Royal Caribbean to Lengthen Enchantment of the Seas

July 29, 2004
Royal Caribbean has announced that Enchantment of the Seas, launched in 1997, is slated to undergo extensive renovation -- and lengthening. A new midsection, measuring 73 feet, will be inserted into the Vision-class ship, increasing its overall length to 990 feet and its tonnage from 74,140 to 80,700.

For passengers, this means a lot -- including the addition of 151 extra staterooms and a number of brand-new indoor and outdoor public areas, such as fleet-favorite lounge Boleros, and a Latte'tudes coffee shop (featuring a Ben & Jerry's ice cream bar). Pre-existing areas are set to receive attention too, including the ship's pool deck, main dining room, casino, fitness facility and day spa.

Enchantment of the Seas is not the first ship to receive royal renovation treatment from the cruise line. In fact, it's the fourth in a recent series: Monarch of the Seas underwent major renewal in early 2003, Nordic Empress was unveiled with a new name -- Empress of the Seas -- just this May, and Sovereign of the Seas is next up to bat, with renovations expected to be completed this fall.

Royal Caribbean has been on a campaign to renovate older ships, while other lines are opting to just get rid of them. This may be because simply "upgrading" a ship can cost much less than introducing a new-build, yet still creates extra revenue and consumer fanfare. Lengthening a ship is not uncharted water for the company, either. Royal Caribbean was the first-ever cruise line to try their hand at extending a ship -- in 1978, the company inserted an 85-foot section into Song of Norway.

Enchantment's new section will be built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards, and inserted into the ship at the Keppel Verolme Shipyard in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The ship is scheduled to leave service for renovations between early May and early July 2005.