The world’s largest cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas, is sailing on her maiden voyage from Florida today. The ultra-large cruise ship weighs an astonishing 236,857 gross tons and measures 1,188 feet (362 meters) long and 210 feet (64 meters) wide.
The first lucky guests are embarking on the newest Oasis-class vessel from Royal Caribbean, which takes them from Florida on a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean.
Wonder Of The Seas Maiden Voyage
Today marks the first cruise for Wonder of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. After a construction period of three years at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, Wonder of the Seas is departing her homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale for the very first time with guests at approximately 5:00 PM.
From Fort Lauderdale, the ship will set course towards Labadee in Haiti, Royal Caribbean’s private destination, where she will arrive after a day at sea. Next is a day in San Juan, Puerto Rico, another day at sea, followed by a day in Nassau, Bahamas. The voyage will conclude at Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day At Cococay. The departure can be followed on a live stream aired by Port Everglades.
The vessel first arrived in the US on February 20 with huge anticipation and received a warm welcome in Florida. Since then, the ship has been preparing for the maiden voyage by doing a short sailing to Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day at Cococay in the Bahamas for the crew and family members.
Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO said, “Oh what a beautiful morning! Just got off the Wonderful Wonder of the Seas after our two day all Employee and family cruise to Perfect Day! It was amazing in so many ways! Everyone had a blast! Not sure who was the happiest! Our crew or our shoreside employees and their families! It was just Happy all around!”
US Cruises Followed By Summer In Europe
Wonder of the Seas’ last voyage from Fort Lauderdale for this spring will sail on April 15. Between April 20 and May 8, the ship will be repositioning to her summer homeports of Barcelona, Spain, and Civitavecchia, Italy.
Guests can choose to sail roundtrip from Barcelona or roundtrip from Civitavecchia. Other ports of call this summer include Naples and La Spezia, Italy, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Marseille, France. Sailings from Barcelona and Civitavecchia will be running through October 30, 2022.
After a 14-day crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, Wonder of the Seas will arrive at her future homeport of Port Canaveral. From the world-famous cruise port, she will sail 7-night itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean.
“We’re very proud to have Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas homeport here, and we look forward to welcoming her next fall,” stated Capt. John Murray, Port CEO. “This is terrific news for our entire Port community and another endorsement of our commitment to excellence in providing a world-class experience for our cruise guests.”
Ports of call include Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras, and Costa Maya, Mexico on the Western Caribbean cruises. On the Eastern Caribbean voyages, ports of call will include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and each cruise will also be visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay.
A Floating City
A maximum of 6,988 guests will be able to enjoy Wonder of the Seas’ eight separate neighborhoods–including an all-new suite neighborhood–and Central Park, a feature found on all Oasis-class ships featuring over 20,000 living plants. Guests will also have over 30 different dining venues and bars to choose from, serviced by 2,300 crew members.
Mark Tamis, senior vice president of hotel operations at Royal Caribbean International, tells CNN Travel: “We’ve always prided ourselves on offering guests the best and most innovative ships to give them a truly extraordinary experience. Wonder encompasses all of that. We’re excited to introduce guests across the world to Wonder of the Seas and its world-class features after a six-year-long process.”
“From planning to delivery, we’ve utilized our expertise across Royal Caribbean, as well as incorporating our guest’s suggestions and travel partner feedback to create something truly awe-inspiring.”
Guests can enjoy a wide range of activities, from watching a movie poolside to zip-lining, watching any of four production shows; having a match at the full-size basketball court; riding the Flowrider surf machine or a carousel, and sliding down the tallest waterslide at sea.