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Cruise Views

My 9-Iron Lies Over the Ocean

June 04, 1995|SHIRLEY SLATER and HARRY BASCH | Slater and Basch travel as guests of the cruise lines. Cruise Views appears the first and third week of every month.

You've done spas at sea, music festivals at sea, paddle tennis at sea. Now it's time for golf at sea. No, it's not an indoor golf simulator, putting green or miniature course with little windmills and castles, but a real--although somewhat small--18-hole course with water hazards, trees, roughs and sand traps, artificial heather and miniature trees.

The permanent, all-weather 6,000-square-foot course is atop Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's new Legend of the Seas.

Glass baffles protect the course from winds, and halogen lights illuminate it for night play. A sliding glass roof called the Crystal Canopy, which also covers the solarium and spa area, can be raised 10 feet and slid over the course, allowing play even in bad weather.

The 1,804-passenger ship is the first of a projected six ships in RCCL's new Vision Series, slightly smaller but considerably faster than the line's giant Sovereign of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas. It cruises at 24 knots as compared to the usual 20.

The show lounge, called "That's Entertainment Theater" is one of the best at sea, with excellent lines of sight throughout the room, an orchestra pit and a state-of-the-art technical system.

The least attractive area is the casino with gaudy Tiffany lamps and far too many pinging slot machines and neon lights.

Accommodations range from a huge royal suite (1,148 square feet) with a private veranda, separate bedroom and living room, and marble bath with Jacuzzi tub, to standard cabins at 138 square feet, 24 square feet larger than those on the line's mega-ships.

One of the two family suites available might appeal to a large family. There are two bedrooms, each with its own bath, a private veranda and sitting area.

After a series of inaugural events in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the vessel departs Vancouver on June 11 to begin seven-night round-trip sailings along the Inside Passage. After Sept. 17, the Legend of the Seas heads to Hawaii for RCCL's first-ever cruises there.

Fares for seven-night Alaska cruises range from $1,599 to $5,749 per person, double occupancy, plus air fare. The 10-night Hawaii sailings, one from Vancouver to Honolulu, the other between Honolulu and Ensenada, are priced from $2,899 to $6,749 per person, double occupancy, with air fare included.

For a brochure, see a travel agent or call RCCL at (800) 327-6700.

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