Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world, with room for nearly 10,000 people
Royal Caribbean has done it again. The cruise line has announced it is building the largest cruise ship of all time – even larger than its recently unveiled Wonder of the Seas, the current record holder for the world’s largest cruise ship. The new Icon of the Seas will carry 7,600 passengers at maximum occupancy (or nearly 10,000 people if you factor in crew) on her first departure with guests on January 28, 2024.
When completed, the vessel will be 20 decks high and 1,198 feet long and will measure 250,800 gross tons. To compare, Wonder of the Seas is 1,188 feet long and weighs 235,600 tons. It carries 7,084 passengers at maximum occupancy (all berths occupied).
However, Icon of the Seas will only have 2,805 cabins compared to Wonder’s 2,867, although it carries more people when all berths are filled. Indeed, Royal Caribbean is targeting this ship at families and expects the ship to sail with more staterooms carrying more than two passengers.
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Like Wonder, Icon of the Seas will have eight neighborhoods (areas of the ship themed around a type of activity). Five are new to Icon and three are returning from past Oasis-class ships (such as Suite Neighborhood, Royal Promenade and Central Park). As befits the new largest cruise ship in the world, Icon of the Seas will feature many breathtaking attractions and the greatest of all time, including:
Category 6, the largest aquatic park at sea: Located in the new upper deck area of Thrill Island, this active zone features six waterslides, including an open free-fall slide, the tallest slide at sea, family slides that can accommodate four riders at a time, and two mats. race. slides. This area of the ship also features a ropes course-style attraction around a giant version of the ship’s crown and anchor logo.
Related: The 6 best waterslides and water entertainment areas for cruise ships
AquaDome, an indoor AquaTheatre: Royal Caribbean took the AquaTheater at the rear of the ship found on its Oasis-class ships (home to acrobatic and dive shows) and moved it forward, to the top of the ship and inside into a space versatile with huge floor-to-ceiling windows, offering a 220-degree view. Also in this space will be restaurants and bars. Royal Caribbean fans might notice some similarities to the Two70 entertainment space on the line’s Quantum Class ships.
Three story ultimate family townhouse: The evolution of Royal Caribbean’s massive two-deck Ultimate Family Suite found on Oasis-class ships will be Icon’s three-story Ultimate Family Townhouse. The giant suite will not only include bedrooms for adults and children, family-oriented living areas and plenty of sea views, but it will also have a fenced-in outdoor play area with direct access to Surfside, the new neighborhood dedicated to young families.
Surfside will feature play areas for babies and children, as well as relaxing pools and lounges for parents, family-friendly restaurants and shops, a new pool-themed version of Royal Caribbean’s carousel and a bar with assorted “mommy and me” mocktails for children and cocktails for adults. New cabins and additional family suites will surround the Surfside neighborhood and the area will have easy access to the Adventure Ocean kids club and other ship areas popular with families. (It will also have an entry slide.)
First suspended infinity pool and swim-up bar at sea: Above Surfside is an infinity pool, suspended at the rear of the ship. It’s surrounded by the Hideaway, a beach club-inspired neighborhood full of sunny terraces and convenient bars.
Four of the ship’s seven swimming pools are in Chill Island’s tri-deck pool area, with many ocean views from the water play areas. Among the pools is Royal Caribbean’s first swim-up bar; another is what Royal claims is the largest swimming pool at sea. There will also be an adult-only pool and another infinity pool. Cabins for rent will be available in this area.
True ship-in-a-ship enclave with the largest suite quarter ever: On Wonder of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has come the closest to creating an exclusive, self-contained suite enclave, akin to Norwegian Cruise Line’s The Haven or MSC Cruises’ Yacht Club. This concept comes into its own on Icon of the Seas with the range’s largest suite quarter, three decks high and featuring a two-story Coastal Kitchen restaurant (exclusive to suite guests and the most loyal guests of Royal Caribbean) and The Grove, a new multi-level sundeck with pool, hot tub and Mediterranean restaurant.
Related: Genies, Freebies & VIP Status: Royal Caribbean’s Royal Suite Class Perks Explained
First LNG-powered ship for Royal Caribbean: Icon of the Seas will be the most durable ship in the fleet. It is the first Royal Caribbean ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas and equipped with fuel cell technology. It is also able to connect to shore power when available in port, has a state-of-the-art waste management system and can convert engine heat into electricity.
Fan favorites returning to Icon of the Seas include the Royal Promenade shopping/restaurant/bar complex; the Central Park filled with greenery and restaurants; mini-golf, skating rink, rock climbing and FlowRider surf simulator; and popular restaurants, such as Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar (now on the Royal Promenade) and Izumi for Asian cuisine (now in Central Park with an expanded hibachi space).
Icon of the Seas will offer 28 types of staterooms and suites for all types of travelers, including the aforementioned family staterooms, inside staterooms with extra-large walk-in closets, and rooms with panoramic ocean views in the AquaDome.
The ship will sail week-long itineraries in the Eastern and Western Caribbean, and each will visit Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, with its multiple beaches and Thrill Water Park, home to 13 waterslides. Reservations are open Monday for former Royal Caribbean customers and Tuesday for the public.
Icon of the Seas is just the first of three sister ships Royal Caribbean has ordered for delivery by 2026 that will represent an all-new class of ships on the line – called the Icon Class. The line also has another Oasis-class ship on order for delivery in 2024.
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