Icon of the Seas Size Comparison: Facts and Stats

Are you wondering just how big the world's largest cruise ship is? Learn everything you need to know with our Icon of the Seas size guide.

In the world of modern cruise ships, size really matters! Some of the most iconic passenger vessels of all time continue to be remembered for how they broke records for size and redefined what a ship could be. 

On this front, a new engineering marvel has emerged that promises to set a new standard for both luxury and physical proportions – Icon of the Seas. Royal Caribbean’s new colossal vessel stands out as the largest cruise ship ever made. 

Today, we will take an in-depth look at just how big Icon of the Seas actually is. We will explore its immense dimensions and look into its passenger and crew capacity, as well as the vast number of onboard amenities it promises to deliver. Beyond the eye-bulging statistics relating to its size and capacity, we will also look into the construction costs of this record-breaking cruise ship, where it will sail, and how its interior is organized. 

If you’re ready to discover everything you need to know about Icon of the Seas, it’s time to get started!

Just How Big Is Icon of the Seas?

Icon of the Seas is a massive cruise ship and is 250,800 gross tons, making it the largest cruise ship in the world. The ship has a passenger capacity of 5,610 at double occupancy and is 1,196 feet long.

To appreciate the true scale of the Royal Caribbean’s giant cruise ship, you need to look at how each measurement dwarfs the Oasis-class ships that joined the fleet much earlier and one of the largest ships from the rival cruise line, Carnival.

Icon of the Seas Size Facts and Stats
Icon of the Seas Size Facts and Stats

Icon of the Seas Length

In terms of sheer numbers, Icon of the Seas measures a mind-boggling 1,198 feet in length, or 365 meters. This makes it roughly the same length as three-and-a-half full-sized NFL football fields. Even at a reasonable pace and without obstacles, this distance would take the average adult about 10 minutes to walk! 

Icon of the Seas Width

In terms of the massive cruise ship’s width, its maximum beam–or the distance between the most outer sides of the hull–measures 225.5 feet across!

Icon of the Seas Height

With 20 decks, Icon of the Seas also sits an incredibly high 196 feet above the water line. That is roughly the same height as an 18-story apartment building; plus, a huge section of the ship sits below the water

Icon of the Seas Weight

The gargantuan cruise ship tips the scales at 250,800 gross tons, making her the heaviest and largest cruise ship by gross tonnage that has ever been built. In fact, Icon of the Seas weighs roughly 5% more than the previous holder of the title of the biggest cruise ship in the world – Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas.

How Does the Icon of the Seas Measure Up to Other Major Cruise Ships?

While the sheer numbers can be impressive, they can also lack context when they are not compared to other cruise ships on the water today. The world’s next largest cruise ship, the Wonder of the Seas, is still an enormous vessel, but it only measures 1,187 feet to the 1,198 feet of the Icon of the Seas. 

Icon of the Seas Size Comparison

StatsIcon of the SeasWonder of the SeasCarnival Jubilee
Gross Tonnage250,800235,600183,521
Length1,1981,1881,130
Passenger Decks181618
Total Decks201820
Maximum Guest Capacity7,6006,9885,374
Total Cabins2,8052,8742,541
Crew Capacity2,3502,3001,735

The fact that Icon of the Seas is noticeably bigger and heavier than the previous title holders for the world’s largest cruise ship is truly incredible, but it still makes it difficult to understand just how large it really is.

To have a more informed understanding, you need to compare the Icon of the Seas to the average cruise ship, which tends to come in at roughly 900 to 1,000 feet in length

Is Icon of the Seas Really That Much Bigger Than Other Cruise Ships?

Given that Icon of the Seas is a full 10 feet longer than the next biggest cruise ship, it truly is a larger-than-life vessel. While 10 feet may not sound like too much if you are unfamiliar with ship dimensions, you also have to remember that Icon of the Seas also offers an extra two decks over the next largest ship.

Icon of the Seas Docked in US Virgin Islands
Icon of the Seas Docked in US Virgin Islands (Photo Credit: Virgin Islands Port Authority)

With two extra decks and an enormous length, the Icon of the Seas has the extra room required to outfit her with hundreds of additional cabins and observation decks, plus a much wider range of amenities. It is no wonder that industry experts have been referring to her ambitious design as being bolder than anything ever built. 

Icon of the Seas Capacity – Passengers and Crew

With a maximum passenger capacity of 7,600 guests, Icon of the Seas is almost a floating city. When you consider that the crew capacity of 2,350 takes the total number of people up to a maximum of 9,950, you truly begin to realize just how massive the ship truly is. 

While it may not sound like an overly glamorous record, Icon of the Seas also takes the record for the cruise ship with the highest number of crew members. As you would expect, more crew members are needed to service a larger ship, but the giant cruise ship goes beyond what is purely necessary.

Icon of the Seas Delivery
Icon of the Seas Delivery (Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean)

This is because it was intended to be the most luxurious and enjoyable cruise ship on the planet, not just the largest. This immense number of crew and staff ensures that passengers are always attended to and everything about the voyage goes smoothly. 

What About Accommodations on the Icon of the Seas?

The ship’s numerous cabins are designed to offer comfortable accommodations for families and groups of all sizes. With family-specific staterooms and cabins that can accommodate families of three, four, five, and even six people, Icon of the Seas offers options for just about anyone hoping to enjoy a vacation with their whole family.

Read Also: Icon of the Seas Cabins and Suites Guide

This is no surprise when you consider that Royal Caribbean has advertised travel on the massive vessel as the best family vacation in the world.

Not only do guests have plenty of options for choosing how many people their cabin can comfortably accommodate, but there are plenty of options for layout and interior design. In fact, the Icon of the Seas features 28 unique categories of room options, which is only possible thanks to the cruise ship’s immense size! 

As mentioned, Royal Caribbean had families in mind when they came up with the cabin design for the Icon of the Seas. In doing so, they introduced eight new suite categories specifically designed for groups larger than two passengers.

Icon of the Seas Ocean View Balcony
Icon of the Seas Ocean View Balcony

With over 82% of the rooms onboard Icon of the Seas being able to accommodate three or more guests at a time, passengers have more options than ever when it comes to group travel.

Not only are the cabins larger and more capable of handling multiple guests than the accommodations on a typical Royal Caribbean ship, but over 70% of the rooms will feature balconies. 

Breakdown of the Accommodations on the Icon of the Seas

Of the mind-blowing 2,805 passenger cabins and suites on the Icon of the Seas, 179 are classed as luxury suites, 1,815 are listed as staterooms with balconies, 276 are ocean-facing staterooms without balconies, and the remaining 535 are interior-facing staterooms. 

Even within those cabin and suites categories, there is a wide range of sub-categories, so passengers can truly pick the exact type of room they would like to enjoy during their voyage. With so many options, it is easy for passengers to find their own home away from home. This is just one of the many ways Icon of the Seas brings luxury and customization to cruise travel.

The Ultimate Family Townhouse
The Ultimate Family Townhouse

While having so many options may seem somewhat overwhelming to first-time cruise vacationers, it is hugely beneficial when it comes to choosing an experience that matches your preferences as well as your personal budget. 

The choice is all yours, whether you are looking for a budget-friendly inside cabin, which will measure the standard 156 square feet, or you want the luxury and spacious interior of a full-sized suite, like the 1,772 square foot Ultimate Family Townhouse suite. This suite features everything from multiple rooms and floors to in-cabin entertainment, like karaoke machines and movie theater-style projectors.

How Is the Interior of the Ship Divided?

Given the immense scale of Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean divided it into eight unique “neighborhoods.” Essentially, these are themed sections of the ship, which feature different types of attractions and dining options, as well as themed stores, décor, and cabin types.

Pearl Cafe on the Royal Promenade
Pearl Cafe on the Royal Promenade

This is not unique to the cruise ship, as Royal Caribbean has a reputation for dividing their larger cruise ships into neighborhoods; however, the sheer number and size of the neighborhoods make you realize just how large the ship is. 

Three of the “neighborhood” themes featured on Icon of the Seas are borrowed from her sister ships, while five are completely new and exclusive to the ship. 

Icon of the Seas Neighborhood Breakdown

Here is a breakdown of the ship’s eight different neighborhoods to help you grasp the scale and layout of the world’s largest cruise ship. To make things easier to visualize, we are starting from the bottom deck and working upwards: 

1. The Royal Promenade

The Royal Promenade has already been featured on numerous Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and it is a staple neighborhood on all of their Oasis-class vessels. Just like this section of the other ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, the Royal Promenade will feature a variety of bars, restaurants, food stalls, and a massive staircase; however, this version is much larger in scale. 

Royal Promenade on Icon of the Seas
Royal Promenade on Icon of the Seas

Walking through the Royal Promenade, you will find a double-piano bar where guests can make requests or watch rehearsed performances. You will also find an outdoor/indoor running track, bars with full-sized dance floors, a spa, a music hall for concerts, a comedy club, a fully-equipped fitness center, an escape room, an ice rink, and more. 

Considering this is just the first neighborhood, you can really see how it would be nearly impossible to feel bored on the Icon of the Seas! 

2. Surfside Neighborhood

Above the Royal Promenade and towards the back of the ship, you will find the Surfside Neighborhood, dedicated to families with young children.

Surfside Neighborhood
Surfside Neighborhood

Guests can take giant slides down from one level to the next. There is also an arcade, daycare for under 7-year-olds, a candy store, and numerous child-friendly themed restaurants. 

You will also find many cabins and suites designed for young families in the neighborhood, a splash area, several pools, and a carousel.

3. Central Park

Like the famous NYC park it is named after, the ship’s Central Park neighborhood is massive in scale. It stretches upwards several floors and has an open-air design in its center. Live trees and other plants help bring the outdoors inside the ship. Guests can wander down the winding paths or take a seat at one of the many restaurant and café patios.

Central Park neighborhood
Central Park neighborhood

This neighborhood also has numerous themed restaurants, including an upscale restaurant with a retro NYC theme, several bars, and two coffee shops. Jazz clubs, cocktail bars, and upscale shops also help give the neighborhood a real New York City feel. 

One of this neighborhood’s unique features is that it is where you will find many of the ship’s inward-facing cabins, so even those not looking out onto the water feel like they are outdoors. 

4. The AquaDome Neighborhood

The AquaDome is located at the front of the ship, and it takes its name from one of the ship’s central entertainment features, the massive dome that sits above the AquaTheater. This massive dry and wet theater stage will host a variety of shows. From acrobatic shows to pool diving demonstrations, this unique theater will entertain guests of all ages.

AquaDome Neighborhood
AquaDome Neighborhood

The stage of the AquaTheater is also bordered by computerized water fountains, while the ceiling above the stage features an enormous 363-ton glass and steel dome equipped with sprinklers and ceiling-mounted fountains. 

Beyond the theater, the AquaDome Neighborhood also houses a variety of themed restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows that will provide views of the ocean and help drive the ‘aqua’ theme home. 

5. Chill Island

Behind the AquaDome towards the aft of the ship, you can find Chill Island, home to four of the ship’s seven major pools. You will also find popular features, like a swim-up bar, an adults-only pool, numerous hot tubs, and plenty of poolside snack bars.

Chill Island
Chill Island

For those just hoping to catch some rays, there are several open-air decks that are dotted with free loungers and paid cabanas. Unsparingly, you will also find several restaurants serving ice creams, frozen cocktails, and other treats that will help you cool off. Chill Island also features a huge buffet restaurant for those who work up an appetite for swimming.

6. The Hideaway Neighborhood

Right at the back of the ship, you will find the Hideaway, designed to replicate a beach resort. With a major infinity pool that looks out onto the horizon, you will forget you are even at sea.

Hideaway Neighborhood
Hideaway Neighborhood

As you would expect, you will also find plenty of lounge space and cocktail and champagne bars. This section of the ship is meant to cater more to adult passengers than those traveling with children.

7. Thrill Island

As the name suggests, you will find some of the ship’s most exciting amenities in this neighborhood. From rock climbing walls and a FlowRider surf simulator to miniature golf courses and multi-purpose sports courts, it is the perfect area for those looking to get a thrill while they are at sea. Plus, there are plenty of walk-up drink and snack bars for when you work up an appetite.

Thrill Island
Thrill Island

Thrill Island is also where you will find the ship’s most visually striking feature – the largest waterpark at sea, named Category 6. With a record-breaking six full-sized water slides weaving in and out of each other, you will completely forget that you’re on a cruise ship instead of inside a water park on land.

8. The Suite Neighborhood

The final neighborhood covers decks 16, 17, 18, and 19. These are also the top decks open to passengers, with impressive views. As the name implies, this is where most of the ship’s suites and some of the lower-cost passenger cabins can be found.

The Grove
The Grove

In addition to passenger accommodations, there are open-air lounge areas, some smaller pools and hot tubs, and several restaurants and bars that are only accessible to those passengers who have booked suite-style rooms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much did it cost to build Icon of the Seas?

Given the immense scale of Icon of the Seas, it is no surprise that it is also one of the most expensive ships ever constructed. According to Royal Caribbean, construction costs have totaled approximately $2 billion!

Given that the previous record holder for the most expensive ship was the $1.43 billion Royal Caribbean spent to construct the Allure of the Seas, you can see why there has been so much hype for the Icon of the Seas. 

Will Royal Caribbean introduce other ships the same size as Icon of the Seas?

Yes! Icon of the Seas isn’t just a new ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet; it is actually considered to be the first in a new class of vessels – the Icon Class. In fact, Royal Caribbean has already announced its intentions to introduce three more ships that will measure up to the Icon of the Seas. Star of the Seas will arrive in 2025, a third in the class will arrive in 2026, and a fourth will debut in 2028.

Given how much time, money, and manpower goes into constructing a ship of this size, it is safe to say that Royal Caribbean anticipates the Icon of the Seas being a complete success. 

Where was the Icon of the Seas built?

Icon of the Seas was constructed in the Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland, and is powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). Royal Caribbean needed to be selective when deciding which shipyard would receive the contract to build Icon of the Seas, as few were equipped to deal with a ship of its complexity and proportions. The Meyer Turku Shipyard is considered to be one of the largest and most reputable in the world, so it was the perfect fit. 

Ultimately, the enormous ship took 900 days to build, and it needed over 2,600 shipbuilders and specialists working around the clock each day. Following its construction, vigorous safety and performance tests were carried out, and lengthy sea trials were conducted to check for noise, vibrations, and any other issues that could impact passengers’ enjoyment. 

What destinations Does Icon of the Seas travel to?

Icon of the Seas operates throughout the entire year with voyages departing from the Port of Miami, and they will last one whole week. The itinerary takes passengers through the Caribbean, with stops in Cozumel, CocoCay, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. 

Final Words

Icon of the Seas has redefined what a cruise ship can be, but it is important to remember that it is not the first ship to do so. The cruise industry constantly evolves and pushes the boundaries of how large, sophisticated, and luxurious its passenger vessels can be.

Read Also: Icon of the Seas vs Titanic – A Giant Comparison

While the Icon of the Seas might astonish the general public with its record-breaking dimensions and a seemingly endless number of amenities, we won’t be surprised when the cruise industry announces something even bigger and better.

With that said, a week-long cruise on the Icon of the Seas would be an amazing experience. With week-long cruises throughout the Caribbean, the Icon of the Seas offers families a vacation unlike any other.

Emrys Thakkar
Emrys Thakkar
The founder of Cruise Hive which was established in 2008 as one of the earliest cruise blogs in the industry. Emrys has been reporting on the latest cruise industry news since the site first launched. Expert insights and tips featured on a number of publications including The Express, Business Insider, and more. Worked for Carnival Cruise Line for 8 years and is well and truly dedicated to cruising! Has also been on a number of cruises so can offer an insight into the industry that many will not be able to do. What's even more impressive is that Emrys has traveled the world by visiting more than 34 countries, lived in China for 8 years, and cruised the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, and Europe. Find out more about us here.

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