|Its all about ships
PROFILE AND REVIEW
Cruise line profile - Royal Caribbean - Voyager class - profile and review
Above: Explorer of the Seas
Above: Voyager of the Seas (photo
courtesy of Royal Caribbean).
Above: Freedom of the Seas.
Below: Liberty of the Seas.
Above left: Explorer of the Seas in Zeebrugee, Belgium.
Above right: Adventure of the Seas at Cape Liberty cruise port in New Jersey.
Below left: Navigator of the Seas in Southampton, England..
Below right: Mariner of the Seas off Coco Cay in the Bahamas..
Left: Navigator of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International's Voyager class includes Voyager of the Seas,
Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of
the Seas. These are large resort-style ships capable of hosting approximately 4,000
passengers at full capacity.
The Voyager class ships offer passengers a wide array of choices with regard to
activities, dining and entertainment. This has been an evolutionary process as the
ships have been up-dated several times to include versions of features premiering on
Royal's latest ships.
In general, activities are action oriented. There is not much emphasis on cultural
pursuits or enrichment. These are family-friendly ships with a significant number of
features and programs for young cruisers.
The décor of the public areas is bold and upbeat. Each ship, however, has an
extensive collection of contemporary art.
In general, the passenger cabins are good quality but not luxurious.
Voyager of the Seas was the largest cruise ship in the world
when she entered service in 1999. Furthermore, she was an
innovative ship. Running down her centerline was an indoor mall
with bars, shops, and dining venues. This Royal Promenade also
served as an entertainment venue, hosting parades and street
parties. Other innovations included an indoor ice skating rink
where ice shows are presented. Voyager also was the first ship to
have a rock climbing wall, which is located aft of the funnel.
In October 2000, Voyager was surpassed in size by Explorer of
the Seas. Explorer offered the same array of features as Voyager
but also took on the role of n oceanographic study ship, hosting a
laboratory run by the University of Miami. This study role ended
shortly after the ship was deployed to New York as the first RCI
ship to be based there year round. In preparation for being
deployed to China, Explorer received a $100 million
refurbishment in 2015, one of the most extensive Royal had done
up to that point. The planned deployment to China did not take
place Instead, the ship served the Australian market before
eventually returning to the United States.
Adventure of the Seas entered service shortly after the
September 11, 2001 attacks. She was the first cruise ship to enter
New York harbor after the attacks and was named by New York
Mayor Rudolph Guiling. Her godparents were members of the
New York City Fire Department and Police Department.
A slightly enlarged version of the Voyager design premiered in
2002 with Navigator of the Seas. Whereas the balconies on the
first generation Voyagers are flush with the sides of the ships, the
balconies on the second generation project out slightly.
The final Voyager class ship was Mariner of the Seas, which
entered service in 2003. After serving in Asia for several years,
Mariner returned to the United States in 2018, pausing to have an
extensive refit in Spain. This added new specialty restaurants and
replaced the outdoor in-line skating area with a surfing simulator.
All of the Voyager class ships were built
in Turku, Finland. They range in size
from 137,226 to 139,999 gross tons.
Six diesel electric engines provide
electric power to motors housed in three
propulsion pods located under the stern.
One of these is fixed but the other two can
turn 360 degrees thus giving the ships
good maneuverability. There are also
four bow thrusters. The ships are not
speed queens but can cruise at a
respectable 22 knots.
Above: Mariner of the Seas.
Right: Adventure of the Seas.