Ever since my first cruise back in 1989 aboard Chandris Fantasy Cruises, I have always marveled at what a magical experience a cruise vacation could be. I was invited to be aboard the largest cruise ship in the World, Wonder of the Seas, for her inaugural cruise, now almost thirty years after my first cruise. I have always admired Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class from its inception, but this would honestly be my first chance to experience a cruise aboard this class of ship. So what did I think? Let’s start at the beginning.
To say I was impressed would be an understatement. The embarkation process honestly had to be the fastest I ever could imagine. No, I didn’t have any unique line or media pass either. I had completed the pre-cruise check-in on the Royal Caribbean App before leaving home, and before I knew it, I was walking onboard the ship. I thought they might make me sit down somewhere because I arrived at the port earlier than the “boarding time” indicated on my boarding pass.
The Ship – Wonder of the Seas
In a word, WOW! The overall design and engineering are so impressive. You can see one of these ships from afar; you can look at photos or watch videos, but until you walk this entire ship, it’s hard to understand what it’s genuinely like to be on the largest cruise ship in the World.
Here are some of her measurements, to name a few. She has a total guests capacity of 6,988 and 2,300 total crew members. The ship is 236,857 gross tons, 210 feet wide and 1,188 feet long. She is so large she has eight different neighborhoods that include a large variety of dining venues and bars. They even have one bar that is a robot, called the Bionic Bar. Also, don’t let me forget to tell you that the Central Park neighborhood features well over 20,000 natural plants.
For the first time, I genuinely felt we were in a resort and not on a cruise ship, and it was a good thing. Every corner of this ship had a thoughtful design and purposeful attention to detail.
During the cruise, I stayed in balcony cabin 6690. We enjoyed this stateroom because it has a spacious balcony with two chairs (including footrests) and a small table. It had plenty of storage and featured a split closet design on both sides of the bed. I found this very functional and helped keep everything organized. The bathroom had a thoughtful design and featured an enclosed shower with a door. One feature we enjoyed the the built in USB charger and 110v outlets into each bedside lamp on both sides of the bed. These were very convenient. The cabin also featured a nice sized refrigerator along with a comfortable desk with more outlets and charging capabilities for all of our electronics.
The crew members aboard Wonder of the Seas made me feel welcomed, and they genuinely were happy to be back on board and working again. Their big smiles and warm greetings showed me how I missed the “Washy, Washy” greeting! Our cabin steward Gede was exceptional and spoiled us daily. Being the largest cruise ship in the World, Wonder of the Seas has 2,300 international crew members. Though we don’t remember all their names, they indeed wowed us with excellent service and big smiles during our inaugural seven-night cruise.
One of the big standouts is the enclosed solarium on this ship. This area is completely enclosed and has heating and cooling depending on the climate. One day we sailed into a strong rainstorm, and we looked over the ship’s bow as we sailed directly into it. I couldn’t help to think that this wouldn’t be possible on the other Oasis Class ships in the fleet. Everyone would have had to leave. On Wonder of the Seas, guests continued to relax and enjoy their books and relax in this great space onboard.
This ship includes a large variety of complementary and specialty (paid) dining options. My first stop was to try a German Brat with sour kraut and mustard at the Boardwalk Dog House. It was good, and I liked how you could choose from a standard hot dog bun or a heartier roll. One thing I enjoy about cruising is being able to sample the many food choices and variety. One thing to note is Wonder of the Seas has the largest Windjammer Cafe of any current Royal Caribbean ship, and I hear this will be the standard design for Oasis Class ships moving forward.
Playground for Families
I loved how thoughtfully designed this new playground was for little kids for family fun. Convenient benches for adult spectators make for a great family time together. The Wonder Playscape features an underwater-themed play area for kids with slides, climbing walls, games, an interactive mural activated by touch, and imaginative puzzles. As a parent, I love this option for parents and grandparents with children who want to play all day. Just be warned; your little one may not want to leave this fun-packed place.
More To Come
Stay tuned for more of our Wonder of the Seas coverage. We look forward to bringing you a video ship review and much more. You can follow Cruise Addicts on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok (Username @CruiseAddicts on all three). You can also watch our live streams and more from our YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.