The Royal Theater on Decks 4 and 5 forward showcases comedians, vocalists, magicians and performing bands on a nightly basis. Reservations are required for some shows, which can be made via the Royal Caribbean app. Unlike other ships in the fleet, there is no standard, Broadway-style show aboard Wonder of the Seas.
Studio B is one of Royal Caribbean's most-popular big ship venues, hosting spectacular ice-skating performances on select evenings. The ice surface can be covered up, however, to turn Studio B into a venue for entertainment options like "Royal Friendly Feud" and "Battle of the Sexes." One night per voyage, Studio B becomes a late-night club known as RED. Advanced reservations for ice shows are required.
The Attic houses late-night comedians on most evenings, along with a "Battle of the DJ's" headliner one evening per week. Reservations are required and are spectacularly hard to come by.
The AquaTheater is the most spectacular venue aboard Wonder of the Seas, and features a daring aquatic show in the vein of Cirque du Soleil. The all-female cast aboard Wonder of the Seas puts on superb performance, though the exact show was still being developed during our sailing. Shows are 50 minutes long, and early and late performances are offered. Reservations are absolutely required for this popular (and rewarding) venue.
The world's largest cruise ship also offers a larger-than-life level of activities each day, both free and for-fee. Daily options include the usual art auctions and casino tournaments, but a healthy dose of trivia, scavenger hunts, mini-golf tournaments, and dance classes are also offered. Outdoor movies are shown on the ship's poolside screen, along with interesting Q&A's from the ship's Officers.
Active passengers will enjoy the plethora of activities for wellness, including morning stretch classes, yoga classes, and even Latin Dance fitness classes.
While this information is available in your Royal Caribbean app, the line mercifully still provides daily printed programs, known as Cruise Compasses in Royal Caribbean parlance, on your bed each evening.
Nightlife aboard Wonder of the Seas is "wonderfully" varied. You can dance all night in Bolero's, sing karaoke to your heart's content at Spotlight Karaoke, or take in one of the many live musical acts interspersed throughout the ship's public rooms -- not to mention the evening performances in Studio B or the Aquatheater.
But Wonder of the Seas can also be surprisingly quiet and tranquil by night -- take a stroll through the Central Park area on Deck 8 or enjoy a glass of wine amongst the trees at the charming Trellis Bar. The ship's Solarium at night turns into a space of quiet wonder as well, with its soft blue mood lighting and central bar area that is a draw for those looking for conversation in a superb space unlike any other at sea.
Those looking for a bit of chance will want to head for the casino aboard Wonder of the Seas, which runs the full width of the ship on Deck 4, and is a maze of gaming tables and slot machines. Unlike other ships, there's no clear pathway through the casino, leaving passengers transiting from one end of Deck 4 to another to run the gauntlet of gamblers and smokers.
From the robotic Bionic Bar to the creative cocktails at The Mason Jar, there is no shortage of creative libations aboard Wonder of the Seas. If you plan to imbibe and don't want to be worried about cost, drink packages are offered by the line, and often are discounted if they're booked pre-cruise on Royal Caribbean's website. Be forewarned, however: both occupants in a cabin will need to purchase one, and top-shelf beverages are excluded.
For the Cocktail Connoisseur: The Mason Jar Bar on Deck 15 aft is the hands-down winner here, with some of the most creative cocktails at sea. Much is made of the PB&J Old Fashioned (the clear guest favorite on our sailing), but we have to give props to the Bourbon Ale that had us coming back night after night.
For A Fun Pint: The Pub on Deck 5 is the traditional English watering hole, in contrast with the more American Playmaker's Sports Bar further aft on Deck 6. But the Pub distinguishes itself with its unique menu of beer cocktails and drafts from around the world.
For A Moment of Quiet: The Trellis Bar on Deck 8's Central Park promenade is one of the ship's more quiet, romantic watering holes -- particularly on warm evenings graced with cool Caribbean breezes.
For the Pool Deck Maven: It's a good thing that there are three Lime and Coconut locations aboard Wonder of the Seas (two on Deck 15 midship on port and starboard sides, and one on Deck 16 midship), because the poolside libation game is strong here. While there is an extensive menu of refreshing sips, the winner for us was the eponymous Lime and Coconut -- served in a little plastic bucket, to boot.
For as large as Wonder of the Seas is, the ship splits its pools and hot tubs into several areas of the ship to help spread people out and reduce crowding. Royal Caribbean, like Disney, knows how to handle a crowd -- though some of the ship's more unique bathing areas, like the cantilevered whirlpool that juts out over the starboard side of the ship on Deck 15 are understandably busier than others.
Two Main Pools are situated on the port and starboard sides of Deck 15 midship. Hot tubs -- many with transparent glass walls -- are located one deck higher on Deck 16 midships.
Nearby, Splashaway Bay is designed for little ones, with a splash park, dump bucket, and other wet-and-watery features.
The Beach Pool is on the starboard side of Deck 15 and offers a more relaxed vibe than the two main pools, which tend to get crowded first.
The Solarium Pools and Hot Tubs are for adults only and offer commanding views of the ship's bow. While you won't find a lap pool here, you will find oversized hot tubs and a shallow pool for lounging in. Best of all, the Solarium's superb ventilation and reflective glass panels ensure the room never gets uncomfortably hot.
On Wonder of the Seas, The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides provides thrills aplenty for those looking for some wet and wild fun. Passengers will want to steel themselves, however, for The Ultimate Abyss slides, which run from Deck 16 all the way down to Deck 6, depositing riders at the heart of the Boardwalk area in mere seconds.
All the way aft on Deck 16 starboard, passengers will find a Zipline that whisks riders across the internal canyon formed by the Boardwalk area some 10 decks below.
And, unlike other Oasis-class ships, Wonder of the Seas only has one Flowrider surfing simulator, situated on Deck 16 aft, port side.
Sundecks are plentiful onboard Wonder of the Seas, and while Deck 16 is the primary area for sun-worshippers, a separate Sun Deck is located all the way forward on Deck 17 for those looking for a little more quiet. Passengers travelling in top-of-the-line suites can use their own private sundeck, which spans the width of the ship on Deck 18 aft and offers its own bar and hot tub.
There are a variety of gift shops aboard Wonder of the Seas, but those looking for sundries will need to head up 16, where a tucked-away room on the ship's port side (near the aft elevator bank) offers everything from pain medication to iPhone charging cords -- from a bank of vending machines.
Other services include an ATM, the ship's Guest Relations and Shore Excursion desks; a (very popular) Future Cruise center; and an art gallery.
Royal Caribbean's VOOM internet access is among the best at sea. We were able to attend Zoom meetings, stream music and video, and upload high-resolution photos to social media with ease. As with all shipboard internet, connectivity varies depending on geographic location, but should be strong in the two areas of the world Wonder of the Seas will call home.
Royal Caribbean's app worked well throughout our voyage, though it was sometimes slow to populate booked events and dining into our onboard schedule.
Tucked away on Deck 6 forward, the Vitality Spa offers a wide array of treatments and salon services that run the gamut from hot stone massages to facials, wrinkle treatments and an IV Therapy Lounge.
A Thermal Suite is tucked away on the lower level of the Vitality Spa, through an internal staircase that leads down to Deck 5. The Thermal Suite -- which offers both day and entire cruise passes -- is a bit underwhelming, situated in an internal location with half a dozen heated ceramic loungers, a steam and sauna room, and two rainforest showers -- one of which was already broken during our inaugural sailing. There is no hydrotherapy pool aboard Wonder of the Seas.
The Fitness Center on Wonder of the Seas is massive, and uniquely can be accessed either through the Vitality Spa on Deck 6, or from the ship's jogging track that encircles the ship (an entryway is located at the forwardmost part of the jogging track, up an internal staircase).
Inside is the usual assortment of exercise equipment, framed by oversized circular windows overlooking the ocean. Personal training sessions are offered, and fitness mavens can purchase an Ultimate Class Pass that allows for workout sessions and classes to be scheduled and developed for an all-in cost.
Wonder of the Seas is extraordinarily family-friendly, with attractions, amenities and features to suit all ages. The ship offers dedicated kids clubs for infants, kids and teens, and family-friendly activities are scheduled daily. The crew are also great with kids, and most take particular delight in ensuring the largest ship in the world impresses its youngest guests.
Adventure Ocean is Royal Caribbean's dedicated kids' program, with separate facilities for kids, infants and teens (more on those below). It is sometimes branded "AO" for short on printed programs -- just in case you're wondering (we were).
The entire Adventure Ocean is located on Deck 14 forward, in an elaborate and imaginative space designed for kids.
AO Junior is designed for 3-5 year olds and revolves around imagination and storytelling. A floor-to-ceiling digital wall offers plenty of magical opportunities, and the entire room is an enclave of play and education. Reservations are required here, and "sessions" (bookings) are offered during the morning, afternoon, and evening. A late-night babysitting option is available for an hourly, per child fee.
AO Kids is the place to be for 6-12 year olds, and is broken out into three distinct areas. The Hangout is a place for kids to relax and play video games, listen to music, or just chill out in between activities. Bookings are required for The Hangout, but not for The Workshop, where kids can take part in arts and crafts activities and tech-themed experiments. The Arena is the active arm of AO Kids, with digital and physical games to encourage activity and friendly competition.
At Adventure Ocean Babies (AO Babies), infants aged 6 to 36 months can enjoy quiet time, snack time and nap time under the care of professionals. It's a great break for mom and dad, and bookings are required for this dual babysitting facility and nursery.
It is worth noting that minimum ages apply to certain itineraries. For longer cruises, including transatlantic crossings, the minimum age for infants rises to 12 months of age at the time of embarkation.
Tweens and teens have their own cool hangout onboard Wonder of the Seas. Known as The Social, this area gives teens their own private sun deck and hot tub on Deck 17 forward (port side), along with their own dedicated lounge and facility that's located on Deck 16 aft, port side.
Teens also get their own version of the Cruise Compass. "The Social Feed" highlights daily special daily activities including sail away parties, trivia sessions, dance tournaments and even a "Selfie Scavenger Hunt".