Planning a cruise on Wonder of the Seas? There are a few things you should know before you book a cruise on this mega ship.
Wonder of the Seas is the newest ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet of 26 vessels, and she is a popular choice for a Caribbean vacation. With eight distinct neighborhoods, mind-blowing entertainment, and an abundance of family-friendly activities, the ship makes an ideal vacation for those in search of a fun getaway.
Like any cruise ship, it’s helpful to do a little research ahead of time to avoid any surprises once onboard. Knowing what to expect when it comes to the ship’s size, activity offerings, dining choices, and entertainment will better help you plan your vacation.
Sure, you can board a ship having done no prior research, but it’s in your best interest to be at least a little prepared for a Royal Caribbean cruise.
If you’re hoping to book a cruise on Wonder of the Seas, here are six things to know.
Wonder of the Seas is the biggest cruise ship in the world, and she sails 7-night Caribbean cruises from Florida
Wonder of the Seas is currently the world’s biggest cruise ship.
What does it mean to be the world’s largest cruise ship? Here are a few stats:
- Wonder of the Seas weighs 235,600 gross tons
- She is 1,188 feet long and 215 feet wide (362 meters long and 65 meters wide)
- Her total guest capacity is 7,084 and she has 2,867 cabins
- There are 18 decks on Wonder of the Seas, 16 of which are accessible to passengers
Because of her size, Wonder of the Seas is among Royal Caribbean's most family-friendly ships. She features activities like a zip line, laser tag, waterslides, mini golf, a surfing simulator, and rock climbing wall.
Outside of these thrills are activities including karaoke, live music, production shows, trivia, and comedians. On the world’s biggest cruise ship, there are endless ways to spend your day, leaving no passenger feeling bored.
Wonder of the Seas currently sails from Port Canaveral, Florida. She offers primarily 7-night roundtrip itineraries visiting either the Western or Eastern Caribbean, with port stops including St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Wonder of the Seas has several design differences compared to her four sister ships in the Oasis Class
Most of the layout and activity offerings on Wonder of the Seas are the same as other ships in the Oasis Class. The ship still features an outdoor Boardwalk neighborhood with a carousel and AquaTheater, a Central Park with live plants, and a spacious Royal Promenade with shopping, restaurants, and lounges.
Despite similarities, Wonder of the Seas is not a carbon copy of her Oasis Class sisters.
On the sports deck, you’ll find just one FlowRider surf simulator instead of two. In its place is the Wonder Playscape, an underwater-themed playground for young children with small slides, climbing nets, and playground games.
Additionally, a new bar called The Vue replaced what would be a second cantilevered hot tub on the pool deck. This bar is one of the best places onboard to watch sailaway, as it jets off the side of the ship offering sweeping views both day and night.
Speaking of the pool deck, the Wonder of the Seas pool deck has a revamped layout compared to other Oasis Class ships. Not only does the pool deck have a Caribbean resort-style theme, but it features private casitas, a Lime and Coconut Bar, and the largest TV screen on any Royal Caribbean ship.
The pool deck’s adults-only Solarium is fully indoors, another difference from other Oasis Class ships, allowing for more climate control compared to the usual open-air spaces.
Most differences on Wonder of the Seas are positive, and they won’t make an impact on your overall cruise experience. If you’re a hardcore FlowRider surfer, though, it might be best to book a ship with two FlowRiders for more surfing time.
The Mason Jar, Royal Caribbean’s signature southern cuisine restaurant, is only available on Wonder of the Seas and you should try it
Some restaurants on Royal Caribbean are found on nearly all ships, such as Chops Grille and Izumi. Others, however, are found on only a few ships in the fleet.
One such restaurant—found only on Wonder of the Seas—is The Mason Jar. In comparison to the international cuisines typically found at Royal Caribbean’s specialty restaurants, The Mason Jar’s menu is curated from dishes from around the American South.
Open for brunch and dinner, you’ll find everything from chicken and waffles to red velvet pancakes, blackened cajun catfish, and chicken pot pie on the menu. The unique offerings, inspired by dishes from Louisiana to Kentucky and beyond, are unlike any dishes you’ll find elsewhere onboard.
Many passengers on Wonder of the Seas do not dine at southern cuisine restaurants often at home, making it a special occasion when on the ship.
In addition to the restaurant itself is The Mason Jar Bar, which serves up southern-inspired cocktails like a PB&J Old Fashioned and Mississippi Moonlight. Small bites are also available to order from the bar without dining in the restaurant, including crab beignets and a crispy chicken sandwich.
A southern band plays country tunes most evenings of the cruise as well, and the bar is among the most popular places for a late-night hangout onboard.
The Mason Jar is a specialty restaurant, meaning it comes with an extra cost on top of your cruise fare. Brunch has a cover charge of $24.99 and dinner will set passengers back $39.99. Small appetizers and sandwiches ordered at the bar range from $3-9 each.
If you’re staying in a suite, it doesn’t get better than Wonder of the Seas
Of all ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Wonder of the Seas offers the most impressive suites-only areas.
Oasis Class cruise ships have seven neighborhoods, all of which have a different theme and are designed to spread out crowds around the ship. Neighborhoods include Central Park, where guests can relax among nature, and Entertainment Place, home to theaters and live performances each evening.
On Wonder of the Seas, however, there are eight neighborhoods, the eighth of which is the Suite Neighborhood. In the past, ships had a few suites-only areas scattered around the ship, including a Suite Lounge and Suite Sun Deck.
With Wonder of the Seas, Royal Caribbean wanted to put all suites-only areas in one place, thus creating the Suite Neighborhood. In the Suite Neighborhood you’ll find a Suite Lounge, Coastal Kitchen suites-only restaurant, and expansive Suite Sun Deck with a private plunge pool, bar, and comfy loungers.
Wonder of the Seas’ Suite Neighborhood is the closest you’ll get to a “ship within a ship” concept on Royal Caribbean, and it’s truly a luxurious enclave on an otherwise busy cruise ship.
Wonder of the Seas does not have a Broadway show, but there’s no shortage of entertainment
Several of Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ships, including the first four ships in the Oasis Class, feature a Broadway show in the theater. Whether Mamma Mia, Cats, Hairspray, or Grease, watching a Broadway show is a favorite activity among cruise fans.
If you enjoy attending Broadway shows on Royal Caribbean, you may be surprised to find out that Wonder of the Seas does not have a Broadway show. Instead, the ship features original productions in the theater, ice-skating rink, and AquaTheater.
Luckily, the lack of a Broadway show does not mean there’s not quality entertainment onboard. In fact, we’d argue Wonder of the Seas has the best productions in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Broadway show or not, you should make a point to see as many shows as possible during your week on the ship.
In the AquaTheater you’ll find InTENse. As the name implies, this show features an intense performance of high diving, slack lining, tightroping, acrobatics, and synchronized swimming by an all-female cast.
The ice-skating rink, Studio B, is home to the production of 365: The Seasons on Ice, which transports guests to all four seasons through technology-driven set design and professional performers. You’ll almost certainly be amazed watching the cast perform backflips, triple axels, and aerial performances on ice!
In The Royal Theater you’ll find the original production of The Effectors II: Crash n’ Burn, telling the story of a band of superheroes fighting their arch-nemesis, Crash. Although the storyline might sound cheesy, the combination of technology, drones, singing, and dancing makes this show a must-see while onboard.
Aside from these three main shows are smaller production shows and live music around the ship. Despite the lack of a Broadway show, there is more than enough entertainment to enjoy on Wonder of the Seas—it will be practically impossible to see it all in just one week.
The Windjammer on Wonder of the Seas is the biggest in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, but there are plenty of other options
One complaint you’ll often hear about Oasis Class ships is that the Windjammer buffet is too small, but this isn’t the case on Wonder of the Seas.
When Royal Caribbean designed the Oasis Class, they designed the ships with a wide selection of complimentary dining venues such as El Loco Fresh, Solarium Bistro, and Park Cafe. In theory, the cruise line thought that increasing the amount of dining venues would decrease the amount of guests eating at the buffet.
As a result, they designed the Windjammer on Oasis Class ships to be smaller than what would usually be expected for such a large vessel. What they later realized, however, was that guests still wanted to dine at the buffet despite the other options available.
Taking customer feedback into consideration, Royal Caribbean designed the Windjammer on Wonder of the Seas to be the largest buffet in the fleet. The Windjammer wraps around the entirety of the aft of deck 15 and is better suited to the amount of passengers onboard.
If you’re a Windjammer fan, you’re sure to find the buffet on Wonder of the Seas to be less crowded and chaotic compared to other Oasis Class ships.
Not a buffet fan? The good news is that, like other Oasis Class ships, there are many dining options available that are included in your cruise fare. Outside of the Windjammer, guests can dine at the following venues:
- Main Dining Room
- Solarium Bistro
- Park Cafe
- Cafe Promenade
- Sorrento’s Pizza
- Boardwalk Dog House
- El Loco Fresh
- Vitality Cafe
- Coastal Kitchen (suites only)
- Room service (continental breakfast only)
- Johnny Rockets (breakfast only)