Thrills, chills and spills will be offered on Royal Caribbean’s new record-breaking Icon of the Seas – including the industry’s tallest drop slide, biggest pool and largest waterpark on the biggest ship ever built.
At 250,800 gross registered tons, the newcomer will be even larger than the Oasis class of ships – the latest, Wonder of the Seas, is 235,000 GRT – but will carry fewer passengers (5,610 based on two per cabin, compared to 5,734 on Wonder.)
Icon will retain some of the popular features of Oasis class – such as Central Park – but will also introduce new areas such as Thrill Island, Chill Island and the Aquadome.
Thrill Island will be home to the Category 6 waterpark with six scary slides, including the 46ft-tall Frightening Bolt drop slide; Pressure Drop, which with a 66-degree incline is the industry’s first open free-fall slide; Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter, the first family raft slides at sea with four riders per raft; and Storm Chasers, a mat-racing duo.
The neighbourhood also has Crown’s Edge – part skywalk, part ropes course and part thrill ride, it culminates in a surprising, shocking moment that will see travellers swing 154 feet above the ocean.
Of the seven pools on board, four will be in the three-deck Chill Island, including the record-breaking Royal Bay Pool. Swim & Tonic will be the line’s first swim-up bar, while Cloud 17 is an adults-only retreat and Cove Pool has an infinity edge. The area will also have Royal Caribbean’s first frozen cocktail bar.
AquaDome, perched at the top of Icon, will offer wraparound ocean views and a waterfall by day and the new-style AquaTheater at night, with added features of a transforming pool, four robotic arms and state-of-the-art projection. Guests will also be able to chill out at restaurants and bars.
Surfside will be the neighbourhood for young families – parents can enjoy the views at the Water’s Edge pool or watch the under-sixes playing at Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay. Nearby will be dining options, a bar, the signature carousel, Adventure Ocean and Social020 for teens.
The final new neighbourhood is The Hideaway, 135 feet above the ocean with the first suspended infinity pool at sea surrounded by a multi-level sun terrace with whirlpools, a variety of seating and a bar.
Three returning neighbourhoods are a grander Royal Promenade with floor-to-ceiling ocean views, plus more than 15 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges; a lusher and livelier Central Park with more ways to dine and be entertained; and the largest Suite Neighbourhood yet, covering three decks including a split-level sun deck, The Grove, with a private pool, whirlpool and dining, and a two-storey Coastal Kitchen.
Other familiar favourites include mini golf at Lost Dunes, rock climbing at Adrenaline Peak, and Absolute Zero, Royal Caribbean’s largest ice rink, as well as dining venues such as Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar on the Royal Promenade and the Asian-inspired Izumi in Central Park.
When it comes to accommodation, there will be more rooms for families of three, four, five and more, such as the Family Infinite Balcony and Surfside Family Suite – with children’s alcoves tucked away from the adults – and the three-storey Ultimate Family Townhouse, complete with its own white picket fence and mailbox. Some of the best views will be from the Sunset Corner Suites and Panoramic Ocean Views in AquaDome.
Even the crew quarters have more facilities and a new patented stateroom designed by the staff who work and live on board.
Icon of the Seas, which will be arriving late next year ahead of its January 2024 debut, will be Royal Caribbean’s most sustainable ship to date, using fuel cell technology and liquefied natural gas, the cleanest-burning marine fuel, as well as shore power connection and waste heat recovery systems.
The newcomer will sail seven-night Caribbean cruises from Miami including a visit to Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at Coco Cay. Bookings go on general sale next Tuesday (October 25).