Royal Caribbean is known for having the largest cruise ships in the world, and today its fleet just got a little bigger.
The cruise line took delivery of Wonder of the Seas from the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Marseille, France. With the transfer, Wonder now becomes the largest cruise ship in the world, barely edging out its sister-ship Symphony of the Seas.
“Wonder of the Seas will energize cruising in a bolder and bigger way. Adding this ship to our already best-in-class fleet elevates the company in continuing to lead the industry with new features and innovation,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. “This is one more way that we’re delivering world-class and memorable vacations, responsibly, to guests around the world.”
Coming in at 236,857 gross tons and 1,188 feet long, Wonder has roughly 9,000 more tons than Symphony of the Seas, despite being the same length. It also marks the fifth entry into Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class, with a sixth ship — yet unnamed — due sometime in 2024.
Wonder of the Seas’ delivery to the cruise line comes after nearly three years of construction, with work that started before the pandemic was even a thought. And while the health crisis created the biggest challenge the industry has ever faced, cruising has proven resilient and ready to continue moving upward with new ships like this one.
Wonder features a number of favorites found on other Oasis-class vessels. This includes its famous “split” design that allows for more open-air space on the vessel. You’ll also find favorites like the Aqua Theater, Central Park, the Ultimate Abyss, FlowRider, multiple pools, the Solarium, and more.
But Royal Caribbean has also introduced numerous new features. This includes a new Suite Neighborhood with its own sun deck and plunge pool. Kids can enjoy the new Wonder Playscape at the back of the ship. There is The Vue Bar, which is a cantilevered bar on the pool deck with ocean views (in place of a whirlpool on other Oasis ships). Cantina Fresca — a Mexican-themed bar — now joins El Loco Fresh. And The Mason Jar, focused on southern cooking, also makes its debut.
Anyone who has ever been on an Oasis-class ship knows that they offer an experience unlike any other cruise ship in the world. (See our thoughts on this group of ships here.) Wonder of the Seas promises to continue that tradition.
“Wonder of the Seas represents a new step forward in the Oasis Class ships. Our teams have worked under difficult conditions but in a very united way to finally make major changes that enhanced the ship performance,” said Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “Wonder is really an outstanding new ship.”
If you’re ready to sail, you don’t have to wait long. The ship makes her debut in Fort Lauderdale on March 4, where it will sail 7-night cruises to the Caribbean until May. From there the ship will head to Europe, sailing from Barcelona and Rome during the summer.
Want a chance to cruise stateside again? Wonder of the Seas returns to Port Canaveral in November.