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Voyager of the Seas

New Orleans cruise terminal expansion will finish in time to welcome Voyager of the Seas


The City of New Orleans has been hard at work refurbishing and expanding its Julia Street Cruise Terminal so that New Orleans can put itself back on the map as a cruise line hub and give The Crescent City a shot in the arm after Hurricane Katrina decimated the cruise business here.

The good news is officials working on the project expect the work to be complete just in time to welcome Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas.

Port of New Orleans spokesman Chris Bonura is excited to welcome one of Royal Caribbean's massive liners to New Orleans, "It's the largest ship that we've ever home-ported here in New Orleans.  It's 1,020 feet and it holds approximately 3,110 passengers."

Voyager of the Seas still a hit after a decade


Believe it or not, Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas has been in operation for over a decade now, having debuted in November 1999 and Jackie Roseboom wrote about how well the Voyager Class namesake has held up over the years.

Voyager of the Seas was a real catalyst for Royal Caribbean as Roseboom points out, "It spawned an unprecedented building boom in new, large cruise ship construction – five other Royal Caribbean fleet mates alone are larger today."

Of course, there's still plenty to do on Voyager of the Seas from ice skating, to shopping, to great specialty restaurants.  Even though the ship may be over 10 years old, it's still a crown jewel in Royal Caribbean's fleet.

Adriatic excursions on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas


Robin Robinson posted a summary of the excursions on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas Adriatic Sea itinerary.  This cruise itinerary is a departure from the traditional Mediterranean cruises most people consider so Robinson decided to see what it was like.

Some highlights if the cruise include

  • Koper, Slovenia
    A peek into a medieval town, Koper and nearby Piran offer an authentic look at these seaside villages.  
  • Ravenna, Italy
    Famous for its mosaics and World Heritage sites, Ravenna has a lot to offer from historical sites to Royal Caribbean's Racing Legends shore excursion, this tour also visits the Ferrari Museum in nearby Modena.
  • Venice, Italy
    Royal Caribbean offers an overnight stay in Venice so you can experience this historic city by day and by night.

Royal Caribbean planning major cruise fleet upgrade


Royal Caribbean is planning a spending spree to upgrade its fleet of cruise ships over the next three years to help keeps its older ships competitive in the cruise market.  

This $300 million revitalization called "Royal Advantage", will allow most of its Vision, Voyager and Radiance class vessels to get a series of upgrades including

  • Restaurants from Oasis Class of ships
    • Chops Grille steakhouse
    • Rita's Cantina Mexican restaurants
    • Izumi Restaurant (sushi)
    • Chops Grille (Steak house)
    • Park Café (sandwiches and salads)
    • Boardwalk Doghouse (brats and wieners)
  • New cabin designs
  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
  • Wi-fi throughout ship
  • Digital Wayfinding Systems
  • Oversized LED video screens on pool decks

There's more planned but no details are available quite yet.  These changes sound quite similar to the changes that have already been made to ships such as Radiance of the Seas mostly recently.

These overhauls will require each ship to enter into a lengthy drydock process where the ship will get its upgrades.  The schedule of upgrades are as follows

  1. Splendour of the Seas - November 2011
  2. Rhapsody of the Seas - March 2012
  3. Grandeur of the Seas - May 2012
  4. Serenade of the Seas - November 2012
  5. Legend of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  6. Vision of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  7. Navigator of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  8. Voyager of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  9. Explorer of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  10. Adventure of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  11. Brilliance of the Seas - 2013 or 2014

We know that the overhaul for Splendour, Grandeur and Serenade of the Seas will take place in Cadiz, Spain after Royal Caribbean signed a deal to have those ships rehauled there last month.

Royal Caribbean also mentioned that Independence of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas will receive smaller, less significant upgrades.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein is excited about the changes that will help keep the cruise line competitive, "The Royal Advantage revitalizations takes many of the best features that we have created in recent years and introduces them across our fleet, offering our guests enhanced vacation choices around the world."

Photo of the Day: Voyager of the Seas


Photo by Carlos Carvalho

Two country music themed cruises in January 2012


If you're a country music fan, there are two Royal Caribbean cruises in January 2012 that could be perfect for you.

First up is "Country's Family Reunion and Larry's Country Diner Cruise" aboard Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas that departs January 16, 21012.  This five-night cruise to the Western Caribbean will feature Country Music stars

  • Gene Watson,
  • Larry Gatlin
  • Moe Bandy
  • T. Graham Brown
  • Barbara Fairchild
  • Teea Goans

The cruise will also include activities such as

  • 4 live shows (2 CFR shows and 2 LCD shows)
  • An exclusive cocktail party to meet the stars
  • Opportunities for photos, autographs and signings
  • Country music workshop

Another country music cruise is setting sail on January 28, 2012 aboard Voyager of the Seas out of New Orleans. The "Opry Country Classic Cruise" will feature  country music stars such as

  • Jean Shepard
  • Jeannie Seely
  • Jan Howard
  • Mandy Barnett
  • T.G. Sheppard
  • Host: Ralph Emery

Some of the onboard activities are

  • private shows where the artists perform their own hits as well as country classics throughout the wee
  • country karaoke
  • mingle during an exclusive cocktail party
  • meet the artists you enjoy

New Zealand excited to welcome Voyager of the Seas


New Zealand officials are excited for the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas in 2012 as it's confirmed that the largest ship to ever cruise the region will be making a stop in Dunedin.

It was speculated that Dunedin would be a stop a few weeks ago and with the itineraries announced for Voyager of the Seas' visit to Australia and New Zealand earlier today, people in the Kiwi nation are excited.

Royal Caribbean indicated that the first visit to Dunedin will be on November 17, and will visit the city five more times after that.

Dunedin Chief Executive of Tourism, Hamish Saxton, thinks the cruise industry is doing well and the fact Voyager of the Seas is now going to visit Dunedin is further endorsement of the burgeoning New Zealand cruise market.

"The frequency of the trips to New Zealand and the inclusion of Dunedin is terrific news.

Cruise arrivals are continuing to grow, particularly after some more challenging years, [and] the growth in cruise ship passengers is tremendous." Dunedin had previously coped well with cruise arrivals totalling more than 5000 passengers, Mr Saxton said.

"This ship going to be a spectacular sight in our spectacular harbour."

Details for Voyager of the Seas cruises in Australia released


Royal Caribbean announced last month that Voyager of the Seas would be sailing to Australia for the 2012/2013 season and since then, many fans have wanted to know more details about these sailings so Royal Caribbean has released more details about what we can expect.

Voyager of the Seas will kick off its Australian cruise season on November 23, 2012 and will offer 12 cruises out of Sydney and Fremantle, Australia  This first cruise will begin (and eventually end its run in Australia) with a 14-night repositioning cruise between Singapore and Perth, Australia with stops in Thailand and Vietnam.

Itineraries include four 14-night New Zealand itineraries along with shorter cruises to Tasmania and Fiji.  There's also two 18-night voyages between Fremantle and Sydney, taking in southern Australia along with Milford Sound in New Zealand.

Adam Armstrong, Royal Caribbean's commercial manager, is excited for the debut of Voyager of the Seas down under, "Voyager of the Seas will not only be the biggest ship based here but she also introduces unique concepts never before experienced at sea in the region".

In addition to Voyager of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and the recently refurbished Radiance of the Seas will return to Australia as well for their own set of cruises.

Radiance of the Seas will also operate out of Sydney and Fremantle and offer passengers 10-night cruises to Queensland over the holidays of Christmas and Easter.  They will also offer five night "sampler cruises" to Newcastle and Brisbane.

Rhapsody of the Seas will offer 12 cruises to the South Pacific region along with four 11-night voyages to Tropical Queensland.

Behind the scenes look at Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas


South African web site IOL took a behind scenes look at Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas to get an idea of how this mega ship operates on a day-to-day basis.

Voyager of the Seas Captain Frank Martensen characterized the ship as, "We're a small town. Well, we're not quite that small. We have employees from 60 countries around the world. Every culture, every religion, every one of the major languages is represented here.”

In terms of the food served, sous-chef Martin Jordan has opinions on what people like, "Americans like large portions with a lot of meat. Germans need to have vegetables. Spaniards only take very little, but go to the buffet half a dozen times. With them, the meal lasts forever."

Stocking Voyager of the Seas for longer cruises can be a challenge according to Simon Wiig, “On trans-Atlantic trips it is a challenge. On the Mediterranean we have at most one full day at sea, but if we run out of cheese in the middle of the Atlantic, who is to get some more?”

Wiig did jest about what could be the biggest problem to run out of, “It would be a small catastrophe to run out of beer or wine in the middle of the Atlantic. That never happened so far though".

Voyager of the Seas stocks 16 tons of beef and almost as much chicken for trans-Atlantic cruises, along with 70 tons of pork. In addition, more than 3 tons of lobster, 10 tonnes of mussels and oysters and 3 tons of salmon are needed.

Esther Nagel is responsible for the laundry needs of the staterooms on Voyager of the Seas and claims "About 15,000 pieces of clothing, everyday,” are laundered by her staff.

Wondering how much a server makes on Voyager of the Seas?  Captain Martensen says, “A good waiter makes $4,000 a month. Tax free!”

Royal Caribbean kicks off July 4th sale on select cruises


If you're looking to get away this summer on a Royal Caribbean cruise, there may be a cruise on sale for you.

The "Bring a Friend" offer allows curent Crown & Anchor Society members to bring guests new to Royal Caribbean with them on a cruise and receive $25 onboard credit per stateroom, up to five rooms per sailing.  You must book by July 31.

Royal Caribbean has placed select ships on sale as well, most notably Voyager of the Seas' Adriatic Sea sailings where the 7-night itineraries in July and August 2011 can get you  $2,000 of ChoiceAir credit for a Suite stateroom, $500 for a Balcony stateroom, $400 for an Ocean View stateroom, and $300 for an Interior stateroom.

In addition, there are deals on four, five and seven night sailings in the Western Caribbean on Jewel of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.  These ships sail out of Tampa, New Orleans and Galveston and prices start at $896 per quad-occupancy stateroom from November 2011 through April 2012.

Seven night cruises to Alaska on the Radiance of the Seas are also available at $649 per guest from August 5 through September 9, 2011.