When Royal Caribbean International's Wonder of the Seas began cruising in spring 2022, it snatched the title of the biggest cruise ship at sea from its sister vessel, Symphony of the Seas. At 1,188 feet long, the new 17-deck ship can accommodate more than 6,000 guests plus 2,300 crew.
Guest cabins number close to 3,000 and are offered at a wide variety of price points, from inside cabins to balcony cabins and several categories of opulent suites. Its most extravagant suite, the Ultimate Family Suite, can sleep ten and features its own private water slide for children. Some of this ship's inside cabins provide floor-to-ceiling displays along one wall, providing the illusion of an ocean view.
Wonder of the Seas, homeported in Barcelona for its first summer season and in November 2022, will reposition to Port Canaveral, in Florida's Space Coast, where it will offer a winter series of Bahamas and Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises of varying lengths. A three-day Bahamas cruise, for example, in November starts at $550 per person, double, while a seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailing starts at $1,153 per person.
Central Park, Broadway Neighborhoods Return On Wonder Of the Seas
The new ship, one of Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class vessels, features many of the same design elements as other ships in the Oasis series, including the popular Central Park and Broadway neighborhood concepts. The open-air Central Park area was modeled on New York's Central Park and is home to more than 20,000 plants, plus eateries and boutiques. Cruisers can take a seat at the Rising Tide bar, which slowly rises and falls between Central Park and the Royal Promenade.
The Broadway neighborhood also is an open-air space, and it is designed to look like a seaside pier, complete with a colorful carousel, a sports bar, an arcade, candy and ice cream outlets, and several dining choices.
Wonder Of The Seas Debuts The Suite Neighborhood
Wonder of the Seas introduces the cruise line's luxury Suite Neighborhood, a designated area specifically for Royal Class Suite guests. Perks include a private Suite Sun Deck featuring a plunge pool and bar, a new eatery called Coastal Kitchen, and the Suite Lounge. The Ultimate Family Suite is located in this section of the ship and, besides its water slide, also offers two-level living, a private cinema, multiple flatscreen TVs, a large balcony, and three bathrooms.
Other new features aboard Wonder of the Seas include the Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar, where diners can enjoy southern cuisine, live country music, and various southern cocktails. The Wonder Playscape is a new area for families with children and offers play areas, water slides, climbing walls, and other activities for youngsters.
Royal Caribbean also catered to teens when it designed Wonder of the Seas to include an exclusive space called Social100. Teens can listen to music, watch movies, and enjoy an outdoor patio with lawn games, a juice bar, and a dedicated whirlpool.
Several popular features from the line's other Oasis-class ships are found on Wonder of the Seas, too, including the FlowRider surf simulator, the Perfect Storm waterslide trio, the Ultimate Abyss water slide, the SplashawayBay aqua park, and a 10-story zip line. An ice-skating rink, casino, and karaoke room also are featured on Wonder of the Seas.
The ship's Vitality Spa and Fitness center offer guests a Thermal Suite featuring heated ceramic lounge chairs plus saunas and steam rooms. Cruisers can choose from around 50 facial and body services such as massage, facials, and acupuncture treatments. This space also houses a beauty salon and barbershop, as well as a gym with exercise machines.
Entertainment spaces include four stages, including the AquaTheater, where performers deliver aerialist and high-diving shows. Other entertainment options feature cabarets, rock bands, and superhero battles.
Dozens Of Dining Options Offer Something For Everyone
Dining is an important part of any cruise, and Wonder of the Seas features more than 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges. Service in the main dining room is included in the cruise fare, while the majority of the specialty dining choice charge an additional per-person fee.
Among the specialty dining options are Hooked Seafood, offering coastal cuisine inspired by classic New England fares such as Maryland crab cakes, lobster rolls, fresh oysters, mussels, and other seafood favorites.
A long-time Royal Caribbean favorite, Giovanni's Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar features dishes such as meatballs in Sardinian-style sauce, osso buco, and hand-tossed pizzas.
The elegant 150 Central Park restaurant will require reservations, as it's one of the most sought-after dining options.
Izumi Hibachi & Sushi offers cruise guests a wide selection of sushi rolls and Asian appetizers along with seafood, steak, and chicken dishes. Selections from the eatery's teppanyaki menu are prepared table-side by the chef.
El Loco Fresh is a casual dining option for breakfast dishes such as eggs and hashbrowns and lunch items including Mexican tacos, quesadillas, and burritos.