- Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas will begin its first seven-night sailings in January
- The world’s new largest cruise ship has unprecedented features such as a six-slide water park.
- Here are nine things travelers need to know about what it’s like to be on the new mega-ship.
I was one of the first guests to float Royal Caribbean’s newest ship: The $2 billion Icon of the Seasthe largest cruise ship in the world.
Yes, it was huge. Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like it. And yes, it was a sensitive load. (I think I need a vacation from this one.)
The Symbol of the seas the ship is unlike any existing floating resort. As the first ship in Royal Caribbean’s new Icon class, the 250,800 gross ton ship dwarfs nearly all of its predecessors in size and number of water slides, pools, dining and stateroom options.
Before its debut on January 27th, Royal Caribbean invited me to a free, three-night preview. Unfortunately, I lost most of my time and overcame.
To avoid this, here are nine things you should know before you do 2024 Icon of the Seas holiday.
Traversing the 1,198-foot-long, 20-deck ship takes time, especially with crowds of up to 7,600 guests, slow elevators and inevitable distractions.
Being an often punctual person, I was shamelessly late to almost every event. It turns out that I can’t walk for long the largest cruise ship in the world in two minutes.
It is the home of Thrill Island A symbol of the best possibilities of the seas.
Adrenaline junkies can get their fix on the water park’s six slides, a surf simulator and the Crown’s Edge ropes course, which suspends participants more than 150 feet above the water.
For the more adventurous traveler, the area also has a sports court, mini-golf course and rock climbing wall.
About 25% to 30% of the cabins on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships—the largest ships in the world—are included. The Miracle of the Seas “Royal Caribbean International” president and CEO Michael Bailey told reporters during the trip that it is designed for families.
A cool 80% of the 2,805 cabins on this new ship can accommodate parents and their children.
Surfside is designed for families with children ages six and younger.
This colorful escape – complete with a giant pink flamingo and an eclectic carousel – is where the youngest guests can enjoy daytime rides around the water playground and nighttime stories.
Respite from the hordes of screaming kids can be found in kid-free zones like the DJ-helmed Hideaway. Here, adults can lounge in luxury with a cocktail in hand in the beach club-like hanging infinity pool.
The most expensive two-story Ultimate Family Townhouse According to a Royal Caribbean employee, the salon is booking between $100,000 and $200,000 a week.
Despite this huge expense, eight guest cabins are already reserved for most of 2024.
Only half of the ship’s 21 restaurants are free.
days unlimited lobster on cruises gone: The much-coveted crawfish costs extra in the main dining room. Dinner at sushi, steakhouse, seafood, and Italian restaurants are also options, to name a few.
But without a drink package, the price of these drinks can quickly increase.
And it’s hard to avoid them: everywhere you go there are opportunities to drink it. One neighborhood—the Royal Promenade, lined with watering holes—practically turns into a bar crawl at night.
The Icon boasts a unique roster of watering holes, including a dueling piano venue and a swim-up bar.
Young adults will also be delighted to see their favorite espresso martini At Rye and Bean, flavoring tea and coffee.
Royal Caribbean assigned me one balcony cabin with ocean view during a three-night cruise.
As a solo traveler, the 204-square-foot interior was surprisingly cramped.
I should have packed elbow pads: The bathroom was so small that I accidentally bumped into the walls more often than I care to admit.
One more minor gripe: I hate body wash and shampoo in one. I would love a conditioner for my chlorine soaked hair.
Icon shows includes an ice skating performance and a water-based spectacular with nine-foot-tall robotic arms and high divers.
For Broadway fans, the ship also hosts a performance of The Wizard of Oz. As an anti-cruise, anti-musical cynic, the musical, I hate to admit it, was moving and entertaining. It’s hard not to be childishly delighted at the sight of Dorothy and Toto flying around the theater on a big hanging bed.