Royal Caribbean International has officially taken delivery of the largest cruise ship in the world, Wonder of the Seas.
Marking the completion of three years of construction, the traditional flag-changing ceremony took place today in Marseille, France, with shipyard partner Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
“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,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
Wonder of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s fifth Oasis-class vessel, and each became the world’s largest cruise ship with their debut. The ships are iconic not only for their size, but also for their unique “neighborhood” zones — particularly Central Park and the Boardwalk which feature open-air “interior” spaces.
Wonder will feature a brand-new zone that isn’t on the other ships, called the Suite Neighborhood. It will be an exclusive complex for passengers staying in suites, similar to The Yacht Club on MSC Cruises or The Haven on Norwegian Cruise Line. Another new concept debuting on this ship will be a southern cuisine specialty restaurant called The Mason Jar, complete with live country music and a front porch.
Other highlights of Wonder of the Seas include a reimagined aft AquaTheater for high-dive shows, the ten-story Ultimate Abyss slide, an ice skating rink, casual Mexican venue El Loco Fresh with its own dedicated bar, and Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar specialty restaurant. The vessel will also feature an underwater-themed play area for kids called Wonder Playscape.
The ship is set to debut on March 4 with a seven-night Caribbean cruise from Port Everglades. During its inaugural year, Wonder will call several ports home: Fort Lauderdale (March to April), Barcelona and Rome (April to October), and Port Canaveral (year-round beginning in November).
In the Caribbean, the ship will operate both eastern and western itineraries, visiting destinations including Nassau, Roatán, San Juan, and Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day at CocoCay.