Icon of the Seas preview: Photos of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship

Royal Caribbean’s much-awaited Icon of the Seas, the new titleholder of the world’s largest cruise ship, has arrived in Miami in preparation for its first sailings with paying passengers. The Points Guy was one of the first media outlets allowed on board to explore the ship’s five new neighborhoods and try some of the new onboard eateries. Although some areas of the vessel were still being finished by contractors, much of it is ready for guests.

One of the ship’s main attractions is the Royal Promenade, which remains the Main Street of the ship, as it is on previous Royal Caribbean ships. However, on Icon, it feels much more spacious and airy thanks to walls of glass windows on both sides of the ship and the removal of cabins overlooking the thoroughfare. The main focal point of the Royal Promenade is The Pearl, a walk-through sphere that serves as the structural support holding up the ship.

The Pearl Cafe replaces Cafe Promenade as the all-day, all-night grab-n-go snack spot and coffee shop. The snack options at Pearl Cafe are of a higher quality than what guests might be used to on other ships. It is predicted to be a key hangout and meeting spot for guests. The whale sculpture above the seating area is even sized to scale!

Sorrento’s Pizza, a popular eatery on previous Royal Caribbean ships, makes a return on Icon of the Seas. Giovanni’s, a restaurant that was previously located in Central Park, has now moved to the Royal Promenade. The restaurant now has a more bustling and energetic feel, making it a great place for a lively dining experience. Boleros, known for its late-night Latin dance parties, also returns on Icon. The ship now features a new bar-with-entertainment venue called Dueling Pianos, as well as a dedicated karaoke venue called Spotlight Karaoke. The fan-favorite Schooner Bar is still present, but now offers the new craft cocktail menu introduced by Royal Caribbean in 2023. The Point & Feather Pub is Icon’s version of the promenade pub, with both indoor and outdoor seating. The ship also features the indoor-outdoor 1400 Lobby Bar, where guests can enjoy craft cocktails created by master mixologists.

One of the highlights of the ship is Rover, the chief dog officer who will be a permanent resident on Icon of the Seas. Rover is here to bring joy and smiles to the crew and guests alike. The ship’s three-level main dining room, located aft of the Royal Promenade on decks 3, 4, and 5, features a stunning chandelier and offers guests a choice of five different seating times, as well as flexible My Time Dining.

Other neighborhoods on Icon of the Seas include Surfside, which is the new family-focused area. Here, parents can enjoy a resort-style pool, elevated casual dining, and creative cocktails while their kids can splash in water-play areas, ride a carousel, and explore climbing structures. The Surfside Eatery buffet offers an easy meal for everyone, while Pier 7 is an extra-fee California-style restaurant that also serves breakfast all day. Grab-and-go kid food is available at Surfside Bites, and Sprinkles offers ice cream cones.

Central Park, known for its green and serene atmosphere on previous Oasis Class ships, has a few venue swaps on Icon. Izumi Sushi and Teppanyaki is now located in Central Park, along with Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues, a venue featuring live music. The Empire Supper Club is an intimate dining venue that offers an eight-course meal and live entertainment.

The AquaDome is a neighborhood centered around an enhanced AquaTheater, featuring even more high-tech elements than on the Oasis Class ships. The neighborhood also includes the Hooked Seafood Restaurant, Oasis Bling logo jewelry store, and the Rye & Bean coffee bar. The Overlook, a bar with lounge seating and panoramic views, is a favorite area in the AquaDome. The AquaDome Market is a five-stand food hall offering a variety of sweet and savory options.

Thrill Island is home to Category 6, the largest water park ever found on a cruise ship. It features six waterslides, including a drop slide, as well as the Crown’s Edge ropes course, a rock-climbing wall, a FlowRider surf simulator, and a ship- and plane-wreck-themed minigolf course. Basecamp offers comfort food options, while Desserted is a milkshake bar serving towering ice cream drinks topped with cookies and brownies.

Chill Island, located on the three-deck-high lido or pool deck, features Royal Bay, the biggest pool in the fleet, as well as the Cove Pool with sea views. El Loco Fresh serves complimentary tacos and quesadillas, while The Lime and the Coconut offers cool and refreshing cocktails. The Sprinkles soft-serve ice cream station is also available.

Overall, Icon of the Seas offers a variety of neighborhoods and amenities to cater to different interests and preferences. From family-focused areas to dining options and entertainment venues, the ship aims to provide a memorable and enjoyable cruise experience for all guests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *