What to expect on Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas
By Sara Macefield | 10 Jun 2022
Royal Caribbean International has raised the stakes with the biggest ship in the world, but what can you expect on board?
As we drive into the port for Barcelona, it’s easy to spot Wonder of the Seas moored up in pole position – such is its size, this vast behemoth dwarfs all other ships around it.
It isn’t surprising when you consider that the newest addition to Royal Caribbean International’s fleet, which made its European debut in May, is the world’s largest ship and boasts a jaw-dropping array of onboard attractions.
More resort than cruise ship, the world’s newest wonder – as it’s billed – is like a floating slice of Las Vegas. Big, bold and some might say brash, this pumping powerhouse is the fifth of RCI’s giant Oasis-class ships, carrying up to 6,988 guests (though the more regular double-occupancy total is 5,734) and 2,300 crew.
Despite having sailed on its predecessors, I’m still awed by the scale of this leviathan with its Royal Promenade shopping street and vast deck areas encompassing the pastoral greenery of Central Park, where you don’t even feel you’re on a ship.
In addition to an adrenaline-pumping mix of waterslides, climbing walls, a zipwire and 10-storey Ultimate Abyss slide, guests can choose from 11 bars and lounges and sample 22 dining spots, nine of which are complimentary. So far, so similar to previous Oasis-class ships.
Wonder of the Seas, however, has arrived with its own USPs. There’s a new Suite Neighbourhood comprising a VIP deck area with bar and pool that accompanies a suite-only lounge and Coastal Kitchen restaurant. It also encompasses 175 suites, with the top retreat being the Ultimate Family Suite – it even has its own slide – though the two-level Royal Loft Suites are pretty swanky too.
Diners can sample The Mason Jar, a new speciality haunt serving treats of America’s Deep South, from fried green tomatoes and shrimp ’n’ grits to twice-fried Oreos.
Guests can catch sunset vistas from The Vue, a colourful new cantilevered pool bar, but it’s the revamped deck area and children’s underwater-themed Wonder Playscape that underlines this ship’s family credentials.
Youngsters will find plenty to amuse, but the overwhelming choice of activities and incredible line-up of entertainment, from ice-skating displays and innovative stage shows to thrilling high-dive acrobatics, ensures this floating giant can keep all ages enthralled.
Wonder of the Seas will spend this summer in the Med before returning to the US in November, where it will be based year-round in Port Canaveral, Florida, for Caribbean and Bahamas cruises.
Book a cruise on Wonder of the Seas
A seven-night round-trip Western Mediterranean cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome), on September 29, 2022, starts at £770 per person, based on two people sharing an interior stateroom. For more details, go to royalcaribbean.com