(12:37 p.m. EDT) – China's loss is a gain for the U.S. and Europe; Wonder of the Seas -- Royal Caribbean's newest Oasis-class cruise ship -- will debut in the Caribbean and Mediterranean instead of Asia in 2022.
Wonder of the Seas will homeport in Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) for its Caribbean cruises beginning on March 4, 2022, and will be based out of Barcelona for its sailings in the Western Mediterranean in summer 2022. Bookings for the Caribbean are open now, to be followed next week by the summer European voyages.
"The momentum taking off across bookings and our returning ships in the U.S. and Europe is significant. 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," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
"Wonder will shine bright as the world’s newest wonder in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. And what’s in store is the ultimate vacation experience that highlights the very best of Royal Caribbean, reimagines renowned favorites and introduces new adventures every guest, no matter their age, can enjoy."
With 5,734 people onboard at double occupancy and capable of carrying 6,988 passengers total, Wonder of the Seas will be the largest ship in the world when it debuts.
Although it’s the fifth Oasis-class ship, Wonder of the Seas will see some new features and changes over its predecessors, with Royal Caribbean unveiling a host of new diversions onboard.
These include a re-imagined pool deck that relocates the trio of waterslides and the kids aqua park next to each other; a new Suite Neighbourhood offering exclusive deck space and dining venues; a new Ultimate Family Suite designed with multi-generational cruisers in mind; and the Wonder Playscape, an interactive family play area situated on the uppermost deck of the ship.
Wonder of the Seas will also offer The Vue, a cantilevered pool bar serving up classic Caribbean drinks and mocktails.
The ship was originally due to homeport in Shanghai for cruises around China and Asia.