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Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas - Cruise Ship Profile

Mega-Ship Cruises the Caribbean Year-Round


Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas

The Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas is one of the largest cruise ships afloat.

Courtesy of Kim Fong
Cruise lovers come in all types. Some passengers love the destinations, and others love staying on board. Some passengers love small ships, others love large ones. Then there are those who just like to go! For those who think "bigger is better", the Voyager of the Seas, launched by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) in late 1999, should meet your expectations and more.

Voyager of the Seas is like a small town, only afloat. It carries over 3800 passengers and almost 1200 crew, and it weighs three times as much as the Titanic, and twice as much as the Norway. One of its most distinctive features is the huge atrium area known as the Royal Promenade. Large atria have become almost a standard feature on liners built during the last decade. However, Voyager of the Seas takes this concept one step further. Its atrium area runs fore and aft through the middle of the ship, and it is four decks high and over 100 yards long. This space has been designed to look like a village street, complete with shops, pubs, cafes, and even a "cobblestone" street.

RCCL takes good advantage of the space overlooking the atrium. It has given some of those dreaded "inside" rooms a window overlooking the excitement. The ship can have four cabins across its beam--two overlooking the ocean and two overlooking the atrium. This huge size came with at least one trade-off. RCCL had to sacrifice the possibility of going through the Panama Canal. At one time, this would have been a problem. Cruise ships used to sail the Caribbean in winter and then reposition themselves through the Canal to Asia or the Pacific Northwest in the off-season summertime. However, with the deserved popularity of cruising, demand for ships such as the Voyager of the Seas in the Caribbean is year round.

Once RCCL accepted that the planned ship could not transit the Canal, a lot of other possibilities opened up. Everything could be bigger. Features never even considered on a cruise ship could be added. The extra width allowed an extra deck--a huge economic factor for RCCL. Thus this behemoth ship was born. Its 15 decks are crammed with details. Every inch of the ship has been analyzed in detail. RCCL had at least nine different architectural firms that designed the shops, restaurants, kitchens, and rooms. Features include the world's largest roulette wheel, an ice skating rink, an aquarium bar where you are surrounded by tanks of fish, and a huge theater appropriately named La Scala.

Since its debut in November 1999, reviews have been mixed. This ship is more like an all-inclusive destination than a cruise. Its size actually takes away the sensation of movement for many vacationers--which can be good if you are seasick prone, bad if you love the feeling of sailing. The ship is filled with excesses in every area, and the designers incorporated extremism in many of their ideas.

Remember, cruise goers come in all shapes, sizes, ages and tastes. If you are looking for BIG, outlandish ideas, and a chance to escape reality for seven days, maybe you should consider the Voyager of the Seas.

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