Wonder of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world and the latest in Royal Caribbean‘s record-breaking Oasis-class, has made her debut in the United States a month after she was delivered in Europe.
Wonder of the Seas arrived in Port Everglades this week to a fire-salute from local tug boats and a crowd of spectators on the shore.
The 236,857-gross ton cruise ship is marginally larger than her most recent sister ship, Symphony of the Seas, which is 228,081-gross tons, and carries several hundred more passengers, with a maximum capacity of 6,988.
Wonder of the Seas is the fifth ship in the Oasis-class, and will spend her inaugural cruise season sailing roundtrip from Port Everglades to the Caribbean on 5- to 7-night itineraries.
The Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises will all call at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s recently redeveloped private island.
In May, she’ll reposition back to Europe, sailing 7-night Western Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona, Spain and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.
In November, she’ll cross the Atlantic again, returning to the US to homeport in Port Canaveral, sailing 6- and 7-night roundtrip Caribbean itineraries.
“The Wonder of the Seas will energise cruising in a bolder and bigger way,” said Jason Liberty, President & CEO of Royal Caribbean Group.
“Adding this ship to our already best-in-class fleet elevates the company in continuing to lead the industry with new features and innovation,” he added.
While Wonder of the Seas shares many similarities with her fleet mates, especially Symphony of the Seas, she also debuts a number of new features and amenities, such as an eighth neighbourhood.
Sister ships Oasis, Allure, Harmony and Symphony of the Seas all feature seven distinct onboard neighbourhoods, but Wonder of the Seas will include an eighth one called Suite Class.
The Suite Class Neighborhood offers Royal Suite Class guests an elevated Suite Sun Deck, plunge pool, bar and plenty of loungers and nooks, essentially a ship-within-a-ship luxury experience similar to that offered in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Haven and MSC Cruises’ Yacht Club.
There’s also an underwater-themed play area for kids onboard called Wonder Playscape that features slides, climbing walls, games, puzzles, an interactive mural activated by touch, as well as scenic views.
A new cantilevered pool bar called The Vue offers panoramic ocean views from high above on the pool deck by day and a colourful mosaic canopy overhead by night.
There’s only one Flowrider surf simulator, because of the new Wonder Playscape, but the pool area has been reimagined with the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides and the resort-like Beach Pool on the starboard side, while over on the port side, the kid-friendly Splashaway Bay can be found.
Two additional swimming pools are located farther aft, adjacent to Royal Caribbean’s tropical pool deck bar concept The Lime and Coconut, while guests will, of course, find the Ultimate Abyss slide that cascades dramatically down Wonder of the Seas’ stern, from Deck 16 to Deck 6, all the way aft.
Wonder of the Seas also retains many of the features that have become synonymous with the Oasis-class ships and others in the fleet, such as Rising Tide Bar, the robotic Bionic Bar (which first debuted aboard Quantum of the Seas in 2014), an indoor ice-skating rink and popular bars like the Schooner Bar and Boleros.