Belated Birthday Celebration in the Caribbean on the World’s Largest Cruise Ship
Updated: Apr 28
We haven’t been cruising for a while and at the last moment we booked a 7-day cruise on the Wonder of the Seas, a brand-new Royal Caribbean vessel who is now the world’s largest cruise ship. She is 1,188 feet long, 210 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of 236,857. My wife turned 60 in March, but due to a ski injury, had to have ACL reconstruction surgery just before her birthday. So this was a belated birthday voyage.
The ship sailed from Ft. Lauderdale. It was the fastest and best organized check-in we ever had. It took less than an hour to park the car, drop our luggage and go through security. We were one of the first groups to board. The size of the ship might be overwhelming for first time cruisers on an Oasis Class ship, but we already had sailed on the Allure and Oasis, so it was not too hard to get reacclimated.
Because it was so last minute, we were only able to book a couple of specialty restaurants before sailing. When we arrived on the ship we immediately went to the dining desk and reserved a few more restaurants where availability opened up. If you cruise, make sure to book your specialty restaurants way in advance. Afterwards we had lunch at El Loco Fresh, the Mexican restaurant.
Our cabin was ready when we finished our meal. We had a very nice balcony cabin with a large veranda. The safety drill is now much better. You watch the video in your cabin and when you are done you just go to your assigned meeting point to scan your cabin key.
Our cruise had a couple of days at sea, so we had plenty of time to visit the different neighborhoods of the ship. There are activities for everybody. Spa, shopping, fitness, sports court, arcade, zip line, rock climbing, aqua park, Flowrider and more. They also have dedicated spaces for kids and teenagers.
At night, besides your usual entertainment, they have ice-skating and aqua theater shows. We enjoyed both of them. We had two dressed up evenings during the cruise. Most people were dressed up for the first evening, a little bit less for the second. The photographers were very good and we had some very professional looking portraits made.
We visited the different bars and lounges. Our favorite was the Schooner Bar where Alex, a talented guitarist from the Ukraine, was playing. He also played at the beautiful Central Park neighborhood and we listened to him there as well. I have never heard anyone play a guitar quite like him.
Central Park has some of the finest specialty restaurants on the ship. We dined at Chops Grille, which was excellent and at 150 Central Park where we had a not so good salty lobster. The rest of our courses were good there, but the entrees were disappointing. Giovanni’s, the Italian restaurant is also in Central Park. It has a very nice bar with Italian wines and liquors that you cannot find anywhere else on the ship.
We also enjoyed Hooked Seafood, a New England-style venue and The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant and Bar, which served delicious biscuits, ribs and crispy chicken. Another night we dined at Izumi and tasted the teppanyaki prepared tableside. It was crowded and noisy, but the food was very good. The chef we had was very talented and made the evening wonderful and fun for all.
We had three ports of call and the usual stop at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s Island in the Bahamas. Although we had visited Roatan in Honduras, Cozumel and Costa Maya previously, we hired taxis and went back to some spots we enjoyed shopping or beaching at. There were hardly any ships in port during those days, so it was quite enjoyable.
One problem with the new ship is that the cabins’ toilets flushing system is very temperamental and takes between one second and five minutes to flush. It is a problem well known by the management, but it could be problematic if you are on your honeymoon or sharing your cabin with friends!
Overall, it was a great vacation and we were really pleased with the new Wonder of The Seas ship. It’s still had a few hiccups, but I am sure that Royal Caribbean will take care of them.