After months of buildup and anticipation, Royal Caribbean International has finally revealed more details about its upcoming new ship, the 250,800 gross ton Icon of the Seas.
Truly revolutionary and pushing the boundaries of what a cruise vacation can be, the ship offers outstanding thrills for every guest to enjoy, and will offer a variety of Caribbean sailings when it debuts in early 2024.
Icon of the Seas – Raising the Bar
For months, Royal Caribbean International has hinted that Icon of the Seas, the first in a new class of vessels, will be an even bigger, better, more thrilling adventure at sea than any cruise ship has offered before. Now, they’re revealing the details to back up that claim.
The mega-ship will feature eight neighborhoods, including five new adventures, not seen on any other ship in the fleet, such as the largest waterpark at sea, the AquaDome, the first free fall slide, the first suspended infinity pool and more! There will be some guest favorites making a return too.
“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, 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.”
The ship is ultimate indeed, with impressive new features and upgraded, elevated, reimagined favorites well known to Royal Caribbean cruise fans.
Icon of the Seas features the largest waterpark at sea named Category 6, with six waterslides and other aquatastic features, plus unrivaled ways to chill with more ocean views and pools – one for each day of the week – than ever before, including infinity designs to offer unparalleled views and the largest pool ever on a cruise ship, Royal Bay, diving in at more than 40,000 gallons on Deck 15.
The ship also includes more than 40 new and returning dining, bar, and nightlife options, and cutting-edge entertainment. Among the favorites are the cruise line’s thrilling dive shows and ice skating shows, each enhanced with immersive features and stunning special effects.
There will be a new AquaDome space perched at the top of the vessel. This will be a transformational venue where guests can enjoy wraparound ocean views during the day, including an inspiring waterfall.
By night the space becomes a hive of activity, including the next-level AquaTheater, with a transformational pool, robotic arms, art projection and more.
Focus on Family
Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas is an amped up adventure on the water, but the cruise line is not forgetting the ultimate focus of the ship – family vacations and making memories with loved ones.
“Everything — every ship, every experience — starts with the guest,” says Tim Klauda, vice president of product development at Royal Caribbean International.
Whether “family vacation” means getting away as a family, couple, friends, or multiple generations, the company wants to bring people together in ways never done before.
“Now more than ever, families and friends are prioritizing experiences where they can bond and enjoy their own adventures,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.
“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.”
By the Numbers
Most impressive of all are the stats on Icon of the Seas, which has long been hinted as surpassing the popular Oasis-class vessels in terms of size.
Currently, the largest cruise ship in the world is Wonder of the Seas, weighing in at 236,857 gross tons and measuring 1,187 feet (362 meters) long.
Now, the cruise line has revealed that Icon of the Seas will indeed top those impressive numbers, with a gross tonnage estimate of 250,800 and measuring 1,198 feet (365 meters) long.
Where Icon of the Seas does NOT surpass Wonder of the Seas, however, is in basic guest occupancy. While the new ship will be able to welcome an impressive 5,610 guests at double occupancy, Wonder of the Seas can accommodate 5,734.
When fully booked, Icon of the Seas does have room for as many as 7,600 guests, however, which is far more than the maximum occupancy of Wonder of the Seas at 6,988.
This indicates that Icon of the Seas will have far more multiple-occupancy cabins and options for larger families, with third, fourth, and even fifth berths or more in different staterooms and suites, making the ship a top choice for families and groups.
The ship will include the first-ever “Ultimate Family Townhouse” with three levels in a single stateroom, with fun features such as a slide connecting different levels, a karaoke station, a monster-themed daybed, three full bathrooms, and a private balcony whirlpool. The stateroom can sleep up to eight guests.
More to Come
There are still more details to be revealed about Icon of the Seas, and there is much we don’t know about the ship.
For example, the mysterious sphere is confirmed as being called “The Pearl” and spans four decks (Deck 5 to Deck 8), but there is still no hint at what it is or what it may do.
The cruise line has teased that Icon of the Seas will sail Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami, but exact details and ports of call won’t be announced until booking opens up on October 25, 2022, though each voyage is likely to visit the cruise line’s private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for more updates, details, and insights into Icon of the Seas as more is revealed about the exciting ship in the weeks and months to come.