Jaddie & Becky Do The Western Caribbean

Becky and I took a vacation cruise during her spring break this year (2001). We cruised the western Caribbean aboard the largest passenger ship afloat—Royal Caribbean’s Voyager Of The Seas—to Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico. This was our third cruise. In 1996 we took a three-day cruise to Nassau and Key West. In 1999 we cruised the eastern Caribbean aboard Carnival’s Paradise to San Juan, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and St Thomas. Cruising is our favorite way to vacation. The ships are beautiful, service is incomparable, entertainment is excellent, and the food—oh, the food is positively outstanding!

Voyager of the Seas Top Left Voyager of the Seas Top Right
Voyager of the Seas Bottom Left Voyager of the Seas Bottom Right

Adorned with over US$12 million of art, Voyager Of The Seas is easily the most opulent ship Becky and I have personally seen. Every inch Voyager is exquisite—and there are a lot of inches of her! Ships are commonly measured by weight and Voyager tips the scales at 145,000 tons, which makes her the largest passenger ship afloat (this status will change, as the cruise lines are building ever-larger ships). Voyager is 1021 feet long, 158 feet wide across her beam, and features fifteen decks. She can accommodate over 3100 passengers and approximately 1000 crew. Many US cities aren’t this large.

The three signature features of Voyager are her ice skating rink, rock climbing wall, and five-story theatre. Becky skated but neither of us did any rock climbing. We enjoyed the La Scala theatre many times, as the nightly entertainment was held there. Voyager also features miniature golf, an in-line skating park, a Johnny Rockets restaurant, two very elegant three-story dining rooms, a large main pool and hot tub area, an adults-only pool and hot tub area, a full-service spa, well-equipped gym, and sixteen glass elevators. Each night we had dinner in the Carmen dining room, which featured a replica chandelier from the USS Titanic.

Map of Cruise Route

Our seven days aboard Voyager passed in what seemed like an instant. Voyager departed from Miami and sailed for two days before arriving at our first destination, Labadee, Hispaniola, Haiti. Labadee is a scenic island that’s owned or leased by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. We left Labadee late Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Ocho Rios, Jamaica on Wednesday morning. We were scheduled to stop in Georgetown, Grand Cayman on Thursday, and stop we did, but we didn’t get off of the ship due to complications in procuring the proper equipment for the tenders. (Tenders are smaller boats that transport passengers between ship and shore.) The captain made the announcement that we weren’t going to debark in Georgetown, offered free drinks as a consolation, and then set sail for Cozumel. We spent Friday in Cozumel and Playa del Carmen and at dusk pointed Voyager’s bow toward Miami. It’s a two-day cruise from Cozumel to Miami.

Boarding Ship Top Left Boarding Ship Top Right
Boarding Ship Bottom Left Boarding Ship Bottom Right

This photo was taken behind a glass before Becky and I boarded Voyager. We were awed by Voyager’s size as she awaited her 3000 guests for the week. Once we boarded the ship, we put our carry-on items in our stateroom and headed for the Windjammer Café for lunch. After enjoying lunch with a magnificent view of the Miami cruise district and taking a walk around the ship, we returned to our stateroom for a nap.

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Page posted November 4, 2001