Icon of the Seas evaluation: What’s it like on the world’s largest cruise ship?

It is “the most important, baddest ship on the planet” (in keeping with Jason Liberty, CEO of Royal Caribbean Group), the costliest Royal Caribbean ship to ebook and a social media star with equal numbers of lovers and haters. However what’s it actually wish to sail the 250,800-ton, 7,600-passenger Icon of the Seas? It is fairly dang enjoyable.

Royal Caribbean’s purpose was to not break dimension information. As an alternative, the cruise line needed to create an epic household trip expertise that will rival not solely different cruise ships, however the very best resorts and locations on land. To do this, the road would wish to place all kinds of scrumptious eating venues, interesting watering holes with trendy cocktail menus, inviting hangouts and points of interest and leisure for all ages onto one ship.

Is it any shock that the ship wanted to be humongous to deal with all that?

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It is arduous to be bored on Icon of the Seas, whether or not you want thrill rides or chill hangouts within the solar. With the ship divided up into “neighborhoods” with their very own distinctive vibes, you are certain to seek out someplace to like. Or maybe you will discover new areas of the ship to discover every day. The neighborhoods, plus some sensible operational planning by the cruise line, make it simpler than you suppose to make your approach via the ship, irrespective of the place you want to go.

Whether or not you’ve got been avidly ready for this floating leisure behemoth to reach, or whether or not you’ve got obtained a morbid curiosity about this sea monster, verify your preconceptions and uncover what it is actually wish to cruise Icon of the Seas.

Overview of Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas is 20 decks excessive (with 18 passenger decks) and 1,198 ft lengthy and measures 250,800 gross tons. It may carry 5,610 passengers at double occupancy (two passengers per cabin) or as much as 7,600 passengers at most occupancy, plus 2,350 crew members. These stats make it the largest ship on the earth.

That is bigger than fleetmate Marvel of the Seas, the 2023 document holder for the world’s largest cruise ship. To check, Marvel of the Seas measures 235,600 tons and carries 7,084 passengers at most occupancy.

Nonetheless, Marvel of the Seas beats Icon of the Seas in a single particular space: cabins. Marvel of the Seas has 2,867 cabins, whereas Icon of the Seas will solely have 2,805. That is as a result of Royal Caribbean has styled Icon of the Seas to draw extra households, with 80% of cabins designed to accommodate greater than two company.

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Icon of the Seas additionally borrows the Oasis Class use of “neighborhoods” — themed areas of the ship with a mixture of points of interest and eating, ingesting and procuring venues. It options eight neighborhoods, together with three returning areas from its sister ships and 5 which might be unique to its new class of ships.

From the bottom deck to the very best, listed here are the eight neighborhoods and what you’ll be able to anticipate finding on board.

Royal Promenade


The Royal Promenade is a Royal Caribbean staple discovered on all Voyager, Freedom and Oasis Class ships. Icon of the Seas presents a two-deck model of this indoor mall-like area with a number of procuring, eating and ingesting institutions. Highlights of Icon’s Royal Promenade are floor-to-ceiling glass home windows on both aspect that carry mild and sea views into the area and The Pearl, the ship’s iconic indoor sphere that capabilities as an inventive stairway and likewise because the help construction that holds up that part of the ship.



Surfside, on Deck 7 aft, is a neighborhood devoted to younger households. It is open to the sky and the again of the ship. A slide leads from Deck 8 all the way down to the neighborhood, and the realm is mere steps from the Journey Ocean children membership and Social 020 teen membership on Deck 6.

The stay-all-day vacation spot for teenagers below 7 and their grownup caregivers options family-friendly eateries, the Lemon Put up bar with a menu of matching kid-and-adult mocktails and cocktails, a carousel, an arcade, a splash space with slides aimed on the youngest splashers and an infinity pool for grown-ups.

Regardless of its identify, Surfside is not going to be dwelling to Royal Caribbean’s surf simulator, the FlowRider.

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Central Park


One other open-to-the-sky neighborhood, the greenery-filled Central Park makes a return on Icon. On Deck 8, it lures grownup cruisers to its bars and eating places for a romantic date evening or stroll in its onboard park, that includes reside timber and crops. New venues right here embody a grab-n-go window for Izumi’s sushi, the intimate and upscale Empire Supper Membership, jazz membership Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues and the walk-up Champagne venue, Bubbles.



Icon of the Seas doesn’t have a Boardwalk, nevertheless it does provide its personal model of that neighborhood’s widespread AquaTheater. The AquaTheater — which hosts acrobatic and diving reveals in a high-tech stage/pool — has been moved from its outside, lower-deck, back-of-ship location on Oasis-class ships to an indoor, upper-deck, front-of-ship spot on Icon.

The theater is the marquee attraction inside the ship’s Deck 15 AquaDome neighborhood — if the draw will not be the dome itself. The large 363-ton glass-and-steel construction presents company 220-degree ocean views. Inside, you will discover eating and ingesting venues, cozy lounge area, a Royal Caribbean brand jewellery retailer and new cabins with panoramic views via the dome.

Chill Island

Chill Island’s Swim & Tonic bar. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Aft of the AquaDome is Chill Island, Icon’s principal pool space that includes 4 of the ship’s seven swimming pools amongst its three decks. It’s going to embody the road’s first swim-up bar, Swim and Tonic, and what Royal Caribbean is claiming is the most important pool at sea. Swimming pools and sizzling tubs are positioned alongside the perimeters of the ship so company can take within the sea views whereas soaking within the water.

Cabanas will probably be accessible to hire on this neighborhood, however there will be loads of free lounge area, too.

The Hideaway


Excessive above Surfside, in the back of Deck 15, is The Hideaway — Royal Caribbean’s tackle an adults-only seaside membership. The principle attraction right here is the primary suspended infinity pool at sea. It is flanked by tiered lounge area, sizzling tubs and a bar specializing in Champagne and Champagne-based cocktails.

Thrill Island


Thrill Island is Icon’s go-to neighborhood for adrenaline-pumping actions. Discovered on Deck 16 aft, it is dwelling to all of the wild top-deck points of interest Royal Caribbean is understood for — in addition to some new thrills.

The FlowRider surf simulator, Misplaced Dunes miniature golf, the Adrenaline Peak mountaineering wall and the sports activities courtroom are all Thrill Island staples. Class 6 is the most important water park at sea, that includes an open free-fall slide, the tallest drop slide at sea, household raft slides that accommodate 4 riders directly and two mat-racing slides. The Crown’s Edge is a ropes course-style attraction primarily based round a large model of the ship’s crown-and-anchor brand.

Suite neighborhood


The ship’s remaining neighborhood spans decks 16 to 19. The Suite neighborhood is a mixture of most of the ship’s high suites plus eating places, lounges and outside areas unique to suite company and a few of Royal Caribbean’s most loyal vacationers. Icon of the Seas’ suite neighborhood is Royal Caribbean’s largest restricted-access enclave for suite company, a la Norwegian Cruise Line’s The Haven.

The Coastal Kitchen restaurant returns, however is now two decks excessive, with home windows overlooking the AquaTheater. The solar deck has been reworked into The Grove, a multistory area that includes an alfresco restaurant and bar, pool, sizzling tub and lounge areas.

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What I cherished about Icon of the Seas

It is surprisingly simple to get round

You would possibly suppose you’d spend every week misplaced on the most important cruise ship on the planet. However you’ll be able to study your approach round Icon of the Seas in a day. That is as a result of the neighborhood idea (arranging themed points of interest in a single space of the ship) makes it simple to determine the place you are going.

The Royal Promenade on decks 5 and 6 is the central public area, flanked by the principle eating room and the theater. Its higher stage results in Deck 7’s family-focused Surfside, which leads as much as leafy Central Park. (And should you do not need to hit Surfside, you will get instantly from The Royal Promenade to Central Park through stairs by the Pearl Cafe.)

Chill Island, Thrill Island, The Hideaway and The Aquadome all stream into one another throughout the ship’s high decks. The AquaDome is on the entrance (simple to recollect as soon as you’ve got seen the skin of the ship with its bulbous brow), with The Hideaway and the water park on the again for steadiness.

It is not good; I positively obtained circled within the enormous elevator lobbies (there are two, every with 12 elevators), and I by no means remembered which areas had been on the ahead or aft ends of the Royal Promenade. However the few lifeless ends are simply discovered; entry the Hideaway from Thrill Island (not the Windjammer), Absolute Zero from Playmakers and the Royal Theater from the Promenade (not via the on line casino). You may be a professional very quickly.

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The lighter, brighter Royal Promenade is the very best within the fleet


The Royal Promenades on Royal Caribbean ships have at all times been in comparison with procuring malls as a result of the lengthy corridors are lined with eating places, bars and retailers and endure from an absence of pure mild. The second-level lifeless ends additionally pissed off company attempting to get from level A to B on a megaship. So the cruise line rethought out the promenade area on Icon of the Seas, and got here up with a profitable design that is lighter and extra inviting.

Royal Caribbean ditched the promenade-facing cabins for multideck-high glass partitions that flood the area with mild. The necessity for a substitute structural help led to the creation of The Pearl, the central focus artwork piece of the neighborhood. The cafe behind it’s a win for its cozy windowside seating with killer views and elevated cafe snacks.

One other win is that the higher stage is now an entire circle, so you’ll be able to stroll from the ahead to the aft elevator banks and again on each decks of the Royal Promenade. There’s even a stairwell up into Central Park.

Plus, a few of the new venues on the promenade are shortly turning into visitor favorites. The hip 1400 Bar, with its craft cocktails and central indoor-outdoor location, and Dueling Pianos Bar had been occurring sizzling spots on my crusing.

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The reveals are unimaginable

My favourite evenings mix dinner and a present, and the top-notch leisure is one thing I’ve at all times cherished about Royal Caribbean. Icon of the Seas brings it in a giant approach with its new reveals.

I used to be dreading a 90-minute model of “The Wizard of Oz” however fell in love with Icon’s manufacturing as a consequence of its inventive use of flying know-how, attractive costumes and units, lovable puppets and trendy staging. “Starburst,” the ice present, mixed some stellar skating strikes with an unimaginable juggler, and the AquaTheater is at all times killer it doesn’t matter what these divers, dancers and acrobats are doing.

I used to be additionally happy to see that Icon of the Seas will introduce shorter reveals at earlier present occasions for households with younger children within the AquaTheater and Absolute Zero ice rink.

What I did not love about Icon of the Seas

Thrill Island is extra excessive than I anticipated


I used to be so excited to take my 9-year-old daughter on all of the Class 6 waterslides at Thrill Island, and figured that we might play there for hours, as we did on a current journey to the Nice Wolf Lodge water park. However 4 of the six slides had been just too excessive for a child and her mother.

Our favorites had been the 2 household raft slides, the place two to 4 riders slide collectively in spherical rafts. However there wasn’t a fundamental physique slide {that a} child may journey time and again and not using a buddy or mum or dad alongside. All of the others had steep drops or had been face first and tremendous quick, with an excessive amount of water in your eyes and nostril.

Reverse the water park, the brand new Crown’s Edge ropes course can also be not a play-all-day, kid-friendly course, like those I’ve tried on Carnival cruise ships and Nice Wolf Lodge. The course is extraordinarily brief, with a vertigo-inducing part over the open ocean. It is also obtained a steep entry price (the water park is free).

I hoped that Thrill Island can be a spot the place older children and their dad and mom may spend a whole afternoon hopping from journey to journey. The Misplaced Dunes minigolf course and the mountaineering wall are very accessible. However I would price the water park and ropes course extra T for teen than E for everybody.

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New Infinite Ocean View Balcony cabins are a blended bag


On Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean added a brand new form of balcony room: the Infinite Ocean View Balcony. An concept borrowed from sister line Movie star Cruises, these cabins carry the balcony sitting space into the cabin’s inside to create an extended room. To carry the contemporary air in, the far wall of every cabin is a wall of glass, and the highest half can roll down on the push of a button (like a automobile window).

A few of these cabins look out over the ocean, whereas others face inwards, overlooking Central Park.

I cherished the additional cabin area and the extra sitting space dealing with a window. Nonetheless, we not often opened the window as a result of it messed with all the room’s local weather management as warmth (or, in my case, chilly breezes) flooded the cabin. Plus, noise from different decks, just like the poolside DJ, additionally infiltrated all the room.

The brand new rooms additionally had just a few design flaws, which had been repeated in different classes as nicely. These included an absence of outlet selection by the beds, clunky wire baskets beneath the wardrobe that had been arduous to entry as a result of they had been too near the cabin’s couch and presumably not sufficient normal storage for anybody touring as a household in a single room.

Icon of the Seas cabins and suites

Royal Caribbean cruisers may have 14 new cabin and suite varieties to select from out of 28 whole lodging varieties. Many of those are family-friendly rooms that sleep 4 company; some can accommodate six or eight company. In whole, 313 cabins and suites are listed particularly as family-focused lodging, although many common room varieties can sleep greater than two company.

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Inside cabins


Essentially the most inexpensive rooms on Icon of the Seas are inside cabins (and so they’re nonetheless not low-cost). Along with commonplace 156-square-foot inside cabins and 178-square-foot Spacious Inside cabins, new 157-square-foot Inside Plus rooms function extra-large walk-in closets.

Icon of the Seas additionally options 187-square-foot Surfside Household View Inside cabins (changing Boardwalk View cabins) and equally sized Central Park View Inside cabins. These rooms do have home windows, however they give the impression of being inward onto the neighborhoods.

No rooms on Icon of the Seas are listed as providing the “digital balconies” discovered on choose Royal Caribbean ships.

Ocean-view cabins

Panoramic ocean-view cabin. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Icon of the Seas has solely two forms of ocean-view rooms with a window however no balcony. Its new Panoramic Ocean View rooms are inside the AquaDome, providing floor-to-ceiling home windows fairly than the usual image window. They may also be bigger than the usual balcony cabin at 258 sq. ft (in comparison with 160 to 187 sq. ft).

Balcony cabins


Nearly all of Icon of the Seas’ cabins are balcony rooms, starting from 196 to 285 sq. ft in indoor area, with non-public verandas of fifty to 70 sq. ft. The ship introduces 4 new forms of balcony cabins to the fleet.

The Infinite Ocean View Balcony cabin design takes an concept from Royal Caribbean sister line Movie star Cruises, the place as a substitute of a typical balcony exterior to the ship, the room contains a glass wall with a window that may roll down midway (like a automobile window) to permit contemporary air in. There are additionally curtains to shut off that space from the remainder of the cabin to create a veranda-like area.

Moreover, Icon has an extra-long household model of this room sort. The Household Infinite Balcony cabin can sleep as much as six folks, with an alcove that includes higher and decrease beds for teenagers, a separate sleeping space for grown-ups, a residing space and a cut up toilet (bathroom and sink in a single room and bathe and sink within the different).

Additionally new to Icon are smaller Surfside Household View Balcony cabins and Infinite Central Park View Balcony cabins. Central Park balcony rooms, which look out over the inside’s open-to-the-sky neighborhood, are available in common balcony variations as nicely. Icon additionally options tons of of normal balcony cabins looking to sea.

I stayed in an Infinite Central Park View Balcony cabin, which has the identical cabin design because the common Infinite Balcony room however overlooks the inside neighborhood as a substitute of the ocean. As I mentioned above, I adored the extra inside area, however did not make a lot use of the window. Along with local weather management points, once I opened the window in my room, the noise from across the ship flooded my cabin, and I am undecided any conversations I had on my “balcony” can be non-public.

I additionally found that each one the inward-facing rooms of any class lack privateness. From my room, I may see straight into the cabins throughout from me. I watched folks leaning on their balcony and room attendants cleansing cabins. And, sure, I did see a dude in his underwear one morning. Any time we would have liked to alter garments and as soon as it obtained darkish exterior, I might shut the curtains, altering my pretty room with a view into an inside cabin with no pure mild.

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Royal Caribbean presents three tiers of suites, and every subsequent tier comes with growing Royal Suite-class perks and facilities.

Icon’s Sea-tier suites embody Junior Suites and 4 new Sundown Junior Suites with expansive balconies.

The Sky tier consists of a number of new suite varieties, beginning with the Surfside Household Suites. These 269-square-foot suites sleep 4 with a glassed-in residing space that may flip right into a children bed room at evening, plus an actual 53-square-foot balcony overlooking the Surfside neighborhood.

Sky Junior Suites have the identical structure as common Junior Suites however are excessive up on the ship’s high decks. Company in these suites obtain extra Sky-tier perks (akin to entry to all of the Suite neighborhood facilities), whereas common Junior Suites include extra restricted facilities. Sundown Suites and Sundown Nook Suites function extra-large balconies and beds that face the ocean fairly than a wall.


Panoramic Suites are inside the ship’s iconic AquaDome construction, with floor-to-ceiling glass home windows. You will not miss the balcony once you’re gazing out to sea out of your stylish sitting space in entrance of the glass wall.

The Infinite Grand Suite presents the brand new convertible balcony design together with a bigger area that sleeps 4 and features a cut up toilet, helpful when a number of company have to prepare on the similar time.

Of the 9 high Star-tier suites, just one, the Royal Loft, is on different Royal Caribbean ships. Seven of those high lodging are new Icon Loft Suites, two-deck-high lodging with two bedrooms, two bogs, a big balcony with a personal eating space and floor-to-ceiling home windows.

The creme de la creme of suites on board is the three-deck-high Final Household Townhouse, an evolution of the Final Household Suite that wowed company on Oasis-class ships. Along with child and grownup sleeping areas, this 1,772-square-foot top-level suite options an in-suite slide, a movie-viewing room, a karaoke machine and spacious indoor residing areas.

It additionally presents 751 sq. ft of out of doors area divided amongst two balconies and a “yard” with a pingpong desk, outside seating and a white picket fence main on to all of the Surfside neighborhood points of interest. It may sleep as much as eight company.

Icon of the Seas eating places and bars

Principal eating room on Icon of the Seas. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Icon of the Seas takes Royal Caribbean’s ingesting and eating recreation to the following stage. The road added new-to-the-brand eating places to make sure that each neighborhood had a meals venue simply accessible, with extra quick-service eateries and choices for households.

As well as, the road labored with grasp mixologists to create new and revolutionary bar menus, full with zero-proof mocktail choices, in watering holes all through the ship.

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Eating places

Icon of the Seas showcases new eating venues and up to date spins on visitor favorites. From elevated eating experiences to fast bites, here’s what you’ll be able to anticipate on board.

The Eating Room: The three-level principal eating venue (decks 3, 4 and 5) will provide three programs of worldwide impressed dishes, akin to escargot and spaghetti Bolognese, in addition to the cruise line’s signature dishes. The middle chandelier is beautiful. Select from a number of set-dining occasions or a extra versatile eating plan. You may discover loads of selection, a children menu and waiters prepared to expedite your dinner so you may make a present, even supplying you with your dessert to go. (Included.)

Windjammer Market: It would not be a Royal Caribbean ship with out an infinite pool deck buffet, and Icon of the Seas has its model on Deck 15. The choices are assorted and engaging, with Indian entrees and a gluten-free counter within the again. I used to be impressed with the standard of my meals right here. (Included.)

Sorrento’s Pizza: You may discover a number of eating places inside the Royal Promenade, beginning with Sorrento’s. The favored complimentary all-day and late-night pizza parlor on the Royal Promenade churns out a number of flavors of pies each day. You may additionally discover a soda machine right here. (Included.)

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar: The additional-fee purveyor of pizza, pasta, meatballs and extra Italian specialties discovered on some Oasis Class ships and a smattering of different Royal Caribbean vessels has a brand new location on Icon of the Seas. It is moved from Central Park (on Oasis Class ships) to the higher stage of the Royal Promenade, open to all of the hubbub and foot visitors of the bustling neighborhood. (Lunch $24.99 per particular person, dinner $54.99)

Pearl Cafe: This new grab-and-go espresso store within the Royal Promenade is your day or evening spot for contemporary sandwiches, pastries and to-go salads. The nice and cozy sandwiches are a minimize above what you will discover in its predecessor, the Promenade Cafe, however its cozy seating and stellar views steal the present. (Snacks included, however espresso drinks price additional.)

Playmakers Sports activities Bar & Arcade: Chunk right into a juicy burger or an outrageous dessert at this extra-fee bar and grill. You may even order signature cocktails that are available in soccer helmets. Playmakers has been repositioned to Deck 6 in an inside location throughout from Journey Ocean and Social020 on the far finish of the second stage of the Royal Promenade. It makes the bar really feel like extra of a dive and fewer like a family-friendly grill the place you’d take your children for burgers. (A la carte pricing.)

Surfside Eatery: This new family-friendly buffet venue within the Surfside neighborhood is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It serves up kid-friendly informal fare and choices for adults, that means households needn’t trek as much as the Windjammer buffet for meals, and youngsters can play within reach of their dad and mom in the event that they end consuming first. (Included.)

Pier 7: Additionally in Surfside, Pier 7 is the informal specialty restaurant aimed toward households eating collectively. It serves California-inspired dishes for lunch and dinner, in addition to breakfast all day (however not at evening). The baja fish tacos and Korean fried hen had been wonderful, and the nice and cozy toffee chocolate cake was completely molten with bruleed marshmallows on high. Child dishes embody grilled cheese and hen tenders; brunch choices vary from a pancake board to eggs Benedict. (Included for teenagers below 12; a la carte pricing for adults.)

Surfside Bites: This walk-up window eatery makes it simple to seize fast snacks like burgers, popcorn hen, french fries and cinnamon-sugar churros. (Included.)

Izumi Hibachi & Sushi: One other relocated venue, Izumi takes its rolls, sashimi and juggling hibachi cooks to a brand new and bigger Central Park location with extra hibachi tables. It’s going to additionally function a Royal Caribbean first: Izumi within the Park, an all-day grab-and-go window for sushi takeout. (Hibachi $64.99 per particular person, sushi priced a la carte.)

Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean’s steakhouse returns to Central Park on Icon however with a twist. Company can now select their very own minimize of meat from the butcher’s show. Additionally, an open window offers diners with a view of cooks making ready their chosen minimize. (Lunch $29.99 per particular person, dinner $69.99.)

Park Cafe: This informal favourite for breakfast, lunch and snacks additionally returns to Central Park on Icon of the Seas. Its Royal Kummelweck roast beef sandwich has a cult following. (Included.)

Empire Supper Membership: Designed to evoke an environment of New York Metropolis within the Thirties, this new venue presents an upscale expertise. Company can savor an extravagant eight-course meal (suppose: caviar and wagyu), full with leisure. Every dish is paired with a cocktail created by movie star mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim particularly for Royal Caribbean. A meal right here will set you again some critical money, although with spots for under 38 company an evening, you will must ebook shortly to get a desk. ($200 per particular person.)

Vitality Cafe: Icon of the Seas’ spa space on Deck 14 is dwelling to a wholesome cafe for extra-fee smoothies and contemporary juices. (A la carte.)

AquaDome Market: The road’s first meals corridor will function 5 eating choices — Feta Mediterranean (contemporary pitas and bowls), Toast and Backyard (sandwiches and salads), Mac’s (macaroni and cheese with assorted toppings like beef chili or bacon), GNGR (Asian dishes like tofu-vegetable stir-fry and sweet-and-sour shrimp with pineapple) and Creme de la Crepe (each candy and savory choices). (Included.)

Celebration Desk: The brand new non-public 12-seat eating expertise offers an excellent backdrop for celebrating milestone occasions. Select from unique American, Italian, Asian and seafood menus. The desk is about up inside Hooked Seafood. (Pricing could range.)

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Hooked Seafood: Discovered within the AquaDome neighborhood, this New England-style seafood venue is the place to go once you’re craving oysters, fish & chips and lobster rolls after staring on the waves all day lengthy. (Lunch $24.99 per particular person, dinner $64.99.)

Sprinkles: Assist your self to ice cream at this Chill Island poolside lineup of soft-serve machines. You may additionally discover a soft-serve machine within the Surfside neighborhood. (Included.)

El Loco Contemporary: Quick-casual Mexican hits the spot after a day within the solar. Decide up a fast lunch or dinner at this Chill Island outpost. (Included.)

Basecamp: If you’ve labored up an urge for food after all of the sliding, climbing and browsing at Thrill Island, head to Basecamp to gasoline up. Order a sizzling canine, heat pretzel and tater tots free of charge, or pay a la carte for consolation meals like hen waffle bits, shrimp bao buns and Wisconsin cheese curds. (A la carte pricing.)

Desserted: Thrill-seekers can take pleasure in a distinct form of rush at this milkshake bar within the Thrill Island neighborhood. You may discover sugary choices for teenagers and spiked variations for grown-ups. At $14 a milkshake, we anticipated greater than only a cute photograph; get a cone of soft-serve and high it with a cookie or brownie from the buffet, and you will replicate the style free of charge. (A la carte pricing.)


Coastal Kitchen: This restaurant, unique to suite company and Royal Caribbean’s top-tier Pinnacle loyalty program members, contains a new two-story structure overlooking the AquaTheater. (Included for choose company.)

The Grove: Icon’s expanded Suite neighborhood now features a informal, alfresco Mediterranean restaurant, reserved for suite company. (Included for choose company.)



Royal Caribbean is doubling down on the craft cocktail craze with Icon of the Seas. The road labored with grasp mixologists to create new bar ideas and menus to take the ship’s ingesting recreation to the following stage. For those who’re recreation to strive all of them, purchase your drink bundle prematurely of your cruise once they’re typically discounted.

The Royal Promenade is dwelling to Royal Caribbean’s first double-pianist bar, Dueling Pianos. The 2 performers take requests and contain company in musical enjoyable. It’s positively turning into a sizzling spot at evening. That does not imply the lone pianist on the Schooner Bar on the other finish of Deck 6 is feeling lonely. The nautical-themed bar is at all times a fan favourite.

You may additionally discover dueling espresso bars right here — the devoted Starbucks venue on Deck 5 and the Pearl Cafe, serving espresso drinks on Deck 6. Different Royal Promenade bars embody 1400 (the place for craft cocktails that pay homage to the cruise line’s historical past), Highlight Karaoke (for that musical buzz), Boleros (the at all times widespread bar and lounge for Latin music and dancing) and the Level & Feather pub.

Down on decks 3 and 4, the Music Corridor is the place to jam out and dance to reside music. Subsequent door, the on line casino, after all, has its personal bar.

You may not suppose the ship’s household neighborhood would have a bar, however the Lemon Put up within the Surfside zone serves each cocktails for the dad and mom and mocktails (elevated lemonade mixes and overly candy colourful juice concoctions) for the youngsters.

In Central Park, company discover the brand new jazz membership Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues, with cocktails themed to the most important jazz cities around the globe. The walk-up Champagne venue, Bubbles, options mimosas, bellinis and different bubbly-based drinks. The Trellis Bar can also be again, now with an extra-fee meals menu to accompany your beverage of your selection.

Within the AquaDome, the Overlook is a beautiful lounge that includes particular nooks (Overlook Pods) and wraparound home windows offering improbable ocean views. Order the Overlook Bar’s signature drink, the AquaDome Spritz, unique to this ship and venue. The brand new espresso store Rye & Bean will provide caffeine hits and cocktails starring tea and occasional. (Do not miss the chai Outdated-Normal that smells nearly as good because it tastes.)

Beverage locations in Chill Island embody a three-story Lime and Coconut Bar (now with frozen cocktail machines) and Cantina Fresca (serving margaritas). Swim & Tonic is the road’s first swim-up bar.

The Basecamp bar in Thrill Island is the place to regular your wobbly post-ropes-course knees with a drink, or you’ll be able to order a Desserted milkshake with a shot of Baileys or Fireball. The Hideaway Bar serves the adults kicking again of their no-kids-allowed resort-style infinity pool hangout.

Suite company will discover bars unique to them within the Coastal Kitchen restaurant and the Grove solar deck. The spa additionally retains company refreshed with the Vitality Cafe smoothie bar.

Icon of the Seas actions

A Caribbean cruise is all about enjoyable within the solar, and Icon of the Seas’ higher decks are the place to be.

Chill Island is the ship’s three-deck pool space with a number of swimming pools and sizzling tubs located alongside the edges of the ship for beautiful ocean views. You may additionally discover a few ping-pong tables and a dry slide from Deck 16 to fifteen. Open-air cabanas can be found to hire.

The Hideaway is an adults-only retreat with sizzling tubs, lounge chairs dealing with the ship’s wake and an infinity pool cantilevered over the edges of the ship 15 decks up. You may solely entry The Hideaway from above on Deck 16; do not attempt to minimize via the Windjammer Market like we did. You will not get there.

Thrill Island consolidates all of Icon of the Seas’ high-octane actions into one space alongside Deck 16 aft. Right here, you will discover the FlowRider surf simulator, Misplaced Dunes minigolf programs and mountaineering wall.

Most of Thrill Island is dominated by the Class 6 water park with six slides. Two are raft slides that accommodate two to 4 folks, and two are toboggan-style forward-facing racing slides. One is a drop slide and the opposite is a 90-degree plunge. Many of the slides are fairly excessive, and little children (and their wussy dad and mom) would possibly discover them too intense.

Additionally new on Icon of the Seas is the Crown’s Edge ropes course. Its declare to fame is that the course takes you across the ship’s big brand, out over the ocean, with a zipper line end. Nonetheless, there’s not a lot else to the attraction; it is presumably the shortest ropes course we have ever traversed. You may spend extra time gearing up than you’ll having fun with the course. Crown’s Edge presents a enjoyable thrill, however I do not suppose it is value paying $89 per particular person for one run of the course.

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The ship’s Vitality Spa on Deck 14 presents salon providers for women and men, plus all of your favourite spa therapies and an extra-fee thermal suite with heated loungers and aromatherapy showers. The health middle is separate, positioned on decks 5 and 6 (although the Deck 5 entrance is off the jogging monitor that loops that deck). It is a sprawling gymnasium, with area upstairs for health courses.

For those who’re searching for kid-friendly water play areas, the Surfside household neighborhood is your vacation spot. It options Child Bay for diapered tots; Splashaway Bay, with a dump bucket, water sprayers and junior waterslides; and an infinity pool for grownups and older siblings. Children may take pleasure in a climbing construction and the carousel with its colourful cartoon creatures to journey.

The Journey Ocean children membership and Social 020 teen lounge, each on Deck 6, are the it areas for the under-18 crowd. Journey Ocean is well accessible from Surfside, with a protracted entrance hallway peppered with gaming screens so children might be entertained whereas they wait to be checked in (or dad and mom can sneak in a recreation whereas they wait to choose up).

In contrast to on older ships, Journey Ocean is split into AO Infants, the nursery for ages 6 to 36 months; AO Juniors for 3- to 5-year-olds, with their very own play area; and the principle Journey Ocean membership for teenagers ages 6 to 12. The Journey Ocean area is additional divided into the Hangout, with video video games and digital recreation tables; the Area for sports activities and lively play; and the Workshop for science experiments and artwork initiatives. A theater area is about to host a black-light, interactive puppet present that households can take part in collectively.

Drop-off play at Journey Ocean is free through the day and early night; it is an hourly price per little one after 10 p.m. The nursery additionally fees per hour for drop-off at any time.

Social 020 is hidden between Playmakers and the Absolute Zero ice skating rink. It has gaming pods, hangout nooks and comfortable seating, and foosball tables. It is meant to be a spot for teenagers ages 13-17 to satisfy up and hang around, however a lot of the teenager programming will happen across the ship. Search for teen-only takeovers of the water park and Hideaway Pool, VIP seating for choose reveals, group dinners at Izumi and unique laser tag play.

Absolute Zero is the ship’s skating rink, accessed from Deck 6. For those who’re impressed by the forged of its reveals, you’ll be able to lace up and take a look at just a few spins throughout open skating hours on sea days. That is sometimes the place Royal Caribbean hosts its laser tag video games as nicely.

On the other finish of Deck 6, Icon’s escape room sits throughout from the Crown Lounge for Crown & Anchor VIPs.

You must search to seek out the ship’s on line casino on Deck 4. The On line casino Royale has all of your favourite slots and desk video games. Different nightlife choices embody Highlight Karaoke for embarrassing visitor performances, Music Corridor for dancing, Dueling Pianos and Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues for reside music and Playmakers for watching sports activities and taking part in desk video games.

You may additionally come across reside music throughout the ship, from the pool deck to Central Park to the pub.

The ship presents a mixture of programming from Latin dance courses to liquor tastings, spa seminars, pool video games, trivia and extra. Test the road’s app or the printed Cruise Compass each day publication so you do not miss occasions across the ship.

Household programming in Surfside will probably be led by Admiral Superior, who’s kind of the household cruise director. You will not miss him in his wild, brightly coloured outfits. Actions embody the Bigger Than Life Household Competition (with big video games and face portray) and night bedtime tales.

You may discover memento and jewellery retailers all through the ships, however predominantly in Central Park and alongside the Royal Promenade. A Park West artwork gallery is right here, too.

Surfside options the Sugar Seaside sweet store and Sunshine & Sundries, which sells plush dolls and child swim gear you forgot to pack. Do not miss Royal Bling within the AquaDome, the place you should purchase Royal Caribbean brand jewellery, together with a bejeweled chalice that prices $100,000 and comes with a free lifetime drinks bundle on all Royal Caribbean ships.

The visitor providers and NextCruise desks are positioned on the Royal Promenade by the pub. Shore excursions and the photograph gallery are behind The Pearl on Deck 5. A convention facility and medical middle are positioned on the ship’s decrease decks.

Icon of the Seas reveals


Royal Caribbean is understood for its revolutionary high-tech, large-scale reveals — within the theater, within the water and on the ice. The leisure on Icon of the Seas stays true to model and doesn’t fail to impress.

It is tough to know this early on how arduous it will likely be to get a seat at your most well-liked present time with so many individuals on board. It is a good suggestion to determine how early you’ll be able to ebook reveals and ebook them prematurely on the Royal Caribbean app or the “My Royal Cruise” part of the web site, or as quickly as you board. You may additionally need to arrive early for the very best seats — or to get in a standby line in case of no-shows.

Icon of the Seas’ Royal Theater is positioned ahead of the Royal Promenade on decks 4 and 5. Its signature present is “The Wizard of Oz,” and also you should not dismiss it. Royal Caribbean has discovered a solution to modernize the present, and the spectacular particular results, together with set items flying above the viewers, will captivate cruisers of all ages. Do not miss Toto and different puppets created by Jim Henson’s Creature Store.

“Wizard of Oz” employs the biggest-ever orchestra at sea (16 items), so it is no shock that Icon of the Seas’ second theater present highlights their abilities. “Showband!” was not operating on my crusing, however the line describes it as an immersive, sensory expertise, using state-of-the-art know-how.

On the other aspect of the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 aft is the Absolute Zero ice rink. You may entry it previous Playmakers on Deck 6. The venue contains a round rink versus the sq. ones within the Studio B rinks on sister ships.

Its new present is “Starburst,” which is themed across the parts (carbon, helium, and so on.). Group, solo and pair skating numbers are mixed with next-level juggling by a personality dubbed “The Starman.”


The costumes are inventive and enjoyable (together with glow-in-the-dark and light-up outfits), and the usage of lighting and video on the partitions and the ice units a spacey scene. The spherical ice stage makes it simpler for the skaters to make use of all the area to rise up pace to do jumps and tips. You may gasp on the spectacular lifts, spins and jumps the skaters can execute on a shifting ship.

The identical forged may also current a second, shorter, family-focused present known as “As soon as Upon a Time: The King’s Royal Ball.” Within the present’s story, acquainted fairytale characters come to a king’s occasion to entertain the households of the world.

Royal Caribbean’s well-known AquaTheater has been moved from an outside area in the back of the ship to the indoor AquaDome on the entrance of the ship on Deck 15. It additionally will run an extended, later principal present and a shorter, earlier family-friendly present. Neither had been prepared but on my preview crusing, however we obtained to see just a few numbers, and so they had been jaw-dropping and beautiful as solely acrobatic/diving/synchronized reveals with robots, wild lighting and video imagery might be.

The principle present, “Aqua Motion!” would not have a storyline, so far as I may inform, however is supposed to push the boundaries of leisure and wow each viewers. You may witness an aerial pas de deux, dancing robotic arms, loopy excessive dives and dancing with lots of splashing. Belief me — you will be mesmerized. Arrive early as a result of the seating space is surprisingly small given the dimensions of the ship and the recognition of those reveals.

The household present is known as “Pirates vs. Mermaids,” that includes an epic battle to determine who really guidelines the waves.

Icon of the Seas will keep on Royal Caribbean’s Promenade parade custom with a pirate-themed present known as “Ships Ahoy!” Look out for a soon-to-debut Promenade avenue occasion centered on one-hit wonders.

The Attic is the ship’s comedy membership, positioned on the Royal Promenade on Deck 6 ahead. You may positively need to present up early to get a seat for these widespread reveals.

Reside bands carry out at evening in The Music Corridor on decks 3 and 4 by the on line casino.

Icon of the Seas itinerary and pricing

Royal Caribbean’s Excellent Day at CocoCay non-public island. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

Icon of the Seas sails weekly from the port of Miami. Its itineraries embody weeklong Japanese and Western Caribbean itineraries that started with the ship’s maiden voyage on Jan. 27, 2024. Vacationers can ebook one in all a number of routings accessible via April 2026:

  • Seven-night Japanese Caribbean voyages with stops at St. Kitts, St. Thomas and Royal Caribbean’s non-public island within the Bahamas, Excellent Day at CocoCay
  • Seven-night Japanese Caribbean voyages with stops at St. Maarten (the Dutch aspect of the island of St. Martin), St. Thomas and Excellent Day at CocoCay
  • Seven-night Japanese Caribbean voyages with stops at St. Thomas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Excellent Day at CocoCay
  • Seven-night Japanese Caribbean voyages with stops at St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s non-public seaside on Haiti
  • Seven-night Japanese Caribbean voyages with stops at Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas; San Juan; and Excellent Day at CocoCay
  • Seven-night Western Caribbean voyages with stops at Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Excellent Day at CocoCay
  • Seven-night Western Caribbean voyages with stops at Costa Maya, Cozumel and Excellent Day at CocoCay

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Cruises on Royal Caribbean’s latest and largest ship do not come low-cost, and the costs have solely elevated for the reason that ship first went on sale in 2022. Anticipate premium pricing for this extremely sought-after ship.

Once we checked in January 2024, the bottom worth for an Icon of the Seas crusing was $1,775 per particular person, primarily based on double occupancy, for an inside cabin. The most affordable balcony cabins began at $2,426 per particular person. These costs are for cruises departing in January 2026!

The costliest crusing at current is a New 12 months’s cruise, departing Dec. 28, 2024, with inside cabins beginning at $9,419 and balconies at $10,104 per particular person.

You would possibly surprise if Icon of the Seas’ fares are all-inclusive — they don’t seem to be. The fares embody meals in the principle eating room, buffet and a handful of different complimentary eating places; most leisure and actions; use of the youngsters membership; and fundamental drinks like commonplace espresso and tea, milk and choose juices at breakfast. You’ll pay additional for soda and alcoholic drinks, specialty eating places, spa therapies and choose actions.

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What to know earlier than you go

Required paperwork

Since Icon of the Seas is presently crusing round-trip from Florida, U.S. residents can sail with both a present passport or an official copy of their beginning certificates and a driver’s license or different government-issued photograph I.D. Passports should be legitimate for not less than six months.

The identify in your reservation should be the identical as what’s printed in your passport or different official proof of nationality. Double-check should you’ve lately gotten married or go by a distinct model of your identify.

For those who’re touring with a baby for whom you aren’t the authorized guardian, you will have to carry a notarized letter, signed by the kid’s dad and mom or authorized guardians, supplying you with permission to journey with the kid.

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The room stewards and eating workers on Icon of the Seas are pleasant and useful and deserve an additional thank-you. Royal Caribbean makes that simple by charging you an computerized gratuity of $18 to $20.50 per particular person per day, relying in your cabin class, added to your onboard account and remaining invoice. You might be allowed to regulate this quantity on the Visitor Providers desk earlier than disembarking, however please do not — even if you’re dissatisfied by the service. Gratuities are an necessary a part of crewmembers’ paychecks.

An 18% gratuity is added to bar, specialty eating and spa/salon payments. You shouldn’t really feel pressured so as to add an extra tip.

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Royal Caribbean has one of many quickest Wi-Fi programs at sea, known as Voom, and you may make the most of this on Icon of the Seas. At the moment, Wi-Fi packages with streaming bandwidth begin at $30.99 per day for one gadget (or $24.99 per day per gadget for packages accommodating two, three or 4 units), although costs do change over time.

Usually you will get the very best reductions on onboard Wi-Fi by buying your plans on-line prematurely of your cruise. For those who’re a member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society cruise loyalty program, verify to see should you’re eligible for reductions on Wi-Fi packages.

Sure suite company and upper-tier loyalty program members obtain complimentary Wi-Fi, so know your included perks earlier than you join a bundle.

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Carry-on drinks coverage

Royal Caribbean company of authorized ingesting age can carry one bottle of wine or Champagne onto Icon of the Seas at boarding. If you wish to drink that bottle exterior your cabin in a restaurant or lounge, you need to pay a $15 corkage price.

Company may carry as much as a dozen commonplace cans, bottles or cartons of nonalcoholic drinks akin to sodas on board on embarkation day.

Smoking coverage

Smoking (together with e-cigarette smoking) is forbidden in cabins and on cabin balconies, and those that violate this rule will face a $250 cleansing price.

Passengers can smoke in Icon of the Seas’ on line casino whereas taking part in or in a chosen outer space on Deck 17 by the Cloud 17 pool space.


Icon of the Seas doesn’t provide self-service launderettes. Passengers will pay additional for laundry, urgent and dry cleansing providers.

Electrical retailers

Cabins on Icon of the Seas have a ton of retailers, although not at all times the place you need them. In my Infinite Ocean-View Balcony cabin, I discovered two USB, two USB-C, one North American-style 110-volt outlet and one European-style 220-volt outlet by the desk. Two extra USB retailers had been hidden within the shelving throughout from the sleeping space. One aspect of the mattress had a USB outlet and the opposite a 110-volt outlet. (I might have most well-liked to have one in all every on both aspect of the mattress.)

There’s additionally an outlet for shavers by the lavatory shelving close to the sink.

Foreign money

The onboard foreign money is the U.S. greenback, however you will not want money on the ship. You may obtain a SeaPass card that capabilities as your shipboard ID, room key and bank card. You may cost shipboard purchases (drinks, souvenirs, extra-fee meals, shore excursions and so forth) to your onboard account, and Royal Caribbean will cost your bank card on file as soon as the cruise ends. You may verify your onboard invoice within the cruise line’s app or at Visitor Providers.

The retailers on CocoCay additionally take your SeaPass card. The onboard Starbucks outlet (not different cafes the place Starbucks-brand drinks are bought) ought to take Starbucks present playing cards and fee via the Starbucks app.

Consuming age

You should be 21 to devour alcohol on Icon of the Seas.

Gown code

Through the day, folks costume casually. T-shirts, shorts, athletic put on, informal sundresses and bathing fits are generally worn on board and ashore. Convey a cover-up to go from the pool again indoors.

You may additionally need to costume for the actions you propose to do on board. Put on lengthy pants, socks and a sweatshirt for skating in Absolute Zero (and produce one thing heat to put on once you go to one of many reveals); full-coverage swimwear for the FlowRider and waterslides; and closed-toe footwear and a glasses strap for the Crown’s Edge ropes course (and skip the skirt so you’ll be able to simply placed on the jumpsuit).

Within the night, the ship does have a urged costume code, both informal (simply look respectable, however shorts are frowned upon at dinner), sensible informal (good restaurant or date apparel) or formal (your model of fancy). A seven-night cruise will sometimes have two formal nights.

Royal Caribbean ships are fairly informal in regards to the costume codes. What you actually need to keep away from is swimwear, naked ft, pajamas and athletic-style tank tops in the principle eating room and specialty eating places. And costume to your eating venue: You may need to get dolled up extra for a meal on the Empire Supper Membership or Chops Grille than you would possibly at Pier 7 or Giovanni’s.

Associated: Final cruise packing record

Backside line

Icon of the Seas is a groundbreaking ship for Royal Caribbean, introducing new venues, points of interest and lodging types whereas bringing again and evolving fan favorites from previous ships. Leisure is next-level, and the ship’s wonderful points of interest are positive to please all forms of vacationers with a number of pursuits.

Although the ship is the road’s largest, it is simple to get round, with a number of crowd management measures in place. You’ll, nevertheless, need to ebook shortly to acquire your most well-liked restaurant and present reservations. It is perhaps tough to be spontaneous and nonetheless get to see and eat every thing you want.

The ship has put particular emphasis on catering to households with younger children and has created revolutionary programming for teenagers. Nonetheless, its adults-only pool space, inviting bars with inventive cocktail menus and plethora of grownup leisure venues make the ship an ideal choice for multigenerational households, buddy teams and {couples}, as nicely.

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