MIAMI -- When Royal Caribbean International stretches the Enchantment of the Seas next year, it will take the opportunity to add a few unique amenities to the ship.
A 73-foot midsection will be added, increasing the ship’s length to 990 feet.
One prominent new feature will be an outdoor bar and band shell on the pool deck, a space that is expected to be festooned with lights and come alive at night as a new nightclub under the stars.
The jogging track on Deck 10, above the pool, will be altered to incorporate two suspended walkways that will overlook the nightclub scene below.
The pool area will be bigger, and it will include a new kids’ splash pool that will at night convert to a funky fountain with colored streams of water.
And if cruisers already have climbed Royal Caribbean’s signature rock-climbing wall, they should check out the line’s latest adventure-sports activity: bungee trampolining, which will be available on Deck 9.
Royal Caribbean Cruises CEO Richard Fain and his executive new-build team gave Travel Weekly a preview of the Enchantment’s new look during a recent visit to RCCL’s design offices in Miami.
Fain, Harri Kulovaara, senior vice president of fleet operations and Kelly Gonzalez, director of new-building design, revealed computerized renderings, small-scale mock-ups, fabric swatches and a wall of blueprints for the project, which will be completed during a 30-day drydock period at the Keppel Verolme yard in Rotterdam, Netherlands, next May.
The executives agreed that an extension is, in many ways, more complicated than building a ship from scratch. The Enchantment project was in the planning stages for more than a year-and-a-half before Royal Caribbean signed a contract to have the work done.
“This is a massive undertaking, Fain said. “It’s a huge construction project.”
The suspended walkways will be steel suspension bridges that, in profile, look almost like giant dorsal fins. They will arch over parts of the pool deck. Fain said the look “gives you a visual break without losing the fluidity of the wide-open space.”
The bar, band shell and seating area will be protected from the sea by 12-foot-high glass panes.
Talking animatedly about the pool deck, which will be expanded by about 15%, Fain showed the 360-degree images on his computer. “You can see how dramatic that is,” he said. “As you can tell, we’re quite excited about this.”
Inside the elongated Enchantment will be 151 new staterooms and a number of new public spaces, including Boleros, a Latin-themed lounge that will be adorned in orange and green; a bigger art gallery; and Lattetudes coffee shop. The line also plans some changes to its spa and fitness area.
There will be new, dining-related concepts on the Enchantment. For example, Royal Caribbean plans to add what Gonzalez called “grab-and-go” stations in the Windjammer Cafe, where passengers can pick up a snack to take back to their deck chairs. Also, the dining room will be refurbished.
Royal Caribbean last week was taking proposals on an as-yet-undisclosed direction for a 110-seat alternative restaurant for the ship, which will replace a lounge on Deck 6 that Fain said was underutilized.
Then Fain moved down the table from the computer to the bungee-trampoline model.
Thrill-seeking passengers, adults and children alike, will be suspended in harnesses and bungee cords. Then they can bounce on one of the four huge trampolines arranged on a platform at the top of the ship.
Participants will be privy to some incredible views over the sides of the vessel during their upward bounce -- if they remember to concentrate on the view instead of the enormous lift they will be getting from the bounce.
Fain said Royal Caribbean tested the bungee trampolines in a wind tunnel and said the product is safe for use on a moving ship. “The bungee keeps you centered over the trampoline,” he said.
We were on the Enchantment last January and our waiter told us they were going to cut the boat in half and make it bigger. I didn't know if we should believer her. Thought maybe there was some kind of misunderstanding. I think it's amazing. Has this ever been done to a ship before?
Song of America Dec '90
Starship Majestic May '89
Sovereign X 5
Majesty Jul '01
Enchantment X 4
Regal Empress Dec '02
Mariner May '07 April '08
Grandeur Feb '08
Inspiration Oct '08
Radiance of the Seas Oct '10