The largest cruise ship ever built no longer will debut in Asia — here’s where it’ll sail instead
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Royal Caribbean’s newest and largest cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas, which was due to begin sailings from Shanghai, China, in early 2022, will now sail Caribbean and Mediterranean itineraries.
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Royal Caribbean, which restarted sailings from Singapore in late 2020 with Quantum of the Seas, still has a presence in Asia.
Due to COVID-19, however, China is currently not allowing cruises, so the line will relocate Wonder of the Seas — the newest and largest in the line’s much-loved Oasis Class — to Fort Lauderdale, where it’ll begin a series of spring Caribbean voyages on 4 March 2022. Port calls will include Cozumel, Mexico; St. Maarten; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, among others.
From there, the ship will relocate to Barcelona, Spain, to offer a summer season of seven-night Mediterranean cruises, calling on ports like Capri and Palma de Mallorca. (Wonder of the Seas replaces Allure of the Seas in the Med, following Allure’s relocation to Fort Lauderdale, where the ship now offers six- and eight-night Caribbean voyages.)
Wonder of the Seas will join fleetmate and fellow new ship Odyssey of the Seas in these regions for 2022.
“The momentum taking off across bookings and our returning ships in the U.S. and Europe is significant,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, in a statement. “With half of our fleet sailing again, we are encouraged by what we’re seeing. These regions are in the position to welcome a brand-new, innovative ship like Wonder of the Seas.”
As with other ships in the Oasis Class, Wonder of the Seas will feature a neighbourhood concept, including the open-air Boardwalk; Central Park, which features thousands of live plants; and the Royal Promenade, where passengers can dine, drink and shop. It will also include a brand-new Suite Neighbourhood, bringing the number of onboard neighbourhoods from seven to eight.
The Suite Neighbourhood offers Royal Suite Class cruisers access to a private restaurant, lounge and sun deck with a plunge pool and dedicated bar. Also found in this area is the line’s largest Ultimate Family Suite, which can accommodate up to 10 people.
The ship will also offer a reimagined pool area; Wonder Playscape, an interactive, top-deck family play area; and The Vue, a cantilevered bar that offers panoramic sea views.
Passengers booked on Wonder of the Seas’ original China itineraries have been contacted by Royal Caribbean and will be given full refunds of any money paid.
Wonder of the Seas’ Caribbean itineraries are currently open for booking; its Mediterranean bookings open on 22 September 2021.
Featured photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean.
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