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Biggest cruise ship in the world sets sail for first time

THE world’s biggest cruise ship, which is five times the size of the Titanic, has set sail for the first time.

Wonder of the Seas weighs in at a staggering 236,857 tons and is fitted out with 19 swimming pools, 20 restaurants, 11 bars, an ice rink, casino and even its own Central Park.

The Royal Caribbean liner set out on her maiden seven-day voyage Friday from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, heading to the Caribbean.

The statistics for the record-breaking ship are staggering.

It’s 362 metres long (1,188 ft), it can carry 6,988 passengers along with 2,300 crew and can hold enough beer to fill all the swimming pools on board twice over.

One female holidaymaker said: “It’s hard to believe you are even on a ship. It’s a city on the water. There is everything you could ever want. There’s no reason to ever get off.”about:blank

Another joked: “We’re going to need a bigger ocean.”

The colossal ship has 18 decks, 16 for passengers.

It has a top speed of 22 knots (25mph) thanks to three 20,000 kilowatt diesel-electric thrusters under the stern and four bow thrusters, each generating 7,500 horsepower.

Wonder of the Seas took three years to build in Saint-Nazaire, France, at a cost of more than £1billion.

She had originally been set to launch in China last year but those plans were shelved due to the Covid pandemic.

A source told the Mail on Sunday: “Restaurants have been renamed and signs in Mandarin have been changed to English. She will sail around the Caribbean before switching to European cruises this summer.”

On board is also a Boardwalk, designed on the Coney Island attraction and is lined with restaurants serving up Italian, French and German cuisine, along with US staples such as hotdogs and pizzas.

There is also a Vegas-style casino on board.

On another deck there’s Central Park, complete with 20,000 plants and trees.

Passengers can sip cocktails made by robots in the Bionic Bar which is situated on the Royal Promenade.

If that doesn’t appeal, there’s the Rising Tide Bar, which has a moving platform where guests’s seats move up and down between the Promenade on Deck Five to Central Park on Deck Eight and providing great views.

There’s also lots of activities and entertainment on board including the musical Chicago, performed by a Broadway cast, an AquaTheatre where high-divers plunge from 60ft boards into a swimming pool and nightly “icetravanganzas” in the indoor ice rink.

Thrill-seeking passengers can enjoy the surf pool which generates waves 12 ft high, a 25m-long, (82 ft) ten-deck-high zip line and two rock climbing walls.

There’s also a mini golf course, Laser Tag game area, video game arcade, outdoor movie theatre, luxury spa and state-of-the-art gym.

VIP guests get to relax in their private suites and have a “royal genie”, or butler, on call.

The Ultimate Family Suite, which can hold 10 people, comes with a two-storey slide from the bedroom to the living room.

There are also a number of clubs and activities designed for kids of all ages, including Playscape, described as “an onboard wonderland for kids” – which has a slide that lifts riders up a near vertical wall on a raft before flinging them back down with a giant splash.

Thrills can also be found on the Ultimate Abyss, a 100 ft slide which drops from Deck 16 to Deck 6 in 13 seconds.

Royal Caribbean claims bookings are back to pre-pandemic levels.

Chief executive Jason Liberty said: “We are eager to move forward this year. We expect 2022 will be a strong year as we bring the rest of our fleet into operations and approach historical occupancy levels.”

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