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Royal Caribbean takes delivery of world's largest cruise ship

27 Jan 2022
Matt Hochberg

The newest and largest cruise ship in the world is officially part of Royal Caribbean's fleet.

Wonder of the Seas was delivered to Royal Caribbean on Thursday, following three years of construction.

Shipyard builder Chantiers de l’Atlantique joined Royal Caribbean executives in a  traditional flag-changing ceremony in Marseille, France.

Welcoming Wonder to the Royal Caribbean family was Royal Caribbean Group Chairman Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley, and Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty talked about the addition of Wonder of the fleet, "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."

"This is one more way that we’re delivering world-class and memorable vacations, responsibly, to guests around the world."

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley was equally excited, "Taking delivery of Wonder of the Seas is the culmination of 30 months of ingenuity and partnership across more than 2,000 committed crew members and workers who are among the best at what they do."

"Along with taking the revolutionary Oasis Class ships to a new level of wonder, innovation and adventure, Wonder sets the stage for the spring and summer vacations families and all travelers alike are looking forward to in the new year. The combination of brand-new features and favorites that span thrills, entertainment, dining and nightlife is unparalleled, and it’s what will make our latest and most innovative ship the world’s newest wonder and the ultimate vacation in the Caribbean and Europe."

New features on Wonder of the Seas

Wonder of the Seas may be the fifth Oasis Class cruise ship, but she is certainly not a carbon copy of her sister vessels.

Royal Caribbean designed the ship to incorporate a number of changes and new additions that were previously not seen on other Oasis Class ships.

Suite Neighborhood – The new, eighth neighborhood offers Royal Suite Class guests an elevated Suite Sun Deck in a new location, complete with a plunge pool, bar and plenty of loungers and nooks to kick back; along with favorites such as Coastal Kitchen, the private restaurant; the Suite Lounge, and the largest Ultimate Family Suite yet to host a family of 10.

The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar – The new hotspot serves up southern staples and new twists on classics for brunch, dinner and in the late night, including savory johnnycakes, southern fried chicken, crab beignets, and shrimp and grits. Completing the experience is live country music, farmhouse-style decor, a collection of American whiskeys and spiked shakes.

Wonder Playscape – The underwater-themed play area for kids is a whole new adventure with slides, climbing walls, games, an interactive mural activated by touch and imaginative puzzles.

The Vue Bar – The happiest of happy hours can be found at the new cantilevered bar that offers panoramic ocean views by day, and after sunset, it shines bright with a colorful mosaic canopy.

Caribbean Pool Deck – At the center of the Caribbean vibes is The Lime & Coconut, alongside the trio of high-speed waterslides, The Perfect Storm; kids aqua park Splashaway Bay, Casitas, in-pool loungers, live music; and more.

El Loco Fresh and Cantina Fresca - The grab-and-go spot for Mexican delights, like made-to-order tacos, burritos and quesadillas, now debuts Cantina Fresca. The dedicated bar serves a selection of "aguas frescas," margaritas and other Mexican staples.

Of course, Wonder will still feature other well-known Royal Caribbean staples such as:

  • Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
  • The Ultimate Abyss slide
  • Newly designed, dedicated kids and teens spaces at Adventure Ocean, Social100, and The Patio
  • FlowRider surf simulator
  • Twin rock-climbing walls
  • Central Park neighborhood

Plans for Wonder of the Seas

With Wonder now part of the Royal Caribbean fleet, she is poised to begin service with a busy 2022 calendar.

Her inaugural sailing will take place on March 4, 2022 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  She will sail to the Caribbean from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale between March and April 2022. The 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries include visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau, The Bahamas; Roatan, Honduras; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Starting in May, Wonder heads to Europe to offer 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises will visit ports such as Naples and Florence, Italy; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Provence, France.

After her summer season, Wonder returns to Florida to offer year-round sailings in November 2022, when she sails from Port Canaveral. Destinations range from Perfect Day at CocoCay and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Cozumel, Mexico.