Icon of the Seas cruise ship guide: Pricing, itineraries and what to expect on board
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas will make waves when it debuts in January 2024. The ship carries a number of superlatives: It will be the largest cruise ship in the world, at 250,800 gross tons, with the capacity to carry nearly 10,000 passengers and crew members. It will be the cruise line’s most sustainable ship and the first Royal Caribbean ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas and equipped with fuel cell technology. It will feature eight neighborhoods (including five new ones) and the largest number of family-focused accommodations in the fleet.
The ship will offer so many cool attractions, from a giant waterslide park to a high-tech indoor entertainment space for the line’s popular acrobatic and diving shows, that passengers may have a tough time choosing between exploring in port and staying on board to experience everything Icon of the Seas has to offer.
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Royal Caribbean is still revealing details of this truly iconic and groundbreaking ship, but here’s everything we know so far about Icon of the Seas’ itineraries, cabins and suites, dining, neighborhoods, pricing and more.
Icon of the Seas size
How big is Icon of the Seas? The ship will be 20 decks high and 1,198 feet long and measure 250,800 gross tons when it is completed. It will carry 5,610 passengers at double occupancy (two passengers per cabin) or up to 7,600 passengers at maximum occupancy, plus 2,350 crew members. These stats will make it the largest ship in the world when it debuts.
That’s larger than fleetmate Wonder of the Seas, the current record-holder for world's largest cruise ship. To compare, Wonder of the Seas measures 235,600 tons and carries 7,084 passengers at maximum occupancy.
However, Wonder of the Seas beats Icon of the Seas in one specific area – cabins. Wonder of the Seas has 2,867 cabins while Icon of the Seas will only have 2,805. That's because Royal Caribbean is styling Icon of the Seas to attract more families, with more cabins designed to accommodate more than two guests.
Related: What are the largest cruise ships in the world?
Icon of the Seas itinerary
Icon of the Seas will sail weekly from the port of Miami. Its itineraries will include weeklong Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, beginning with the ship’s maiden voyage on Jan. 27, 2024. Travelers can book one of four routings available from January 2024 through April 2025:
- Seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyages with stops at St. Kitts, St. Thomas and Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay. There are 17 such departures.
- Seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyages with stops at St. Maarten (the Dutch side of the island of St. Martin), St. Thomas and Perfect Day at CocoCay. There are 16 such departures.
- Seven-night Western Caribbean voyages with stops at Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Perfect Day at CocoCay. There are 31 such departures.
- Seven-night Western Caribbean voyages with stops at Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Perfect Day at CocoCay. There are two such departures.
Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Royal Caribbean ship
Icon of the Seas pricing
Cruises on Royal Caribbean’s newest and largest ship won’t come cheap. Expect premium pricing for what is sure to be a highly sought-after ship.
On Jan. 5, the lowest price for an Icon of the Seas sailing was $1,011 per person, based on double occupancy, for an inside cabin. The cheapest balcony cabins started at $1,448 per person.
The most expensive sailing at present is the New Year’s cruise, departing Dec. 28, 2024, with inside cabins starting at $1,781 and balconies at $2,649 per person. The inaugural cruise on Jan. 27 is actually more expensive but is mostly sold out. Balcony cabins start at $3,299 and suites at $13,958 per person; no inside or outside rooms are available to book.
You might be wondering if Icon of the Seas’ fares are all-inclusive – they are not. The fares include meals in the main dining room, buffet and a handful of other complimentary restaurants; most entertainment and activities; kids club; and basic drinks like standard coffee and tea, milk and select juices at breakfast. You will have to pay extra for soda and alcoholic beverages, specialty restaurants, spa treatments and select activities.
Related: 11 extra charges on cruise ships that will drive you nuts — and what you can do about them
Icon of the Seas dining
Royal Caribbean is still releasing details about Icon of the Seas’ new dining options, but they have made some announcements regarding the return of select eateries, as well as the introduction of a few new dining venues.
Here’s what we know so far – we’ll add to the list as more details are revealed.
New Icon of the Seas restaurants
Surfside Eatery: A new family-friendly buffet venue will be located in the Surfside neighborhood, next to the ship’s play area for young kids and their families. It’ll serve up kid-friendly casual fare, meaning families don’t need to trek up to the Windjammer buffet for lunch and parents can grab a quick bite when their kids just aren’t ready to get out of the water.
Pier 7: Also in Surfside, Pier 7 will offer a menu of “beachside bites,” according to the cruise line. Think seafood-forward dishes, such as mango shrimp tostadas and surf and turf. It will serve all three meals and accommodate both kids and adults.
Surfside Bites: Royal Caribbean has not said much about this additional Surfside eatery, other than it will serve “sweet and salty noshes on the go.”
Desserted Milkshake Bar: Thrill-seekers can enjoy a different kind of rush at this milkshake venue in the Thrill Island neighborhood. You’ll find sugary options for kids and spiked versions for grown-ups.
The Grove: Icon’s expanded Suite neighborhood will include a new Mediterranean restaurant in The Grove, a multideck outdoor area with a pool and hot tub, reserved for suite guests.
Returning Royal Caribbean restaurants
Main dining room: Icon of the Seas will have a main dining room, but the line has not revealed its name or any details about the space or menu.
Windjammer Marketplace: It wouldn’t be a Royal Caribbean ship without an enormous pool deck buffet, and Icon of the Seas will have its version on Deck 15.
Sorrento’s Pizza: The popular complimentary late-night pizza parlor on the Royal Promenade returns on Icon of the Seas.
Starbucks: You’ll be able to get all your favorite coffee drinks (including the seasonal offerings – pumpkin spice latte, anyone?) for a fee at the Royal Promenade outpost.
Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar: The extra-fee purveyor of pizza, pasta, meatballs and more Italian specialties returns to Icon of the Seas, but in a new location. Whereas Wonder of the Seas and the other Oasis-class ships feature the restaurant and its wine bar in Central Park, Icon will house its version on the upper level of the Royal Promenade.
Related: The ultimate guide to cruise ship food and dining
Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade: Bite into a juicy burger or outrageous dessert at this extra-fee bar and grill. Icon of the Seas doesn’t have a Boardwalk so Playmakers has been repositioned to Deck 6 in an interior location across from Adventure Ocean and Social 020 at the far end of the second level of the Royal Promenade.
Izumi Hibachi & Sushi: Another relocated venue, Izumi takes its rolls, sashimi and juggling hibachi chefs to a new and larger Central Park location with more hibachi tables. It will also feature a Royal Caribbean first – a grab-and-go window for sushi takeout.
Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean’s steakhouse returns to Central Park on Icon.
Park Cafe: This casual favorite for breakfast, lunch and snacks also returns to Central Park on Icon of the Seas.
Vitality Cafe: Icon of the Seas’ spa area will once again be home to a healthy cafe for breakfast and lunch. Smoothies and fresh juices cost extra.
Hooked Seafood: Found in the new AquaDome neighborhood, this New England-style seafood venue hits the spot when you’re craving oysters, crabcakes and lobster rolls after staring at the waves all day long.
Sprinkles: Help yourself to ice cream at this Chill Island poolside lineup of soft-serve machines.
El Loco Fresh: Fast-casual Mexican hits the spot after a day in the sun. Pick up a quick breakfast or lunch at this Chill Island outpost.
Coastal Kitchen: This restaurant, exclusive to suite guests and Royal Caribbean’s top-tier loyalty program members, will feature a new two-story layout. It will be found in the Suite neighborhood.
Icon of the Seas cabins and suites
Royal Caribbean cruisers will have 14 new cabin and suite types to choose from, out of 28 total accommodation types. Many of these are family-friendly rooms, sleeping four guests; some can accommodate six or eight guests. In total, 313 cabins and suites are listed specifically as family-focused accommodations, though many regular room types can accommodate more than two guests.
Related: Everything you want to know about cabins and suites on Royal Caribbean ships
The most affordable rooms on Icon of the Seas will be inside cabins. In addition to standard 156-square-foot inside cabins and 178-square-foot spacious interior cabins, Icon of the Seas will offer new 187-square-foot Surfside Family View Interior cabins (replacing Boardwalk View cabins), as well as similarly sized Central Park View Interior cabins. New 157-square-foot Interior Plus rooms feature extra-large walk-in closets.
No rooms on Icon of the Seas are listed as offering the "virtual balconies" found on select Royal Caribbean ships.
Icon of the Seas will only have two types of ocean-view rooms with a window but no balcony. Its new Panoramic Ocean View rooms are located within the AquaDome, offering floor-to-ceiling windows rather than the standard picture window. They will also be larger than the standard balcony cabin, at 258 square feet (compared to 160-187 square feet).
The majority of Icon of the Seas’ cabins will be balcony rooms, ranging from 196 to 285 square feet in indoor space, with private verandas of 50 to 70 square feet. The ship introduces four new types of balcony cabins to the fleet.
The Infinite Ocean View Balcony cabin design takes an idea from Royal Caribbean sister line Celebrity Cruises, where instead of a standard balcony external to the ship, the room features a glass wall with a window that can roll down halfway (like a car window) to allow fresh air in, and curtains to close off that area from the rest of the cabin to create a veranda-like space.
Icon will also have an extra-long family version of this room type. The Family Infinite Balcony cabin can sleep up to six people, with an alcove featuring upper and lower beds for kids, a separate sleeping area for grown-ups, a living area and split bathroom (toilet and sink in one room and shower and sink in the other).
Also new to Icon are smaller Surfside Family View Balcony cabins and Infinite Central Park View Balcony cabins. Central Park balcony rooms, which look out over the interior, yet open-to-the-sky neighborhood, come in regular balcony versions as well. Icon also features hundreds of standard balcony cabins looking out to sea.
Related: Which cruise ship cabin should your family book?
Royal Caribbean offers three tiers of suites, and each subsequent tier comes with increasing Royal Suite-class perks and amenities.
Icon’s Sea-tier suites include Junior Suites and four new Sunset Junior Suites, with expansive balconies.
The Sky tier includes several new suite types, starting with the Surfside Family Suites. These 269-square-foot suites sleep four with a glassed-in living area that can turn into a kids bedroom at night, plus a real 53-square-foot balcony overlooking the Surfside neighborhood.
Sky Junior Suites have the same layout as regular Junior Suites but are located high up on the ship’s top decks. Guests in these suites receive additional Sky-tier perks (such as access to all the Suite neighborhood amenities), whereas regular Junior Suites come with more limited amenities. Sunset Suites and Sunset Corner Suites feature extra-large balconies and beds that face the ocean rather than a wall.
Panoramic Suites are located within the ship’s iconic AquaDome structure, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. You won’t miss the balcony when you’re gazing out to sea while reclining on a chaise lounge placed in front of your glass wall.
The Infinite Grand Suite offers the new convertible balcony design, in conjunction with a larger space that sleeps four and includes a split bathroom, useful when multiple guests need to get ready at the same time.
Of the nine top Star-tier suites only one, the Royal Loft, is found on other Royal Caribbean ships. Seven of these top accommodations are new Icon Loft Suites, two-deck-high accommodations with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large balcony with private dining area and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The creme de la creme of suites on board is the three-deck-high Ultimate Family Townhouse, an evolution of the Ultimate Family Suite that wowed guests on Oasis-class ships. In addition to kid and adult sleeping areas, this 1,772-square-foot top-level suite features an in-suite slide, movie-viewing room, a karaoke machine and spacious indoor living spaces. It also features 751 square feet of outdoor space, divided among two balconies and a "backyard" with a pingpong table, outdoor seating and a white picket fence leading directly to all the Surfside neighborhood attractions. It can sleep up to eight guests.
Icon of the Seas neighborhoods
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships feature multiple “neighborhoods” – themed areas of the ship with a mix of attractions, dining, drinking and shopping venues. Icon of the Seas takes that concept to the next level with eight neighborhoods, including three returning areas from its sister ships and five exclusive to its new class of ships.
From the lowest deck to the highest, here are the eight neighborhoods and what you can expect to find there.
The Royal Promenade is a Royal Caribbean staple, found on all Voyager-, Freedom- and Oasis-class ships. Icon of the Seas will offer a two-deck version of this indoor mall-like space with multiple shopping, dining and drinking establishments.
On Deck 5, you’ll find Sorrento’s Pizza, Starbucks, Spotlight Karaoke and the Point and Feather pub. You’ll also find The Pearl, the ship’s iconic indoor sphere that functions as an artistic stairway, and the outdoor running track encircling it all.
On Deck 6, Royal Caribbean has finally created a second-story Promenade that you can circle completely; on other ships, you run into dead ends. Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen, the nautical-themed Schooner Bar and Boleros (a bar and lounge for Latin music and dancing) are located here.
Surrounding the Royal Promenade are many of Icon of the Seas’ entertainment venues. The ship’s Royal Theater is forward of the promenade, and the Absolute Zero ice rink is aft. The Music Hall and Casino Royale are just below on Deck 4, and the Escape Room, Diamond Club elite lounge, The Attic comedy club and fitness center are forward of the promenade on decks 5 and 6. (Note that the fitness center is not attached to the Vitality Spa, located on decks 12 and 14.
Just above the Royal Promenade, on Deck 7 aft is Surfside, a neighborhood dedicated to young families. It takes the place of the Boardwalk found on Oasis-class ships. A slide will lead from Deck 8 down to Surfside, and stairs will take guests directly from Surfside to the Adventure Ocean kids club on Deck 6 (as well as the Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade).
Like the Boardwalk, Surfside will be open to the sky, as well as the back of the ship. The stay-all-day destination for kids under 7 and their adult caregivers will include family-friendly eateries (including a candy store), a bar with a menu of matching kid-and-adult mocktails and cocktails, a carousel, an arcade, a splash area with slides aimed at the youngest splashers, and an infinity pool for grownups.
The neighborhood is flanked by family-friendly cabins, many of which have windows or balconies overlooking the Deck 7 entertainment area. The epic Ultimate Family Townhouse will even have a fenced-in “backyard” with direct access to the Surfside neighborhood.
Despite its name, Surfside will not be home to Royal Caribbean’s surf simulator, the FlowRider.
Another open-to-the-sky neighborhood, the greenery-filled Central Park makes a return on Icon. Located on Deck 8, it will lure adult cruisers to its bars and restaurants for a romantic date night or walk in its onboard park, featuring live trees and plants.
Chops Grille, Izumi Sushi, the Park Cafe and the Trellis Bar will call Central Park home. Additional shopping, dining and bar venues are sketched in on the ship’s deck plans, but Royal Caribbean has yet to reveal what new establishments it will house along the park’s winding paths. (It has been leaked that one of the venues may be a new Supper Club dining-and-entertainment experience.)
As on Oasis-class ships, cabins with inward-facing windows and balconies will overlook Icon’s Central Park.
Icon of the Seas may not have a Boardwalk, but it will offer its own version of that neighborhood’s popular AquaTheater. The AquaTheater – which hosts acrobatic and diving shows in a high-tech stage/pool – will be moved from its outdoor, lower-deck, back-of-ship location on Oasis-class ships to an indoor, upper-deck, front-of-ship spot on Icon.
The theater will be the marquee attraction within the ship’s Deck 15 AquaDome neighborhood, if the draw is not the dome itself. The giant 363-ton glass-and-steel dome will offer guests 220-degree ocean views, while the theater will offer fountain shows and high-tech features, including robotic arms and computerized winches and lifts for 3D flying (where dancers are flown across the stage as they flip and twirl). Fans of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships will recognize some similarities to those ships’ Two70 high-tech performance venue.
As a neighborhood, the AquaDome will offer dining and drinking venues, as well as cozy seating areas for daytime and evening hangouts. Royal Caribbean has teased that there will be nightlife programming here beyond just the AquaTheater shows. In that respect, the space also takes inspiration from sister line Celebrity Cruises’ Eden venue, which is a multipurpose day-to-night multideck venue like the AquaDome.
Hooked Seafood will be located within the AquaDome, but additional dining and drinking venues have not been revealed. The ship’s unique glass dome has also created several Panoramic Ocean View cabins and Panoramic suites with floor-to-ceiling windows within the dome, but no balconies.
Aft of the AquaDome is Chill Island, Icon’s main pool area featuring four of the ship’s seven pools among its three decks. It will include the line’s first swim-up bar, Swim and Tonic, as well as what Royal Caribbean is claiming is the largest pool at sea. Additional attractions include an adults-only pool and an infinity pool, as well as hot tubs sprinkled throughout the area. The pools and hot tubs are positioned along the edges of the ship, so guests can take in the sea views while soaking in the water.
Cabanas will be available to rent in this neighborhood, but there’ll be plenty of free lounge space. Food and beverage destinations in Chill Island include a multistory Lime and Coconut Bar, Sprinkles ice cream, Cantina Fresca and El Loco Fresh. The Windjammer Marketplace buffet is located aft of Chill Island on Deck 15.
High above Surfside, at the back of Deck 15, is The Hideaway – Royal Caribbean’s take on a beach club. The main attraction here is the first suspended infinity pool at sea. It’s flanked by tiered lounge space, hot tubs and a bar.
Icon’s go-to neighborhood for adrenaline-pumping activities will be Thrill Island. Found on decks 16 and 17, it’s home to all the wild top-deck attractions that Royal Caribbean is known for – as well as some new thrills.
The FlowRider surf simulator, Lost Dunes mini-golf, Adrenaline Peak rock climbing wall and the sports court are all Thrill Island staples. Category 6 will be the largest water park at sea, featuring an open free-fall slide, the tallest drop slide at sea, family raft slides that accommodate four riders at once and two mat-racing slides. The Crown’s Edge is a ropes course-style attraction based around a giant version of the ship's crown-and-anchor logo.
When passengers are ready to recharge after all those heart-pounding activities, they can grab a drink or bite at Desserted, a restaurant serving epic milkshakes (including alcoholic versions for the 21+ crowd), and Basecamp, with a walkup ordering window and bar.
The ship’s final neighborhood spans decks 16 to 19. The Suite neighborhood is a mix of many of the ship’s top suites plus restaurants, lounges and outdoor areas exclusive to suite guests and some of Royal Caribbean’s most loyal travelers. It will be Royal Caribbean’s largest restricted-access enclave for suite guests, a la Norwegian’s The Haven.
Related: Everything you need to know about Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program
The Coastal Kitchen restaurant returns, but it will be two decks high on Icon of the Seas. The line is also expanding its suite sun deck concept into the multistory The Grove, with lounge space, pool, hot tub and a Mediterranean restaurant.
Icon of the Seas will be a groundbreaking ship for Royal Caribbean, introducing new venues, attractions and accommodation styles while returning or evolving fan favorites from past ships. Though the ship will be the line’s largest, it will employ proven strategies to minimize crowding, though passengers will need to book quickly to obtain preferred restaurant and show reservations.
While the ship has put special emphasis on catering to young families, its myriad attractions will provide entertainment for cruisers of all ages and interests.
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