been expanded, has now tripled in size and welcomes 100 new international brands, spanning decks 6 and 7.

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