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Old 09-29-2004, 03:43 PM
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Found this of interest and thought others might also:

September 28, 2004 - ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL GOES TO NEW LENGTHS TO OFFER INNOVATIVE, UNEXPECTED EXPERIENCES FOR GUESTS


Enchantment of the Seas Lengthening to Include Suspension Bridges, Bungee Trampolines, Additional Dining Options

MIAMI, Sept. 29, 2004 – Royal Caribbean International will go to new lengths in 2005 to offer guests unforgettable new ways to experience the sea – and sky – aboard its Vision-class ship, Enchantment of the Seas. The ship, which is slated to be stretched in spring 2005 with a new 73-foot midsection, will feature suspension bridges, an overhanging bar offering spectacular panoramic views, and bungee trampolines that send guests soaring into the air high above the ocean.

Built in 1997, Enchantment of the Seas will be the third ship in the company’s history to be lengthened, the first in 25 years. The new midsection will add 151 staterooms, for a total of 1,126, and give the company space to introduce a wide range of new features for guests to enjoy.

“When we began talking about stretching a ship, we knew the goal had to be more than just adding staterooms,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We wanted to create a new opportunity to offer innovative and unexpected activities and amenities to our guests. We also wanted to increase the dining options available on Enchantment by including a specialty restaurant and additional venues that will be announced in coming months.”

One of the most striking additions to Enchantment of the Seas will be two suspension bridges on Deck 10, spanning more than 75 feet on either side of the Pool Deck below. Supported by dramatic arches, the bridges will cross over two new areas of the Pool Deck, which will jut out past lower decks to overhang the water. Each of these deck areas will be edged with 14-foot-high sheets of glass, offering outstanding views. They also will feature peek-a-boo windows in the floor that give glimpses down to the ocean. The overhanging space on the port side will feature a new island bar, while the starboard side will house a stage for poolside musical entertainment. In total, the main pool area will expand by nearly 50 percent, with two pools, four whirlpools and a new interactive Splash Deck for kids. The circular Splash Deck will feature 64 water jets on the floor, along the perimeter and on a central dome.

Forty of the jets are connected to an interactive touchpad system, letting kids spray each other or create their own fountain effects. At night, the area closes to become a decorative fountain with a fiber-optic light show.

Guests looking for an active vacation and a little adventure will appreciate Enchantment’s new Sports Deck. The company is offering guests another way to reach new heights: In addition to the line’s signature rock-climbing wall, Enchantment of the Seas will feature four bungee trampolines. Guests strap into a harness connected to two bungee cords that will help them head skyward, while keeping them safely centered when they come in for a landing on the trampolines. Located at the front of Deck 10, the bungee trampolines will reward the adventurous with unparalleled views of the sea, ship and sky.

The jogging track will offer a new challenge as well, with a new vitality course, including four fitness stops. In between laps on the quarter-mile track, runners can pause to jump rope; work their arms, back and stomach at the sit-up/press-up bars; strengthen their legs at a step-up station; and cool down with a series of suggested stretches.

Toward the aft of the ship, sports fans will find two “ball zones,” each with three basketball hoops of different heights to accommodate youth, teen and adult shooters. Shooting lanes will be marked before each hoop. At the far back of the ship, guests can test their skills on Enchantment’s rock wall, or visit the ship’s fitness center, which will be expanded during the renovations. The Enchantment Day Spa, one deck below, also will be expanded with five additional treatment rooms, including a couples massage room.

Renovations Extend Throughout the Ship
Belowdecks, guests on the renovated Enchantment will find additional entertainment and shopping options. The line’s popular Boleros bar concept will appear on Deck 5, with a Latin American flare, including a glass dome ceiling reminiscent of a Mayan sunburst. Guests will enjoy live Latin jazz in the evenings along with regional drinks such as mojitos and caipirinhas. Next door, Enchantment’s Casino Royale will be expanded with additional slot machines, while up on Deck 6, the shopping area will be enhanced with new boutiques, including a Fossil® watch store, a fine jewelry store and a photo electronics retail shop. Also on Deck 6, guests will be invited to browse through the extended art auction gallery and photo gallery, complete with new digital photo kiosks from which they can choose their souvenir cruise photos.

Guests looking for a pick-me-up will be able to swing by the new Latte’tudes coffee and ice cream shop. In addition to offering specialty espresso drinks from Seattle’s Best Coffee® and Ben & Jerry’s® ice cream, this new area will feature computer terminals for Internet access. Additional renovations will include a new Loyalty Ambassador lounge for guests who wish to book future cruises while onboard, as well as a refurbished, 100-seat conference center. New accessibility features will be added throughout the ship, including improved thresholds and ramps, as well as pool and Jacuzzi lifts, access to the Splash Deck and a lift to the bungee trampoline area. In addition, the new staterooms will include two family staterooms that will sleep six.

Enchantment’s main dining room and Windjammer Café will be expanded to accommodate the new ship capacity. Additional dining options, including a specialty restaurant, are in development and will be announced in future months.

Special Sailings from the Northeast
The new midsection for Enchantment of the Seas currently is under construction at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Turku, Finland, while the actual lengthening and overall refurbishment will take place at the Keppel Verolme Shipyards in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in spring 2005. Enchantment will return to service in July 2005 with a series of sailings from the Northeast before returning to Fort Lauderdale in October to resume her regular short Caribbean itineraries. On July 7, she will offer a four-night cruise from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., to Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by a six-night cruise on July 11 to Boston, Bar Harbor and Halifax.

From July 19 to Aug. 21, she will sail from Philadelphia, offering one five-night cruise to Bar Harbor and Halifax, followed by five seven-night sailings to Martha’s Vineyard, Bar Harbor, Portland and Halifax. On Sept. 4, Enchantment begins a series of three seven-night cruises from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, Bar Harbor, Portland, Halifax and Saint John, New Brunswick.
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Old 10-03-2004, 09:12 AM
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Thanks Nancy for the info. That may help in making my decision on the trip with my family in Feb 2006 on the Enchantment. We are a 35 to 40 yrs of age range and if we can purchase tickets now this far in advance what a deal that would be with all the upgrades. One can assume the prices will increase after they are finished.


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Old 10-03-2004, 03:01 PM
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You're welcome. Actually, I posted a response to your survey regarding recommendations of the 3 ships you were considering and voted for Enchantment. Interestingly I made the recommendation having forgotten about this innovative refurbishing. Now, there is no question which of the 3 I would opt for.
Nancy
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