By Michael Coleman
VENICE, Italy, July 29, 2011 – Voyager of the Seas, a marvel of engineering, foresight and ingenuity, still shines bright just over a decade after her launch.Once the world’s largest cruise ship — it took three years and some 10 million man hours to build before it debuted in Nov. 1999 — the amenity-filled vessel which first introduced a rock climbing wall and ice skating rink at sea remains a timeless vacation haven.
It spawned an unprecedented building boom in new, large cruise ship construction — five other Royal Caribbean fleet mates alone are larger today — but the 3,114-pasenger, 137,276 ton ship was ultimately the blueprint for which others followed.
Spanning 14 passenger decks and with some 1,557 staterooms, the large ship still features plenty of charm and there’s no shortage of things to keep passengers occupied from dawn to dusk.
There’s the Royal Promenade, an indoor “main street” stretching nearly the full length of the middle of the ship, lined with places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained; “Studio B” Ice Rink, an ice skating rink for guests that doubles as a cozy, 700-seat venue for ice show productions with world-class figure skaters; and 11 dining venues including specialty restaurant “Portofino” for classic Italian fine dining, a 50’s inspired American diner “Johnny Rockets”, plus Voyager’s most stunning eatery, its grand, three-story, 1,919-seat main dining room.
Sports facilities onboard include the line’s signature rock-climbing wall, an inline skating track, a nine-hole mini golf course, a golf simulator, a sports court, three swimming pools and six whirlpools.
Passengers aboard her Mediterranean voyages this summer are also enjoying the cruise line’s signature Viking Crown Lounge, the Schooner Bar, Casino Royale, a 1,400-square meter Voyager Day Spa & Fitness Center and in the evenings they are treated to Royal Caribbean Productions’ award-winning Broadway-style musical revues.
Younger guests, meanwhile, are being entertained and enlightened in the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean and teen programs, with scheduled activities led by college-graduate counselors beginning from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Careful kids, Mum and Dad might still be awake!