Yikes, does Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas really cost that much?

Egad, Does It Really Cost That Much?

Cruise fans were taken aback by the high prices of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Icon of the Seas, when it first went on sale in 2022. However, those prices now seem like a bargain compared to what they are currently. Prices for the 2024 and 2025 sailings of the highly anticipated vessel have skyrocketed, reaching nearly twice the level of ticket prices for the rest of the Royal Caribbean fleet. This increase is due in part to the extensive media coverage the ship has received, creating an imbalance between supply and demand that allows Royal Caribbean to raise prices.

According to Wall Street analyst Brandt Montour of Barclays, the initial premium for Icon of the Seas was 40% to 60% higher than other Royal Caribbean ships. However, that premium has now increased to 95%. The ship has garnered significant attention from the mainstream media, driving up demand and pushing prices even higher. Despite the steep prices, Royal Caribbean executives are confident that they can continue to grow yields in the coming years.

So, just how much does it cost to sail on Icon of the Seas? The starting price for a seven-night Caribbean voyage in January 2026 was $1,775 per person, not including taxes, fees, and port charges. This is a 41% increase from the starting prices when the ship first opened for bookings in 2022. Compared to other Royal Caribbean ships operating similar routes, the starting price for Icon of the Seas is now three to four times higher. For example, a similar seven-night Caribbean cruise on Grandeur of the Seas starts at just $469 per person.

Even compared to newer Royal Caribbean ships, the prices for Icon of the Seas are significantly higher. A seven-night Caribbean cruise on Harmony of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean’s giant Oasis Class ships, starts at just $699 per person. This is 40% of the cost of a sailing on Icon of the Seas. The discrepancy in pricing is not limited to entry-level cabins; even higher-level cabins on Icon of the Seas come with a hefty premium.

The high prices for Icon of the Seas reflect the excitement and demand among cruise fans for a ship that is bigger and offers more amenities than any other cruise ship. The ship is the first in a new series of vessels at Royal Caribbean that eclipses all others in size and amenities. It is 6% bigger than the largest ship in the Oasis Class, Wonder of the Seas, and can accommodate up to 7,600 passengers, a new record for a passenger ship.

Icon of the Seas features numerous restaurants, bars, lounges, and decktop attractions, making it one of the biggest resorts in the world that floats. It also has a greater focus on family travelers, with more cabins designed to accommodate families with children and amenities geared towards families. The ship boasts the largest water park ever built on a cruise ship, with six decktop waterslides and seven pools.

Overall, the high prices for Icon of the Seas are a reflection of the demand and excitement surrounding the ship. Cruise executives have long noted that many cruising fans are drawn to the biggest cruise vessels with the most amenities. While the prices may be steep, they are a testament to the unique experience and luxury that Icon of the Seas offers.

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