Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas: What to know

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From kids who are ready to play to adults looking to relax by the pool, Royal Caribbean International is aiming to offer something for every family member on its new ship.

“We used as our vision the concept of creating the world’s best family vacation, and we’re making that statement, and we don’t make that statement lightly,” the cruise line’s president and CEO Michael Bayley told USA TODAY in an interview.

The cruise line revealed details about the first ship in its new Icon Class Thursday, Icon of the Seas, which will be the line’s largest vessel yet and accommodate more than 5,600 guests at double occupancy.

Bayley said the ship combines two elements the company has found to be the secret to success: chill and thrill. “So, Icon has plenty of thrills and plenty of chills,” he said.

Both themes are reflected across the ship’s 20 decks. Here’s what guests can expect.

In the new Chill Island on Icon of the Seas, there’s a pool for every mood, each with prime ocean views.

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Where will Icon of the Seas sail?

The ship will sail from Miami on year-round Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, and each voyage will visit the cruise line’s private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, according to a news release. Hideaway Beach, an adults-only area with cabanas, pools and ocean views, will open at the destination in 2024.

The ship will also make stops in places like Cozumel, Mexico and Roatan in Honduras.

The Panoramic Ocean View suites and rooms on Icon of the Seas are among the best seats in the house.

What can guests expect on board from Icon of the Seas?

Icon of the Seas will be divided into neighborhoods. There will be eight distinct areas in total, five of which are new. Those include Thrill Island, home to the Category 6 water park. Guests can choose from six slides, like the open free-fall slide Pressure Drop, or take in views from Crown’s Edge, where, Bayley said, passengers can walk around the crown and anchor logo at the top of the ship before dropping, swinging more than 150 feet above the ocean.

Tucked away on Icon of the Seas, The Hideaway combines the good vibes of beach club scenes around the world and uninterrupted ocean views. At the center of it all is the first suspended infinity pool at sea, surrounded by a multilevel terrace, whirlpools, a variety of seating and dedicated bar.

Chill Island, meanwhile, will be home to four of the ship’s seven pools and the line’s first on-board swim-up bar, Swim & Tonic, and AquaDome will feature views of the water at the top of the ship as well as restaurants, bars and the line’s AquaTheater.

Icon of the Seas will also feature Surfside, a neighborhood designed with families with kids six and younger in mind, Bayley said. Along with amenities like pools and a carousel, the area will feature kid-friendly accommodations, according to the release. Part of the ship’s 28 stateroom categories, rooms like the Surfside Family Suites, which have alcoves for youngsters, and the Ultimate Family Townhouse, a three-level space with a mailbox and picket fence.

Other parts of the ship will be familiar, with activities like ice skating and rock climbing.

Perched at the top of Icon of the Seas, the new AquaDome is a transformational neighborhood.

What else do passengers need to know?

Icon of the Seas is also Royal Caribbean’s first ship to use cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas.

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For guests with disabilities, Bayley said the line builds its ships “above and beyond” ADA compliance, and worked to allow guests to move around Icon without having to take an elevator or climb the stairs in order to move. Crown & Anchor Society members will get special access for booking on Oct. 24, while all other travelers can book on Oct. 25, according to the release.

Contributing: Eve Chen, USA TODAY

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