So much has already been written about this ship, the world’s largest cruise ship, especially the factual information: 250,000 gross tons, 7,600 passengers, 20 passenger decks, 8 different neighbourhoods.

Icon of the Seas

The Hideaway is one of eight neighbourhoods on board Icon of the Seas

Facts alone, however, do not convey what it feels like to sail on board. The first thing I can say is that long-time Royal Caribbean travellers will feel right at home. Yes, this is a new ship class and it’s a bigger and bolder version from everything that has come before but it is also feels familiar and is unmistakably a Royal Caribbean ship. The Icon of the Seas is simply a better version of everything that came before.

Past cruisers of the line’s more recent Oasis-class ships will recognise the Royal Promenade as soon as they embark, it’s the heart of the ship, the centre from which everything else radiates.

Surfside Splashway

Surfside Splashway offers water park family fun

Royal Caribbean has always been a great option for a family vacation, but they’ve taken it further with Icon of the Seas.

Turn to the left and that will lead you towards the newly re-imagined Boardwalk, now called Surfside. This is the stay-all-day space designed for families, including newly designed Surfside Family Suites, with a small window nook for the kids and a balcony overlooking the family neighbourhood below. Look up, and you’ll find adventures aplenty, with the largest waterpark at sea, the Flowrider surf simulator, the rock-climbing wall and the not-for-the-faint-of-heart, Crown’s Edge, a thrill-experience that takes you over the side of the ship, 16 decks above the sea.

Icon of the Seas

Overlooking the Royal Promenade – the heart of the ship

This ship is not just for families, though: children of all ages will enjoy the spectacular production of The Wizard of Oz, not to mention the water shows in the new AquaDome. For a change of pace, check out the band playing at Lou’s Jazz and Blues in Central Park or maybe some late-night comedy at The Attic.

And I haven’t even addressed the myriad dining options available aboard Icon – this is why Royal Caribbean built the largest ship in the world, not simply for sheer size but to provide more of everything, to suit a variety of tastes and pleasures and to create unforgettable vacation experiences.

A twin-ship, the Star of the Seas, is coming in 2025.

For more information about Icon of the Seas, please call your travel agent or visit: Sean Flynn is a co-owner with his sister Kelly-Leigh of Expedia Cruises stores in Downtown Montreal (514-848-9791), Dorval (514-556-3115) and Kirkland (514-630-9600). 

Icon of the Seas

The weather is always fine inside the Aquadome at the front of the ship

Crown’s Edge

The Crown’s Edge is a thrill-experience that takes you over the side of the ship, 16 decks above the sea

Port of Miami

Entering the Port of Miami, this photo provides a scale to
measure the enormous size of the ship

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