Icon of the Seas Inaugural Sailing

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Icon of the Seas
March 25, 2024
Taryn Daley

We spent 3 nights aboard mega-ship Icon of the Seas and really tried to experience as much as we could in the limited time allotted.  With a ship of this size, it’s an almost impossible feat to do it all, but we definitely got a great idea of what it has to offer – from a zip-line over the edge of the ship to the $145K-a-week 2-story townhouse stateroom (with its own slide).

As we board, the first thing I notice is the eye-popping décor.  Can we say… technicolor?  Everything from the seats to the swings, the drinks, the slides and the full-size merry-go-round has every shade of the rainbow… along with the giant flamingo statue!

We experience The Pearl – a giant pink art installation at the heart of the ship. From there, you can access the wraparound Promenade Deck. 

We got a sneak-peak into the various stateroom options (and there are many!) but what really stood out is the new $145K-a-week stateroom, also known as the “2-Story Ultimate Family Townhome,” which is off the charts.  It’s a 2-story suite that sleeps six, it has a staircase that chimes like a piano, along with an indoor slide and trampoline.

The scale of this giant ship has been a major talking point – not just in Florida but across the globe – and it’s clear from the average 10,000 steps a day that the Icon is truly massive.  This being my first cruise, I didn’t have much to compare it to and it pretty much is what I expected for a mega-ship…. Until we docked at Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at Coco Cay.

Already there when we arrive is one of Royal’s smaller ships, the Vision of the Seas.  When we park next to it, the sight is almost comical.  The Vision seems positively tiny next to the behemoth that is the Icon.

At the top of Icon’s stern is the ship’s record-breaking water park, the biggest ever built on a cruise ship.  I had intended to try one of the slides but once I was there, I’ll admit, my fear of heights got the better of me.

We didn’t spend much time at the pools, except for at the Hideaway – Royal’s new concept for an adults-only section.  The giant infinity pool at the back of the ship is truly remarkable and a great place for meeting people and being social. 

We did take in a comedy show as well as all the ship's main theatrical productions: the acrobatic water show in the AquaDome, the ice-skating show in the rink and a full-length Wizard of Oz musical where Dorothy flies over the audience on her four-poster bed. You've got to see it to believe it!

We didn’t manage to hit up every one of Icon’s 40 restaurants and bars but not for lack of trying… but we did find great food.  The buffet and main dining room are of a high standard but my favorites are the AquaDome's Asian food stall GNGR and the Mexican Buffet.

Icon is divided into eight distinct 'neighborhoods', one of  which is the beautifully landscaped Central Park. Another is The Grove. This comes with its own sun terrace, pool and restaurants and is reserved exclusively for guests staying in suites.

Icon of the Seas is a great name for a vessel packed with iconic experiences.  It’s a ship full of so many surprises that it's impossible to do everything in a week (let alone 3 days) without exhausting yourself. Do I manage it? No. Am I upset? Absolutely not! I'll just have to come back to finish the challenge.