Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas Cruise Ship Review
If you can get over the size, and trust us, it takes a second, the new Wonder of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International is a vacation experience for those operating on all speeds. Thrill-seekers, foodies, and those looking to kick back and relax will find the perfect space on board the 5th Oasis-class vessel from the cruise line and that’s exactly what cruising is all about!
Royal Caribbean cruisers will recognize a lot of the restaurants and features on board Wonder of the Seas, but with plenty of new things and place to enjoy as well, like the new Southern-style restaurant The Mason Jar, The Adventure Playscape for kids, The Vue bar and a new neighborhood on the ship exclusively for suite guests.
Royal Caribbean staples like the Bionic Bar, Flowrider, Schooner Bar and especially restaurants like Chops Grille, Wonderland and Hooked Seafood will keep fans of the brand happy and provide a familiar cruise experience for those who choose Royal Caribbean for their cruise vacations.
Porthole Cruise and Travel Ship Rating: 4.4 out of 5
When you’re hungry on board Wonder of the Seas, there’s no shortage of options. From the three-level main dining room found aft on decks 3, 4 and 5, to the thirteen specialty dining restaurants, there’s sure to be something that delights even the pickiest palates. In the main dining room, guests can eat between 5:30 and 8pm with the other option being “My Time Dining” between 6:30 and 9:30pm, but your seating area and server may change each visit. Guests can view the daily menus in the Royal Caribbean app. Windjammer Marketplace on Deck 15 is another popular dining option offering buffet-style meals for breakfast and lunch.
Other included dining venues are Sorrento’s pizza, Boardwalk Dog House, Cafe Promenade, Park Cafe, El Loco Fresh, the Solarium Bistro, the Vitality Cafe and room service.
Specialty restaurants on board Wonder of the Seas are similar to what you’ll find across Royal Caribbean’s fleet, but with one notable exception: The Mason Jar. Southern-style cuisine is comfort food in big portions and that’s what you’ll find at The Mason Jar.
Before we even get to the food, let’s start with the selection of specialty cocktails like the Mississippi Moonlight, an Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine mixed with fresh blackberries and lemonade. There’s also the classic Mint Julep made with Maker’s Mark, homemade mint simple syrup, fresh mint and powdered with sugar at the table.
Once you’ve decided on a morning pick-me-up, take your time perusing a menu chock-full of Southern staples. For Brunch, we highly recommend Meemaw’s Fried Chicken N’ Waffles or for those looking for a sugar rush, the Red Velvet Pancakes. Don’t skip the pimento cheese, either. The dinner menu drips with Southern flavor as well, like a classic po’ boy sandwich, shrimp n’ grits, blackened cajun catfish and the popular Meat N’ Two fixings dinner which includes your choice of St. Louis-Style Ribs, beef brisket or fried chicken with coleslaw, sweet potato fries, cajun fries, mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese or collard greens as the side options.
The other specialty dining options will be familiar to Royal cruisers, like Chops Grille, 150 Central Park, Izumi, Hooked Seafood, Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen, Wonderland, Playmakers and Johnny Rockets.
The fifth Oasis-class ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Wonder of the Seas takes what her sister ships do well and builds upon it. Guests on board need to ask themselves, what speed do I want to vacation at? Because there are countless options to tailor your perfect cruise.
Let’s start with the redesigned deck 15 which offers multiple places to catch some rays, cool off, and have a little fun, too! Featuring two main pools, a beach pool, and the children’s play area Splashaway Bay, the pool deck is where cruisers gravitate on sea days to soak up the sunshine, mingle with their fellow cruisers, have a drink at The Lime & Coconut and enjoy their cruise to the fullest. Despite the capacity, ample seating around the pool deck means finding a chair probably won’t be difficult for those who like to stake their claim.
At the bow of Deck 15 is the adults-only (16+) two-deck Solarium and it’s easily our favorite of all the Oasis-class ships. This is the spot to unwind as the quiet atmosphere, tiered whirlpools and countless lounge chairs and daybeds are calling. The views of the surrounding ocean are second to none anywhere on the ship and the evening cocktail hour as the sun sets is simply delightful.
Aft on Deck 16 also home to the Flowrider surfing simulator and the brand new Wonder Playscape, a children’s play area with an under-the-sea theme. On past Oasis-class ships, this area was home to a 2nd Flowrider, but not on Wonder of the Seas. The Playscape features oversized games like tic-tac-toe, kid-sized slides, climbing walls and an interactive mural of sea creatures to explore. Cruisers will also find Wonder Dunes, the nautical-themed mini-golf course, the Sports Court, the zipline, and the top of The Ultimate Abyss Slide which spirals down 10 stories to the Deck 6 boardwalk.
Speaking of the boardwalk, that’s where cruisers will find the ever popular Aquatheater where Royal Caribbean entertainers perform stunning 30-foot dives and acrobatics high above the deepest pool at sea. Don’t dilly dally when it comes to booking your Aquatheater experience as the shows fill up fast!
The Royal Promenade on Deck 5 is where cruisers enter the ship for the first time and the hustle and bustle of activity sure is fun! Home to popular spots like the Rising Tide Bar, Cafe Promenade, Sorrentos pizza, Boleros, Bionic Bar, Guest Services and more. If you’re looking for something to do while on board, starting on the promenade isn’t a bad idea!
Central Park, the open-air promenade on Deck 8 was perhaps our favorite spot on the ship for a number of different reasons. First of all, the convenience factor of Deck 8 can’t be overstated. Home to a handful of specialty restaurants, the Park Cafe and the top of the Rising Tide bar, Deck 8 is a delight for cruisers who don’t want to go far for their morning coffee or evening glass of vino. The real gardens which line the walkways give the space a fresh smell and natural feel, a welcome change of pace from the excitement of the pool deck.
For those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of a cruise vacation, the Vitality Spa is your oasis. A full service spa at sea, Vitality offers the same amenities you’d find at any high-end spa on land. Guests will enjoy relaxing in the whirlpools, saunas and on the stone lounges before treatments like seaweed wraps, facials, massages and more. The state-of-the-art fitness center has all the equipment you need to truly enjoy that evening slice of cake.
What makes Wonder of the Seas stand out from the rest is your options, and nowhere is that more evident than with the stateroom selection. From the smaller, interior cabins without windows to the opulent 2-story family suite and everything in between, there’s a stateroom that suits your needs on this behemoth of a ship.
Let’s start with the most popular stateroom variety on a cruise – the balcony. Frequent Royal cruisers, particularly those who’ve sailed on the newer vessels, will recognize the blue and cream color scheme often found in Royal Caribbean staterooms. You won’t find any brand new tech or advancements in your stateroom on Wonder of the Seas, but the simple comfort and elegance makes for a pleasant place to call home for a week or more.
A welcome positive? The space. Two closets on either side of the bed hold ample hangers and a space for the room safe. A dresser by the desk also provides extra room for clothing and other items. Even with two people, there was more than enough space to unpack, unwind and really get into cruise mode.
While the bed in the balcony room was excellent overall, the gap between the two mattresses did at times get wider than expected, leading to some slightly awkward wake-ups “in the crack”, as the joke went. Cuddle bugs may find this problem worse than others.
Guests can also opt for oceanview and interior rooms, but with such spectacular destinations on the horizon, the view from your own private balcony is second to none!
The suite neighborhood on Wonder of the Seas is a new feature that brings the ultimate luxury to see. A separate section of the ship found at the top of the ship on Decks 17 and 18, the Suite Neighborhood features its own lounge, sundeck and plunge pool as well as a concierge desk with the ability to cater to pretty much your every need. The Suite Neighborhood also features it’s own restaurant, Coastal Kitchen, available for those in suites, mini-suites, and Pinnacle Club members. Both Sky Class and Royal Class suites can be found in the new neighborhood.
For those cruising with kids or in a group, the two-story Ultimate Family Suite is nearly the same size as a standard condo on land at nearly 1,200 square feet. It can accommodate up to 10 people and features a 212 square foot balcony. It also comes with a slide, air hockey, table tennis and more.
When Royal Caribbean first unveiled the entertainment options on Wonder of the Seas, they billed it as a “Wonder for the Senses Across Air, Ice, Water, and Stage.” After enjoying the lineup of shows and live music from a cast of more than 100 entertainers on the inaugural cruise, it’s clear Royal Caribbean puts entertainment at the forefront of the cruise experience.
Found exclusively on board Oasis-class ships, the Aquathearter is one of the most unique entertainment venues at sea. Featuring the deepest pool at sea to accommodate high dives from the 30-foot platform high above the crowd, the stage hosts multiple different style performances, weather permitting of course. A new show playing in the Wonder of the Seas Aquatheater is inTENse, a diving and acrobatic show with an all female cast of performers that is a must see.
Other live performances include “365: The Seasons on Ice” at the ice skating rink called Studio B; “The Effectors II: Crash ‘n’ Burn;” and “Voices: An Intimate Performance on a Grand Scale” in the Royal Theater.
Guests can also find live music at the Mason Jar, The Lime and Coconut bar, the Music Hall, Boleros, the Cask & Clipper and the Schooner bar. Also keep an eye out for the Stowaway Piano who appears around the ship tickling the ivory for guests.
For the younger crowd, or those young at heart, late night hot spots include the casino on Deck and The Attic, the late night dance club where you’ll find cruisers two-stepping the night away.