MS Splendour of the Seas

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MS Splendour of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Splendour of the Seas was built in France for Royal Caribbean in 1996, the second or 6 “Vision” Class ships. These ships, although similar in design, differ in that they were designed to fulfill different purposes, and came out of two different shipyards, each with its own proprietary method of ship building. Thus, while the six are similar in design, they are not true sisters.

Splendour, like her twin, Legend of the Seas, was built for world wide cruising. Cabins were enlarged from previous Royal Caribbean vessels to provide passengers the additional space necessary for longer cruises. For the first time on a Royal Caribbean ship, speed was important, so the engines were located amidships, to obtain a better balance leading to increased speed. The ship is capable of doing 25 knots, although not without some vibration throughout. Normal cruising speeds of 22 knots provide a comfortable, vibration, free ride. The excess speed comes in handy for outrunning storms, a plus when cruising outside of the sheltered waters of the Caribbean.

Splendour and Legend represent an un-compromised design concept by Royal Caribbean. This is the ship Royal Caribbean would build if the controlling factor was not the bottom line of an income statement! Of the six Vision Class ships, Legend and Splendour cost significantly more money, and have a smaller passenger capacity than those that came afterward. Those ships suffer from concessions made to the accountants to maximize profits: They are longer, with 10% more passengers; The glass walled dining rooms, sadly, were casualties to make room for the additional diners. (The balcony continues to have a glass wall, but the lower level has huge round windows. Nice, but without the visual impact of the two story windows on Splendour!)

Splendour, along with her sister, Legend, are now the only two ships in the fleet without a promenade deck that completely circles the ship. I suspect the potential speed of these ships had designers nervous about safety, so they were eliminated. Unfortunate! The ship nears perfection except for this one detail!

Splendour of the Seas is 69,130 tons. 867 feet long. 105 feet wide with a 24.5 foot draft! She is registered in Norway with Norwegian Officers and an International Crew. Power comes from diesel electric motors. As with all Royal Caribbean ships, Njal Eide provided the interior design. (Passengers can also see their work in some areas of Princess’s Sun, Dawn, Sea, and Ocean Princess. Passengers who have sailed on ships of Royal Caribbean will immediately recognize the rooms to their credit!)

Splendour of the Seas has one twin sister, Legend of the Seas. Other ships in the Class include: Rhapsody and Vision, which come from the same French shipyard, and Grandeur and Enchantment which were built in Finland.

Copyright © 1998 Mel Litzenberger. All Rights Reserved

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