Having been operational for more than a century, who better to speak to about interior outfitting in the cruise industry than Gerolamo Scorza? To find out more about the esteemed brand’s experience in the cruise interiors industry, we spoke with director of operations Fabio Foglino. Read on to find out which interior outfitting project Fabio found the most challenging (and rewarding), plus what one piece of advice he’d give to someone hoping to enter into the industry.

With more than 100 years of experience working with ship owners, architects, and shipyards, Gerolamo Scorza is known for providing comprehensive services from concept to turnkey. Can you tell us a bit more about your experience operating in the cruise industry?

Gerolamo Scorza was established in 1898 to provide wood carpentry services. After World War II, it evolved its core business from shipbuilding to naval refit and refurbishment.

Over the past 121 years, the company’s deeply rooted values remain the same, but equally importantly, we keep up with the cruise market’s ongoing evolution.

We preserved our natural tendency to combine traditional values, mostly aimed at hard work and commitment to meet customers’ expectations, with a genuine vision over the future, enhancing our know-how to provide a wide range of services and keeping up with the global market competitiveness.

Your clients include world-leading cruise lines from Costa Cruises to Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line. What’s been your most challenging or exciting project to date?

In June 2019, we were involved in the Regent Seven Seas’ Navigator drydock held between Southampton and Brest. In the framework of this project, Regent Seven Seas Cruises appointed us for both the removal of pre-existing sliding doors in passengers’ cabins and the new doors supply and installation.

It was a really challenging experience since the ship underwent a very short drydock and all of the aforementioned work was completed in just 10 days, bearing in mind we had to organize the job while managing a staff of more than 60 people.

Furthermore, in 2018 we were awarded by the French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire the complete outfitting of the Solariums and the MSC Yacht Club areas on MSC Cruises’ MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa, following the great success of the same projects previously achieved on MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellssima.

This represents another compelling opportunity, showcasing our ability to create a sense of loyalty with our customers as well as getting interest from new clients.

Working in the cruise industry comes with its own unique set of challenges: space limitations, tight deadlines, time restrictions, and more. Has there been a challenge you’ve had to overcome?

As you say, tight deadlines and time restrictions are usually felt as stumbling blocks in an outfitters’ mind, but we always make the most of our efforts and work to complete the project by the estimated due date. This is exactly what we experienced onboard Carnival Freedom in February 2019. We designed a new layout for the space to refurbish the public toilets as well taking into account an American audience with Disability Act regulations and we achieved the installation as well as the modification of all of the electrical and hydraulic connections and the HVAC system in less than one month during the drydock held at Grand Bahama Shipyard in The Bahamas. This project firmly put us on the map for our efficiency in dealing with various tasks and unscheduled additional works with remarkable results.

Earlier this year we spoke to Trimline to discover their top tips for winning contracts with interior outfitters. What would make you want to work with a supplier? And are there any definite no-nos when it comes to sourcing materials?

Our approach to cruise projects is to focus on planning, logistics management, detailed engineering, and architectural drawings so as to get through the construction phase.

We expect our suppliers to be up to our pragmatism and to customers’ specific requirements to ensure a top service as well as complying with high-quality standards.

We put in place our traditional line of conduct, reliant on our century-old tradition of craftsmanship blended with modern production methods, to enhance long-term relationships with trusted suppliers so as to ensure the clients we work with provide the highest quality materials.

Thanks for speaking with us today. Finally, what one piece of advice would you hope to give to someone entering the cruise interiors industry?

Our natural disposition surely makes us curious and proactive.

If I had the chance to talk to someone entering into the cruise interiors industry, I would suggest to always keep alive the spirit of curiosity and the ambition to seek out new projects on the horizon; the more challenging a project, the more it will be exciting to be a part of its success.