Voyager of the Seas Entertainment & Activities
Where do you even begin? It can be very hard to relax on Voyager of the Seas -- even on sea days -- because of the head-spinning array of activities that run from dawn to dusk and beyond! The ship's entertainment staff offers an intriguing blend of options, and everyone, from the most traditional passenger to the completely contemporary traveler, will find something to do.
Highlights? During the day, you'll find plenty of activities, such as bingo, dance lessons (salsa dancing), art auctions, seminars (on everything from healthy eating to gemstones), belly flop and sexy man contests, rock-climbing wall competitions, bridge play, jewelry-making workshops and films in the tiny cinema. Poolside, a live band occasionally plays a blend of Caribbean and American songs. However, Royal Caribbean does not offer much in the way of onboard enrichment.
Nighttime sees a similar variety of entertainment options. The gorgeous La Scala Theater is a state-of-the-art 1,347-seat show lounge inspired by the legendary one in Milan, Italy. Decor elements include a Murano glass chandelier and a stage curtain in velvet with jewel-like embellishments. Sightlines are excellent. It sets the scene for excellent Broadway-style production shows with a cast of 16 singers and dancers. The revues, including one with the music of Webber, Bernstein, Ellington and other greats, got enthusiastic standing ovations. The ice skating show is not to be missed, not only because of the skill of the cast of nine outstanding international skaters, but because, who in their wildest dreams would have thought that one would ever have a chance to see an ice-skating show at sea?
Things are jumping late into the night at High Notes with a DJ or party band playing pop and light rock until well after midnight. A guitarist entertains in the British Pig & Whistle pub -- anyone for a sing-along? For those who want to catch the big game, Scoreboard on the Royal Promenade and the Viking Crown Lounge area have satellite TV.
Voyager of the Seas Public Rooms
Punctuated by two atria, Voyager of the Seas' most compelling space is the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 -- a horizontal atrium that has the look and feel of an upscale shopping mall. There are designer boutiques, a sidewalk cafe, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream counter, a British-style pub and sports bar and even a red Morgan sports car, which used to belong to Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean's chairman and CEO.
A fabulous space, The Royal Promenade is four decks high, longer than a football field and wider than three lanes of traffic. There are no windows, but it's always dazzlingly lit up and sets the scene for dance parties at night.
A $10-million art collection graces the Promenade, 11-deck Centrum atrium, lounges and other public spaces. A notable piece in the Centrum atrium is “The Dancer & The Tutu” by Larry Kirkland, consisting of two integrated sculptures of stainless steel, aluminum cable, acrylic, glass and gold and silver leaf with transmitted lights.
Our favorite lounges were the nautical-inspired Schooner Bar (a staple on Royal Caribbean ships), the intimate Champagne Bar (seating for 52) for a pre-dinner glass of bubbly, and the Viking Crown Lounge (with seating for 335) up on deck 14 for panoramic views of the sea and port arrivals and departures. The Skylight Wedding Chapel is on the highest point of the ship (to echo the feelings of those using it?) located just above the Viking Crown Lounge.
The Aquarium Bar, whose tanks are filled with 56 tons of saltwater, was devoid of its beautiful tropical fish during our sailing as the tanks had undergone maintenance and it would be a couple of weeks before the fish could be returned to it, according to a crew member.
The Casino Royale has nearly 300 slots and tables for blackjack, craps, roulette and Caribbean Stud Poker. Internet access costs 65 cents a minute, or you can buy one of five packages of between 60 and 500 minutes for $35 to $150, respectively. The two-story library/Internet Cafe has a dozen computer stations, and Wi-Fi access is available at six onboard hotspots, including the Schooner Bar, Promenade Café and Solarium; unfortunately, Internet access is not available in cabins. Other public spaces include a card room, photo and art gallery, conference center and a movie theater hidden away on Deck 2. We would have liked to find a self-service launderette onboard, particularly in light of Voyager's new nine-night Caribbean itineraries, but alas there is none, so pack accordingly if you want to avoid laundry service fees.
Voyager of the Seas Spa & Fitness
Active sorts will find everything under the sun on Voyager of the Seas. You can practice your figure eights in the ice skating rink; try surfing on the FlowRider; play basketball or volleyball in the full-length sports court; climb to 200 feet over the sea in the rock-climbing wall (if you've never tried it, no worries -- they give you a lesson before you set off); and practice your golf swings at the 9-hole miniature golf and a golf simulator. The ship also has three pools, six whirlpools and a jogging track (four times around equals a mile). One interesting note: One of the pools and a whirlpool have hydraulic lifts for the disabled.
The 15,000-plus-square-foot, Steiner-operated Voyager Day Spa and Fitness Center has massage and treatment rooms; a relaxation area with sea views; full-service beauty salon; oceanview workout area with stereo and TV monitors; a spacious workout area with nearly two dozen treadmills, plus recumbent cycles, elliptical machines, free weights, and televisions; and an aerobics area with wood-suspended floor, mirrored wall, two large-screen TV monitors and wrap-around windows. One of the spa's nicest features is its round hydrotherapy pool. The spa offers a full menu of exercise classes including various levels of aerobics (some classes incur a $10 charge). Prices for treatments were on the high end -- a 50-minute massage and/or facial will set you back $120; a hair cut was $75 (plus automatically included gratuity of 15 percent). Specialty cosmetic services, including Botox (from $350) and Restylane (from $700) injections for wrinkles and tooth whitening treatments (from $149), are also available.
Adjacent to the spa is the spacious, 10,000-square-foot, adults-only Solarium, one of our favorite spaces onboard. It's themed to ancient Greece with statues and mosaics, a pool and two whirlpools. It is the perfect place for an indolent morning at sea.
Voyager of the Seas For Kids
The ship's Adventure Ocean club rates as one of the finest children's facilities afloat with indoor and outdoor play areas. Indoors, the play area offers computers with Internet access, a rock-climbing wall, videos, books, a large video arcade, crafts area and more. Outdoors, the children have shuffleboard, deck checkers, tricycles and tic-tac-toe, not to mention Adventure Beach with a pirate ship splash pool and water slide. Teenagers have their own club and disco, Optix.
Royal Caribbean's Adventure Ocean Youth Program is a free, year-round children's program for kids 3 (must be toilet-trained) to 17, organized into five age groups. Aquanauts (the program for ages 3 to 5) may feature activities like "Alphabet Scavenger Hunt," story time and Adventure Theater acting classes by Camp Broadway. Explorers (ages 6 to 8) play backwards bingo, make gummy candies and learn about local customs of their ports of call and engage in basic science activities. Voyagers (ages 9 to 11) take backstage tours, play "List-o-Rama" and engage in science experiments that range from earthquakes to hailstorms. Even the teens are divided into two groups. Ages 12 to 14 have "open-mic" karaoke contests and a rock-wall challenge. Ages 15 to 17 has its own dance parties and arcade competitions. In addition, Royal Caribbean has partnered with Fisher Price, Mattel and Crayola to offer a variety of kid- and family-friendly games and activities for all ages.
Babysitting is available in group settings in the Adventure Ocean club from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $5 an hour per child; children must be at least 3 years old.
A soda package for children up to 18 years of age allows unlimited soft drinks (prices based on cruise length; $31.50 for a seven-night cruise).