Icon of the Seas is a new cruise ship under construction for US-based cruise line Royal Caribbean International. It is the first of three Icon class ships ordered by the cruise line that will be powered by LNG.
The steel-cutting ceremony for the ship was held in June 2021 at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland while the keel-laying ceremony was held in April 2022.
The vessel was floated out from the dry dock in December 2022 and is expected to depart on her maiden voyage in January 2024.
Design and features of Icon of the Seas
Icon of the Seas will be 365m long and have a weight of 250,800 gross tonnes. It will feature 20 decks, of which 18 will be passenger decks and accommodate a total of 5,610 guests and an international crew of 2,350.
The vessel will feature five new and three recurring areas, also called neighbourhoods and named AquaDome, Chill Island, Thrill Island, Surfside, Hideaway, Royal Promenade, Central Park and Suite. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities and expansive hangout areas in the neighbourhoods.
The ship will feature six waterslides, seven pools and nine whirlpools, including the largest pool at sea.
Accommodation aboard Icon of the Seas
Icon of the Seas will feature a total of 2,805 staterooms offering a range of intuitive layouts, with more space and accessible options. The line-up will feature 28 types of accommodation, which includes 14 new categories ranging from standard rooms to suites, providing additional options for families.
The Family Infinite Oceanview Balconies will accommodate up to six guests. The stateroom will feature a secluded bunk alcove for kids and will be equipped with TVs, beds, and free space. The bathroom will feature a split design with a shower and a sink on one side and a sink and toilet on the other. Wheelchair-accessible rooms will also be available.
The Surfside Family View Interiors, Balconies and Suites, which will be in the Surfside neighbourhood, will accommodate up to four guests. The Surfside Family Suites will offer an elevated suite experience, along with a private balcony and a kid’s room that can be used as a living space.
The newly introduced Ultimate Family Townhouse debuting on Icon of the Seas will be a three-story suite designed for families of up to eight. Features include an in-suite slide, space for karaoke and movies, two private balconies and a private entrance to the Surfside neighbourhood.
The Panoramic Oceanviews and Suites category, with accommodation for up to four guests, will be in the AquaDome neighbourhood. Features will include wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Sunset Suites, Junior Suites and Corner Suites will feature expansive balconies, with the Sunset Corner Suites featuring a wraparound balcony. The new accommodation line-up includes the Infinite balconies in Central Park, with a birds-eye view of the open-air neighbourhood, and the Sky Junior Suites and Infinite Grand Suites.
Entertainment and dining venues
The AquaDome neighbourhood at the top of the vessel will feature wraparound ocean views and a waterfall. The neighbourhood will transform into a vibrant evening venue, with restaurants, bars, and marquee aqua shows at the AquaTheater. The venue will feature a cutting-edge transforming pool, four robotic arms, state-of-the-art projection, and more.
Chill Island neighbourhood will be spread across three decks and feature four of the seven pools onboard, which includes the Royal Bay pool, the largest pool at sea. The neighbourhood will feature the Swim & Tonic, the cruise line’s first swim-up bar at sea; Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat; and the infinity-edge Cove Pool. The neighbourhood will also be home to the Lime & Coconut café and Royal Caribbean’s first frozen cocktail bar.
Thrill Island neighbourhood will feature the largest Category 6 waterpark at sea with six slides, which include Pressure Drop, the first open free-fall slide, and the 46ft-tall Frightening Bolt, which is the tallest drop slide at sea. The neighbourhood will also be home to the Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter, the first family raft slide at sea with four riders per raft and Storm Chasers, a mat-racing duo. Guests will also be able to indulge in more thrills at Crown’s Edge, which will feature a skywalk, ropes course and a thrill ride, culminating in a 154ft swing above the ocean.
The Surfside neighbourhood will be focussed on activities for young families with kids aged six and under. Adults can relax at the Water’s Edge pool, while kids can indulge in activities at Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay. The neighbourhood will also offer dining and lounge, a bar, a carousel, an arcade, and Social020, a meeting place for teenagers.
The Hideaway neighbourhood located 135ft above the ocean will feature a beach club design with uninterrupted ocean views. The neighbourhood will also feature the first suspended infinity pool at the sea centre, surrounded by a multilevel sun terrace with whirlpools and a dedicated bar.
Among the recurring themes, the Royal Promenade neighbourhood with its first floor-to-ceiling ocean views will feature more than 15 restaurants, cafes, bars, and lounges. The Central Park neighbourhood will also offer more dining and entertainment options. The largest of them, the Suite Neighbourhood, spanning four decks will feature a multilevel suite sun deck. The Grove will feature a private pool, whirlpool and dining, and a two-storey Coastal Kitchen.
Other venues to be featured on the vessel include Lost Dunes mini golf, rock climbing at Adrenaline Peak, and Absolute Zero, Royal Caribbean’s largest ice arena.
Propulsion of Icon of the Seas
The vessel will be equipped with six LNG-fuelled engines that will generate 67,500kW of energy. The use of LNG will result in close to zero sulphur dioxides and particulates emission while also significantly reducing the production of nitrogen oxides. Shore power connection facilities will also be incorporated to further reduce emissions while the ship is docked.
Icon of the Seas will feature environmentally friendly designs for energy efficiency and reduced emissions. It will feature technologies such as air lubrication, and advanced waste heat recovery systems to turn waste heat into extra energy of up to 3MW. In addition, up to 90% of the required freshwater will be produced onboard by a reverse osmosis/desalination plant.
Icon of the Seas will sail year-round trips of seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami, Florida. The vessel will call ports at Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, the Bahamas, and a mix of destinations such as Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St Maarten; and Basseterre, St Kitts.