Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas Voted Best Cruise Ship of 2023

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After two straight years of being a runner-up, Royal Caribbean International has the top-ranked cruise ship in the 2023 Cruise Hive Awards. Wonder of the Seas took top honors in the annual contest.

Wonder of the Seas Tops for Best Overall Cruise Ship

Wonder of the Seas came out on top among ships across multiple cruise lines nominated by readers in 2023 for the Cruise Hive Awards. Royal Caribbean International came in second place for the honor in 2021 and 2022.

Royal Caribbean also scored first place for most anticipated cruise ship for 2024 – Icon of the Seas. The ship is scheduled to make her inaugural cruise on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Best Overall Cruise Ship
Best Overall Cruise Ship

The Cruise Hive Awards started as an annual feature in 2014, though the Best Overall Cruise Ship category began in 2021. Voting opened on October 1, 2023, and closed on Friday, December 22, with Cruise Hive readers casting a single vote in each of the eight categories. Check the results for all other categories here.

Wonder of the Seas currently is homeported in Florida’s Port Canaveral, where it’s sailing 7-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean with a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay, the cruise line’s private island. 

The Oasis-class ship, which was the world’s largest cruise ship when she made her maiden voyage on March 4, 2022, is 236,857 gross tons and has a maximum occupancy of nearly 7,000 guests.

Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

Among its features are FlowRider, a 30,000-gallon surf simulator, and the AquaTheater, the deepest pool at sea with 30-foot diving platforms that serve as a set for mesmerizing water shows.

Nearly a dozen specialty dining venues await guests, including The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar, which debuted on Wonder of the Seas. The rustic-designed eatery offers a southern-accented menu with items such as johnnycakes, crab beignets, and fried green tomatoes. For guests looking for a little more zing, more than a dozen American whiskeys are offered.

Read Also: Wonder of the Seas Overview and Things to Do

Wonder of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Wonder of the Seas is organized into eight signature neighborhoods. On deck, guests can enjoy ample attractions, including zip lines, mini golf, and Ultimate Abyss, a twisting slide that travels down 10 stories over the ship’s stern.

Construction of the ship – the fifth of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class of vessels – began at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, in May 2019. Its original delivery date of 2021 was ultimately pushed until 2022 due to the COVID pandemic. 

Carnival’s Celebration and Mardi Gras Among Top 3 Ships

Wonder of the Seas landed in first place in the Cruise Hive Awards by a handful of votes over Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Celebration, which is homeported at PortMiami where it also offers 7-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Carnival Celebration made its maiden voyage in 2022.

Royal Caribbean International came in second place for the honor in 2021 with Symphony of the Seas and again in 2022 with Wonder of the Seas.

Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship
Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship

Carnival’s Mardi Gras, which won the title for best overall cruise ship in 2022 and 2021, came in third place for 2023. Mardi Gras, like Wonder of the Seas, is homeported at Port Canaveral and likewise sails on 7-night Eastern and Western voyages.

Read Also: Carnival Mardi Gras Overview and Things to Do

Other ships finishing in the top six for 2023 were Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Beyond (fourth place), Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas (fifth place), and Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy (sixth place). 

In 2022, Carnival’s Mardi Gas was tops, followed by Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, and Celebrity Cruise’s Celebrity Solstice. In 2021, Mardi Gras was followed by Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas and Carnival Horizon.

The annual Cruise Hive Awards were created in 2014 to offer insights from real cruise fans on different cruise lines and experiences to help others better plan cruise vacations.

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