Wonder of the Seas: World’s largest cruise liner sets sail in Florida making history

Royal Caribbean: Wonder of the Seas joins award-winning lineup

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On Saturday March 4, 2022, the Wonder of the Seas cruise liner entered Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Emerging from the darkness of the pandemic came this colossal ship, heralding the survival of an industry so nearly brought to its knees.

The Wonder of the Seas is just that: a monumental visual spectacle, taking the title from the Symphony of the Seas, which was formerly the largest cruise ship.

Owned by Royal Caribbean, the ship is an outstanding 236,857 tonnes, and 15 double-decker buses tall.

It will offer 14-day transatlantic cruises, setting sail from Fort Lauderdale and moving on to Nassau, Malage, Cartagena – Valencia – Palma De Mallorca and Barcelona.

The mammoth boat will also offer week-long Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean cruises and Western Mediterranean trips.

The ship can sleep a whopping 6,988 passengers, alongside 2,300 crew members.

Mark Tamis, senior vice-president of hotel operations at Royal Caribbean, stated: “We have a 2,300-strong crew from 78 nations.

“And you can imagine the complications of bringing together a crew like that.

“Once we do, it’s really all about the training and the preparation. We’ve done 50,000 hours of training for this first sailing.”

The huge crew was divided into two teams: the marine and technical, and the hotel and entertainment.

He continued that “the first are really in charge of the running, the safety and the navigation and the mechanical systems of the ship” – which is no small feat.

“Then we have our hotel teams who take care of preparing everything from the meals in our galleys, cleaning the state rooms [cabins] and performing in the shows.”

Launching the ship has not been a simple task, with travel virtually brought to a standstill for large periods of the past few years.

The Wonder of the Seas was supposed to launch last year, but was forced to delay due to the pandemic.

While the home port is now Florida, the original plan was that it would debut in China, making its way to the Caribbean before relocating to Rome and Italy for the European summer.

Mark revealed: “We made the decision quite a while ago.”

The cruise liner will truly be a home away from home, with cuisines and entertainment galore offered to passengers.

There are 20 restaurants on the ship, including Italian, Japanese and American fast food, 11 bars, four large swimming pools, 15 smaller pools, two surfing waves and two climbing walls.

Guests who are looking to kick back on the high seas with an alcoholic beverage, never fear, as the Wonder of the Seas has enough beer in the store rooms to fill all of its swimming pools twice over.

The launch of this ship has marked a full circle in the cruise industry, previously considered the early incubators of the coronavirus, cruise ships appear to be back and better than ever with this cosmic ship.

By the end of 2022, Royal Caribbean’s full fleet will be back in service.

Chief Executive Jason Liberty stated: “After a storied 2020 and 2021, we are eager to move forward in this year.

“We expect 2022 will be a strong transitional year as we bring the rest of our fleet into operations and approach historical occupancy levels.”

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