VESSEL REVIEW | Wonder of the Seas – Royal Caribbean’s largest ship boasts 6,800-guest capacity

VESSEL REVIEW | Wonder of the Seas – Royal Caribbean’s largest ship boasts 6,800-guest capacity

Photo: Royal Caribbean International

French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique has handed over the fifth in a planned series of six ships ordered by Miami-based cruise operator Royal Caribbean International.

Named Wonder of the Seas, the Bahamas-registered newbuild is one of the largest cruise ships in the world and currently the largest ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet. The newbuild has a length of 1,188 feet (362.1 metres) – around 96 feet (29 metres) longer than any one of the US Navy’s ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers – a beam of 210 feet (64 metres), a draught of 30 feet (9.3 metres), a gross tonnage of 236,857, and capacity for 6,800 passengers and 2,400 crewmembers across 18 decks.

The ship’s massive size enables it to house a wide selection of restaurants, lounges, bars, retail shops, and 2,867 guest cabins, one of which is a large suite that can house 10 people. For recreation, guests have access to a water park, a rock climbing wall, spas, fitness centres, a surfing simulator, full-size basketball and volleyball courts, an ice skating rink, a miniature golf course, a casino, game rooms, a jogging track, children’s play areas, and theatres including one with seating for 1,400. Guests have access to any one of 16 decks via 24 lifts placed throughout the vessel.

Photo: Royal Caribbean International

Two of the more notable spaces on the ship are an open-air boardwalk located at the stern and a central area spanning five decks and filled with restaurants, boutique shops, and more than 20,000 plants. These are only two of the seven main guest sections or “neighbourhoods” that are found on each of the Oasis-class ships. One feature that differentiates Wonder of the Seas from its four earlier sister ships is the addition of an eighth neighbourhood – an upper private area with all-suite cabins, a restaurant, a lounge, a bar, a pool, and its own sun deck.

Power for the vessel is provided by eight medium-speed diesel engines including two MTU 16V4000 diesels that each produce 2,780 hp (2,070 kW). The engines supply power for the electrical systems as well as the propulsion units, which also include a trio of ABB 27,000hp (20,000kW) electric azimuth pod thrusters with 20-foot (six-metre) propellers and four 7,400hp (5,500kW) bow thrusters for berthing and unberthing. The vessel is designed to cruise at 22 knots.

The third Oasis-class ship built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Wonder of the Seas initially served Caribbean itineraries out of Port Everglades, Florida, following its delivery to Royal Caribbean in January of this year. The ship will reposition to Europe in the summer to sail on voyages in the Mediterranean out of Barcelona and Rome.

Photo: Royal Caribbean International/Sigrun Sauerzapfe

Click here to read other news stories, features, opinion articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Wonder of the Seas
Type of vessel: Cruise ship
Flag: Bahamas
Owner: Royal Caribbean International, USA
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique, France
Length overall: 1,188 feet (362.1 metres)
Beam: 210 feet (64 metres)
Draught: 30 feet (9.3 metres)
Gross tonnage: 236,857
Main engines: 2 x MTU 16V4000, each 2,780 hp (2,070 kW); 4 x 19,300 hp (14,400 kW); 2 x 25,700 hp (19,200 kW)
Propulsion: 3 x ABB azimuth pod thrusters, each 27,000 hp (20,000 kW)
Side thrusters: 4 x 7,500 hp (5,500 kW)
Cruising speed: 22 knots
Type of fuel: Diesel
Accommodation: 2,867 x guest cabins; restaurants; lounges; bars; retail shops; water park; spas; fitness centres; sports courts; ice skating rink; casino; game rooms; children’s play areas; theatres
Crew: 2,400
Passengers: 6,800
Operational areas: Caribbean; Mediterranean Sea

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