The Unveiling of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas: The Largest Cruise Ship Ever Built

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Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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Curator’s statement

Royal Caribbean's new vessel, the Icon of the Seas, has sparked tremendous excitement and anticipation in the world of cruising. This architectural marvel is a floating metropolis that promises an extraordinary blend of adventure, relaxation and innovation. The buzz surrounding its launch is palpable, as it sets new benchmarks in luxury, entertainment and sustainability.

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Where to stay on Board

Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas

Embark on a journey of unparalleled elegance and innovation aboard Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, where every moment is crafted for a truly iconic experience.

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Things to do on Board

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Icon of the Seas by Royal Caribbean is poised to set a new standard in cruise vacations with its array of unprecedented features and amenities, designed to cater to a wide range of preferences and interests.

Today we know that the ship pushes the boundaries of cruise ship design and amenities. The excitement is especially intense for the unmatched experiences awaiting passengers.

We have compiled a comprehensive guide for all the innovations of this state-of-the-art vessel:

The Ultimate Water Park at Sea: Category 6

The ship introduces the largest water park at sea, named "Category 6." This thrilling water park boasts six innovative waterslides, including the tallest drop slide and the first open free fall slide at sea, offering an unmatched aquatic adventure.

Crown's Edge: A Test of Courage

This attraction is a unique blend of a skywalk, obstacle course and thrill ride! It's designed to test the courage of its participants with a dramatic drop that leaves them suspended high above the ocean.

Surfside: Endless Family Fun

Tailored for families, Surfside offers endless entertainment with an expansive water park for kids, an adult pool and a variety of dining options. It's a neighborhood that promises non-stop fun for all ages.

The Hideaway: Elevated Relaxation

This neighborhood brings the vibe of a beach club to the sea with the first suspended infinity pool on a cruise ship. It features a multi-level terrace, whirlpools, and a circular bar, providing a unique setting for relaxation and enjoyment.

Swim & Tonic: The Party in the Pool

Positioned as the liveliest spot on the ship, this is the largest swim-up bar at sea. It offers a vibrant party atmosphere with DJs and a selection of gin-based drinks, making it a perfect place to enjoy the day in the water.

Royal Bay Pool: Immense Relaxation

Royal Bay Pool in Chill Island: Claimed to be the largest pool at sea, the Royal Bay Pool is part of the Chill Island neighborhood. It offers over 150,000 liters of water, in-water loungers and elevated whirlpools, providing an expansive area for relaxation.

AquaDome: A Fusion of Art and Technology

AquaDome: Located at the crown of the ship, the AquaDome is a multi-purpose area that combines dining, mixology, and performance art. It features aerialists, acrobatics, high dives, and the tallest waterfall at sea, creating a mesmerizing experience both day and night.

Absolute Zero: A Majestic Ice Arena

Absolute Zero: This is the largest ice arena ever on a cruise ship, where high-resolution digital projections transform the environment, offering an immersive and audacious skating experience.

The Pearl: Innovative structural and artistic centerpiece

The Pearl on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas is an exceptional piece of architectural artistry. It's more than just a visually striking sculpture; it plays a crucial role in supporting the ship's structure.

This innovation is a blend of art and engineering, a centerpiece that captures attention and imagination. Developed through a complex design process, The Pearl is a result of intricate engineering and creative collaboration. It’s designed to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, contributing significantly to the ship's structural integrity while also enhancing its visual appeal.

Situated at the heart of the ship's Royal Promenade, The Pearl is also an interactive art installation. It consists of thousands of moving tiles that create mesmerizing visual effects, complemented by LED lights and music, offering a unique and engaging experience to the guests. This kinetic sculpture also serves as a transitional space, with a staircase connecting different levels of the promenade.

The Royal Promenade itself, where The Pearl is located, is a lively and dynamic area of the ship. It brings together elements from different Royal Caribbean ship classes, offering an expansive, curved space filled with bars, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.

A notable feature of this area is the inclusion of three-story windows, a first for Royal Caribbean, which provides stunning sea views and helps guests feel more connected to the ocean.

Accommodation Options:

Of course, Icon of the Seas offers a wide variety of cabin options (28 choices to be exact!), each designed to cater to different guest needs and preferences. Here's a detailed look at the accommodation types available:

  • Wide Range of Cabin Categories: The ship features 28 different cabin categories, including new and innovative designs never seen before on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

  • Family-Focused Options: Among the new types of cabins, there are several specifically designed for families. These include Family Infinite Oceanview Balconies, which can accommodate up to six people, featuring a bunk alcove for kids and multiple TVs. The bathroom in these cabins is split-designed for convenience, with a shower and sink on one side and a toilet and sink on the other.

  • Surfside Family View Cabins: Located in the Surfside neighborhood, these cabins are designed for up to four people and offer easy access to family-centric amenities and activities.

  • Ultimate Family Townhouse: This is a standout accommodation, offering a three-level townhouse experience with a multitude of features like a multilevel in-suite slide, areas for karaoke and movie watching, two private balconies and even a private entrance to the Surfside neighborhood.

  • Panoramic Ocean View and Other Options: The ship introduces new types of cruise cabins, such as the Panoramic Ocean View, which provides expansive views of the sea.

  • Accommodation for Large Groups: More than 82 percent of all rooms on board are designed to accommodate three or more guests, with over 70 percent featuring balconies.

  • Total Stateroom Count: There are 2805 total staterooms, including 179 suites, 1815 balcony staterooms, 276 ocean view staterooms and 535 interior staterooms.

  • Exclusive Areas for Suite Guests: Suite guests have access to exclusive areas like The Grove and Coastal Kitchen, offering upscale dining experiences.

This diverse range of cabin types and amenities ensures that Icon of the Seas can cater to a variety of guest needs, from families seeking fun and interactive spaces to couples looking for luxury and privacy. For more details, consult your Fora advisor.

Icon of the Seas Neighborhoods in a glance:

Thrill Island - This is the adrenaline-pumping heart of the ship, featuring the "Category 6" water park. With six innovative water slides, it's a haven for thrill-seekers. Highlights include the tallest drop slide at sea and a unique open freefall slide.

Crown's Edge - Crown's Edge combines elements of a skywalk, ropes course, and thrill ride. It's a challenging experience where the ground suddenly gives way, leaving you suspended high above the ocean, testing your courage and resilience.

Surfside - A family-centric neighborhood, Surfside offers activities and amenities for all ages. It includes child-friendly water parks and adult relaxation spaces. This neighborhood is ideal for families to enjoy quality time together.

The Hideaway - Resembling a beach club, The Hideaway features the first suspended infinity pool at sea. It offers a relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy champagne cocktails and music from a DJ, providing a perfect setting for unwinding.

AquaDome - Located at the ship's crown, the AquaDome is a versatile area offering breathtaking views through its floor-to-ceiling windows. It hosts spectacular shows featuring aerialists and acrobatics, with the tallest waterfall at sea as a backdrop.

Central Park - This neighborhood brings a touch of greenery onboard with thousands of live plants. It's an open-air garden where guests can enjoy dining and entertainment, including a new jazz club, Lou's Jazz 'n Blues, and a walk-up champagne window.

Chill Island - Chill Island is designed to be the ultimate pool deck with ocean views. It includes the Swim & Tonic swim-up bar, the expansive Royal Bay Pool, and the Cove Pool, offering a quieter pool experience with in-water loungers.

Additional Neighborhoods

Other neighborhoods include spaces dedicated to suite guests, offering exclusive amenities like private sun decks and specialized dining options.

Environmental Commitment

Icon of the Seas marks a significant step towards more sustainable cruising through its use of advanced energy technologies:

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) - The ship is powered by LNG, which represents a major shift from traditional diesel fuel used in many cruise ships. LNG is known for being more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. LNG significantly reduces emissions compared to diesel, including lower carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and virtually no sulfur dioxide emissions.

Additional Environmental Technologies:

  • Shore Power Connection: Alongside LNG, "Icon of the Seas" utilizes a shore power connection. This technology allows the ship to connect to local power grids while docked, reducing emissions in port cities.

  • Overall Energy Efficiency: The ship's design and the use of LNG contribute to an overall reduction in energy consumption and emissions. According to Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley, the LNG-powered Icon class is about 35% more fuel energy efficient than regular fuel.

  • With the introduction of "Icon of the Seas," Royal Caribbean International is setting a new standard in the cruise industry for environmental responsibility and energy efficiency.

  • The use of LNG is seen as a crucial development in the cruise industry's journey towards sustainability, demonstrating how large-scale luxury travel can be aligned with environmental consciousness.

Places to eat & drink on Board

An inside far view of the Royal Caribbean cruise.

On Icon of the Seas by Royal Caribbean, the dining options are extensive and diverse, catering to a wide range of culinary preferences.

Here's a summary of the key dining experiences available on the ship:

  • AquaDome Market: This food hall-style venue offers different stations serving a variety of cuisines, such as mac 'n cheese, Greek bowls, pitas and more.

  • Basecamp: Situated in the Thrill Island neighborhood, Basecamp features a walk-up window and bar, offering both complimentary and premium selections.

  • El Loco Fresh: A Mexican buffet-style restaurant, perfect for casual dining.

  • Main Dining Room: Traditional sit-down meals are served here for breakfast, lunch (on sea days) and dinner.

  • Park Cafe: This venue offers grab-and-go salads, sandwiches and snacks. It's also open in the evening for late-night bites.

  • Pearl Cafe: A 24-hour quick-service venue providing complimentary sandwiches, salads, coffee and more.

  • Sorrento's: Famous for its pizza slices, this is a great spot for a quick and casual meal.

  • Sprinkles: An ideal place for those looking for a sweet treat, offering complimentary soft-serve ice cream.

  • Surfside Bites: Another grab-and-go option for quick and easy meals.

  • Surfside Eatery: Located in the Surfside neighborhood, this buffet is designed for family dining convenience.

  • Vitality Cafe: Offers healthy snacks and smoothies for those looking for lighter fare.

  • Windjammer Marketplace: A buffet restaurant open for all three meals, offering a wide variety of choices.

  • Coastal Kitchen: Exclusive to suite guests, this two-story restaurant offers a blend of Pacific Coast and Mediterranean cuisine.

  • The Grove: Also exclusive to suite guests, this al fresco buffet serves Mediterranean cuisine.

Additionally, there are several specialty restaurants on board, such as the Empire Supper Club (an eight-course gourmet journey), Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Hooked Seafood, Izumi Hibachi & Sushi and more, which may have an additional cost.

Icon of the Seas also boasts over 40 places to drink, dine, and be entertained, ensuring that guests have a multitude of options to satisfy their culinary cravings throughout their voyage.

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Travel Advisor

Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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