Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas May Be the Most Kid-Friendly Cruise Ship in the World

Royal Caribbean's biggest ship is also its most kid-friendly.
Aerial view of Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas (Photo: RCCL)
Photo: Wonder of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas isn’t just the biggest, boldest, and most impressive Oasis-class ship to debut as part of its fleet. Even at 1,188-feet long and 18 decks tall, it may also be the most accessible and kid-friendly cruise ship in the entire world.

Why Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas Is the Most Family-Friendly Cruise Ship at Sea

In fact, Wonder of the Seas is the kind of family cruise ship that had me wishing I were a kid again when I set sail on its inaugural voyage last month. The only question is, what age would I have wished to be? Let’s take a look at what the Wonder of the Seas is like for every age group from toddlers to teens. 

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Wonder of the Seas Review for Teens and Tweens

Teen nook at Social 100 on Wonder of the Seas (Photo: Jeff Bogle)
Teen nook at Social100 on Wonder of the Seas (Photo: Jeff Bogle)

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas has two dedicated private teen spaces onboard, and they are cooler, more exclusive, and more authentically “teen” than anything I’ve previously witnessed on other cruise ships. 

The teen-exclusive indoor space on Wonder of the Seas is called Social100. There’s a “secret entrance” that leads into a massive hang-out suite outfitted with the gaming consoles, movies, and music. Just as importantly, there are plenty of comfortable spots to kick back alone or with new friends.

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Outside, The Patio at Social100 is another private teen space that’s accessible by a keycard-activated wooden gate that only teens can access. Oversized outdoor lawn games, a teen-only whirlpool hot tub under the sun (or stars), and a bar that serves up mocktails and ice cream floats are among the unique highlights. 

Of course, being a teen on the enormous Wonder of the Seas also means you have the freedom to roam the ship and try body boarding or surfing on the Flowrider surfing simulator; climb the massive rock walls; zip line across the Boardwalk; play a game of soccer, basketball, or table tennis; go ice skating; dominate at laser tag; watch live musical productions like the Royal Caribbean superhero franchise Effectors; see colorful ice skating shows; dare to plunge down The Abyss outdoor dry slide; play mini-golf day or night on the underwater-themed WonderDunes course; and hang out late into the night watching outdoor movies and eating pizza.

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And teens age 16 and older can soak in the massive hot tub protruding over the edge of the ship on deck 15 in the Solarium. See what I mean? It’s great to be a teenager on Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas.

Wonder of the Seas Review for Kids

Wonder Playscape with Perfect Day at CoCo Cay in the background (Photo: Jeff Bogle)
Wonder Playscape with Perfect Day at CoCo Cay in the background (Photo: Jeff Bogle)

It’s pretty good to be a grade school-age kid on Wonder of the Seas too. Not only do kids get to play in Royal Caribbean’s robust and exhilarating kids camp, Adventure Ocean, there’s also massive multiple-deck outdoor play area at the back of the ship called Wonder Playscape. Located in the Youth Zone neighborhood on deck 14, the kids’ camp complex is appropriately sized—which is to say it’s also huge.

Inside are supervised age-appropriate activities for four different age groups, from babies (starting at six months) to 11-year-olds. Each age group has its own colorful, comfortable, hi-tech rooms and a dedicated staff.

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With the first taste of autonomy that all young children deserve, kids will be ushered to the Windjammer buffet for dinner together while at sea. And the Adventure Ocean fun can even go deep into the night. The cruise line’s “Late Night Party Zone” has special events, dance parties, and other activities that run from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. for kids ages three to 11. (There’s a fee of $7 per hour per child for these late-night events.) 

The sprawling Adventure Ocean complex for elementary school-age kids consists of a theater, science lab, escape room, arcade, playrooms, and the Imagination Studio sponsored by Crayola and Fisher-Price. There are scheduled events and activities for kids, such as DreamWorks character appearances, scavenger hunts, exclusive kid-friendly tours of the ship, sports competitions, parties, science experiments, workshops, movie nights, and Nintendo Wii video gaming (kids are also allowed to bring their own games). 

My two kids first fell in love with cruising because of the time they spent in camps at sea. With Wonder of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has taken that trusted formula and elevated it to a whole new level. Your kids may never want to stop exploring, playing, and—yes—learning at the Adventure Ocean camp.

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While teens have free rein to see shows in the AquaTheater, on ice in Studio B, and inside the Royal Theater, grade school kiddos are be able to see performances in their very own Adventure Ocean Theater. This 55-seat space is the world’s first at-sea kids theater. It has tiered plush seats, a large screen, and a stage for live performances (puppetry, dance, talent shows, and more).

Wonder of the Seas Review for Little Kids, Toddlers, and Babies

Interior view of Wonder of the Seas (Photo: Jeff Bogle)
Interior view of Wonder of the Seas (Photo: Jeff Bogle)

The Adventure Ocean play area is a big round room chock full of soft play toys and games for little kids and toddlers. There’s also a playground with climbing equipment. What’s cool about this play area is that parents can play with their kids here, not simply drop them off. But if you do decide to enjoy some hot tub time alone or simply want to read a book in peace and quiet, you can rest assured your tiny tot will be engaged in imaginative play in the Adventure Ocean area’s whimsical rooms, climbable structures, and tinkering workshop.

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Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean Babies is a babysitting facility/nursery for Royal Babies (six months to 18 months) and Royal Tots (18 months to 36 months). Your little one are required to be fully toilet trained and an hourly fee per kid applies ($6 for daytime care, $8 in the evening).

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Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle is a dad of two teen daughters, an Iris Award-winning photographer, avid traveler, music lover, and English football fanatic who has written about parenting, family life, travel, food, culture, and more for The Washington Post, Parents Magazine, Fodor’s, Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest, and PBS among other fine publications. Find him on Instagram and Twitter @OWTK. Jeff is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Stanchion, a quarterly print literary and photography magazine. He lives in the East Village neighborhood of New York City with his wife, one remarkable rescue pitbull, and four cats.

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