The Game-changing, Iconic Combination Makes the Ultimate Family Vacation
A new era of vacations starts here. Royal Caribbean International has revealed the first look at the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas, the Icon of Vacations. Arriving in late 2023 ahead of its January 2024 debut, the first Icon Class ship will be the travel industry’s first-of-its-kind combination of the best of every vacation. From the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure, with Icon, every kind of family and adventurer can experience their version of the ultimate family vacation. Vacationers can book their iconic adventure on Royal Caribbean’s website on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Crown & Anchor loyalty members can look out for special access on Monday, Oct. 24.
“With each new ship, we raise the bar in the travel industry while enhancing what our guests know and love,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “From the moment they step on board, every experience is specifically designed to give them the best vacation anywhere on land and at sea. With Icon of the Seas, we’ve taken this to a new level and made the ultimate family vacation.”
Whether “family vacation” means getting away as a family, couple or friends, Icon’s all-encompassing lineup features a variety of firsts and next-level favorites for everyone. There are adrenaline-pumping thrills, including the largest waterpark at sea, and unrivaled ways to chill with more ocean views and pools – one for each day of the week – than ever before, plus a blend of more than 40 new and returning dining, bar and nightlife options, and cutting-edge entertainment.
“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of delivering memorable experiences and our next bold commitment to those who love to vacation,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Now more than ever, families and friends are prioritizing experiences where they can bond and enjoy their own adventures. We set out to create a vacation that makes all that possible in one place for the thrill-seekers, the chill enthusiasts and everyone in between, without compromise. It’s this first-of-its-kind combination that makes Icon the future of family vacations, and that future is here.”
Royal Caribbean begins to spotlight what’s in store with the first look at eight neighborhoods that come alive day and night, including five brand-new adventures and three bold, returning favorites. Each one is a destination in and of itself filled with an array of experiences, live entertainment and ways to grab a bite and a drink, so that everyone can make memories their way every day.
Ways to Play Across Five New Neighborhoods
- Thrill Island – Vacationers can test their limits, scale new heights and reach top speeds at the center of thrill. This lost island adventure is home to highlights like Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea, with six record-breaking slides: Pressure Drop and its 66-degree incline make it the industry’s first open free-fall slide; the 46-foot-tall Frightening Bolt, the tallest drop slide at sea; Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter, the first family raft slides at sea with four riders per raft; and Storm Chasers, cruising’s first mat-racing duo. Living on the edge takes new meaning with Crown’s Edge. Part skywalk, part ropes course and part thrill ride, it culminates in a surprising, shocking moment that will see travelers swing 154 feet above the ocean.
- Chill Island – Among the seven pools on board, four are in this three-deck slice of paradise. There’s a pool for every mood, each with prime ocean views: the vibrant Swim & Tonic, the line’s first swim-up bar at sea; Royal Bay Pool, the largest pool at sea; Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat; and the serene, infinity-edge Cove Pool. Plus, The Lime & Coconut returns with four locations, including Royal Caribbean’s first frozen cocktail bar.
- Surfside – Introducing a neighborhood made for young families from end to end, where adults and kids ages six and under will want to stay and play all day. Grownups can soak up the endless views at Water’s Edge pool, as they keep an eye on the kids at Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay. Only steps away are dining options, places to lounge, a bar, the signature carousel, an arcade, Adventure Ocean, and Social020 for teens.
- The Hideaway – Tucked away, this neighborhood 135 feet above the ocean combines the good vibes of beach club scenes around the world and the uninterrupted ocean views only a cruise can offer. The first suspended infinity pool at sea is at the center of it all, and it’s surrounded by a multilevel sun terrace with whirlpools, a variety of seating and a dedicated bar.
- AquaDome – Perched at the top of Icon, what’s in store is a transformational place unlike any other. In a tranquil oasis by 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. The signature entertainment venue takes artistry and cutting-edge technology to new heights, with a transforming pool, four robotic arms, state-of-the-art projection and more.
Ways to Play Across Three Familiar Neighborhoods and Favorites
The cruise line has raised the bar even further with each of its signature neighborhoods: A grander Royal Promenade features its first floor-to-ceiling ocean views, plus more than 15 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges; a more lush and livelier Central Park has more ways to dine and be entertained; and the largest Suite Neighborhood is three decks of luxury, offering a multilevel suite sun deck – The Grove – that has a private pool, whirlpool and dining, and a two-story Coastal Kitchen. More returning favorites include experiences like new takes on mini golf at Lost Dunes, rock climbing at Adrenaline Peak, and Absolute Zero, Royal Caribbean’s largest ice arena, and dining venues such as Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar on the Royal Promenade and the Asian-inspired Izumi in Central Park.
With 28 ways to stay, even the rooms are thoughtfully designed for every type of vacationer. It’s come one, come all with more choices, ocean views and room. There are new layouts made for families of three, four, five and more, like the Family Infinite Balcony and Surfside Family Suite – with kids alcoves tucked away from the adults – and the three-story Ultimate Family Townhouse, complete with its own white picket fence and mailbox. When it comes to views, among the best are from the brand’s first Sunset Corner Suites and Panoramic Ocean Views in AquaDome.
The debut of Icon Class will also mark firsts and the next step in Royal Caribbean’s journey toward a clean-energy future. Icon will be the cruise line’s first ship with fuel cell technology and powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the cleanest-burning marine fuel. Along with other proven applications, such as shore power connection and waste heat recovery systems, the new ship will be the cruise line’s most sustainable to date.
The bold, new standard of vacations also extends to the home away from home for those at the heart of Icon – the crew. Where they live and work has been reimagined with more intuitive design, amenities, room and activities, including a new, patented stateroom created by crew for crew.
Icon will sail year-round, 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami. Every cruise will visit Royal Caribbean’s top-rated private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas, where adventurers can create their ideal vacation day. In store is everything thrill and chill, from Thrill Waterpark’s 13 waterslides, including the tallest in North America; to Coco Beach Club, featuring the first overwater cabanas in The Bahamas; and Up, Up & Away, a helium balloon adventure. When Icon arrives, the cruise line will debut the island’s adults-only oasis, Hideaway Beach, with an expansive pool, private cabanas with pools, and unmatched views of the ocean hues. Vacationers will also visit Caribbean gems like Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Roatan, Honduras.
Text: PM Royal Caribbean International