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  • Writer's pictureCassity Burke

Breaking the Mold: Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Redefines Cruising

Updated: Feb 26

Prepare to be amazed as the sea unveils its newest masterpiece - Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas. This groundbreaking vessel is shattering the boundaries of design, revolutionizing how we experience luxury at sea. Bid farewell to the familiar and embrace a new level of innovation and sophistication. The ship offers a journey that will forever change your mind about cruising. Royal Caribbean's new ship breaks the mold and redefines contemporary cruise ships.

Cutting-Edge Architecture: A Blend of Form and Function

One of the most striking features that sets Icon of the Seas apart from other ships is its cutting-edge architecture, which seamlessly blends form and function. This iconic vessel presents a new era of innovation on the high seas.

Every aspect has been carefully considered, from the sleek exterior to the thoughtfully designed interior. The architects have taken inspiration from the natural world, incorporating organic shapes and flowing lines that mimic the ebb and flow of the ocean. The result is a ship that harmoniously coexists with its marine surroundings.

Natural light is a standout feature. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interior spaces with sunlight, creating a sense of openness and connection to the outside world. Whether lounging in a cozy cabin or enjoying a meal in one of the restaurants, you'll always feel connected to the breathtaking ocean views.

Another innovative aspect of Icon of the Seas' design is its efficient use of space. The ship features multi-functional areas that can adapt to different daily needs. For example, a lounge area might transform into a vibrant nightclub in the evening, or a meeting space might double as a tranquil oasis during the day. This flexibility allows passengers to make the most of their onboard experience, no matter their preferences or mood.

Innovating the Ocean Cruise Ship

Icon of the Seas offers several neighborhoods, allowing you to determine the best spots for you.

Chill Island

Chill Island encompasses a pool area that stretches over three decks and offers many different pools; there is something for everyone to love in Chill Island. 

Must-See in Chill Island

  • Cove Pool is the first infinity-edged pool at sea.

  • Swim & Tonic is the first swim-up bar at sea.

  • Lime & Coconut, home to the best adult beverages, is available on all three decks of Chill Island.

Thrill Island

Thrill Island lies at the back of decks 16 and 17, and this is where you want to head if a heart-pumping adventure is what you seek.

Must-See in Thrill Island

  • Category 6 Waterpark (with six different waterslides)

  • Flowrider Surf Simulator

  • Desserted Milk Shake Bar

  • Crown's Edge (Hybrid Ropes Course with Zip Lines)

Hideaway Pool
Photo by Royal Caribbean International

Hideaway Island

Hideaway is where you want to head if you want to escape children; it is for guests 18 years and above.

Must-See Areas of Hideaway

  • The first suspended and aft-facing pool on a ship.

  • Hideaway Bar offering signature drinks

Surfside Neighborhood
Photo by Royal Caribbean International

Surfside Neighborhood

Surfside is the area on deck 7 dedicated to families with young children. Rides, splash areas, boutiques, child-friendly restaurants, and daily activities exist.

Central Park Neighborhood

Central Park is a living park on deck 8. And yes, all the trees and plants are alive.

Must-See Areas of Central Park

  • Chops Grill (Steakhouse)

  • Izumi in the Park (casual sushi restaurant)

  • Trellis Bar

  • Bubbles (the champagne window)

  • Lou's Jazz N'Blues Club

Suite Neighborhood 

If you stay in a suite on Icon, you will have access to the suite neighborhood that stretches over the forward portion of decks 16-19. The pool, sundeck, and other amenities are only for suite guests; it is quieter and less crowded than Chill Island. 

Photo by Royal Caribbean International


The Aquadome is more than an indoor theater; it is also home to the Overlook, a lounge and sitting area offering a panoramic view.

Must-See Areas in the Aquadome

  • Rye & Bean (coffee and drinks)

  • Hooked Seafood

  • Celebration Table (Private Celebration Dining)

  • Aquadome Market (Complementary International Dining made fresh for you)

Living the Suite Life

Icon of the Seas offers standard cruise staterooms. You can book Inside, Ocean View, Surfside, Central Park View & Ocean View Balconies. But their suites are stellar and where Royal Caribbean's innovation shines.

  • Infinite Ocean View Balcony extends your living space into an oceanfront balcony at the push of a button - giving you additional space and incredible views.

  • Panoramic Suites offer floor-to-ceiling glass windows that remind of views from the revolutionary AquaDome.

  • Sunset Corner Suite provides fantastic views of everlasting blue, while spacious living and lounge space offers the perfect place to recharge.

  • Ultimate Family Townhome is a sprawling adventure-filled pad providing three floors worth of incredible surprises. Plunge the slide into the most incredible living room ever, where hidden nooks await exploration. The cinema room sets the scene for movie nights and karaoke sing-offs with a popcorn machine and a monster-themed daybed. 

Awe-Inspiring Onboard Amenities: Luxury at Every Turn

Complementing the Icon of the Seas' innovative design, the ship boasts many awe-inspiring onboard amenities that promise every passenger a luxurious experience. From the moment you step onboard, you'll discover a world of indulgence and sophistication, with no shortage of extraordinary offerings to captivate your senses.

One of the standout features is its diverse range of restaurants, where culinary excellence takes center stage. Whether you're craving a sizzling steak, savoring fresh seafood, or exploring the vibrant flavors of international cuisine, there is a dining venue to suit every taste and occasion. And remember the world-class sommeliers and mixologists who are on hand to pair the perfect wine or craft the most decadent cocktails.

Standout Restaurants (not mentioned above)

  • Empire Supper Club

  • Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

  • The Dining Room

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, the ship's spa and wellness facilities offer a sanctuary of tranquility. Indulge in a blissful massage or facial, or unwind in the steam room and sauna, all while enjoying panoramic ocean views. Fitness enthusiasts will find plenty of options to stay active, from state-of-the-art gyms with the latest exercise equipment to outdoor sports courts. And after a day of pampering or working up a sweat, why not dip in one of the ship's stunning pools or unwind in a luxurious whirlpool?

In addition to these lavish amenities, Icon of the Seas also features an array of boutique shops, offering everything from designer fashion and jewelry to luxury beauty products. Perfect for indulging in a little retail therapy or finding that special gift for a loved one back home, these onboard boutiques showcase the height of elegance and style.

Unparalleled Entertainment: The Ultimate Experience at Sea

Icon of the Seas may be renowned for its luxurious amenities and elegant design, but the luxury differs from where the opulence ends. Prepare to be blown away by the unparalleled entertainment offerings that take the cruise ship experience to a new level. From live performances that rival Broadway shows to immersive virtual reality experiences, guests will discover the ultimate entertainment extravaganza.

One of the standout features of Icon of the Seas is its state-of-the-art theater, where world-class performers take the stage each night. Whether it's a dazzling musical, a captivating dance performance, or a mind-bending acrobatic display, these shows leave audiences in awe. With cutting-edge technology and top-notch production values, the theater offers a truly immersive experience that brings entertainment to life like never before.

But the entertainment options continue beyond there. Icon of the Seas also features a variety of bars and lounges, each with its unique theme and ambiance. Whether you're in the mood for a sophisticated cocktail at the upscale piano bar or a lively night of dancing at the disco, there's something to suit every taste and mood. And for those who want to take in some breathtaking views while enjoying a drink, the ship's panoramic observation deck provides the perfect setting.

Sustainable Design: Cruising with a Conscience

In today's world, businesses must prioritize sustainability and minimize their environmental impact. Royal Caribbean understands this responsibility and has taken bold steps to integrate sustainable design into the very fabric of its ships. The Icon of the Seas sets an impressive example of eco-friendly cruising that ensures incredible passenger experiences and preserves the beauty of our oceans and beyond.

One of the standout features of the ship's sustainable design is its use of advanced energy-saving technologies. From innovative hull coatings that reduce drag to advanced propulsion systems, the Icon of the Seas maximizes energy efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and minimizing emissions. By implementing these cutting-edge technologies, Royal Caribbean is actively working towards a greener future for the cruise industry.

Beyond its physical design, Icon of the Seas also spearheads sustainable initiatives while on board. It offers educational programs and activities that promote environmental awareness and responsible tourism. Passengers are encouraged to participate in recycling programs, learn about marine conservation, and make conscious choices to reduce their environmental impact. By blending entertainment and education, Royal Caribbean empowers its guests to make a positive difference while enjoying their cruise experience.

Cassie's Final Thoughts

Who Is Icon of the Seas For?

  • Mulitgen families will adore the varied spaces, allowing everyone to find things they want to see and do.

  • Couples needing a plethora of diverse entertainment.

  • Anyone that loves big cruise ports.

Who Should Avoid the Icon of the Seas?

  • Anyone wanting peace & quiet.

  • Anyone wishing to explore more exotic destinations.

  • Anyone whose family members shouldn't be subjected to overstimulation (i.e., my autistic nephew wouldn't do well on this ship).

Icon for the Seas Pros:

  • It is a stunning vessel with a wide variety of activities & entertainment

  • The restaurants are exemplary, with tons of different cuisines.

  • Tons of pools and slides

  • Exciting shows

  • Many first-of-their-kind innovations

  • Lionel Messi is the ship's Godfather (my kids are obsessed)

Cons of the Icon of the Seas

  • It can be overwhelming trying to narrow down your options.

  • Crowds

  • Long lines at top restaurants and activities

  • Current itineraries could be more exciting, which does make sense because they want the ship to be the draw, but you can head to Nassau and Jamaica on hundreds of cruise ships.

  • Price. Icon of the Seas is much more expensive than other Royal Caribbean ships. 

  • Many of the restaurants are not included in the price.

In a world where cruise ship design seems to follow a predictable blueprint, Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas has shattered expectations and reimagined what a vessel of luxury and innovation can indeed be. From its cutting-edge architecture to its awe-inspiring amenities, this ship is a feast for the senses, promising an unparalleled experience at sea.

Book your journey aboard the Icon of the Seas and let Royal Caribbean redefine your perception of luxury, innovation, and sustainability at sea. Bon voyage!

Author: Cassity Burke

Author's Bio:

Hi, my name is Cassity; I'm a mom of two amazing boys, Ethan, 16, and Caleb, 13. I've been married for 17 years to the best husband and my best friend. As a family, we love to travel and visit new places. I became a travel advisor because I love helping clients plan their vacations. There is nothing like helping people create lasting memories.


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