‘Icon of the Seas’: World’s largest cruise ship unveiled

The vessel will boast a beach retreat, a resort escape and a theme park adventure.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Icon of the Seas.
Icon of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean 

Royal Caribbean International has revealed illustrations of the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, according to a press release by the firm published on Thursday.

The record-breaking ship is set to arrive in late 2023 ahead of its January 2024 debut.

Raising the bar in the travel industry

Among its many features, the cruise ship will boast a beach retreat, a resort escape and a theme park adventure, giving guests access to all kinds of fun and entertainment for all ages.

“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.”

The new vessel features adrenaline-pumping thrills, including the largest waterpark at sea, and unrivaled ways to chill with more ocean views and pools than ever before (one for each day of the week). It also offers guests 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.”

Brand new neighborhoods

Royal Caribbean has created five new neighborhoods for the ship each with unique qualities. Thrill Island is home to highlights like Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea, with six record-breaking slides.

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Chill Island features a pool for every mood, each with prime ocean views as well as 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. Meanwhile, Surfside is a neighborhood made exclusively for young families.

The Hideaway is a neighborhood 135 feet above the ocean that 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. Finally, AquaDome is a tranquil oasis by day and a vibrant place ideal for an entertaining night out.

The cruise ship also sees the return of some of its guests’ favorite features. A grander Royal Promenade features its first floor-to-ceiling ocean views, plus more than 15 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges; and a more lush and livelier Central Park has more ways to dine and be entertained.

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