Home Cruises Thrills, chills on newest RC cruise ship include swim-up bar, infinity pool, largest waterpark at sea

Thrills, chills on newest RC cruise ship include swim-up bar, infinity pool, largest waterpark at sea

by Jan Schroder
Icon of the Seas rendering

I won’t be signing up for the Crown’s Edge attraction where you climb along the giant Crown & Anchor logo and catapult yourself into mid air. But I’d love to explore some of the other amazing features of Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas scheduled to set sail in January 2024 from Miami, Florida.

Surfside, the new family area, will include six waterslides. (All photos courtesy of Royal Caribbean.)

When cruise ships compete to up their game with each new ship, us cruisers are the winners. We were blown away by the sheer size, number of activities and my favorite area, the adults-only Solarium on Wonder of the Seas. Check out our story and video on Wonder of the Seas and you’ll see what we mean. My second favorite part of Wonder of the Seas was the peaceful oasis of Central Park, which we also found on Allure of the Seas during our recent cruise.

Icon of the Seas will have a Central Park neighborhood as well, with 20% more plants. Some of the other neighborhoods of the ship include Thrill Island, which will be the largest waterpark at sea. It will have six waterslides, including the tallest slide at sea, family raft rides and a free fall slide. Chill Island will have three decks with a suspended infinity pool, an adults-only pool and Swim & Tonic, the brand’s first swim-up pool. Don’t you just love that name? 

Icon of the Seas will have a total of eight neighborhoods, including one for families called Surfside. In addition to the waterpark, it will have an arcade, carousel, bars and restaurants. A cruise on this ship will be the easiest family vacation you could take – no keeping up with amusement park tickets, paying huge daily admissions, and walking through miles of parking lot.

I’m not scared of heights, but don’t think I’ll sign up for Crown’s Edge, a new attraction.

A new concept is the AquaDome, which will be a lounge area in the day, then transform into the Aqua Theater at night. Of all the shows I’ve seen on cruise ships, the one at the Aqua Theater on Wonder of the Seas is the most spectacular – you won’t believe the stunts, dives and acrobatics these talented performers do.

I love the layout of this family suite with a kids’ alcove that gives parents a little privacy and can be used as a
sitting area in the daytime.

Another big change is coming to the Royal Promenade, always a popular area on a cruise ship, lined with bars and restaurants. There will be 15 bars and restaurants on Icon of the Seas, plus floor-to-ceiling windows for spectacular views.

The spectacular AquaDome promises to be a stunner.

Construction on Icon of the Seas started in June 2021 with completion in the fall of 2023. It will have 2,805 guest rooms, 20 decks and space for 7,600 passengers. The ship will sail the eastern and western Caribbean from Miami.

See our related story and video on Wonder of the Seas.

Jan Schroder, Editor-in-chief

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