Royal Caribbean International has released the sixth episode of its “Making an Icon” series, this time offering an in-depth, insider look at “Creating Thrill Island” – one of the most hotly anticipated features of the upcoming Icon of the Seas.
Billed as a “theme park adventure” on board what will be the largest cruise ship in the world, Thrill Island includes a variety of adrenaline-inducing features for all ages and much more.
What Is Thrill Island?
One of eight distinct neighborhoods on Icon of the Seas, Thrill Island is located primarily on Deck 16, and is designed as a shipwrecked island with unique decorative details to immerse guests in the adventure.
“The whole notion behind Thrill Island is its this lost island,” said Jay Schneider, Chief Product Innovation Officer for Royal Caribbean.
Distressed wood accents, a sunken boat, vibrant colors, foliage-like shade, and beach-like pathways all contribute to the overall vibe of the space, immersing guests in a fun tropical adventure.
Small “artifacts” from famed explorers such as Ferdinand Magellan, the Wright Brothers, and Amelia Earhart can also be found in the space, adding a sense of history, exploration, and connection to the thrills as guests dive in to their vacation.
Thrill Island Features
Thrill Island is the most extensive theme-park-like space aboard any cruise ship ever designed, all based on consumer research about what families and cruise travelers want to experience with respect to thrills.
“On the thrill-o-meter, we wanted to make sure we maintained a proper balance, but we also wanted to make sure we took it all the way,” said Jennifer Goswami, Director of Product Development for Royal Caribbean. “On Thrill Island, it’s really our maxed out version of what we could do from a thrill perspective on a ship.”
One of the most thrilling features of the space is the Category 6 waterpark, the largest waterpark ever at sea with 17,010 square feet of splashtastic fun. Six record-breaking waterslides offer thrills for all, from dueling mat racing slides to the tallest drop slide at sea, the first open free fall waterslide on any cruise ship, and the first family raft slides ever at sea.
Waterslides aren’t the only key features of Thrill Island, however. Crown’s Edge is a heart-pumping ropes course, skywalk experience 154 feet above the ocean with an unexpected drop leading to a zip line. This pushes the boundaries beyond the deck of the ship, putting adventurers right over the water in an area never before accessible to guests.
Thrill Island will also include classic favorites found on all Royal Caribbean ships, including the rock climbing wall, Adrenaline Peak, with five lanes to challenge. Lost Dunes is the reimagined miniature golf course with extensive theming for more fun everyone can enjoy, and the FlowRider surf simulator is found in the starboard aft corner of Thrill Island.
Together, Thrill Island offers something for all ages, ideal for multi-generational families traveling together to enjoy the ultimate cruise vacation.
“No matter what your age, you can have a great time on Thrill Island,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean.
“Creating Thrill Island” doesn’t just promote the features of the adrenaline-inducing neighborhood, but also provides behind-the-scenes insights such as the engineering and construction challenges necessary to make the space a reality.
For example, two separate towers will support the massive waterslides, which has permitted longer slide designs that will reach faster speeds for even more thrilling fun.
The weight of the space has also been a concern throughout design and construction, to ensure the safety and stability of the cruise ship overall. The more weight that is added to the upper decks of a cruise ship, the more the center of mass changes for the vessel, which can impact how it maneuvers.
Furthermore, the funnel area needed to be designed with respect to wind to ensure clean, fresh air as guests enjoy their time on the open deck.
Beyond the Thrills
Thrill Island is more than just an onboard theme park, however, and includes a full range of amenities. Plentiful seating is spread throughout the space, giving all family members great vantage points to watch the fun or take a relaxing break before jumping back into the adventures.
Guests will also find delicious food and dining throughout Thrill Island, including “Desserted” for specialty milkshakes including options for kids and adults, and “Base Camp” for burgers, sandwiches, and sides.
With so much to experience, guests aboard Icon of the Seas will have more than they could ever have imagined to experience when the ship sets sail in January 2024.