Seago­ing gi­ant is like a float­ing city

One of the 10 big­gest cruise lin­ers on the wa­ter, this leviathan of a ves­sel is al­most a des­ti­na­tion in it­self, writes Brad Crouch

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - CRUISE VOYAGER OF THE SEAS -

mall full of shops, cafes, bars and more. It is so big, so busy, that I walked through sev­eral times be­fore I re­alised there was a gleam­ing red Mor­gan sports car parked out­side the pub.

Char­ac­ters from Kung Fu Panda were parad­ing down the mall thor­ough­fare, much to the de­light of as­sorted chil­dren. And AFL and NRL games were on the mul­ti­ple TVs in the sports bar, even though this par­tic­u­lar cruise trip was in wa­ters off China.

There is a rock-climb­ing wall, in-line skate track and a bas­ket­ball court. And my favourite, an iceskat­ing rink.

Yes, on an ocean-go­ing liner there is an ice-skat­ing rink where you can skate or en­joy lav­ish ice-danc­ing shows in the 900-seat arena.

Keep wan­der­ing and you’ll come across the two-storey night­club, the 1350-seat Broad­way-style the­atre, the 14 bars rang­ing from a cham­pagne bar to a sports bar, and the 11 din­ing op­tions on a ship where the qual­ity and quan­tity of food is ex­cel­lent.

A favourite is the 1950s-style Amer­i­can diner Johnny Rock­ets – the burg­ers and onion rings are su­perb, but it is the singing staff and Happy Days nos­tal­gia trip that re­ally makes it worth a visit. The me­ga­liner even has a florist – handy if you de­cide to use the wed­ding chapel.

There are kids’ and teens’ clubs, three swim­ming pools and six whirlpools, shops and casino, deca­dent day spa and well-equipped fit­ness cen­tre, 1556 cab­ins and in­ter­net cen­tre, mini golf course and golf sim­u­la­tor . . . the list goes on.

While the ship will visit plenty of in­ter­est­ing ports dur­ing its maiden sea­son here, a ves­sel this size and with so many fa­cil­i­ties is truly a des­ti­na­tion in it­self, one that takes time to ex­plore. It is so big it can ac­tu­ally get tir­ing walk­ing around – it can be a long way back to your cabin if you for­get sun­glasses or sun­screen when re­lax­ing by a pool.

How­ever, there is al­ways some­thing to grab your at­ten­tion for a pit stop along the way, from live bands to a chat with new friends.

Dur­ing a sea­son largely fo­cused on cruises from Sydney to New Zealand, Voy­ager will have maiden calls at Port Hed­land on Fri­day, Fremantle the fol­low­ing Mon­day, Ade­laide on Novem­ber 9, Mel­bourne on Novem­ber 11, Ho­bart on Novem­ber 13 and Sydney on Novem­ber 22, each visit cer­tain to at­tract cam­era crews and cu­ri­ous on­look­ers.

Among the itin­er­ar­ies – which are mainly 14-night cruises and in­clude South Pa­cific is­land cruises – there is a one-night ‘‘ sam­pler’’ cruise next month from Sydney for a taste of me­ga­liner cruis­ing.

Sounds fine in the­ory but se­ri­ously, this ship is so big, and with so much to see and do, a two-day trip would barely scratch the sur­face – even if you had a scooter on which to zip around. The writer was a guest of Royal Caribbean In­ter­na­tional.

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