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
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.