Port Canaveral now home to world’s largest cruise ship

Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas begins departures

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – After previously sailing this year out of Fort Lauderdale and Europe, Royal Caribbean says its fifth ship in its Oasis class will now call Port Canaveral home for at least the next two years.

Weighing more than 230,000 tons with a total capacity of nearly 7,000 passengers, Wonder of the Seas is currently the world’s largest cruise ship.

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Strategic Account Manager Joanne Cotterman says all guests are now welcome – a big change from when cruising restarted a year ago during the pandemic.

“We will take guests whether they are vaccinated or not vaccinated,” Cotterman said. “And we’ve actually just eliminated the testing requirements as well for all guests, no matter what their vaccine status is.”

By eliminating COVID-19 rules, Cotterman said Royal Caribbean is boosting ticket sales.

A Wonder of the Seas passenger boarding the ship Sunday shared his thoughts on how the cruise industry has navigated the pandemic.

“I think that the industry’s doing a lot to keep everybody safe and secure,” Gary Emard said.

After seven nights across the Caribbean, Wonder Of The Seas is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral next Sunday morning and depart on another trip next Sunday afternoon.

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James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.