The Biggest New Features of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas

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As further details about the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas are revealed, new features are emerging from what will undoubtedly be Royal Caribbean International’s most innovative vessel to date.

These exciting new options are sure to drive greater interest in the vessel, which has been designed from the blueprints up as the ultimate family vacation destination.

New Features for a New Ship

Icon of the Seas has amazing new features on nearly every deck, giving guests more to explore in every corner of the 250,800-gross-ton cruise ship.

The Largest Waterpark at Sea

Category 6, part of the ship’s “Thrill Island” neighborhood, is the largest waterpark at sea, offering splash-tastic fun for all ages on Deck 16.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

The park includes six waterslides, each with record-breaking firsts: the 66-degree inclined Pressure Drop as the cruise industry’s first open free-fall slide; the 46-foot-tall Frightening Bolt, the tallest drop slide at sea; Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter, the first 4-person family raft slides at sea; and the Storm Chasers pair of slides, cruising’s first mat racers.

More Water Than Ever Before

The waterpark is not the only place onboard Icon of the Seas for wet and wild fun. The ship will feature seven pools, including the Royal Bay pool – the largest pool ever at sea at more than 40,000 gallons. For comparison, a typical backyard swimming pool is a mere 10,000-12,000 gallons.

Royal Bay, located starboard midship on Deck 15, will not only have water, but also in-water lounge seating, elevated whirlpools, and palm trees for a truly tropical ambience.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Elsewhere on the ship, guests can find ways to splash at multiple other pools and whirlpools, including the Hideaway Pool aft on Deck 15, offering infinity views more than 65 feet above the deck and an energetic beach club vibe with a resident DJ.

Crown’s Edge

Icon of the Seas will deliver an exclusive, heart-pounding adventures for the bravest of cruisers.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Crown’s Edge is a first-of-its-kind combination rope’s course, high plank skywalk, obstacle course, and zip line poised 154 feet above the ocean with a “surprising, shocking moment” that will take those who dare swinging out over the water – right past the cruise ship’s iconic crown and anchor emblem.

Family-Oriented Neighborhood

A new feature in the ship’s themed neighborhood concept will be the family-oriented Surfside neighborhood on Deck 7, exclusively designed for younger families with children under age 6.

With happy, colorful decor and something for everyone, Surfside is a hotspot no one in the family will want to leave. The open-air promenade is home to the ship’s classic carousel as well as the youngster waterparks, Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

The ship’s high-energy arcade and Sugar Beach eatery are also part of Surfside, but the neighborhood isn’t just about the kids. Water’s Edge is an aft-facing infinity pool with relaxing views to provide a great spot for parents to decompress, while dining options and a bar are conveniently nearby.

Swim & Tonic

Speaking of bars, Icon of the Seas goes above and beyond with creative ways to toast an oceangoing getaway.

The most innovative is Swim & Tonic, the cruise line’s first ever swim-up bar and the largest swim-up bar at sea, portside on Deck 16. In-water loungers and group seating provide the ultimate ways to chill out while enjoying a chilling beverage.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Guests will also enjoy four locations of the Lime & Coconut, two on Deck 15 and one each on Decks 16 and 17. One of these special locations will be Royal Caribbean International’s first-ever frozen cocktail bar.


The amazing AquaDome, impossible to miss over the ship’s bow on Deck 18, houses a phenomenal waterfall feature, which will add even more thrills to the Aquatheater three decks below. But the transformational space is so much more.

A tranquil oasis by day, AquaDome will offer wraparound ocean views and a calming atmosphere, but at night, it becomes a vibrant place complete with restaurants and bars.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

The associated AquaTheater is taking artistry and cutting-edge technology to new heights with a transforming pool, four robotic arms, state-of-the-art projection, and more for the best water performances ever seen.

The Pearl

Of great interest to curious cruisers is The Pearl, a unique sphere-shaped structure spanning Decks 5-8, midship.

While this is one feature the cruise line has not yet fully revealed, a quick video glimpse shows that it is a stunning staircase connecting decks, likely with innovative special effects and lighting features in the interior, making it sure to be a photo hotspot.

Still to Come

More details about Icon of the Seas are sure to continue to be released in the coming weeks and months as the ship’s January 2024 debut approaches.

The cruise line has yet to reveal complete itineraries for the ship, though it has been confirmed that the ship will initially homeport from Miami and offer a variety of Caribbean sailings.

Stay tuned with Cruise Hive for more information on the updated stateroom options onboard Icon of the Seas, new dining deliciousness, entertainment venues, and much more to come about the largest, most innovative cruise ship the world has ever seen.

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