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Icon of the Seas: All About the World's Largest Cruise Ship

by Leap on January 16, 2024

Inside This Post Inside This Post

Step aboard Royal Caribbean International's Icon of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship! She stands tall with an impressive 20 decks, accommodates 5,610 guests and has a dedicated crew of 2,350 —  this vessel is a floating marvel. Setting sail from the vibrant city of Miami, the Icon's inaugural sail will take place on Jan. 27, 2024. Built in Turku, Finland, at the Meye Turku shipyard, this ship spans an incredible 1,198 feet and boasts a staggering 2,805 staterooms. As we all collectively pick up our jaws, today we're so frogcited to share everything we know so far about the Icon of the Seas. There's no doubt, she is THE MOMENT!

Icon of the Seas - Aerial View

Overview of the Icon of the Seas

As the first ship in the Icon class, Royal Caribbean plans to add two more ships to this remarkable fleet by 2030. In this post, we'll explore the Icon's eight distinct neighborhoods, including The Hideaway, Surfside and Thrill Island, each of which has its own unique characteristics. The ship's additional highlights include over 40 different restaurants, bars and lounges, seven pools and nine whirlpools. Currently, the Icon of the Seas itineraries offer seven-night sailings to either the Eastern or Western Caribbean and every sail visits Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's very own private island.

Of course, your favorite frogs have some hoppin' Royal Caribbean cruise deals going on right now! Sail away with kids 12 and under for free on sailings between April 1, 2024 - April 25, 2026.  And, get a second guest 60% off (with an extra 30% off for third or fourth guests) on select cruises departing on or after April 1, 2024. Act fast — both Royal Caribbean deals are valid until April 1, 2024!

Icon of the Seas Accommodations

There are 28 different room types onboard, from a three-story townhouse to the new Infinity Balcony rooms, each with several subcategories. Here are just the highlights, but there are plenty of room types to accommodate different family sizes and budgets. Many of the room types have the option of connecting rooms and ocean views:

  • Ultimate Family Townhouse — is three stories tall and includes two bedrooms, an in-suite slide, cinema and karaoke space and a private outdoor whirlpool! You'll also have your own private room attendant to cater to your every need.
  • Family Infinite Balcony — a push of a button transforms the outdoor balcony into an extra living space. There's also a separate space for the kids, complete with bunk beds and TVs. There's a split bathroom — a shower and sink on one side and a toilet and sink on another.
  • Infinite Balcony Rooms — with a choice of ocean or Central Park views, these rooms' claim to fame is their flexibility. The outdoor balcony can be opened up to become extra room indoors.
  • Surfside Family interiors, balconies and suites — located in the family-centric Surfside neighborhood, these rooms are perfect for families. The living room space transforms into a kids' nook that makes bedtime extra special. These rooms also feature a split bathroom design.
  • Oceanview Rooms & Suites — these rooms are located in the new AquaDome area. You'll have easy access to a 220-degree ocean view and exciting entertainment at the AquaTheatre. You'll also be surrounded by plenty of nightlife including the aerial performers at the shapeshifting waterfall.
  • Sunset Suites — these new series of suites make the sun the main attraction. You guessed it! You'll have the best spot to watch the sun both rise and set each day of your trip. The Sunset Corner Suites even feature a wraparound balcony.
  • Interior — sleeps up to four and includes standard amenities such as a private bathroom, flat screen TV, iPod docking station, mini-safe and hairdryer.

Icon of the Seas Neighborhoods

Royal Promenade

Once you step onto the Icon of the Seas, your adventure begins in the Royal Promenade, the ship's atrium. This two-level atrium makes for a lively hub of excitement with entertainment venues, restaurants and shops. Your first "wow" moment starts at The Pearl. This stunning focal point is made up of approximately 3,600 kinetic tiles and serves as a support structure for three decks. However, it's not just visually stunning; it also makes a special photo opportunity too! #postitoninsta

Need a quick bite? Then you'll want to visit the Pearl Café, which replaces Cafe Promenade on other Royal ships, offering coffee, grab-and-go snacks, pastries, sandwiches and more light bites.

Icon of the Seas - Pearl Cafe

If pizza is calling your name, head to Sorrento's, the iconic pizza joint. On the Icon, this space features a larger and more open seating area. Boleros, a Latin-themed bar, invites you to relax with classic cocktails like mojitos and hurricanes. The Schooner Bar is also located here, a nautical-themed lounge, that has a fresh look with open space and a new menu featuring classics like the old-fashioned or rum-spiked daiquiri. And the 1400 Lobby Bar is a new venue that opens the Royal Promenade to the outdoors.

For engaging entertainment, check out Dueling Pianos, a first-of-a-kind bar also found in the buzzing Royal Promenade. Here, dueling pianos create nightly singalongs. If you crave Italian flavors, Giovanni's Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar serves up Old World classics, including veal meatballs and hand-tossed pizza, accompanied by a fine selection of wines.

If you're feeling lucky, just a short escalator ride down from the Royal Promenade, you'll find the Casino Royal. There are 30 game tables, 360 slot machines and a slew of sports screens to catch the game. The casino also has a high-limit area for those ready to up the ante.

Central Park

The Central Park neighborhood aboard the Icon of the Seas is an open-air space surrounded with lush greenery, seating and colorful gardens. Central Park is a refreshed concept that originated in the Oasis class of ships. Adorned with brightly colored shutters and balcony-facing rooms, this area has abundant seating, including tables for dining. Here, you'll find a variety of venues to explore:

Izumi in the Park: A grab-and-go sushi restaurant. Inside, there are teppanyaki tables for indulging in delicious Japanese cuisine.

Park Café: A complimentary venue serving breakfast and lunch, featuring a selection of sandwiches and salads.

Lou's Jazz n' Blues Club: Catch the soulful tunes of a live jazz band while enjoying refreshing libations in this jubilant jazz bar.

Chops Grille: Indulge in a specialty menu at this restaurant, offering a new culinary experience in the Royal Fleet. The offerings here are at an additional cost.

Trellis Bar: This bar not only serves handcrafted cocktails but also offers a food menu perfect for those pre-dinner appetizers.

Bubbles: A casual walk-up style champagne bar with a selection of champagne by the bottle or glass. This is where Mommy Frog likes to start her day with a morning bellini or mimosa! Hey, when on vacay!

And if you're in the mood for shopping, Central Park has you covered with designer and name-brand shops, offering a one-stop destination for souvenirs and more.

Surfside

Welcome to Surfside, a fun-filled neighborhood on the Icon of the Seas designed exclusively for families! Here, families have everything they need in one convenient space.

Splashaway Bay: Dive into fun at Surfside's very own water park, Splashaway Bay. Packed with slides, geysers, a drench bucket, mini slides and the Baby Bay splash zone. Adults can unwind at the back of this area in the adult pool which is surrounded by stunning ocean views.

Icon of the Seas - Surfside Eatery

Surfside Eatery: Hungry after all the water adventures? Head to Surfside Eatery, a family-friendly complimentary buffet. From pancakes to pasta, the menu offers kid-friendly favorites with a fun spin.

Beach-themed Carousel: The little ones will enjoy the bright and colorful carousel, offering complimentary rides.

Surfside Bites: Grab a quick bite at Surfside Bites, a complimentary eatery with options like popcorn chicken, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pizza bread and french fries. For those with a sweet tooth, indulge in cinnamon sugar churros, confetti cookies or fruit skewers.

Sprinkles: Cool off with complimentary soft-serve ice cream at Sprinkles Ice Cream. This is most likely where you'll find our two kiddos! Soft-serve becomes their main staple on any Royal Caribbean cruise. :)

The Lemon Post: A "mommy and me" bar where the whole family can order drinks. Adults can enjoy cocktails while the kids sip on non-alcoholic beverages.

Pier 7: For an elevated dining experience, visit Pier 7, a specialty restaurant offering an all-day brunch menu. And bonus — kids eat free! Indulge in surf and turf tacos, mango lime shrimp tostadas, fluffy pancakes and smoked salmon benedict.

Thrill Island

Hold on to your hats as we make our way up to Deck 16 – Thrill Island! Brace yourself for the incredible Category 6 water park, the largest at sea, complete with six record-breaking waterslides. The Frightening Bolt just so happens to be the tallest drop waterslide at sea. And the Pressure Drop takes the prize for the first open freefall waterslide on a cruise ship.

Icon of the Seas - Category Six Water Park

If waterslides aren't your thing — stay with us. Thrill Island has something for everyone:

Lost Dunes Mini Golf: Tee off on the sunken treasure-themed mini golf course for a swashbuckling good time.

FlowRider: Experience the thrill of surfing on the FlowRider, a surf simulator that's sure to make a splash.

Sports Court: Shoot some hoops or try your hand at tennis, pickleball or even soccer on the versatile sports court. You'll also find the Adrenaline Peak rock climbing wall here.

Crown's Edge: Calling all adrenaline junkies! Crown's Edge is a thrilling combination of a ropes course and a thrill ride. It's the closest you'll get to "walking the plank," but with a catch. Just as you step onto the edge of the "plank" the floor collapses beneath you and you swing out 145 feet above the ocean!

As far as the foodie options, Basecamp is the place to go. This eatery on Thrill Island serves up both complimentary and specialty menus. From sandwiches and wraps to delectable cheese curds, there's something to satisfy every craving.

And for those sweet-tooth moments, head over to the Desserted Milkshake Bar. Indulge in over-the-top milkshakes like the Chocolate Castaway, Strawberry Shipwreck, Minty Mariner and the Oreo Oasis – just to name a few. These treats are not included in the drink package, but worth the splurge.

Chill Island

Now that we've amped up the excitement at Thrill Island, let's cool things down at Chill Island – the relaxation zone aboard the Icon of the Seas. It's the ultimate place to kick back and unwind, complete with pools and whirlpool tubs.

Here is where you'll find Swim & Tonic, the largest swim-up bar at sea. There are cozy seating spots, lounge chairs and casitas available for rent for an additional fee. Oh, and here's a fun twist (literally!)– tadpoles can use the colorful twisty slide to get from one deck to another.

Royal Bay: For water lovers, there are seven different pools to dive into, including Royal Bay – the largest pool at sea.

Icon of the Seas - El Loco Fresh

For the foodie options, El Loco Fresh is a complimentary Mexican eatery. Grab-and-go tacos, quesadillas and burritos are on the menu, complete with a salsa station to load up your dishes with extra flavor.

For the grown-up frogs looking for a tranquil escape, Cloud 17 is an adults-only area on the Icon of the Seas. This exclusive retreat, designed for ages 18 and up, is a serene pool deck. This area is similar to the Solarium found on other Royal Caribbean ships.

Cloud 17 is surrounded by loungers for relaxing and soaking up those zen moments. And for those pool-side drinks, the Lime & Coconut is a three-level high bar that serves up refreshing frozen cocktails. However, the third level is a bit exclusive and can only be accessed via Cloud 17.

The Hideaway

And now for the hottest spot on the Icon of the Seas – The Hideaway! We're predicting it'll be the "it" place for ages 18+. At the center is an extraordinary pool, but this isn't your average pool – it's the first suspended infinity pool at sea! It hovers a whopping eight stories high, complete with two hot tubs and includes the trendy Hideaway Bar. The party vibes? Oh, they're in full swing thanks to a live DJ. In addition, chaise loungers, day beds and a terrace lounge surround the entire area on Deck 15.

Icon of the Seas Ship - Top Deck Views

Windjammer Marketplace is one of the largest buffets on the ship. It's complimentary for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There's a ton of different food offerings here. Even if you have super picky eaters in your crew, they'll find something they love here. Windjammers is expansive, with plenty of seats and beautiful ocean views. You'll also get awesome views of Surfside and Thrill Island while you enjoy your meal.

Suite Neighborhood

For those staying in a Grand Level suite or above, the Suite Neighborhood will become your home away from home. This inclusive space is accessible to guests occupying any of the suites on the ship and includes a private sundeck equipped with comfortable chairs, loungers and casitas. While some of the fancier seating options typically incur an additional cost, here they come complimentary for suite guests.

Beyond the exclusive two-level sundeck, suite guests have access to private dining options. The Grove offers Mediterranean cuisine and grab-and-go snacks. For a more refined atmosphere, Coastal Kitchen is a sit-down restaurant with scenic views overlooking the Aquadome area of the ship.

AquaDome

We'd now like to introduce to you ... the AquaDome! This dazzling new area on the Icon of the Seas is truly a sight to behold. This massive dome covers a giant space at the front of the ship, but once you step inside this impressive structure, you're in for a treat.

Inside the AquaTheatre, the diving shows take center stage. These are grand, breathtaking performances and the covered area created by the dome is protected from the elements. Come rain or shine, bad weather won't rain on this parade.

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For some relaxation and downtime, be sure to head to The Overlook. This new space makes for the perfect spot to unwind with a good book and snack. Chat with friends in the cozy nooks and pods, and don't froget to grab a latte or a coffee-infused cocktail at the Rye & Bean.

The AquaDome Market introduces a new food hall concept where everything is complimentary. Take your pick from various stations like GNGR or Toast & Garden — there are plenty of options. The smaller portions served allow room for you to enjoy a variety of treats without getting too full.

For you seafood lovers, Hooked Seafood, a specialty restaurant, is also nestled within the AquaDome. Here, you can indulge in delectable seafood dishes.

And if you're looking for a unique souvenir or gift, check out Royal Bling – a retail store exclusively offering Royal Caribbean-themed jewelry and branded merchandise.

Icon of the Seas - Entertainment & Recreation

First up, we have the Royal Theatre, where you can catch Broadway-caliber shows. "The Wizard of Oz" – the featured musical that will dazzle you (like Dorothy's ruby slippers!). For some cool moves, head to Absolute Zero, the ice skating rink, offering two different ice skating shows and open skating times during the day. Don't worry about gear – ice skates are available for your convenience.

Love live music and performances? Check out the Music Hall, a two-level area with live music, bands, karaoke and trivia. It's got a club-style atmosphere that makes for a relaxed hang. If you're a sports fan, Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade is the place to be, with giant TVs, and arcade games, plus who doesn't like bar snacks like nachos, burgers and fries.

For a high-dollar dining experience, there's the brand-new Empire Supper Club. This upscale eatery costs about $200 per person and includes an 8-course meal. It offers an intimate vibe, with limited dining availability. We can't wait to try this one out!

Wanna live it up like a VIP? Then be sure to make reservations at the Celebration Table. You and your crew of up to 13 guests can experience an exclusive dining experience including your own personal lounge, ocean views and a choice of four prix fixe menus and signature cocktails.

For a bit of relaxation and pampering, head to Deck 12 to find the Vitality Spa at Sea, Vitality Fitness Center and Vitality Cafe. The cafe offers refreshing drinks and smoothies, while the spa and salon services (with additional costs) include massages, facials, skin treatments and even a blow-dry bar called To Dry For.

Icon of the Seas Ship - Adventure Ocean Youth Club

Parents can enjoy some alone time while the little ones dive into the fun at Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean's fantastic youth program and kids' clubs. These fun-filled clubs are the place where kids can play, learn and make new friends. And for the teens, there's a special hangout onboard, Social 020. For babies and toddlers, AO Babies provides childcare services (ages 6 months to 36 months) for an extra cost.

Icon of the Seas Fun Facts

  • The Icon of the Seas is an expensive lady of the sea! She is one of the most expensive ships ever built. How much did her construction cost? Oh, just a cool $2 billion. To put this in perspective, the previous Royal Caribbean record holder, Allure of the Seas cost about $1.43 billion to build.
  • Icon of the Seas will be the first ship to be powered by liquified natural gas and fuel cell technology. This greener approach is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 30% and sulfur emissions by almost 100%!
  • Rover is the 'Chief Dog Officer' onboard. She is a Golden Retriever whose only job is to bring joy and happiness to her fellow crew and guests. She is managed by her handler Alison Hubble. We love following her on Instagram!

The Icon of the Seas is a true engineering masterpiece! Did you enjoy this sneak peek of Icon of the Seas? What are you most excited about? In the comments, let us know when you'll be setting sail! 

Related: Top Reasons Why We Love Sailing on a Royal Caribbean Cruise with Kids

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