After months of anticipation, Royal Caribbean has given us our first look at Icon of the Seas. And wow, are we speechless.
The cruise line dropped hints that the future cruise ship would be a game changer for the cruise industry, but no one could have expected what Royal Caribbean has been planning.
Icon will be the largest cruise ship in the world. And Royal Caribbean’s first vessel powered by liquified natural gas (LNG). The cruise ship features plenty of innovations and industry firsts.
Below is everything we know so far about Icon of the Seas.
Icon of the Seas Stats
Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas is set to become the largest cruise ship in the world, with an anticipated internal volume of 250,800 GT, a length of 1,198 ft, and accommodations for 5,610 guests at double occupancy and 7,600 at maximum occupancy.
The completed cruise ship will boast 20 total decks, 7 pools, 9 whirlpools, 8 neighborhoods, 2,350 international crew members, and 2,805 guest staterooms.
Icon of the Seas Stats:
- Gross tonnage: 250,800 GT
- Length: 1,198 ft (365 meters)
- Guests: 5,610 at double occupancy and 7,600 max
- Staterooms: 2,805
- Decks: 20 total with 18 passenger accessible
- Crew: 2,350
- Pools: 7 pools and 9 whirlpools
- Construction: Built at Meyer Turku, Turku, Finland
The new cruise ship will be bigger than Royal Caribbean’s current record-holder Wonder of the Seas, which measures 1,188 feet long, 18 decks high, and 236,857 GT.
“With each new ship, we raise the bar in the travel industry while enhancing what our guests know and love,” said Jason Liberty, president, and CEO, of Royal Caribbean Group. “From the moment they step on board, every experience is specifically designed to give them the best vacation anywhere on land and at sea. With Icon of the Seas, we’ve taken this to a new level and made the ultimate family vacation.”
In the reveal, Royal Caribbean highlighted the eight neighborhoods in store for Icon of the Seas, including five brand-new concepts:
- Thrill Island
- Chill Island
- The Hideaway
- Suite Neighborhood
- Royal Promenade
- Central Park
Central Park, Royal Promenade, and the Suite Neighborhood are the three returning neighborhoods with bold reimaginings and exciting new features.
“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of delivering memorable experiences and our next bold commitment to those who love to vacation,” said Michael Bayley, president, and CEO, of Royal Caribbean International. “Now more than ever, families and friends are prioritizing experiences where they can bond and enjoy their own adventures. We set out to create a vacation that makes all that possible in one place for the thrill-seekers, the chill enthusiasts and everyone in between, without compromise. It’s this first-of-its-kind combination that makes Icon the future of family vacations, and that future is here.”
Similar in name to CoCocay’s Thrill Waterpark, Icon’s Thrill Island hosts the brand new Category 6 waterpark – the largest waterpark at sea.
According to Royal Caribbean, Category 6 is home to 6 record-breaking slides, including Frightening Bolt – the tallest drop slide at sea.
Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter are family raft slides that accommodate up to four riders per raft. Race your friends on Storm Chasers – two mat-racing slides.
Daredevils will love Crown’s Edge. The ropes-style course is where guests navigate around the ship’s logo before swinging more than 150 feet above the ocean.
Thrill Island also features returning favorites like mini golf at Lost Dunes, rock climbing at Adrenaline Peak, a Sports Court, and Royal Caribbean favorite, the Flowrider.
Chill Island is a new interpretation of the familiar cruise ship pool deck. The neighborhood spans three decks and provides a paradise oasis and breathtaking ocean views.
Among Icon of the Seas 7 pools, Royal’s Chill Island neighborhood is home to four of the ship’s seven pools. The highlight of the new pool deck is Royal Bay Pool, the largest pool at sea.
Inside the Caribbean-themed Royal Bay Pool is the cruise line’s first swim-up bar, Swim & Tonic. The pool is reminiscent of a resort pool with a wide swimming area, excellent views, and plenty of sun loungers around the edges.
Chill Island also hosts an infinity edge Cove Poll nestled in a serene section of the ship and complete with water lounges.
Instead of the traditional Solarium, Icon of the Seas features a brand-new retreat. Cloud 17 is the cruise ships adult’s only home with an infinity-edge pool, cantilevered whirlpool, and signature Lime & Coconut bar.
Surfside is designed for young families. Royal Caribbean created the neighborhood as a place for families to eat, drink, and play all day.
It replaces the Boardwalk found on Oasis-class cruise ships with all new exciting amenities.
Surfside is Royal Caribbean’s first neighborhood dedicated to young families. It features the popular Adventure Ocean, Social 020 teen space, Water’s Edge Pool, Splashaway Bay, Baby Bay, Playscape, and a carousel.
The new Water’s Edge Pool, Baby Bay, and the reimagined Splashaway Bay Aquapark are located at the ship’s aft and provide stunning horizon views. Adults can soak up the sun by the pool while their children play at Splashaway Bay.
The Water’s Edge Pool isn’t adult-only. But it provides a relaxing spot to sit while your kids play at the nearby splash park.
Icon of the Seas’ Surfside also features several restaurants to grab a quick snack or meal.
The nearby bar provides “mommy and me” matching cocktails for parents and grownups to enjoy.
Young families can book one of the nearby family cabins surrounding the Surfside neighborhood. The family suites are ideally within walking distance, so parents don’t need to navigate the massive ship to find the kids’ play areas.
The Hideaway is hidden away 135 feet above the ocean, providing a quiet relaxing getaway. The beach-club-inspired neighborhood features the world’s first suspended infinity pool at sea, surrounded by a multi-level terrace, whirlpools, lounge chairs, and a bar.
If you’re looking to escape the busy hustle and bustle of the mega-cruise ship, you’ll want to escape to The Hideaway.
The Aquadome is located on the top decks towards the front of the cruise ship.
The fully enclosed theater allows the cruise line to control the weather, lighting, smoke effects, and more to create the ultimate show at sea.
According to Royal Caribbean, the Aquadome on Icon of the Seas takes aqua shows to the next level by taking “artistry and cutting-edge technology to new heights, with a transforming pool, four robotic arms, state-of-the-art projection, and more.”
Icon’s Aquadome is home to the tallest waterfall at sea (55 feet tall) and features a stunning ocean view.
While the Aquadome hosts the cruise ship’s late-night marquee aqua show, it is transformed into a tranquil getaway during the day.
The space is also home to several bars and restaurants. Guests can relax by the panoramic ocean views while enjoying the sound of the waterfall as they eat, drink, and enjoy sailing.
First introduced on Wonder of the Seas, Icon’s Suite Neighborhood is larger than ever. Guests booked in suite accommodations have exclusive access to The Grove’s three-story space.
The Grove features a two-level sun deck, private pool, whirlpool, and two restaurants. Star and Sky Class suite guests have exclusive access to an upgraded pool deck.
Suite guests can dine at the expanded two-story Coastal Kitchen.
Icon of the Seas revamps the Royal Promenade with a new space called The Pearl. The Pearl is the subject of much speculation, but Royal Caribbean hasn’t revealed much about it.
The Promenade on Icon of the Seas features shops, restaurants, bars, lounges, and the largest ice rink in Royal Caribbeans fleet.
The Royal Promenade is home to 15 restaurants, bars, and lounges, including the return of favorites like Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wind bar and the new Pearl Cafe.
Absolute Zero is a bold new ice rink with a circular design. The design ensures every seat is the best seat in the house. And thanks to cutting-edge technology and Olympic-level ice skaters, Royal Caribbean promises that Absolute Zero will bring show-stopping entertainment.
The new Central Park on Icon of the Seas is greener and livelier than ever. The neighborhood is home to 20% more trees than previous Oasis class vessels and features four living plant walls that are five decks high.
The neighborhood features several dining venues, including the popular Izumi restaurant.
Icon of the Seas features 28 different cabin categories with spacious accommodations and bright decor. Among the 28 ways to stay are several new cabin categories aimed at families:
- Ultimate Family Townhouse: A three-story stateroom with an in-suite slide, cinema, karaoke, and a spacious balcony. The ultimate family townhouse includes a price entrance to the Surfside neighborhood with a white picket fence and mailbox.
- Surfside Family Suite: A cozy and spacious cabin with accommodations for up to four guests. The suite includes a comfortable kids’ nook, a private balcony, and Royal Suite Class perks.
- Family Infinite Balcony: Larger families can book the Family Infinite Balcony with space for up to six guests. The stateroom features a split bathroom design, an infinite balcony, and bunk beds.
- Inside Plus: An expanded inside cabin with a deluxe closet and more space than traditional interior staterooms.
- Panoramic Ocean View: These staterooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows that provide stunning ocean views. It is located in the Aquadome neighborhood.
- Sunset Corner Suites: Located at the back of the ship, these suites feature large wrap-around balconies.
Despite being larger than Wonder of the Seas, Icon will only have 2,805 cabins compared to Wonder’s 2,867. That’s because the new Icon of the Seas is built for families.
The staterooms on Icon of the Seas have more space and are designed to accommodate more than two passengers. Many of the staterooms can accommodate families of six.
The new cabins include more storage, deluxe walk-in closets, infinite veranda technology, and a split bathroom design.
Icon of the Seas even provides updated accommodations for cruise ship staff with patented crew accommodations created by the crew for the crew.
Icon of the Seas is scheduled to debut on January 28, 2024. The cruise ship will sail year-round for 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami.
Every itinerary on Icon of the Seas will visit Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas.
Royal Caribbean will take delivery of the cruise ship in October or Early November of 2023. But with all new classes of cruise ships, Icon of the Seas will require extensive testing before her maiden voyage.
During Icon’s first visit to CocoCay, the cruise line will debut the island’s adult-only oasis Hideaway Beach. The new beach will feature an expansive pool, private cabanas, and ocean views.
Royal Caribbean’s First LNG-Powered Ship
Icon of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s first cruise ship powered by liquified natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.
LNG is the cleanest-burning marine fuel currently available. According to ship-technology.com, “LNG is the cleanest fossil fuel currently produced, so it is no surprise that various cruise companies have selected it as the power source for their propulsion. The combustion of the gas releases significantly reduced amounts of CO2, NOX and SO2 emissions into the atmosphere, and produces virtually no particulates or ash.”
Royal Caribbean says Icon of the Seas will be the cruise line’s most sustainable ship. The cruise ship can hook up to shoreside power when available in port and use a heat recovery system to convert engine heat into energy.
When Can You Book Icon of the Seas?
Bookings for Icon of the Seas are open to Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor members on October 24, 2022, and open to the public on October 25, 2022.
When Does Icon of the Seas Debut?
Icon of the Seas is scheduled to debut on January 28, 2024, from the Port of Miami.
Royal Caribbean promised that Icon of the Seas would be bigger and better than any other cruise ship, and they did not disappoint.
Everything we’ve seen is just the tip of the iceberg. And we cannot wait to learn more during the coming year.
Let us know your thoughts on the new Icon of the Seas in the comments below!