insider's look

Take a peek inside Icon of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world

Royal Caribbean has never been one to shy away from the spotlight. It was one of the first cruise lines to openly embrace LGBTQ+ travelers and to receive a perfect 100 ranking on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. Now its new Icon of the Seas is giving other cruise ships an inferiority complex.  

At nearly 1,200 feet long and weighing 250,800 gross tons, the 20-deck ship can carry up to 7,600 passengers and more than 2,000 crew—making it the world’s largest cruise ship. But it’s not just the massive size that makes this ship so remarkable, Icon of the Seas also has an impressive array of unique features and offerings that set it apart.

Neighborhoods that Know No Bounds

Icon of the Seas is a ship that reimagines oceanic journeys as city-sized adventures. This floating metropolis boasts eight distinctive neighborhoods, each offering an immersive environment that transcends traditional cruise offerings.

The family-centric Surfside Neighborhood delights with a charming carousel, high-spirited waterparks, and amenities that bring out the inner child in everyone. Contrastingly, the AquaDome Neighborhood captivates with panoramic ocean views during the day that transform into a canopy of stars come nightfall, not to mention its restaurants and bars, mesmerizing 55-foot-tall water curtain, and revolutionary AquaTheater.

Engaging Entertainment and Endless Activities

Beyond the dining and drinks lies a realm of world-class entertainment and activities, designed to inspire awe. Whether it’s witnessing astounding feats at the AquaTheater, applauding the talent at Broadway-caliber shows, or attending spectacular ice-skating shows at the largest ice arena at sea, the Icon of the Seas allows guests numerous entertainment opportunities. 

And for those wanting to be more hands-on, there is Crown’s Edge, part skywalk, part ropes course, part thrill ride on which adventurers swing 154 feet above the ocean; and the FlowRider, a 40-foot-long surf simulator that gives everyone a chance to catch a wave.

Dive into the Pools of Possibility

The Icon of the Seas redefines aquatic leisure with an innovative waterpark and an array of pool areas tailored to every preference. The ship’s seven pools include the lively Swim & Tonic, the cruise line’s first swim-up bar at sea; Royal Bay, the largest pool at sea; Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat; and the serene, infinity-edge Cove Pool.

There is also Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea, boasting six record-setting slides. LGBTQ+ sun-seekers and social butterflies will have no trouble finding their niche within this watery wonderland.

Sumptuous Stays in the Suites of the Seas

Accommodations aboard the Icon of the Seas range from cozy interior cabins to opulent suites with exclusive access to the Suite Neighborhood. Each space merges comfort with elegance, offering a tranquil retreat after a day of exploration and entertainment. LGBTQ+ couples seeking romantic seclusion can indulge in the ship’s luxurious offerings, while groups of friends may opt for the interconnected staterooms, ensuring proximity for shared moments and memories.

Culinary Journeys and Spirited Soirees

With more than 40 ways to dine and drink, the gastronomic journey aboard Icon of the Seas is as diverse as its patrons. From gourmet experiences to casual bites, there’s something to tantalize every palate. LGBTQ+ foodies can savor the flavors of the world at the numerous specialty restaurants or enjoy the simplicity and sophistication of farm-to-table offerings. The bars and lounges provide the perfect backdrop for socializing over craft cocktails or fine wines, with atmospheres ranging from the lively to the intimate.

And, in a nod to Royal Caribbean’s commitment to inclusivity, an LGBTQ+ meet-up social hour is held nightly to foster community and connection amidst the backdrop of the high seas.

With the unveiling of the Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean not only expands the physical boundaries of what a cruise ship can be but also reinforces its commitment to creating spaces where diversity is celebrated and everyone is welcome to make a big splash.

The Icon of the Seas is currently operating out of PortMiami and offering year-round alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

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