The 200-metre Mona Lisa cruise ship and its 300 crew members completed a 33-day voyage from Greece, with a quick stop in Vancouver, to dock at Squamish Terminals this morning at 7:45 a.m.
The Greek crew members and about four Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) members were aboard the ship as it docked, and the remaining 1,100 VANOC employees who will reside on the ship are scheduled to arrive in town Wednesday evening.
Despite reports that restaurant owners have been told to anticipate a boost in clientele since the ship wouldn’t have a functioning kitchen, VANOC accommodations director, Vanessa Lenehan said the Mona Lisa will have a functioning kitchen – including a pastry chef. However, she said, passengers and crew will want to venture out into the community to diversify their Olympic Games time culinary experience.
“The food is very delicious but variety, after a while, is what we all crave,” she said.
“[The ship is] here for 56 days, so I would imagine people will want variety in what they eat, so they’ll be going downtown for other options.”
A shuttle service has been arranged to transport visitors to various points of interest in town because as of today, Squamish Terminals will not permit private vehicles or taxis on site to pick up ship passengers in order to ensure top level port security.
The 44 year old ship has eight passenger decks, three lounges, three restaurants as well as a pool, a gym and a theatre.
Most of Tuesday will be spent outfitting the 389-cabin ship with Internet and cable TV.
With two, three or even four people to a room, the cabins might get cozy but the rest of the ship space makes up for it, said Lenehan.
“It’s typical cruise ship accommodations. The rooms are quite small because you spend most of your time in these amazing large lounge areas,” Lenehan said.