A new class of ships is arriving in Royal Caribbean’s fleet—the Icon Class—with Icon of the Seas being the first to set sail. Royal Caribbean officially unveiled the ship, which is arriving in January 2024, calling it “the Icon of Vacations.”
The all-new Icon of the Seas takes the neighborhood concept from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class. When the ship debuts, it will feature eight neighborhoods, including familiar neighborhoods, such as Royal Promenade, Central Park, and the Suite Neighborhood, as well as brand new neighborhoods: Thrill Island, Chill Island, Surfside, The Hideaway, and AquaDome.
Thrill Island, located at the top of the ship, will be home to Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea, featuring six record-breaking slides: Pressure Drop, which will have the industry’s first open free-fall slide with its 66-degree incline; Frightening Bolt, a 46-foot-tall slide, making it the tallest drop slide at sea; Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter, the first family raft slides at sea; and Storm Chasers, cruising’s first mat-racing duo. Also in the Thrill Island neighborhood is Crown’s Edge; a “part skywalk, part ropes course, and part thrill ride” that will see travelers swing 154 feet above the ocean.
Chill Island, also located at the top of the ship, will include four of the ship’s seven pools. Swim & Tonic will be Royal Caribbean’s first swim-up bar at sea. Royal Bay Pool will be the largest pool at sea. Other pools include Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat, and Cove Pool, an infinity-edge pool.
The Surfside neighborhood, situated at the ship’s aft, is designed with young families in mind. Adults can enjoy the Water’s Edge pool, offering amazing views of the sea, while kids can enjoy Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay. Also found in this neighborhood are dining locations, a bar, a carousel at sea, an arcade, clubs for teens and younger, and more.
Located at the top aft is the Hideaway neighborhood. The highlight of this neighborhood is the first suspended infinity pool at sea. The neighborhood will be surrounded by a multilevel sun terrace with whirlpools, a variety of seating, and a dedicated bar.
AquaDome, perched at the top front of the ship, is an innovative, multi-purpose neighborhood. During the day, “guests can take in wraparound ocean views and an awe-inspiring waterfall as they enjoy a bite or drink. By night, it becomes a vibrant place great for a night out, complete with restaurants, bars, and the cruise line’s marquee aqua shows at the next-level AquaTheater.”
Icon of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world, surpassing Wonder of the Seas, the current record holder. Icon of the Seas will be 20 decks high, 1,198 feet long, and measure 250,800 gross tons. In comparison, Wonder of the Seas is 1,188 feet long and measures 235,600 gross tons. It will also be Royal Caribbean’s first ship with fuel cell technology and powered by liquefied natural gas.