Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas: A Large Comparability

Royal Caribbean continues to develop with even bigger cruise ships, and now that Icon of the Seas is a part of the fleet, many will marvel how the enormous vessel compares with the second largest within the fleet. That’s why we’re taking you on a wow issue with Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas!

Surprise of the Seas made headlines when it debuted just some years in the past because the largest cruise ship on the planet. Nevertheless, as Royal Caribbean incessantly does, the cruise line has one thing even larger and higher to comply with Surprise of the Seas, in 2024.

Icon of the Seas units sail for the primary time this 12 months and it’s been long-awaited as not solely the following, largest cruise ship in Royal Caribbean Worldwide’s fleet, however on the planet. It’s additionally one of many line’s (and world’s) most extravagant and spectacular cruise ships so far. Seemingly countless leisure and eating choices await cruisers who snag a spot on this ship within the coming months.

Nevertheless, whereas each Surprise of the Seas and Icon of the Seas are spectacular, new and general mammoth, there are variations between the 2 ships — variations which will sway you to ebook a cruise on one over the opposite.

Surprise of the Seas is, in fact, an Oasis-class ship, whereas Icon of the Seas introduces a brand new class of ships for Royal Caribbean, the Icon class, and that’s simply the place the variations begin.

So, what are you able to anticipate and which do you have to ebook? Right here’s every little thing to learn about Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas.

Is Icon of the Seas Bigger Than Surprise of the Seas?

As talked about, whereas Surprise of the Seas is large in each sense, Icon of the Seas surpasses it, as the newest and best largest cruise ship on the planet at two decks greater, 10 ft longer, and 69 extra staterooms. Right here’s how the 2 measure up.

Stats Icon of the Seas Surprise of the Seas
Gross Tonnage 250,800 235,600
Size 1,198 1,188
Passenger Decks 18 16
Most Passenger Capability 5,610 5,734
Passenger Capability at Double Occupancy 7,600 7,084
Cabins 2,805 2,874
Crew Capability 2,350 2,300

You may discover one thing a bit bizarre, although. Whereas Icon of the Seas is, sure, technically bigger than Surprise of the Seas by gross tons, with extra passenger decks, it doesn’t have the next passenger capability at double occupancy. 

As an alternative, the passenger capability at double occupancy is decreased by about 100 individuals. Nevertheless, the passenger capability at most occupancy is bigger on Icon of the Seas, by about 600 individuals.

What does this imply? Effectively, it means Royal Caribbean is probably going anticipating extra suite stays on Icon of the Seas, with greater than two passengers staying in a single lodging choice. 

Total, it looks like Royal Caribbean actually targeted on offering extra enjoyable, extra choices and extra luxurious to like in Icon of the Seas, versus merely simply making an even bigger ship to carry extra individuals. 

Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas: Building Value  

Icon of the Seas was constructed at Meyer Turku in Turku, Finland and was one of the crucial costly ships to construct, ever, at a whopping $2 billion. She can be powered by Liquified Pure Gasoline (LNG).

Surprise of the Seas, compared, value $1.35 billion to construct, considerably much less, but nonetheless spectacular. Surprise of the Seas was constructed at Chantiers de L’Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France.

Surprise of the Seas Building

Because the fifth Oasis-class shipSurprise of the Seas was ordered practically a decade in the past, earlier than building started in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic did affect the ship’s building, delaying the supply date, initially slated for early 2021. The ship was, as a substitute, delivered in early 2022, when it started crusing out of Florida. 

Icon of the Seas was equally ordered in 2016, because the very first in a brand new class of ships for Royal Caribbean. Building for Icon of the Seas started in 2021, wrapping up in late 2023. A January 2024 christening and debut in Miami kicks off the ship’s upcoming 12 months spent crusing the Caribbean.

Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas: Neighborhoods

Royal Caribbean’s ships are break up into neighborhoods — areas of the ship designed round a sure theme, and sometimes devoted to a sure kind of exercise. Icon of the Seas options eight neighborhoods, together with:

  • AquaDome  
  • Central Park
  • Chill Island
  • Royal Promenade
  • Surfside
  • Suite Neighborhood
  • Thrill Island
  • The Hideaway

Surprise of the Seas really options eight neighborhoods as properly, however the neighborhoods aren’t the very same as these you’ll discover on Icon of the SeasIcon of the Seas options just a few new neighborhoods, whereas additionally bettering upon just a few of the shared neighborhoods. Surprise of the Seas’ eight neighborhoods embody:

  • Central Park 
  • Royal Promenade 
  • Suite Neighborhood
  • Boardwalk 
  • Pool and Sports activities Zone
  • Leisure Place
  • Youth Zone
  • Vitality Spa and Health

So what are you able to anticipate in every of those choices? Effectively, among the many ship’s shared neighborhoods, Central Park affords an indoor inexperienced house. Lush and ethereal, it’s a central hub during which you will discover leisure and eating venues.

Equally, every ship’s Royal Promenade is likewise a hub of exercise, the place you’ll be able to go to individuals watch or discover your strategy to the assorted venues alongside the promenade, together with eating places and retail. Nevertheless, Icon of the Seas does function that Iconic Pearl function.

Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Surprise of the Seas

Each ships’ suite neighborhoods are precisely what they sound like: a neighborhood particularly designated for suite friends. Right here, the ship’s VIP cruisers take pleasure in a little bit of privateness from the remainder of the cruising plenty, with their very own non-public swimming pools and eating places.

That is the place the ships’ shared neighborhoods finish. On Surprise of the Seas, you even have the boardwalk neighborhood, with its true boardwalk really feel, with video games, vivid lights and loads of exercise.

The pool and sports activities zone is what you’d anticipate, with the ship’s swimming pools and sports activities courts. Leisure Place is likewise self-explanatory, housing the theater and on line casino, amongst different leisure venues. The Youth Zone homes the ship’s kids’s programming, together with the Journey Ocean youngsters membership, arcade, and teenage membership. Lastly, the ship’s spa and health heart get their very own neighborhood.

On Icon of the Seas, the AquaDome is a brand new neighborhood that encompasses the AquaTheater, which you might have seen on previous Royal Caribbean ships. It additionally, although, affords a little bit of a nightlife location, with bars and eating places.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas

Chill Island is the brand new identify for the ship’s pool space. There are 4 swimming pools right here (although you’ll discover three elsewhere on the ship). There are additionally a number of bars within the pool space.

Thrill Island affords extra water-themed enjoyable, with six new water slides. When the ship debuts, it is going to boast the tallest drop slide on a cruise ship so far, in addition to just a few “first” water slides for a cruise ship, reminiscent of a mat-racing duo slide and an open free-fall slide. 

Surfside is all about households. That is the place you’ll discover the kiddy swimming pools, but in addition the sports activities courts and kids’s programming. The Hideaway is simply that — a tranquil spot the place these in search of one thing quieter can escape. There’s an infinity pool right here, plus a bar.


As already talked about, whereas Icon of the Seas is unquestionably bigger than Surprise of the SeasIcon of the Seas can maintain fewer passengers at double occupancy, however extra passengers at general occupancy — which principally interprets to a concentrate on suites and different lodging choices the place there will likely be greater than two cruisers staying in a single stateroom or suite.

Panoramic Ocean View Cabin
Panoramic Ocean View Cabin on Icon of the Seas

Regardless, what sort of staterooms are you able to anticipate on each ships? Icon of the Seas introduces just a few new stateroom classes to Royal Caribbean cruisers. New staterooms aboard Icon of the Seas embody: 

  • Inside Plus staterooms
  • Panoramic Ocean View staterooms
  • Household Infinity Balcony staterooms
  • Surfside Household View inside cabins
  • Infinite Ocean View balcony cabins
  • Infinite Central Park View balcony cabins

An Inside Plus stateroom is an inside stateroom, upgraded. It affords a extra luxurious expertise with extra privateness. Panoramic Ocean View staterooms are solely located within the AquaDome neighborhood. 

The Infinite Ocean View balcony cabins present one thing that you might have seen on different cruise ships (in some model or one other), however is a primary for Royal Caribbean. The infinite balcony is separated from the remainder of the cabin with a glass wall, and that tumbler wall could be lowered and raised to create an indoor-outdoor house that feels bigger, airier and extra ocean-view-perfect than ever earlier than.

Icon of the Seas Ocean View Balcony
Icon of the Seas Ocean View Balcony

Household Infinity Balcony staterooms function the ships’ infinity balconies, which let you take pleasure in a mixture of indoor-outdoor house due to that wall that’s partially detachable; the household variations can match extra cruisers. Within the new Surfside neighborhood, Household View inside cabins exchange the boardwalk cabins from prior ships. 

Different staterooms on Icon of the Seas embody:

  • Commonplace inside cabins
  • Spacious inside cabins
  • Central Park View inside cabins
  • Ocean view cabins
  • Ocean view balcony cabins
  • Ocean view massive balcony cabins
  • Central Park balcony cabins

Staterooms on Surprise of the Seas embody:

  • Studio single cabins
  • Digital balcony inside cabins
  • Spacious inside household cabins
  • Promenade view inside cabins
  • Boardwalk and Central Park inside cabins
  • Boardwalk and Central Park balcony cabins
  • Ocean view cabins
  • Household ocean view cabins
  • Spacious balcony cabins
  • Extremely-spacious household balcony cabins

Most of those staterooms are fairly self-explanatory. Promenade, Boardwalk and Central Park cabins are clearly positioned in these neighborhoods throughout the ship, and their balconies overlook that house fairly than the ocean. Digital balcony cabins function digital balconies that show views from the outside of the ship in actual time.

Wonder of the Seas Balcony Stateroom
Surprise of the Seas Balcony Stateroom

The ultra-spacious household balcony cabins can match a max of six passengers, with 270 sq. ft inside and 80 sq. ft outdoors (the spacious inside household cabins are very comparable, simply minus the balcony). The spacious balcony cabins can match 4 passengers, with 180 sq. ft inside and 55 sq. ft outdoors.

The household ocean view cabins are much more spectacular and may actually be thought-about extra of a set, since there are two bedrooms, with one tucked away behind a divider. Studio single cabins are designed for single cruisers in thoughts, and are a budget-friendly steal.


On new ships like these, you’ll be able to anticipate some really stellar suite choices. Suite choices aboard Surprise of the Seas embody:

  • The Final Household Suite
  • Junior suites
  • Grand suites
  • AquaTheater suites (with both one or two bedrooms)
  • Homeowners suites
  • Crown Loft suites
  • The Royal Loft

The Final Household Suite made its debut on Surprise of the Seas and was an on the spot hit. Nevertheless, it will get an improve on Icon of the Seas, as you’ll see beneath. Suite choices aboard Icon of the Seas embody:

  • The Final Household Townhouse 
  • Surfside Household suites
  • Junior suites
  • Sundown Junior suites
  • Sky Junior suites
  • Sundown suites
  • Panoramic suites
  • Infinite Grand suites
  • Proprietor’s suites
  • Grand suites
  • The Royal Loft
  • Icon Loft Suites

A few of these suites could also be acquainted to you, from previous Royal Caribbean ships, however others may not be. For instance, the Surfside Household suites are new for Royal Caribbean, and place households proper within the coronary heart of that family-friendly Surfside neighborhood.

The Ultimate Family Townhouse
The Final Household Townhouse

The Final Household Townhouse is an improve of the Final Household suite launched on Royal Caribbean a number of years in the past, with loads of over-the-top facilities for households, reminiscent of a theater, in-suite slide and extra.

Learn Additionally: Icon of the Seas Cabins and Suites Information

Icon Loft suites provide two flooring and many privateness for as much as 4 cruisers. Infinite Grand suites function that new infinite balcony, and Panoramic suites are within the new AquaDome neighborhood.

Eating Venues

Do you could have a favourite Royal Caribbean restaurant that you just make some extent of eating at each single time you’re on a cruise? If that’s the case, you’ll be glad to know that in the case of Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas, each of those ships function staple Royal Caribbean favorites, alongside a number of new, enjoyable choices. Nevertheless, the eating choices aren’t similar. Right here’s what to anticipate:

Restaurant/Eating Choice Featured on Icon of the Seas? Featured on Surprise of the Seas?
150 Central Park No Sure 
AquaDome Market Sure  No
Basecamp Sure  No
Café Promenade No Sure 
Celebration Desk Sure  No
Chops Grille Sure  Sure 
Coastal Kitchen Sure  Sure 
Canine Home No Sure 
El Loco Contemporary Sure  Sure 
Empire Supper Membership Sure  No
Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar Sure  Sure 
Hooked Seafood Sure  Sure 
Izumi Hibachi & Sushi Sure  Sure 
Izumi within the Park Sure  No
Johnny Rockets No Sure 
Essential Eating Rooms Sure  Sure 
Park Café Sure  Sure 
Pearl Café Sure  No
Pier 7 Sure  No
Solarium Bistro No Sure 
Sorrento’s Pizza Sure  Sure 
Starbucks Sure  Sure 
Sugar Seaside Sure  Sure 
Surfside Bites Sure  No
Surfside Eatery Sure  No
The Grove Sure  No
The Mason Jar No Sure 
Vitality Café No Sure 
Windjammer Café Sure  Sure 
Wonderland No Sure 

These ships each comprise eating places that Royal Caribbean has lengthy featured on its ships, in the case of Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas. Past the primary eating room and basic cruise ship buffet (Windjammer Café), there’s additionally Sorrento’s Pizza, a Starbucks outpost, the tech-heavy restaurant Wonderland, Giovanni’s for Italian, Chops for steak and Izumi for Japanese.

The Mason Jar on Wonder of the Seas
The Mason Jar on Surprise of the Seas

Nevertheless, every ship additionally affords just a few favorites that the opposite doesn’t. For instance, Surprise of the Seas has Johnny Rockets, the boardwalk basic; Vitality Café, for healthful eats close to the spa; The Mason Jar, which was Royal Caribbean’s tackle a southern-style restaurant; and the Canine Home, for fast scorching canines and comparable bites close to the pool.

Icon of the Seas brings new choices such because the AquaDome Market, a meals corridor idea; Empire Supper Membership, a fine-dining choice with Twenties aptitude; and Izumi within the Park, for window ordering sushi.

Icon of the Seas Empire Supper Club
Icon of the Seas Eating, Empire Supper Membership

Different new choices embody Celebration Desk for particular occasions; Pearl Café for informal bites; Basecamp for enjoyable, theme park-esque choices; The Grove, for Mediterranean; and Pier 7, for all-day brunch. With Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean really brings the culinary magic.

Bars and Lounges

There’s additionally a wealth of watering holes to be discovered on each Icon of the Seas and Surprise of the Seas. A few of these bars and lounges are new, whereas others are tucked away within eating places, whereas nonetheless others are staples on Royal Caribbean ships (just like the English pubs and Playmakers sports activities bar).

Bar/Lounge Choice Featured on Icon of the Seas? Featured on Surprise of the Seas?
Bionic Bar No Sure
Boleros Sure  Sure
Cantina Fresca Sure  Sure
Diamond Membership Sure  Sure
English Pub Sure  Sure
Playmakers Bar & Arcade Sure  Sure
Pool Bar Sure  No
Rising Tide Bar No Sure
Schooner Bar Sure  Sure
Solarium Bar No Sure
Suite Lounge No Sure
Swim & Tonic Pool Bar Sure No
The Attic Sure  Sure
The Hideaway Bar Sure No
The Lime & Coconut Sure Sure
Trellis Bar Sure  Sure
Wipeout Bar No Sure
Vue Bar No Sure 
1400 Foyer Bar Sure  No
Basecamp Bar Sure  No
Bubbles Sure No
On line casino Bar Sure  Sure
Dueling Pianos Sure  No
Giovanni’s Wine Bar Sure  Sure
Lou’s Jazz n’ Blues Sure  No
Rye & Bean Sure   No
The Grove Bar Sure  No
The Lemon Publish Sure No
The Overlook Sure  No
Music Corridor Sure  No

Simply as Icon of the Seas brings the culinary magic, it additionally brings all of the libations one may need. You’ll discover the road’s first swim-up bar (along with all the opposite pool bars), bars at most of the brand-new eating places on the ship, and funky new lounges the place you’ll be able to catch distinctive drinks and stay music, reminiscent of Lou’s Jazz n’ Blues.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship
Swim & Tonic Pool Bar on Icon of the Seas

Surprise of the Seas options most of the basic bars and lounges you probably know to anticipate on a more moderen Royal Caribbean ship, however has just a few that Icon of the Seas doesn’t, such because the Solarium bar (Icon of the Seas ditched your entire Solarium as a complete), and the Bionic Bar, with its robotic twist.

Actions and Leisure 

Each of those ships function loads of enjoyable issues to do. Past the swimming pools, waterslides, and reveals additional detailed beneath, each ships additionally provide a number of additional enjoyable areas and actions, reminiscent of:

  • Arcade
  • On line casino
  • Carousel
  • Mini-golf course
  • Sports activities courtroom
  • Rock-climbing wall
  • Comedy Membership
  • Escape Room
  • Ice skating
  • Laser tag
  • Karaoke

Leisure that you just’ll discover on Icon of the Seas, however not Surprise of the Seas, features a ropes course named Crown’s Edge. This function is a component skywalk and half ropes course that even takes friends prolonged out over the ocean! Surprise of the Seas affords a zipper line as a substitute. Nevertheless, in any other case, the ships provide principally the identical leisure choices.

Swimming pools and Waterslides

Each ships are full of enjoyable methods to take in the solar and splash within the (artifical) waves. They each ships function Royal Caribbean’s requisite FlowRider surf simulator. Each function waterslides and scorching tubs. Nevertheless, there are variations.

Pools and Slides on Wonder of the Seas
Swimming pools and Slides on Surprise of the Seas

Surprise of the Seas, for instance, options The Good Storm trio of waterslides, which has appeared on a variety of Royal Caribbean ships through the years. It additionally options the Final Abyss, which is a dry slide. In complete, Surprise of the Seas options 5 swimming pools and 4 scorching tubs. 

Pools and Slides on Icon of the Seas
Swimming pools and Slides on Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas, nonetheless, contains a whopping six waterslides, together with record-breaking slides reminiscent of Stress Drop, the primary open free-fall slide to seem on a cruise ship; Scary Bolt, the present tallest drop waterslide on a cruise ship; Storm Chasers, the primary mat-racing slide on a cruise ship; and Storm Surge & Hurricane Hunter, the primary family-friendly raft trip on a cruise ship.

Icon of the Seas options seven swimming pools and 9 scorching tubs, together with the Royal Bay Pool, the most important pool within the Royal Caribbean fleet. One other first is the primary suspended infinity pool at sea, positioned in The Hideaway neighborhood. Situated aft of the ship within the Surfside neighborhood, the youthful friends may benefit from the Splashaway Bay aquapark.

AquaTheater and AquaDome

Each of those ships function the AquaTheater, however just one options the AquaDome: Icon of the Seas. Moreover, Icon of the Sea’s AquaTheater has obtained some upgrades.

Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas Cruise Ship
Picture: Royal Caribbean

On Icon of the Seas, the AquaDome is located within the ship’s new AquaDome neighborhood. The theater’s tech upgrades make every present much more immersive and spectacular.   


Should you by no means take a cruise with out testing what’s enjoying within the onboard theater, then you definitely’ll positively need to you should definitely make time in your busy vacay itinerary to catch one of many reveals enjoying on both Icon of the Seas or Surprise of the Seas, whichever you select. 

Surprise of the Seas affords reveals on the AquaTheater, in addition to ice-skating reveals at its ice rink. Theatrical reveals embody musical critiques, and you will discover smaller, music-focused reveals in additional intimate settings all through the ship (reminiscent of within the lounges) usually.

Icon of the Seas Show
Icon of the Seas AquaDome (Picture Courtesy: Royal Caribbean)

Icon of the Seas’ reveals embody two AquaDome reveals that reap the benefits of the AquaTheater’s distinctive house; stay music performances; an ice-skating efficiency; and theatrical performances, together with a household fairytale-type present entitled “As soon as Upon a Time: The King’s Royal Ball” and “The Wizard of Oz,” a basic.

Which Ship is Higher?

So, which one is healthier, Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas? Whether or not you ebook your reservations for an upcoming cruise on Surprise of the Seas or Icon of the Seas is absolutely going to be a private choice that you just’ll base by yourself preferences; nonetheless, there are some parts which will sway you.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas

Should you’re a cruising fanatic and you like cruising on the largest, finest cruise ships, and being the primary of your touring associates to take action, you’ll need to, clearly, get on Icon of the Seas as quickly as humanly attainable. This ship has been making headlines for a cause. Avid vacationers, and significantly cruisers, can’t wait to see what the newest and best from Royal Caribbean has in retailer, first-hand.

Price Studying: Surprise of the Seas vs. Titanic – A Large Comparability

Likewise, for those who’ve traveled on Surprise of the Seas earlier than, or simply traveled with Royal Caribbean on the road’s newer ships incessantly, you could be craving one thing model new, and, in that case, Icon of the Seas matches the invoice.

Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Surprise of the Seas

Nevertheless, if you need to keep away from these large crowds of keen vacationers flocking to Icon of the Seas, you could want Surprise of the Seas. This ship remains to be comparatively new and affords heaps and many enjoyable to like, so that you gained’t be lacking out on all that a lot. You’ll, although, be lacking out on all these crowds, which is a plus.

Lastly, on Icon of the Seas vs Surprise of the Seas, take into consideration locations. Whilst you could be extra within the ship than the place it’s going, vacation spot nonetheless issues. Attending to the departure port will likely be an added value to contemplate, and also you’ll probably need to disembark no less than for a few of the days in port. Would you fairly disembark within the Mediterranean or the Western Caribbean, or the Bahamas? Do you need to have a Good Day at CocoCay

Regardless, although, each ships are glorious choices for a variety of cruisers, whether or not you’re a single traveler or couple in search of luxurious and much to do, with loads of leisure, eating and ingesting choices, otherwise you’re a household who desires to take the youngsters on an unforgettable journey.

Icon of the Seas vs Wonder of the Seas

Related Articles

Back to top button