Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas was the world’s largest cruise ship when it debuted in 1999, and its arrival marked the beginning of a new era of larger, more amenity-filled vessels at the line. At 137,276 tons, Voyager of the Seas initially was considered so large that it would never sail anywhere outside of the Caribbean. Still, as cruising has grown worldwide in recent years, Royal Caribbean has redeployed the vessel to Europe, Asia and Australia. Here, it’s docked in Sydney in November 2012. Voyager of the Seas was the first of five similar Voyager Class vessels that debuted between 1999 and 2003.
It can carry 3,114 passengers at double occupancy, with a total capacity of 3,840 passengers. One of the most notable features of Voyager of the Seas at the time of its debut was its width of 157.5 feet, which allowed for such groundbreaking new amenities as an interior, mall-like Royal Promenade. It was one of the first cruise ships that was too wide to fit through the Panama Canal. The main pool deck on Voyager of the Seas is home to one of the ship’s three pools and four of six hot tubs. Voyager of the Seas’ main pool deck is more than 150 feet wide with lounge seating spread over two decks. One of two large hot tubs on Voyager of the Seas’ main pool deck is reserved for adults.
Voyager of the Seas broke new ground in cruising when it debuted in 1999 with what at the time was an unusual number of deck-top activities such as rock climbing, now a staple of Royal Caribbean ships. Voyager of the Seas also offers a full-size basketball court, part of a deck-top sports complex at the back of the ship. A nine-course miniature golf course called Voyager Dunes sprawls around the back of the vessel’s top deck.
Another view of the Voyager of the Seas’ miniature golf course. Voyager of the Seas’ deck-top sports complex also is home to an inline-skating track. Table tennis is another deck-top activity.
A jogging track encircles the top deck of Voyager of the Seas, with five laps making a mile. Passengers staying in top suites on Voyager of the Seas receive special gold cards that give them access to private lounge areas near the ship’s main pool. A secluded sunning area located above the main pool deck. More outdoor seating atop Voyager of the Seas. A quiet seating area is located at the front of the ship, far from the main pool.
The Viking Crown Lounge, a hallmark of Royal Caribbean ships, overlooks the main pool deck. Royal Caribbean has placed signs around Voyager of the Seas’ pool areas that discourage passengers from saving chairs with personal items. The adult-only, Roman-themed Solarium is a quiet area near the ship’s spa that features a swimming pool, lounge chairs and two hot tubs.
Another view of the adult-only Solarium pool area. Voyager of the Seas sailed a series of cruises from China in 2012 for the first time, prompting Royal Caribbean to add Chinese language signage around the ship’s pool areas and elsewhere. Pool area signs also are available in English. Voyager of the Seas has a dedicated children’s area called Adventure Ocean that includes an outdoor play area called Adventure Beach. The Adventure Beach play area includes a small water slide for toddlers. Like a growing number of Royal Caribbean ships, Voyager of the Seas has an indoor/outdoor Johnny Rockets burger eatery.
Located near the ship’s arcade and teen lounge, it’s a popular hangout for the younger set on board. Located on Deck 4, an outdoor promenade offers passengers a quiet place to stroll, gaze out over the ocean and play shuffleboard. One of the great innovations found on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas is its four-deck-high interior Royal Promenade. The ship was the first of 10 at Royal Caribbean to debut with such a feature, made possible by the vessel’s width.
Voyager of the Seas’ Royal Promenade is home to bars, shops and food outlets. It serves as a central meeting place, or “town square,” for passengers on the ship. The champagne-serving Champagne Bar is located along the Royal Promenade on Deck 5. The bar area of the Champagne Bar. The Royal Promenade’s General Store sells everyday items including toiletries, albeit at a hefty mark-up from prices on land. The Scoreboard Sports Bar, located along the Royal Promenade, features televisions programmed to sporting events around the world.
A red Morgans sports car that once belonged to Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain sits in front of the bar. One of the most popular venues along the Royal Promenade is the Pig & Whistle, a British-style pub with indoor and outdoor seating. The Pig & Whistle features live music nightly and serves a wide range of beers including Guinness and Bass Ale. Shops along the Royal Promenade include a Coach store selling handbags.
A glimpse inside the Coach store on Voyager of the Seas. Cafe Promenade on the Royal Promenade serves small sandwiches, pizza and pastries at no extra charge. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream also is available for an extra fee, as are Starbucks coffee drinks. The sandwich and pastry counter at Cafe Promenade.
Just outside Cafe Promenade is an English phone booth that harbors an ATM machine. The 410-seat, Egyptian-themed Cleopatra’s Needle Lounge is home to live music and dancing nightly. The dance floor at Cleopatra’s Needle Lounge. Voyager of the Seas’ main showroom, called La Scala, seats 1,347 people and is home to Broadway-style shows, comedy acts and other entertainment. Voyager of the Seas’ hippest nightspot is the Vault Night Club, which is accessed through sliding doors one deck below the Royal Promenade. A seating area in the Vault Night Club.
Passengers must be 18 years old or older to enter. The Vault Night Club spreads out over two decks of the ship. The clubby, ship-themed Schooner Bar has seating for 150 people. Voyager of the Seas boasts a large casino, the Casino Royale. With a capacity for 500 passengers, Voyager of the Seas’ Casino Royale offers a wide mix of table games and slot machines.
The Casino Royale is located on Deck 4 of the ship. Just outside the neteller casinos on Deck 4 is the Aquarium Bar, which has an ocean theme. Skater Katarina Witt christened the Voyager of the Seas on Nov. 21, 1999. Located on Deck 3, Studio B is an ice skating rink that also can be transformed into a meeting area that seats 700 people.
Voyager of the Seas’ Art & Photo Gallery. Spread over three floors, Voyager of the Seas’ main dining room has space for 1,999 passengers at a time. Passengers can sign up for traditional fixed seating at the dining room or more flexible, come-when-you-want “My Time” seating.
There are two fixed seatings in the dining room: Early and Late. Voyager of the Seas has its own television studio for in-house productions shown on cabin TVs. At the very top of the ship, on Deck 15, is a chapel where vow renewals and other ceremonies are performed. Voyager of the Seas’ Video Arcade is near the children’s areas of the ship on Deck 12. The Video Arcade features air hockey, skee ball and a wide range of video games. Located near the Adventure Ocean childrens’ area, the Optix Teen Disco is an alcohol-free nightclub for passengers under the age of 18.
Voyager of the Seas’ two-deck-high Library doubles as an Internet cafe. The Windjammer Cafe is the ship’s casual buffet eatery, with seating for 300 people. Coffee, hot tea, iced tea, water and lemonade are available at Windjammer Cafe drink stations for no extra charge. Casual buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served daily in the Windjammer Cafe. The Windjammer Cafe is home to soft-serve ice cream machines.
The Vitality Spa & Fitness Center offers more than 100 treatments, including massages and acupuncture. An aerobics workout room and a fitness area also are part of the Vitality Spa & Fitness Center. Located at the top of the ship near its miniature golf course, the 19th Hole is a golf-themed bar with seating for 35 people. The Viking Crown Lounge on Deck 14 overlooks the pool area of the ship. It has a small dance floor, bar and lounge area and has room for more than 300 people.
Voyager of the Seas has 1,557 cabins, including 707 ocean-view cabins with balconies such as this one. Ocean-view cabins feature two twin beds that can be pushed together to form a king bed. Ocean-view cabins also have a sofa that often can be pulled out to make room for a third or fourth passenger.
Each ocean-view cabin includes a desk area with built-in drawers for storage and a flat-screen television. Electric kettles for boiling water for tea and instant coffee are located on cabin desks. Voyager of the Seas cabins have U.S.-style, double-outlet plugs located at the desk area. Every cabin on Voyager of the Seas has a mini-bar that is stocked with (extra-charge) sodas and alcoholic drinks. A bathroom in a standard ocean-view cabin.
Ocean-view cabin bathrooms have built-in sink areas, a toilet and a circular shower but no bathtub. The sink area in an ocean-view cabin. Showers in ocean-view cabin bathrooms have pump dispensers with shampoo.
Of 939 cabins with an ocean-view, 707 have balconies. The balconies feature two chairs and a small circular table. Cabin balconies on Voyager of the Seas are partially enclosed from the elements, as can be seen here in a picture taken while the ship was sailing in New Zealand’s Milford Sound. Every cabin on Voyager of the Seas has a safe located in a closet area. The front of Voyager of the Seas, as seen from the ship’s forward Observation Deck. Located on Deck 5, the Observation Deck is a good place to watch passing scenery.
It’s at the very front tip of Voyagers of the Seas an area not always open to passengers on cruise ships. Passengers gaze out over New Zealand’s glacier-carved Doubtful Sound from the Promenade Deck of Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. Emergency life rafts are located along the Promenade Deck, in addition to lifeboats. Receptacles for recyclable trash are a common site around Voyager of the Seas.
The business services lounge includes a staffed desk where passengers can book future cruises. The Guest Relations desk is staffed around-the-clock with crew members who can answer passenger questions about billing and other issues. Passengers can book shore excursions at the ship’s Explorations Desk, located on Deck 5 off the Royal Promenade. Voyager of the Seas also offer a small space for conferences and meetings held on board the vessel.
The Conference Center has room for 400 people. A stylized Voyager of the Seas sign overhangs the ship’s main pool deck. An orange Voyager of the Seas buoy. When seas get rough, seasickness bags appear on stairways throughout the ship. ATM machines are located in several places around the ship, including the Royal Promenade.