Royal Caribbean Reveals First Look at Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Reveals First Look at Icon of the Seas

Rendering of Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Royal Caribbean International has revealed a slew of exciting new details as to what guests can expect onboard its newest and most ambitious cruise ship, Icon of the Seas.

Earlier this week, TravelPulse was invited to Royal Caribbean’s Innovation Lab in Miami where the cruise giant combines its special blend of creativity and aspiration with actual requests from guests to experience firsthand some of the fun that’s in store for passengers when the first-of-its-kind ship sets sail in 2024.

When and Where

The very first Icon Class ship—two others are slated to arrive in 2025 and 2026, respectively—is scheduled to launch in late 2023 ahead of its debut in January 2024, sailing seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami, each visiting Royal Caribbean’s private island destination Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas as well as coveted ports such as Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and Roatan, Honduras, among others.

Bookings for Icon of the Seas will open on Royal Caribbean’s website on Tuesday, October 25. However, Crown & Anchor loyalty members can look forward to special early access on Monday, October 24.

Never-Before-Seen Neighborhoods

Royal Caribbean Reveals First Look at Icon of the Seas

The Hideaway on Icon of the Seas. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

At nearly 1,200 feet long, Icon of the Seas will boast eight unique neighborhoods, including five all-new concepts.

As far as the familiar is concerned, guests can anticipate a grander Royal Promenade highlighted by floor-to-ceiling ocean views and more than 15 different restaurants, bars, cafes and lounges to choose from as well as a lush Central Park that will adapt to the mood day and night.

What’s more, Royal Caribbean’s largest and most luxe Suite neighborhood will span three decks, including a multi-level suite sun deck with a private pool, whirlpool and dining (The Grove) and a two-story Coastal Kitchen, among other guest favorites.

New and special to Icon of the Seas will be five different neighborhoods, including Thrill Island, Chill Island, Surfside, The Hideaway and the AquaDome.

At-Sea Firsts

Royal Caribbean Reveals First Look at Icon of the Seas

The all-new Chill Island on Icon of the Seas. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Thrill Island will boast a number of remarkable at-sea firsts, including the largest waterpark at sea in Category 6, which will feature as many as six record-breaking slides. At a gut-wrenching 66-degree incline, Pressure Drop will be the industry’s first open free-fall slide. Guests can also test their courage on the 46-foot-tall Frightening Bolt, the tallest drop slide at sea.

Passengers with adrenaline in mind can also look forward to Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter as well as Crown’s Edge, a combination of an intimidating cruise ship skywalk and ropes course swinging guests 154 feet above the ocean.

“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of delivering memorable experiences and our next bold commitment to those who love to vacation,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “Now more than ever, families and friends are prioritizing experiences where they can bond and enjoy their own adventures.”

That’s to say Crown’s Edge might be a solo mission for many ambitious family members.

Royal Caribbean Reveals First Look at Icon of the Seas

Crown’s Edge on Icon of the Seas. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Meanwhile, four of Icon’s seven pools can be found in the Chill Island neighborhood, which encompasses three decks. Here, guests can unwind at the first swim-up bar at sea in Swim & Tonic, dive into the largest pool at sea in the Royal Bay Pool, enjoy an adults-only atmosphere at Cloud 17 or soak in the views at the infinity-edge Cove Pool.

If the first suspended infinity pool at sea and glorious ocean views sound like your dream cruise experience, venture to The Hideaway, a neighborhood tucked away a whopping 135 feet above the ocean. A sun terrace features plenty of sun-kissed seating, whirlpools and a dedicated bar so guests can pair their views and vibes with a refreshing cocktail.

Finally, there’s the awe-inspiring AquaDome where guests can eat, drink and play while enjoying a climate-controlled environment with wraparound ocean views. In addition to food and beverage venues, guests can expect lively shows at the AquaTheater, a cutting-edge attraction featuring state-of-the-art projection, four robotic arms and a transforming pool.

A Family Cruise Redefined in Surfside

Royal Caribbean Reveals First Look at Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas’ Surfside neighborhood. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

A cruise vacation with young children can often prove challenging but Icon aims to change that with its all-new Surfside neighborhood, a singular concept designed to entertain families with children ages six and under.

Here, adult guests can relax in the Water’s Edge Pool in close proximity to the little ones as they enjoy Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay. This area will also be convenient to beloved restaurants, bars and attractions such as a new signature carousel ride inspired by the neighborhood’s beachy theme as well as Adventure Ocean and Social020.

All New Ways To Stay

Royal Caribbean Reveals First Look at Icon of the Seas

The Ultimate Family Townhouse will debut aboard Icon of the Seas. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

When guests are ready to head back to their rooms they’ll have an entirely new way to stay as Icon of the Seas will feature 28 different cabin and suite options, including 14 all-new layouts.

Royal Caribbean has taken families of all types and sizes into mind when developing this new ship. For example, the Family Infinite Balcony and Surfside Family Suites will feature dedicated kids’ alcoves tucked away from the adults so grown-up guests can enjoy privacy and time alone outside of their rooms without disturbing the young ones.

To truly have their cake and eat it too, guests can reserve the three-story Ultimate Family Townhouse equipped with, yes, a slide, in addition to its very own mailbox and even a white picket fence.

The ship’s Sunset Corner Suites will also offer some of the best views at sea.

“With each new ship, we raise the bar in the travel industry while enhancing what our guests know and love,” Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty said in a statement. “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.”

Royal Caribbean Reveals First Look at Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas will feature Royal Caribbean’s largest Suite Neighborhood to date. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

“We set out to create a vacation that makes all of that possible in one place for the thrill-seekers, the chill enthusiasts and everyone in between, without compromise,” added Bayley. “It’s the first-of-its-kind combination that makes Icon the future of family vacations, and that future is here.”

More details about Icon of the Seas will be released in the coming months but curious travelers can stay in the loop by following the cruise company’s monthly video series “Making an Icon.”

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