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Royal Caribbean International
After 900 days of construction, Royal Caribbean International welcomes the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas

After seven years of planning and 900 days of design and construction, Royal Caribbean International has welcomed Icon of the Seas to its fleet.

During a celebration this week at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Royal Caribbean representatives signed on the dotted line just two months before the new ship makes its January 2024 debut in Miami.

During more than two years of construction, the Icon of the Seas celebrated several never-before-seen feats, including the installation of the AquaDome, the single-largest glass and steel structure to be lifted onto a cruise ship. It also engineered more water on board than ever before across seven pools, six record-breaking waterslides and more. 

The ship will now sail from Turku to Cadiz, Spain. Starting November 29, travellers can follow Icon’s journey on Royal Caribbean’s website.

Upon completion, guests will enjoy eight neighbourhoods on board (five of which are brand new), more than 40 ways to dine and drink, and 28 different ways to stay, including the new three-level Ultimate Family Townhouse. 


Highlights include the following:

  • Thrill Island: This new attraction features Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea, with six record-breaking slides; Crown’s Edge, part skywalk, part ropes course situated 154 feet above the ocean; the FlowRider simulator; the Lost Dunes minigolf course and more. Just steps away are new spots to grab laidback bites or sweet treats: Basecamp and Desserted.
  • Chill Island: Four of the seven pools on Icon are at this three-deck slice of paradise, each prime ocean views: the lively Swim & Tonic, the cruise line’s first swimup bar at sea; Royal Bay, the largest pool at sea; Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat; and the infinity-edge Cove Pool. With different tunes from live bands and DJs, and poolside spots like The Lime & Coconut and El Loco Fresh & Cantina Fresca providing quick, casual food, guests can chill day and night.
  • Surfside: Introducing the first neighborhood made for young families. Adults can lounge at the new Water’s Edge pool, while kids will love Splashaway Bay aquapark. New dining options include the Surfside Eatery buffet, Pier 7 for all-day brunch and the convenient Surfside Bites. To chase down the bites, there’s The Lemon Post, a brand-new bar that features two menus – one for adults and the other for kids.
  • AquaDome: A tranquil oasis by day and vibrant hot spot at night, the new neighborhood is filled with wraparound ocean views, new and returning restaurants and bars, a 55-foot-tall water curtain, and the next-level AquaTheater. Other highlights include Royal Caribbean’s first foodhall, AquaDome Market, Rye & Bean (a new bar for lattes and coffee-infused cocktails), the new Overlook bar and pods, and the cruise line’s marquee aqua shows.
  • The Hideaway: Sitting 135 feet above the ocean is a new neighborhood that combines the good vibes of beach clubs around the world. The first suspended infinity pool at sea is at the center of it all, and it has 180-degree ocean views that make it the perfect place to watch sunsets.
  • Royal Promenade: The heartbeat of Icon features more than 15 restaurants, bars and lounges, including Dueling Pianos, Royal Caribbean’s first dueling pianos bar; the new 1400 Lobby Bar, inspired by the history of shipbuilding, with an ocean-facing terrace that opens the reimagined neighborhood to the outdoors for the first time; and favorites with a twist like Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Starbucks and more. The all-time favorite also debuts floor-to-ceiling ocean views, an engineering feat made possible by The Pearl, the world’s largest kinetic art sculpture.
  • Central Park: Lusher and livelier than ever, the open-air neighborhood is reimagined with more ways to dine, drink and be entertained. Thousands of real plants line new experiences and favorites with a twist, such as the popular Izumi, with a new location and a walkup window; and American steakhouse Chops Grille. Making their debut are spots like Empire Supper Club, an extravagant experience that pairs eight courses with wine, cocktails and music; and Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues, for live performances of soulful jazz, jazzy pop music and more.
  • Suite Neighborhood: Spanning four decks, Royal Caribbean’s most expansive Suite Neighborhood features larger suites, the new Grove Suite Sun Deck, complete with a private pool, whirlpool and dedicated Mediterranean dining; and a now two-level Coastal Kitchen with views of the AquaDome and the ocean.


Icon of the Seas will offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from Miami that also include Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. In January 2024, the island will debut Hideaway Beach, an all-day experience with a private beach, pools, new dedicated spots for drinks and bites, exclusive cabanas, live music and more.

For more information go to RoyalCaribbean.com/Icon.


Source: Travelweek

Nov 28, 2023

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