From vibe to rooms and on-board entertainment, Penny McCormick reviews the Wonder of The Seas Cruise …
ROYAL CARIBBEAN’S WONDER OF THE SEAS
ITINERARY: A seven-night Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona taking in Palma, Marseille, Florence (La Spezia), Rome and Naples.
VIBE: Go big or go home mega ship.
FACTS: At capacity, it holds 5,734 passengers and 2,204 crew. On my voyage, (during half term!) there were some 1,500 staff and almost 4,000 adults including 500 children. That sounds ghastly but wasn’t.
PASSENGERS: Diverse: from seasoned cruisers to multigenerational families of all nationalities. Solo and LGBTQ passengers had the option of participating in (self-led) get togethers.
STATEROOMS: The 2,867 cabins, on 16 guest decks, run the gamut from economical inside rooms, outside cabins with oversized windows to and suites. My ocean view balcony cabin was quiet, spacious and serviced twice per day.
DINING: Apart from the main three-storey dining room, there some 30 restaurants and bars plus speciality restaurants which charge additional supplements. I found the overall standard to be superior to the imagined buffet bedlam.
DECOR: On steroids (and often surreal), high spec and spotless.
FACILITIES: The ship is divided into eight neighbourhoods. Special mention goes to the interactive open air play area for kids – the Wonder Playscape, which includes The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea and the Flowrider surf simulator and more.
Penny on board Wonder of the Seas.
ENTERTAINMENT: A daily programme delivered via app highlighted the numerous things to do on and off shore, as well as evening shows – from singers to comedians, tap dance troupes to ice spectaculars, art auctions, and tribute bands, karaoke nights, and a nightclub.
WELLNESS: Top notch spa and gym facilities also included interesting lectures – from footprint and postural analysis to IV therapy consultations – plus aesthetic tweakments, should you need a top up.
DRESS CODE: More Love Boat than Titanic. Smart casual, there were optional theme nights – white, elegant, tropical etc.
VERDICT: This cruise can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you make it. Highlights for me were visiting Palma and Naples, increasing my dailystep count due to the size of the ship, and watching the horizon from my balcony. Comfort, smooth crossings, and no sense of a crowd impressed. From €800.