Hello cruise ship enthusiasts! The following text is especially aimed at Royal Caribbean addicts like me:
It is with great pleasure and pride that I announce you the re-opening of my personal website dedicated to the Voyager class of ships, Voyager-class.com I have been working on its update for about one month now, and I am sorry if its closing was bothering to any of you. This update is very important to me as it is probably one of the last, at least the last major one, simply because the Voyager class is now officially over, but also because I will have much less time on my hands during the next years to take care of it.
As some of you already know, Voyager-class.com is a wealth of information about Royal Caribbean's most popular ships, the Voyager-class ships: Voyager, Explorer, Adventure, Navigator and Mariner of the Seas. It is especially the largest online picture resource about these vessels - more than ever, with close to 13,000 pictures as of today.
The most noticeable element of the update is of course the addition the latest Voyager-class ship to its galleries, Mariner of the Seas, launched 10 months ago. Thanks to many cruisers, I was able to gather a few thousands pictures of this ship, and eventhough she has not been around as long as her sisters, she boasts a picture collection that has no reason to envy the others'.
But I also re-worked many parts of the website. Among the many changes, you will notice:
- in the "Design process" section, a comprehensive and extensive text entitled "Designing a newbuild at Royal Caribbean" going back to the designing phase of Voyager of the Seas, and a general description of the successive stages that are followed from the idea of a new ship to its construction. Pictures have also been added and the whole section has been re-organized. Finally, and I guess I could say this is "by popular request", the "Facts & Figures" page now features a detailed and illustrated list of the differences between Voyager, Explorer, Adventure and her two later sisters, Navigator and Mariner.
- in the "Construction" section, similarly to the "Design" section, I wrote a comprehensive text about the different phases of the construction of modern cruise ships like the Voyager vessels, with plenty of pictures to illustrate it. I hope you will find it interesting. Pictures have been added in the galleries, including some of the onboard fire that took place during Voyager's building.
- lots of new stuff in the "Exterior pictures" section, too! Access to the ports pages has been re-arranged so that you can easily find the one you're looking for among the many new itineraries, and each provide a direct link to the available shore excursions on the Royal Caribbean website. But it's in the rest of this section that the most noticeable enhancements have been made: instead of the "Exceptional places" page that used to be there, there are now two distinct sections: one for pictures taken at the shipyards, either in Turku (where the ships were built) or Freeport (where they undergo their dry-docking), and another for the pictures taken on the occasion of the inaugural seasons of the ships. For each ship, you will find details on their inaugural voyages, illustrated with lots of pictures. I also released two exclusive videos I made using the different webcam shots of Explorer leaving the port of New York City in October 2000! Finally "The ships & the sea" page now features a new gallery of pics of the ships' lifeboats.
- last but not least, I worked a lot on the largest section of the website, that is, the "Onboard pictures". In the virtual tour, you will be delighted to see more detailed and much larger deck plans of the ships. I modified the official deck plans provided by Royal Caribbean, so that the different corridors can be easily identified, and that many areas left blank are now clearly fixed. As far as the information pages are concerned, two major changes: for the cabins, the official Royal Caribbean layouts have been incorporated. And for the public spaces, the largest ones now boast "Artwork galleries". These galleries have been created to lighten up the huge photo galleries of these public spaces. They can be reached via the main artwork gallery or directly from each public area page -where they are listed among the "related pages" links (another new feature). Another little detail: there is a video that I shot on Explorer in one of the Aft Centrum's glass elevators, going up from deck 1 to 14. I certainly hope it will bring back memories to some of you like it did to me! You can download it from the Aft Centrum page. To end with, I expanded and enhanced greatly the crew spaces section. Unlike the rest of the website, the galleries are not organized according to the ship, but according to the photographed area. I hope the ones who are interested will enjoy it... I will not get into details here, everything being so new - will just add that you can get there from the "Photo galleries" page.
I'd also like to remind you that Voyager-class com also features a message board on which you are free to ask questions or share information, a guestbook to leave your opinion on the website and a mailing list to stay up-to-date with the website evolution - which is guaranteed spam-free. The support page is still there, as there are still (unbelievable but true) missing pictures needed to complete the website.
Now about the credit page: I need your attention here. I used many many pictures from the Web, especially of Mariner of the Seas. It is very clear that if I had taken the time to look for every photographer's email, to ask them their permission to use their pictures, to wait for their replies, etc... I would never have finished this website on time. So, considering the fact that so far all but one person accepted to let me use their pictures, I have taken the liberty to use some without asking their photographer's approval. Now, if you find any of your picture(s) on my website and have not been contacted, just email me and I will add you the credit list as soon as possible (not prior to August 27 as I will be away from home until this date). I certainly hope you will not be irked by the use of your pictures, as they are here to inform other cruisers about the ship they'll spend a lot of money to stay on from 4 to 10 days. I always consider that if you put them online in the first place, it is mainly for the same purpose. To end with, you don't have to been concerned about being seen on a picture by strangers (!), as I have taken the habit to blurry people's faces on the pics.
Finally, if you find any error/broken link/missing picture or page, etc... you must absolutely tell me!!! I will correct it ASAP. I was surprized to see there was a number of errors in the previous version of my website that noboday had ever told me about!
That's all I had to say about Voyager-class.com... get there soon and don't forget to sign the guestbook if you enjoyed it! (and even if you didn't)
Now a little off topic, but for those of you that are also interested in my imaginary cruise ship (Project Paradise)... I have been working on it during the past few weeks, but it requires more work than what I originally expected. That's why I don't expect the new version to be released before early September, maybe even later... just wanted to let you know I have not given up!
Whew! Thanks for reading this until the end! Make sure to let me know what you think of my work.
[ 08-02-2004: Message edited by: Malcolm @ cruisepage ]