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15 Things To Do As Soon as You Get to Your Cruise Cabin

31 Mar 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

Seeing your cruise cabin for the first time is one of the most exciting parts of a Royal Caribbean cruise. Whether you’ve booked a tiny interior room or spacious suite, your cabin quickly becomes your home away from home on a cruise vacation.

When you enter your cruise cabin on embarkation day, however, there are a few things you should do as soon as possible, such as unpacking and putting away valuables.

While these mundane tasks may not seem like the best way to kick off a cruise vacation, getting your cabin organized right away means you can better enjoy your time onboard throughout the rest of your sailing.

From meeting your stateroom attendant to decorating your cabin door, here are 15 things to do as soon as you get to your cruise cabin.

Drop off your carry-on bag


Most cruisers drop their large suitcases off with the porters at the cruise terminal to avoid bringing heavy luggage onboard. However, you’ll want to use a carry-on bag—a backpack, carry-on suitcase, or purse—during the embarkation process.

In this carry-on you should keep your electronic devices, identification documents, and important necessities like medication. You want to carry all items you’ll need on the first day of your cruise with you in a carry-on bag, as your luggage may not arrive in front of your cabin door for several hours.

Related: The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

The downside of bringing a carry-on bag with you onboard, though, is that your cruise cabin may not be ready for several hours after your boarding time. Many passengers begin boarding at 11AM, for example, but their stateroom isn’t ready until 1:30PM.

This leads to an awkward wait time of lugging your carry-on bag with you around the ship. Therefore, once staterooms are ready, the first thing you should do is drop off your carry-on in your cabin and get rid of the extra weight.

Unpack your clothes


We always recommend unpacking your clothes on a cruise whether the sailing is three nights or fourteen nights. In a small cruise cabin, living out of your suitcase will leave your room feeling more cramped, as valuable space will be taken up by your luggage on the floor or couch.

Instead, unpack your clothes into your cruise cabin’s drawers and closets. Not only will your room feel more spacious, but unpacking helps you settle into your cabin, making it feel much more like home.

This is especially important if you have formal wear prone to wrinkles. Hanging these outfits in your closets immediately will lessen the time your clothing is squished in a suitcase!

Put away your suitcases

Luggage under bed

Speaking of suitcases, be sure to store your suitcases out of sight after unpacking. There is ample room in your cabin’s closets for suitcases, so there’s no need for them to be out in the open during your sailing.

You can also store luggage under your cabin’s bed. Cruise cabin beds have enough space underneath for most sizes of luggage, and this is one of the best ways to increase space in your room while keeping your suitcase hidden for the duration of your cruise.

Meet your stateroom attendant

Your stateroom attendant cleans your cabin once per day during a Royal Caribbean cruise, and we always advise passengers to meet their cabin attendant on embarkation day.

Meeting your stateroom attendant helps set a rapport with the crew member. You’ll usually see your stateroom attendant every day of the cruise as you pass through your cabin’s hallway, and a friendly introduction can go a long way in terms of service and helpfulness during your cruise.

Make special requests

If you have any special requests for your cruise cabin, we recommend letting your stateroom attendant know on the first day of your cruise. You can request things like extra pillows, extra towels, and having ice be restocked in your ice bucket each day.

If there are more than two people in your cabin, you might want to make requests regarding your sofa bed or pullman bed. Many stateroom attendants will convert the sofa bed back into a couch during daytime, for example, but if you would rather keep the bed down throughout the day, just let them know!

Inspect your stateroom

Once you arrive in your cabin, do a quick check to make sure everything is in working order. Check that the safe opens and closes correctly, that your mini fridge is cold, that your air conditioning is working properly, and that there are no issues opening and closing your doors and closets.

On one recent cruise, I noticed the closet door was off its track. Unable to open the closet, I made a quick call to maintenance and had the issue resolved within less than an hour.

On another occasion, I realized my virtual balcony wasn’t working. I neglected to call maintenance and spent the entire cruise with a broken television screen on my virtual balcony! Looking back, I wish I had called maintenance, as they likely could have fixed the issue quickly.

More often than not, everything will work perfectly in your cabin, but it’s still worth a check in case there are any issues.

Put drinks in the fridge

Emerald members and above in Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society receive water bottles in their cabin on embarkation day. Emerald and Diamond members receive two bottles of water per person whereas Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members receive three per person.

When you enter your stateroom, you’ll find these water bottles on your desk or dresser. Be sure to put these water bottles in the fridge to make sure they are cold later on.

Additionally, if you've brought any wine, soda, or other non-alcoholic drinks onboard, this is a great time to put these drinks in the fridge, too.

Confirm bed configuration

Your king-sized cruise cabin bed can be split into two twin beds on request, and one thing to do immediately after getting to your cruise cabin is confirm your bed configuration. If you’re traveling with kids or a friend, you might prefer the bed to be separated into two smaller beds.

Most of the time, your beds will not be separated upon arrival to your cruise cabin. If this is the case, you’ll have to contact your stateroom attendant or housekeeping to put in your request and they will separate the beds as quickly as possible.

Check your onboard offers

If you’re a member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society, you will receive a paper on your cabin desk listing onboard offers for your sailing.

Depending on your loyalty status, onboard offers may include coupons for beer, wine, and soda, discounts on laundry, and free play in the casino.

Knowing which freebies and coupons are offered can save you money during a cruise, so take the time to browse your onboard offer sheet as soon as you get to your cruise cabin.

Look at the daily schedule


In addition to checking your onboard offers, take a view minutes to browse the daily schedule of activities in the Royal Caribbean app. While browsing, you can add activities and events to your calendar to ensure you don’t miss out on anything while onboard.

Related: 15 free things to try on your next cruise

Plus, you can use this time to reserve entertainment and activities before they book up, such as comedy shows, AquaTheater performances, and a ride on the North Star observational pod.

Doing this while in your stateroom means you can take a quick break from the hustle and bustle onboard to plan out your cruise in a quieter space.

Sign in to your wifi package

ebook reader

If you reserved a Royal Caribbean wifi package, we recommend signing in to your wifi account once you get to your stateroom. If you’ve never had a wifi package before, you can find login instructions on a helpful sheet that will be on your cabin’s desk.

If you encounter any problems or errors when logging in to your wifi account, you can ask for help at the VOOM internet desk or Guest Services.

Put away your valuables

As soon as you get to your cruise cabin, put any valuables away in the safe or drawers. We advise placing your passport in the safe, as this is the first place crew members will look for a passport on the off chance you miss the ship at a port of call.

Plus, keeping valuables in safe spaces helps make sure you won’t misplace any expensive or special items throughout the cruise.

Place magnets on the wall

One of our favorite cruise cabin hacks—especially if you’re sailing in an interior cabin—is to use magnetic hooks on your stateroom walls.

Royal Caribbean cruise cabins are magnetic, and magnetic hooks provide extra storage space for items like hats, purses, and jackets. Although newer cruise ship cabins have an impressive amount of storage space, older cruise ships may lack storage.

Related: I tried the best inside cruise ship cabin hacks to see how well they worked

Because of this, many cruisers like to bring magnetic hooks to hang miscellaneous accessories. Placing magnetic hooks on the wall when you get to your cruise cabin can keep your cabin organized throughout the sailing.

Decorate your cabin door

Like your cruise cabin walls, the door to your cabin is magnetic. To make cruising more fun, many passengers enjoy decorating their cruise cabin door with magnetic decorations.

If you walk down any hallway on a cruise ship, you’ll find fun decorations on the door, whether anniversary and birthday decor, tropical magnets like palm trees, or more specific decorations stating a family’s name and sail date.

Decorating your cruise cabin door as soon as you get to your cabin can be a fun way to make your cabin feel more like home. As another plus, it makes finding your cabin a lot easier when walking through the long hallways on your ship!

Do your muster drill

eMuster on phones

Lastly, once you get to your cruise ship cabin, make sure to complete the mandatory muster drill. Royal Caribbean’s eMuster drill is a safety drill that all guests must complete before a ship can set sail on embarkation day.

The drill consists of three parts. The first two, watching a lifejacket safety video and listening to the emergency horn, can be done via the Royal Caribbean app or on your stateroom’s television.

If you haven’t completed the first two steps by the time you get to your cruise cabin, be sure to complete them as soon as possible. After the first two steps, leave your stateroom to head to your muster station on the ship, which will be indicated on the Royal Caribbean app.

Once your muster drill is completed, you can continue to enjoy your Royal Caribbean vacation!

Royal Caribbean has quietly converted its jazz clubs into casinos

31 Mar 2023
Matt Hochberg

The next time you sail on a Royal Caribbean Oasis Class cruise ship, there's likely one change you may notice on deck 4.

Jazz on 4 changed to Golden Room

Since the start of the year, Royal Caribbean has quietly begun converting over its Jazz on 4 venues into a non-smoking casino room.

Jazz on 4 was a dedicated room for jazz music, where a band would perform most nights of the cruise. During the day time, Jazz on 4 would mostly remain unused, but it was sometimes used for private events as well.

There's been no formal announcement from the cruise line, but cruise fans were alerted to the change when the jazz club was closed on recent sailings.

On Oasis of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas, Jazz on 4 has already been converted over to a casino room similar to the Golden Room first offered on Wonder of the Seas.

In the Royal Caribbean Club Royale Facebook group, Ed Thomas posted photos of the new space that opened on Oasis of the Seas this week.

He counted 40 slot machines, a blackjack table and a three-card poker table.

Over on Harmony of the Seas, the changeover occurred earlier this month. Johnny Travalor shared photos of the new space.

It's not clear yet if the change has or will happen on Allure or Symphony of the Seas, although Symphony of the Seas is in dry dock in Cadiz, Spain currently and the work could be occurring in conjunction with that effort.

When Wonder of the Seas launched in 2022, Royal Caribbean opted not to include Jazz on 4. Instead, it had The Golden Room, which is a non-smoking casino annex.  It was speculated this decision was based on the fact that Wonder of the Seas was originally intended for the Asian cruise market, where gambling is more popular than in North America and Europe.

When Royal Caribbean changed plans to keep Wonder of the Seas in the United States, they decided to keep the VIP room.

Cruise line executives at the launch of Wonder of the Seas admitted they weren't sure whether or not the concept will be a hit with Americans, but it seemed worth a try.

Non-smoking option

One big change guests may notice about this new spot is the lack of smoke.

The room is designated non-smoking, which is a big deal for Royal Caribbean. The cruise line has historically allowed smoking in the main casino.

The debate over allowing smoking in the casino has been contentious over the years, with many cruise ship passengers voicing their opinions on the matter and it's left Royal Caribbean in the middle.

At a question and answer session in June 2022, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked about the issue of allowing smoking. He 

admitted, "smoking in the casinos is a bit of a conundrum."

"The dilemma is that there are many people who do want to smoke in the casino. I know that's not a popular response, but it's it's the truth."

"I'm not judging anyone or anything, but there's a large group of people who do want to smoke in the casino."

He explained, "Every, I would say every couple of years, we do test this and we take one or two or three ships we ban smoking in the casino. And the result is less people go in the casino and that that's the reality of it."

Not the end of jazz on Royal Caribbean

Jazz music lovers should take solace in the fact the end of the Jazz on 4 venue does not correlate to an end to jazz music onboard Oasis Class ships.

Starting with Wonder of the Seas, the jazz performances were moved from Jazz on 4 to Central Park. On some nights, the jazz band also performs in Music Hall.

There are evening performances near Park Cafe, similar to the sets that would have occurred in the former venue.

A new jazz club on Icon

Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues on Icon of the Seas

If their new ship is any indication, Royal Caribbean isn't done with jazz music quite yet.

One of the new nightlife spots recently announced for Icon of the Seas is Lou's Jazz 'n Blues, which will be located in Central Park.

Royal Caribbean thinks this venue will be the perfect place to enjoy live jazz performances at a table, or while strolling in the park.

Royal Caribbean designed first-of-its-kind cabins for its new cruise ship

30 Mar 2023
Elizabeth Wright

The Royal Caribbean brand has evolved to become more focused on multigenerational families in order to provide the ultimate family vacation. 

Icon of the Seas Stateroom

Onboard Icon of the Seas, there are more stateroom options than ever for larger families. In fact, when compared to Oasis Class ships, Icon will have about 55% more rooms able to accommodate three or more people. In other words, 80% of Icon of the Seas' cabins have been designed for larger families. 

Icon's 2,805 staterooms will be comprised of 28 different types of staterooms, including 14 brand-new categories.

Icon of the Seas Surfside Staterooms

"When I think about our accommodations, I think about how we approached the design of all of our new classes of ships," said Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO.

"We think about it in three different ways: One, traditional. Two, evolutionary. Three, revolutionary. Every single stateroom goes through a refresh of design: furnishings, technology, and really they're all new."

Related: Guide to Icon of the Seas cabins and suites

Researching, designing, and creating accommodations for everyone


It has taken Royal Caribbean over five years to design and build the staterooms onboard Icon of the Seas, and it all began with research. 

"We did a lot of guest research on the evolution of staterooms, as well as a lot of crew research," said Jennifer Goswami, Director, Product Development, Royal Caribbean International.


"The crews are absolutely the most valuable asset that Royal Caribbean has. They have told us that guests are bringing different types of things to maximize the usage of this space, so we've designed Icon's staterooms to maximize storage, really making sure that seven days feels comfortable"

According to Goswami, "Every detail of the room was carefully scrutinized. We went through how far the charger is, how close the soap is...every part of every stateroom on Icon really was intentionally built."

Icon of the Seas touch screen

Plus, guests will be able to control more aspects of their stateroom to make the space work best for them, from the blinds to raising and lowering the infinite balcony, from a touchscreen pad. 


The mockup process for Icon's staterooms was actually started in their home office; they are not built at the shipyard. About 25 cabins are built per day at a factory in Finland that is located about thirty minutes from the shipyard. Essentially, it is a high production factory line of staterooms!

New stateroom categories


In order to satisfy their guests' wants and needs, Royal Caribbean knew that Icon needed a combination of rooms that offered more space, choices, and views. Even if you are staying in an interior or ocean view cabin, you can expect a total refresh of the design; they are more modern and stylish than ever before. 

Not only do the layouts give guests more space, but most of them connect the room experience to the outdoors, whether that is the ocean, Surfside, or Central Park. 

Infinite balconies

Icon of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to feature infinite balcony cabins, which will offer a flexible 50 square feet or convertible indoor and outdoor space.

This means that the stateroom will be longer than other balcony cabins and offer guests more usable space, as it will lack the steel barrier that traditional balcony cabins require in order to separate the outdoor from the indoor space. 

"The fact that then you have the ability to sort of lower that infinite balcony and you feel that connection to the outside [is something] that we know our guests know and love form the balcony, but you're able to have that versatility of then making that an interior space," said Claudia Diaz-Gonzales, Associate Vice President, Product Development of Royal Caribbean International. 


In addition to infinite balconies, larger families may choose the family infinite balcony. This will include in-room games, a split bathroom, and even a bunk area for children that can be closed off with a curtain for privacy. Plus, each bunk has their own television!


The Surfside Suite also focuses on the connecting the family in a way that prioritizes privacy. The stateroom will have a separate nook for children that can be closed off at any point. Plus, it is easy for children to look below them and see the neighborhood that was specifically designed for them! 

Families who would like to splurge a little bit more but still have a view of Surfside might want to consider one of the brand-new Sunset Suites. 


"When it comes to our differentiators on suites on Icon, we have our Sunset the aft, and those [have] wraparound balconies. They have the connection to the ocean, [and] you have your sneak peak into Surfside. That is really all about the view," said Krissia Larios, Senior Design Associate, Architectural Design, Newbuilding Royal Caribbean Group.

Another new category of stateroom is directly related to a new feature onboard Icon: the AquaDome. 

icon-stateroom-concept AquaDome Suite

The AquaDome Suites were created because of the dome's placement. Guests in these staterooms will enjoy panoramic views from a window that is clocked by the AquaDome itself. 

And, of course, there is the Ultimate Family Townhouse. This three-story suite is the definition of the ultimate family experience onboard any Royal Caribbean ship. It will include an in-suite slide, movie theatre, and patio that allows for direct access to the Surfside Neighborhood. 

More than just new staterooms to look forward to


The upgraded and new staterooms onboard Icon of the Seas will let guests relax, rest, and recharge for all the fun elsewhere on the ship. 

With so much to do, including Thrill Island's record breaking Category 6 Waterpark, the family-focused Surfside Neighborhood, and brand-new bars and nightlife spots, you may rarely find yourself in your cabin! 

While Icon of the Seas is not scheduled to hit the seas until 2024, there is so much to look forward to on what will be the world's largest cruise ship. 

Her maiden voyage will commence on January 27, 2024 and depart from Miami, Florida, and guests will visit Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas

5 things I loved about Chill Island on Perfect Day at CocoCay

30 Mar 2023
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's expansion of Perfect Day at CocoCay has added a lot of compelling spots to spend your day, but there's something about Chill Island that I really love.

Chill Island beach at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Since the Perfect Day makeover, I've visited Royal Caribbean's private island dozens of times and tried every beach and pool they have.  Each has its advantages, but on my most recent visit, I wanted to go back to the original beach at Chill Island.

Maybe it was because this was the last day of our Wonder of the Seas cruise and I was just ready for a relaxing day, but the idea of laying on a lounge chair under an umbrella sounded perfect to me.

Chill Island sign

I also felt a sort of nostalgia for the Chill Island beach because before Royal Caribbean renovated and improved the island, this was the beach everyone went to and part of me missed going here. 

So while I won't complain about going to the Coco Beach Club or South Beach by any means, I really like Chill Island for a few good reasons.

1. The serenity

Beach at Chill Island

Maybe this is a sign I'm getting older, but I greatly appreciate the fact that Chill Island is advertised in its name and is pretty tame compared to other areas of CocoCay.

I enjoy a pool party as much as anyone, but I have to be in the mood for loud music at the pool.  With my kids in tow, the pool scene at Oasis Lagoon isn't always my jam.

Plus, I really like how much shade there is, between the umbrellas at every group of chairs and lots of palm trees.

Chill Island with ship in background

Being that it was the last night of a 7-night cruise, I was also ready for a wind down beach day.  Royal Caribbean designed Chill Island to be the quiet option.

If you look at a CocoCay map, the general idea is as you go from left to right, the island transitions from "chill" to "thrill". 

beach chairs

If you value serenity over energy, Chill Island is the spot for you.

2. The ocean

Ocean water at Chill Island

I really like the inlets Chill Island has, because of the rocks that protect the beach from the waves.

While you wont confuse CocoCay's ocean water with St. John or Aruba, it's still pretty and before a lot of other guests there later in the day, the clarity is lovely.

Chill Island beach with ships in background

There's also a few swim platforms near Chill Beach, which provides a challenge to get out there.  The furthest out platform is really a dare to guests to try to make it out there.

The north end of the beach seems calmer and more secluded, which means you can find the right area for your taste.

Essentially, the ocean around Chill Island has more "character" than the beach elsewhere on the island.

3. Wacky Seagull bar

Wacky Seagull bar

I remember the first time I went to fetch a drink from the Wacky Seagull bar and thinking to myself, "this place is really nice."

Rather than run back to my lounge chair, I sat down in one of the Adirondack chairs and enjoyed the view.

Because the bar has a roof, there's lots of shade and the breeze seems to always kick up a bit more here than back in my chair.

I'm a sucker for shade, a drink, and a stiff breeze, so I've returned to the Wacky Seagull just to sit and watch the ocean as I sip on my beer or cocktail.

4. Best beach cabanas outside Coco Beach Club

Chill Island cabanas

If I had to rank the beach cabanas you can rent at CocoCay, I think the Chill Island cabanas are the best outside the Coco Beach Club.

The Chill Island cabanas are further set away from the general part of the beach, but they aren't as remote as the beach cabanas at South Beach.  It's still a short walk when you need to venture out.

Each cabana accommodates up to eight guests and comes with attendant service. 

Row of cabanas

Another benefit to the Chill Island cabanas being somewhat isolated from the rest of the beach is that they're quieter and the couch inside any of them is quite inviting for a nap.

While the price of a CocoCay cabana has been steadily going up, if you're in the market for a beach cabana, I would always consider the Chill Island cabanas first.

5. Lots of other things close by

Chill Grill

It's a short walk to many other things to do at Perfect Day at CocoCay from Chill Island and I think that makes a difference.

Since it's always about food, Chill Grill is directly behind Chill Island.  Not only is it a short commute to eat lunch, but I can send my kids to get a drink, ice cream, or fruit without worrying they'll get lost along the way.

Chill Grill serves up salads, sandwiches, build-your-own tacos, fruit, and lots of grilled food (chicken, burgers, hot dogs).  My favorite is to make a taco bowl and load it up with salsa, guacamole, and lots of veggies.

And the best part, it's free!

CocoCay straw market

There's also the straw market for some light shopping.  Unlike the artisan market in Labadee, there's no sales pressure here and a convenient place to pick up a Bahamas souvenir.


There's also the snorkeling and excursion meetup right behind the Chill Island cabanas, and if you're looking for a hammock, there's a few on your way back to the ship.

How to get to Chill Island

Chill island sign

There's two ways to get to Chill Island: on foot or by tram.

If you want to walk, as you get to the Arrivals plaza, take a left turn and follow the sea green path across the bridge and you'll enter Chill Island.

Chill Island as seen from ship

Alternatively, you can hop on the complimentary shuttles located near Thrill Waterpark and it will give you a grand circle tour of the island, culminating with a stop at Chill Island.

Common Chill Island questions

Beach chairs

Is Chill Island on CocoCay free?

Yes, there's no admission cost to Chill Island. 

All the chairs and umbrellas are first-come, first grabbed and there's no extra cost to access the beach.

There are cabanas and day beds you can rent for an additional cost at Chill Island.


How much is a Chill Island cabana?

Prices for a cabana will vary from sailing to sailing, but they usually begin around $899 and can go for as much as $1399 per cabana.

The cabanas feature curtain closures on three sides, with comfortable sectional seating inside, four beach loungers outside for sunning and an umbrella-shaded dining area with four tables and chairs.

Entrance to Chill Island

Is Chill Island adults only?

No, Chill Island is open to all guests of all ages.

Hidewaway Beach is the only adults-only beach at CocoCay.

I tried the cheapest Celebrity cruise cabin I could find - see what my room on this cruise ship looked like

29 Mar 2023
Allie Hubers

I just returned from a 4-night spring break cruise on Celebrity Silhouette. This was my first cruise on Celebrity Cruises and it really impressed me!

Allie with Celebrity Silhouette

I'd always wanted to try a Celebrity cruise, especially as a longtime cruiser with Royal Caribbean. The adult-focused atmosphere onboard Celebrity cruise ships has been the biggest draw for me. 

However, I've found Celebrity Cruises to usually be more expensive compared to sister-brand Royal Caribbean. Regardless, I’m always on the hunt for a cheap deal and looking to try a new cruise line.

I was ecstatic to find a relatively affordable cabin on Celebrity Silhouette for a spring break sailing, costing me just $966 for 4-nights. The cheapest cabin available, per usual, was a guaranteed inside cabin

We booked the sailing and started planning our spring break getaway - the deal was too good to pass up! I’d be staying in the cabin with my sister, something we’ve done many times together. 

Celebrity Silhouette was built in 2011 as part of the Solstice Class. This beautiful cruise ship can accommodate 2,886 guests, making it a midsize cruise ship. 

Even as a relatively new vessel, Celebrity Silhouette received major refurbishments in 2020 as part of Celebrity’s Revolution initiative. 

For our cruise in Celebrity Silhouette, we were eager to see everything that the cruise line had to offer during a weekend cruise - even if it meant staying in a cheap interior cabin. 

I’m no stranger to an inside cabin, as this is typically the stateroom category that I prefer to book when I cruise because they’re simply so affordable.

As is usual with guaranteed cabins, we were not assigned a cabin until a few days before the cruise departed; we were assigned to inside stateroom 9174. 

A quick research online unveiled this cabin was located at the very front of the ship on Deck 9. Upon boarding, we weaved our way around Deck 9 to find our home for the next four nights. 

As expected based on deck plans, our cabin was the very last stateroom at the end of a hallway filled entirely with inside cabins. We noticed right away that our cabin was right next to a Crew Only door at the end of this hallway. 

At only 200 square feet, we were shocked that the inside cabin felt extremely spacious. 

The inside stateroom featured a large king bed at the very back of the cabin. It was perfectly made when we arrived. 

The plushy king bed was adorned with a Celebrity-themed throw pillow and blanket, making the cabin feel homey and inviting. 

On each side of the bed, the stateroom featured small lights for us to use with warm lights and personal nightstands. We wished the lights had USB plugs for charging our phones each night. 

Our inside cabin also featured a nearly full-size couch, which was the biggest surprise to us. Some inside cabins, such as the one we booked onboard Carnival Celebration, have no place to comfortably sit other than the bed. So, we really enjoyed having this amenity in the room. 

The large couch was super comfortable and ended up being one of our favorite features of the room. The decorative pillows on the couch were another nice touch.

The small coffee table was a good addition to the room as well, and we utilized this as an easy spot to put our things throughout the cruise. 

On the opposite side of the cabin was a tall vanity with TV above. This included multiple shelves for us to use, along with a mini cooler a safe. 

Adjacent to the taller vanity was a shorter vanity with chair, which was the perfect spot for doing our makeup each day. 

The vanity here was overtaken by two large water bottles for purchase, along with a bag of chips. We weren’t sure if the chips were complimentary, so they stayed in the same place for the entirety of the cruise. I wish we had been provided complimentary water bottles.

Along the shared wall with the taller vanity was a strip of outlets with multiple plugs for us to use. I packed my favorite USB extender, which plugs into European outlets and provides multiple USB plugs and additional outlets. 

The inside stateroom featured a large closet with plenty of hangers inside. I wish the closet had featured some shelving, but that’s just a preference. 

Inside the closet we found two lusciously soft Celebrity Cruises robes for us to use throughout the cruise. Even in the cheapest cabin, it felt like a slice of luxury. 

The inside stateroom bathroom was also surprisingly large with lots of storage for cosmetics. 

We appreciated having more room than we are used to in cruise ship bathrooms, especially on ships that aren't brand new. The larger shower was another huge win for us. 

Inside the shower, we found three different bottles of bath products to use: shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Needless to say, we didn’t miss the mysterious 3-in-1 product that we are used to on Royal Caribbean. 

The shower was very spacious with a plexiglass door. We noted that the shower head had multiple spray settings, something I can’t recall ever seeing on a cruise. 

The bathroom vanity featured shelving to the right of the sink, along with drawers under the sink, which was very handy for storing some of our cosmetics. 

The bathroom vanity also featured some high-quality body lotion. These little touches definitely made the experience feel more luxurious. 

Overall, the bathroom was equally spacious as it was functional, and we certainly enjoyed the provided bathroom products. 

For sleeping purposes, we opted to separate the king bed into two separate beds; although, as someone who is nearly 6-feet-tall, I think I would have preferred the beds together. That was a sister argument I wasn't able to win. 

Our inside stateroom was comfortable and cozy during our cruise with plenty of storage for us to use. We unpacked our suitcases to utilize the space as best as we could and tucked our suitcases under the bed. 

While we didn’t return to towel animals any night, we were greeted by a beautiful fresh rose in a vase one evening on the coffee table. 

On the second to last night, we came back in the evening to find a complimentary Celebrity tote and bag. Again, another lovely touch from the cruise line that really stood out. 

The only gripe about our cabin was the location. We were worried about having excessive motion being this far forward, but that’s a gamble you take with a guarantee stateroom. 

However, the cabin was actually very noisy with little motion felt at all. Each morning at 5:30, we could hear clinks, thuds and loud noises around us; seemingly, the noise was coming from the Crew Only area next door. 

Unfortunately, I’m a light sleeper and even with sleep meds, earplugs and blasting white noise, the morning symphony woke me up each day. 

When our stateroom attendant asked how we slept the first night, we mentioned the early morning noise. He seemed concerned and assured me that he would report the noise, which was very attentive. 

I didn’t expect the noise to go away, as it’s a cruise ship and I know the crew members start work early in the morning. 

In the future, I’ll be sure to always pack earplugs when I book guarantee cabins. Early one morning while I listened to the noises, I even reconsidered a guaranteed cabin I have booked on an upcoming 12-night cruise. 

Regardless of the noise, our inside cabin provided a very pleasant stay for our first Celebrity experience. The thoughtful touches amplified the experience as well, making it feel more luxurious than any inside cabin I've stayed in before. 

Between the spacious cabin and thoughtful touches, we were impressed by our stateroom, even though it was the cheapest cabin we could find. 

I wouldn’t hesitate to book another inside cabin, but I might look at the cost difference to choose my cabin and location, especially for longer voyages. 

Icon of the Seas: Itinerary, features, and more

28 Mar 2023
Matt Hochberg

Icon of the Seas will be the first of Royal Caribbean's Icon Class cruise ships when she launches, marking the first new type of vessel for the cruise line since 2014.

Icon of the Seas rendering

Being a new type of cruise ship, there will be all sorts of new features onboard, including a water park, new areas dedicated to families, revamped pool decks and a lot more.

While Royal Caribbean has not yet revealed all the information about the ship, we already know Icon of the Seas will be more than 6% bigger than Wonder of the Seas and able to hold up to 7,600 passengers. Icon of the Seas will also be 10 feet longer than Wonder of the Seas.

When she launches in early 2024, Icon of the Seas will become the largest cruise ship in the world.  If you are thinking of booking Icon of the Seas, or are planning for an upcoming cruise, there are quite a few things you should know about this new ship.

Here is a look at the most important things we know about Icon of the Seas.

How big is Icon of the Seas?

Hidewaway aerial

Icon of the Seas is the first Icon Class ship, which means this cruise ship will have a new design, size, and look compared to other ships that came before her.

Icon of the Seas will carry 7,600 passengers at maximum occupancy (or nearly 10,000 people when you account for the crew) when it first sets sail with guests Jan. 27, 2024.

When completed, Icon will be 20 decks high and 1,198 feet long and measure 250,800 gross tons.

Where will Icon of the Seas sail from?

Terminal A in PortMiami

Icon of the Seas will begin offering cruises from Miami in January 2024.

Miami will be homeport from January 2024 through at least April 2025.

Royal Caribbean has not announced plans yet for where the ship will sail from beyond April 2025.

Icon of the Seas itineraries

When Icon enters service, she will offer weeklong Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, and each will visit Royal Caribbean's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Icon of the Seas aerial render from the aft

The inaugural Icon of the Seas sailing will be January 27, 2024.

7-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day at CocoCay: Miami; Phillipsburg, St Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Perfect Day at CocoCay; Miami

7-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day at CocoCay: Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Perfect Day at CocoCay; Miami

7-night Western Caribbean & Perfect Day at CocoCay: Miami; Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; Perfect Day at CocoCay; Miami

Icon of the Seas neighborhoods & layout

Introducing Icon of the Seas

Ready to see what you can do on Icon of the Seas?

Icon of the Seas will have 8 neighborhoods to help passengers easily navigate the ship.


Aquadome render

Instead of a Solarium at the front of the ship, Icon of the Seas will have an AquaDome area.

At its heart, this area is home to the indoor AquaTheater from the Oasis Class ships, and put it into this multipurpose space with huge floor-to-ceiling windows, offering 220-degree views. 

The shows here will feature aerialists, acrobatics, high dives, and the tallest waterfall at sea (55 feet tall).

Aquadome bar

When the space isn't being used for a show, passengers can take in wraparound ocean views and enjoy views of the waterfall as they enjoy a bite or drink.

Central Park

Central Park render on Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas will have its own lush green place onboard, with thousands of real plants, dining, and live music.

More details about this space will be revealed later.

Chill Island

Lagoon pool

Royal Caribbean has plans for the best pool deck at sea with Chill Island.

Swim and Tonic pool

Chill Island will have ocean views galore from the three-deck pool area. Icon of the Seas will have Swim & Tonic, the first swim-up bar at sea.

You'll also find the largest pool at sea at Royal Bay Pool.

Cove pool

If you want a quieter pool experience, head to the infinity-edge Cove Pool that has in-water loungers.

And adults can find their own space at Cloud 17, which is the adults-only retreat with their own bar, the Lime & Coconut.

Pool information for Icon of the Seas:

  • Royal Bay: The largest pool at sea, designed for all guests to enjoy. Located in Chill Island
    Neighborhood on Deck 15. Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • The Cove Pool: An infinity, portside pool directly facing the ocean. Located in Chill Island
    Neighborhood on Deck 15. Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m
  • Cloud 17: Adults-only pool deck (age 16+ years old) overlooking the ocean with dedicated Lime &
    Coconut bar and whirlpool. Located in Chill Island Neighborhood on Deck 17. Hours of Operation:
    8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Maximum Capacity: 249)
  • Swim & Tonic: First-to-brand swim-up bar located in Chill Island Neighborhood on Deck 16.
    Seating for 12 at swim-up bar. Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. – Late.

Thrill Island

Thrill Island water park render on Icon of the Seas

Are you ready for the biggest water park at sea?

You'll find Category 6, the new water park that has six water slides, including an open free-fall slide, the tallest drop slide at sea, family raft slides that accommodate four riders at once and two mat-racing slides. 

  • • Frightening Bolt: The tallest drop slide at sea
    (Min Height: 55” tall | Max Weight: 265 lbs)
  • Pressure Drop: The first open freefall slide at sea
    (Min Height: 55” tall | Max Weight: 265 lbs)
  • Storm-Chasers (2): The longest mat racing slides at sea
    (Min Height: 42” tall | Max Weight: 265 lbs)
  • Hurricane Hunter: The first family raft slide at sea
    (Min Height: 48” tall with parents & 55” tall without parents | Max Weight: 595 lbs)
  • Storm Surge: The first suspended family raft slide at sea
    (Min Height: 48” tall with parents & 55” tall without parents | Max Weight: 595 lbs)

All adventures within Category 6 Waterpark are complimentary during the hours of operation: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM.

Crown's Edge on Icon of the Seas

Crown's Edge is part skywalk, part ropes course, part thrill ride, and an all-out test of courage. At any moment, the floor could collapse and leave you dangling high over the ocean.  Height and weight restrictions will be shared at a later date.

There will be one FlowRider surf simulator onboard, as well as other brand staples like Adrenaline Peak – the ultimate rock-climbing expedition, Sports Court, and a totally reimagined mini-golf course.


Surfside neighborhood with Water's Edge pool

Surfside is a new neighborhood dedicated to young families, and it's at the heart of the focus of Icon of the Seas.

This neighborhood will offer splash areas for babies and kids. There's a new pool-themed version of Royal Caribbean's carousel and a bar with "mommy and me" matching mocktails for kids and cocktails for grownups. 

Kids using Splashaway Bay must be fully potty trained, but Baby Bay is for children that are still in diapers a place to splash and play. Additionally, the slide within Splashaway Bay requires a minimum height of 42” tall and a maximum weight of 300 lbs.

A look down the Surfside neighborhood

Adventure Ocean and the teen club have entrances here, which means easy access to either place.

Splashaway Bay and Water's Edge

Grownups can hang back at Water’s Edge pool as the kiddos play at Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay, complete with slides, fountains, water cannons, a drench bucket and more.

Waters Edge hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Hideaway

Hideaway at sunset

Another brand new neighborhood is The Hideaway, which is Royal Caribbean's version of a beach club.

Think Las Vegas pool party, you'll find the first suspended infinity pool at sea.

Then there's a multilevel terrace, whirlpools, a variety of seating and dedicated bar.

The Hideaway Pool hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Suite neighborhood

Suite Sun Deck render on Icon of the Seas

The Royal Suite Class benefits will be available on Icon of the Seas, and that includes three decks of space for suite guests.

This will be Royal Caribbean's largest area for suite guests, and it includes a suite sun deck, Coastal Kitchen restaurant, and a new casual eatery just for suite guests, The Grove.

Royal Promenade

Absolute Zero

As you walk onto the ship, you'll be greeted by The Pearl, which is a new space that Royal Caribbean will reveal more details about later.

There will be one major change to the Royal Promenade most guests will notice: there's windows!

Pearl on the Royal Promenade
Pearl Cafe

When you walk onto the ship, you'll actually walk through The Pearl.

Something else different about the Royal Promenade is there's the largest ice arena yet in "Absolute Zero".

Icon of the Seas Bars & Nightlife

Music Hall concept for Icon

Royal Caribbean will offer a combination of new and fan-favorite bars to enjoy.

Dueling Pianos on Icon of the Seas

Dueling Pianos: Royal Caribbean’s first dueling pianos bar will have twin baby grand pianos with pianists taking song requests to bring high-energy performances to the Royal Promenade.

Jazz Bar

Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues: Jazz venue in Central Park with live performances of soulful classics and jazz pop tunes.

Rye & Bean

Rye & Bean: Coffee shop in AquaDome that can serve up coffee and espresso cocktails.

Sips and Spotlights

The Overlook and Overlook Pods: A new concept entirely, this bar has nooks and is located conveniently near the AquaDome. Royal Caribbean envisions this as a place to drink, play classic boardgames and kick back to live music, too. 

1400 Bar

1400 Lobby Bar: Located right when you board the ship, the drink menu was developed with renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim.  The venue’s also the first to open the vibrant Royal Promenade to the outdoors with an ocean-facing terrace.


Bubbles: New walkup champagne window in Central Park open morning, noon, and night.

Royal Caribbean classic bars:

  • Trellis Bar
  • Boleros
  • Schooner Bar
  • Point & Feather English pub
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • Spotlight Karaoke
  • Music Hall
  • The Attic comedy club

When will Icon of the Seas be delivered?

Icon of the Seas plaque

Icon of the Seas is expected to be delivered in late November or early December 2023.

She was originally scheduled to be delivered in second quarter of 2022, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused her construction plans to be delayed by a year.

Her first sailing with paying guests will be January 27, 2024.

Cabins and suites on Icon of the Seas

Infinite Grand Suite

Royal Caribbean has 28 different Icon of the Seas cruise ship cabins you can choose from, with an eye to provide the most spacious rooms designed by the cruise line.

There are new categories of cabins, new neighborhoods, and views never offered before on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

More than 82% of all rooms onboard Icon of the Seas will accommodate 3 or more guests, and more than 70% of all rooms onboard Icon of the Seas will have a balcony.

Icon loft suite

There are 2805 total staterooms on Odyssey of the Seas:

  • 179 suites
  • 1815 balcony staterooms
  • 276 ocean view staterooms
  • 535 interior staterooms

New stateroom options

Panoramic ocean view

Royal Caribbean has introduced new kinds of cruise cabins for the first time ever with the launch of Icon of the Seas.

There are 14 new categories that range from standard rooms to suites, including more options for families.

One mantra Royal Caribbean wanted for its cabins is more space for families that provide more space and accessible options in every category, locations and amenities.

Some of the new kinds of cabins you can find only on Icon of the Seas include:

Family infinite balcony

Family Infinite Oceanview Balconies: Cruise ship cabins that can accommodate up to six people in one room, with a bunk alcove for kids and enough TVs for everyone.

The bathroom features a split design – with a shower and a sink on one side and a sink and toilet on the other – to make getting ready for the day or bed easier for every family member.

Surfside family suite

Surfside Family View Cabins: Located in the new Surfside neighborhood, these cabins are designed for up to 4 people with convenience to the neighborhood just for young families.

Ultimate Family Townhouse

Ultimate Family Townhouse: If you are looking for the biggest and most impressive suite anywhere at sea, Royal Caribbean has a three-level townhouse for you.

It features a multilevel, in-suite slide, areas for karaoke and to watch movies, two private balconies and even a private entrance to Surfside – complete with a white picket fence and mailbox.

How much does it cost? According to Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley, the average cost of the Ultimate Family Townhouse in 2024 is $75,000 per week.


Casino Royale

The casino on Icon of the Seas will feature more televisions so you can watch sports at the same time.

"On the all new Icon of the Seas, you don't have to choose between watching the big game and playing in the casino. More screens means more entertainment, everywhere you look."

Casino Royale render of Icon of the Seas

There will also be bar-top video poker and a high-limit area.

Icon of the Seas facts

Icon of the Seas cutaway
  • 20 total decks (18 guest decks)
  • 5,610 guests @ double capacity and 7,600 max guests
  • 2,350 crew (bringing ULTIMATE total to 9,950 guests)
  • 7 pools, 9 whirlpools
  • 6 record-breaking waterslides
  • 250,800 GT
  • 1,198 feet long
  • 159 feet wide at waterline
  • Captain: Captain Henrik Loy

When can we book Icon of the Seas?

Icon of the Seas render at sea

You can now book Icon of the Seas sailings via the Royal Caribbean website or with a travel agent.

The cruise line put bookings on sale beginning October 24, 2022 for Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor members and October 25 to the everyone else.

Next-gen power

Icon will be the cruise line’s first of three ships to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas).

LNG and the state-of-the-art ship’s additional environmentally friendly applications, such as shore power connection, will boost energy efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint. More details about Icon’s advanced environmental technologies will be revealed at a future date.

The LNG fuel tank on Icon of the Seas is 307 tons and 90 feet long.

Traditionally, cruise ships are powered by diesel. The advantage LNG has over diesel is it is more energy-efficient and will reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked about the efficiency of Icon of the Seas, "Our new Icon class is coming with LNG-hybrid but, basically it's LNG. It's 35% more fuel energy efficient than regular fuel. And the ship itself, because of the design, is about 30% more efficient."

In addition, Icon of the Seas will utilize a shore power connection that removes emissions while connected at port.

What is The Pearl?

Inside the Pearl

In January 2022, a large pearl-shaped object appeared in the shipyard that capture the attention of cruise fans who are curious to know what it might be.

So far, the Pearl is the centerpiece of the Royal Promenade and what you'll see when you walk onto the ship.

Royal Caribbean says there's more to The Pearl than just a staircase, but more details will be revealed later.

We do know that the Pearl has special panels that can produce all sorts of effects.

It measures 46 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter, with 578 aluminum external panels.

Other interesting facts:

  • 9 miles of cables for power & lighting
  • 1,323 feet of air conditioning ducts
  • Steel mounting frames on the inside
  • It required two tugboats to move it to the shipyard
  • 5,600-metric-ton-crane lifted it into position
  • It's taken 45,000 working hours to construct the sphere

On the 2022 President's Cruise, Michael Bayley accidently let it slip the name of the sphere is "The Pearl".

Royal Caribbean reveals 15 bars and nightlife spots on new Icon of the Seas cruise ship

28 Mar 2023
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean thinks you'll find some of the best bar fun possible when it launches its next cruise ship.

Icon of the Seas bar reval

Cruise ship passengers will find more than 40 bars and hot spots on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, which will be the first vessel in the line's Icon class and the next "world's largest cruise ship."

Royal Caribbean announced more than 15 of the bars and nightlife experiences on Icon of the Seas today. There is a combination of returning favorite bars as well as new concepts, such as dueling pianos, coffee-infused cocktails, or a new new walkup champagne bar.

More than 40 venues

Pool aerial on Icon of the Seas

There will be no shortage of places to wine, dine, and drink on Icon of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean will have more than 40 venues on the ship, including a few new concepts, like Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues in Central Park and Dueling Pianos in Royal Promenade, and spots to grab a drink and mingle before a show like the Rye & Bean coffee bar in AquaDome and the Bubbles champagne bar in Central Park.

Making a return on Icon of the Seas are bars that cruise fans have come to love on other ships, such as from Trellis Bar and Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.

Here's a list of the bars and nightlife coming to Icon of the Seas:

New concepts: Entertainment & Drinks

Dueling Pianos on Icon of the Seas

Dueling Pianos – In Royal Caribbean’s first dueling pianos bar, it’s the battle of the baby grands at the hands of two talented pianists who take song requests to bring high-energy performances of crowd-favorite hits to the Royal Promenade – the heart of Icon. 

Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues on Icon of the Seas

Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues – The new spot fills the open-air Central Park with live performances of soulful classics and jazz pop tunes, inviting music lovers to take it all in from indoors or as they stroll by the thousands of real plants during Jazz in the Park. 

Jazz Bar

Location: Deck 8, Central Park

Pricing: Complimentary

Capacity: 71 indoor, 16 outdoor seated

Rye & Bean

Rye & Bean – Matching the transformational experiences in the AquaDome, this new coffee shop offers everything from classic cups of joe to espresso cocktails. It’s a cozy morning hangout with endless ocean views by day and a buzzing bar with views of deck-defying entertainment in the AquaTheater by night.

Location: Deck 15, AquaDome

Pricing: A la carte or with Royal Caribbean drink package

Overlook Lounge on Icon of the Seas concept

The Overlook and Overlook Pods – The elevated lounge and first-of-their-kind nooks at sea take nights out and hangouts to another level.

The wraparound windows in the AquaDome bring the ocean center stage during the day, and at night, the cruise line’s marquee aqua shows are just a few steps away.

Overlook Lounge

The Overlook Lounge will have 160 degree views of the ocean and it's right above the ship's bridge.

The next-level pods are where friends can lounge with a drink, play classic board games and kick back to live music, too.

Location: Deck 14 & 15, AquaDome

Pricing: A la carte or with Royal Caribbean drink package

Capacity: 112 (lounge), 52 (pods) seated

New Concepts: Ambiance

1400 Bar

1400 Lobby Bar – The new meetup spot – inspired by the history of shipbuilding – is where vacationers can start to make memories as soon as they board, with a mix of daytime and evening sips developed with renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, who's worked with James Beard Award-winning chefs, Bellagio and more.

The venue’s also the first to open the vibrant Royal Promenade to the outdoors with an ocean-facing terrace. 

Location: Deck 5

Capacity: 67 interior, 18 exterior seating


Bubbles – It’s three cheers at the new walkup champagne window in Central Park, where glasses of mimosas, prosecco, Bellini and even bottles of bubbly are on tap morning, noon and night. 

Location: Deck 8, Central Park

Hours: 7am - 10pm

Returning venues

The Attic on Icon of the Seas

The Attic, inspired by Manhattan’s dark and intimate comedy clubs with adults-only live shows.

Location: Deck 6, Royal Promenade

Capacity: 159 seated

Music Hall concept for Icon

Music Hall, to rock out to the house tribute band in a two-story venue.

Location: Deck 3 & 4, Royal Promenade

Trellis Bar concept on Icon of the Seas

A larger Trellis Bar in Central Park, with a new look and an all new menu featuring pre-dinner appetizers.

Location: Deck 8, Central Park

Capacity: 12 seated

Bubbles Icon concept

Boleros, the lively club that brings the heat with Latin flavor.

Location: Deck 6, Royal Promeande

Capacity: 85 seated

Schooner Bar, where pianists set the tone for pre-dinner drinks and nightcaps. 

Point & Feather – The neighborhood English pub on Royal Promenade has a new open layout, games – and tournaments – of darts and sips joining the signature lineup of pints and the live guitarist at the center of it all.

Darts are complimentary

Location: Deck 5, Royal Promenade

Capacity: 104 seated

Playmakers on Icon of the Seas

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – The returning favorite, serving up gameday bar fare and ice-cold beers, is where vacationers can catch their home teams on dozens of screens and play arcade and tabletop games. 

Location: Deck 6, Royal Promenade

Capacity: 107 seated

Spotlight Karaoke

Spotlight Karaoke – Aspiring singers take the stage in front of the crowd or in a private room with their friends and family at this fan-favorite karaoke spot on Royal Promenade.

Complimentary karaoke venue with bar. Private karaoke rooms available to rent.

Location: Deck 5

Capacity: 106 seated

Pushing for new hot spots

Sips and Spotlights

It's clear Royal Caribbean wants Icon of the Seas to offer more places to enjoy a drink, as well as be entertained.

Icon of the Seas will have more than 40 food and beverage concepts, with 23 of them completely new to Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean Vice President Food & Beverage, Linken D'Souza talked about the opportunity to bring new ideas to Icon, “We’ve set out to introduce a new kind of vacation in every sense and taken a blank slate to create an unparalleled blend of ways vacationers can celebrate and make memories whatever their mood, vibe and style."

"From all-new venues and bolder favorites to new iconic drinks on every menu, zero-proof cocktails and twists to classics, there’s something for everyone to make the most of their nights out on Icon of the Seas."

Icon of the Seas launches in 2024

Icon of the Seas aerial at night concept art

When it begins sailing, 20-deck 7,600-passenger Icon of the Seas will officially become the biggest cruise ship in the world, taking the title from its current holder, sister ship Wonder of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas is scheduled to be delivered in late 2023 and begin sailing in January 2024.

The first sailing of Icon of the Seas, a seven-night voyage out of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean, is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2024.

The ship will alternate between Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean itineraries.

We booked 2 cabins on the same cruise, but one was $300 more. Here's why booking a cruise early matters

27 Mar 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

Nine times out of ten, the earlier you book a cruise, the more money you’ll save. No one wants to waste money, but unfortunately, booking a cruise just a few months later than another passenger onboard could see you spending hundreds of dollars more for the same cabin, sail date, and cruise ship.

I recently sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas for a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise. I booked my February cruise in early September—162 days before the sail date—and spent $1,656.

Just a few months later, my fellow Royal Caribbean staff member Elizabeth decided to book a separate cabin on the same sailing of Symphony of the Seas. She booked her room in mid December—59 days before the sail date—and spent $1986.

Both of our cruise rates reflect the total price for two adults in an interior cabin including taxes, fees, and gratuities. My cabin was only $828 per person, whereas Elizabeth’s was $993 per person.

Suffice to say, when Elizabeth found out she spent hundreds of dollars more than me for the same exact cruise experience, it was a bit of a letdown.

Money wasted is never ideal, especially when you could have saved money by just booking a few months earlier. Saving money on your cruise fare means stretching your budget further, freeing extra funds for that amazing shore excursion, spa treatment, or drink package.

Let’s dive in to share how you should approach the cruise booking process to avoid paying more than other passengers on the same sailing.

Booking your cruise early to save money

In general, the cheapest cruise fares are found as soon as Royal Caribbean releases new itineraries. Cruise itineraries are released around two or three years prior to the sail date.

Keeping an eye on when new cruise itineraries will be announced will help you snag the best deals. Two easy ways to do this are to sign up for Royal Caribbean’s newsletter or follow our newsletter here at

Related: Pros and Cons of booking a cruise early vs last-minute

As more and more people book a cruise, the price of that cruise is likely to increase over time. Not only that, but certain cabin categories can sell out, which might force you to either book a more expensive stateroom or downgrade to a cabin you would rather avoid.

What about last-minute cruise deals?

Some people prefer waiting to book a cruise with the hope of finding a last-minute cruise deal. In the case of Elizabeth’s sailing on Symphony of the Seas, this strategy would not have worked.

She booked within the cruise’s final payment date, which is after all passengers had paid the cruise in full. If there was a last-minute deal offered, it almost certainly would have been offered around the same time Elizabeth booked the cruise.

Related: Ultimate Guide to last-minute cruise deals

Royal Caribbean only offers last-minute deals if a certain cruise has low demand, but this did not appear to be the case with Symphony of the Seas.

If you do want to find a last-minute cruise deal you definitely can, but you’ll have to remain flexible on ship, sail date, and destination. Finding a cheap last-minute cruise is not something you can necessarily plan for; it’s more about the luck of finding a deal than anything else!

Book with a travel agent

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve saved money simply by booking my cruise with a travel agent. As someone who always preferred booking vacations on my own, I’ve been blown away by the service and convenience a travel agent provides.

Whenever I find a cruise I’m interested in booking, I send the cruise information to my travel agent. More often than not, she either responds back with a lower price than I found on Royal Caribbean’s website, or the cruise fare includes a generous amount of onboard credit.

By booking with a travel agent, I often save more money than other passengers who booked a cruise on their own. Whether $50 or $200, any dollar saved is another dollar to put toward cruise add-ons like shore excursions and specialty dining!

Related: Top 5 things to look for in a good travel agent for your cruise vacation

Not only can using a travel agent save me money on cruise fare, but it saves time. Whenever I have a question or concern, all I need to do is email my travel agent, and she will be the one who contacts Royal Caribbean instead of having to do it myself! Time is money, after all, and I’ve saved hours upon hours of time by using a travel agent instead of booking on my own.

If I’m being honest, when I first started cruising I didn’t even know people still used travel agents to book vacations. After seeing the amazing service they provide, though, I can’t imagine not using one for my cruise, especially if I’m looking to find the best cruise deals!

Check frequently for a drop in the price of your cruise

Symphony of the Seas in Miami

One of the best Royal Caribbean hacks to save money on cruise fare is to reprice your cruise. Royal Caribbean allows you to reprice your cruise until final payment date if you notice a lower fare.

Repricing a Royal Caribbean cruise means checking if the price of your cruise has lowered since you booked the sailing. If you booked a cruise for $3000 and notice a few months later that the price has dropped to $2500, the lower price will be honored on your reservation.

You can find out if a price dropped by searching for your sailing on Royal Caribbean’s website or contacting your travel agent for an updated quote.

You should know that Royal Caribbean’s website does not specifically mention this repricing policy. In fact, the Royal Caribbean website states that you can take advantage of a lower fare within 48 hours of booking your cruise.

That being said, we have had no problem repricing our cruises until final payment date. If you notice a price drop, simply contact your travel agent or call Royal Caribbean directly to take advantage of the lower fare.

Related: 45 ways to save money on a Royal Caribbean cruise

Let’s take a look at a common scenario to highlight why it’s important to reprice your cruise and save money.

Two passengers—let’s call them John and Peter—book a Royal Caribbean cruise at the same time. Both book a balcony cabin on the same Oasis of the Seas cruise and pay $1500 each.

Four months before the cruise, however, John notices the price has changed to $1350 for a balcony cabin on his sailing. Noticing this change, he contacts Royal Caribbean (or his travel agent) and has the price readjusted, saving $150 total.

Unfortunately, Peter never checked the price of his cruise again after he made the initial booking, so he paid $150 more than John for the same cabin on the same cruise!

As you can see, taking advantage of repricing your cruise can make the difference between paying more or less for a cruise than another passenger. No one wants to pay hundreds more than someone else for the same experience, so checking the price of your cruise every so often is recommended.

Why saving money matters on a cruise


For my 7-night sailing on Symphony of the Seas, I spent $330 less than what Elizabeth paid for her cabin. With that money saved, I was able to spend extra on specialty dining and shore excursions without breaking the bank.

On my cruise, I spent a total of $60 on specialty restaurants and $150 in port—and that’s before I accounted for the onboard credit I received by booking with a travel agent.

At $210 total, the amount of money I paid extra on top of my cruise fare was still less than the amount Elizabeth paid for just her cruise fare. Booking just three months earlier than she did allowed me to spend that money on additional ways to enhance my cruise experience.

Related: I’m a budget cruiser. Here are 8 strategies I used on my recent Royal Caribbean cruise to save money

Symphony of the Seas pool deck

If Elizabeth had booked her cruise earlier, she could have put the $330 extra she spent toward her flight, travel insurance, or a pre-cruise hotel stay. Essentially, she "wasted" hundreds of dollars just because she booked a few months later than me!

If there’s anything I learned from this experience, it is to always book my cruises as early as possible. Although snagging a last-minute cruise deal is always a possibility, it’s best to plan further in advance to ensure you get the lowest possible price.

11 of our favorite under-the-radar Crown & Anchor perks

27 Mar 2023
Allie Hubers

Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society is arguably one of the best loyalty programs in the cruise industry. 

Under the radar Crown and Anchor perks

Rewarding loyal customers is a common practice not just in the cruise industry, but in the travel sector as a whole. Airlines, hotels and car rental companies all have some-sort of loyalty program that rewards customers who continue to choose their brand over and over again.

After just one cruise, you can start accumulating points towards earning status with Royal Caribbean. Typically, each night spent on a Royal Caribbean cruise will earn you one point towards your loyalty status. If you stay in a suite or cruise solo, you can earn double points towards your status. 

Below is a breakdown of the Crown and Anchor Society’s status levels, starting with the lowest tier of Gold Members.

Crown and Anchor Levels

The highest tier of membership you can reach with Royal Caribbean is dubbed the Pinnacle Club, which you achieve after earning 700 points. Loyalty can pay off in the long-run and this is especially true with Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society. As you move through the program’s totem pole of statuses, the benefits become more lucrative. 


Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program has some incredible perks that would be considered not under-the-radar benefits. In particular, top-tier members earn daily, complimentary drinks for Diamond members and above. These members also receive access to a special Diamond Lounge, which hosts nightly appetizers and daily breakfast with specialty coffees. Pinnacle Club members even receive a complimentary cruise!

Of course, these are all major perks of choosing to cruise with Royal Caribbean time and time again. But, most Royal Caribbean cruisers might not even know about all of the other perks that are available through the Crown and Anchor Society. 

Wonder of the Seas aerial photo

Here’s a list of our favorite under-the-radar perks of the Crown and Anchor Society.

Complimentary internet

Cruising with access to Wi-Fi onboard is crucial for many, especially those of us who cruise often. Internet can be expensive to purchase onboard. The Surf and Stream package, which is the fastest service onboard, starts at $25.99 per day, per device. If you want to purchase internet for a 7-day cruise, this means you’ll be spending around $180 for access to the internet throughout your voyage. 

All members of Crown and Anchor Society are eligible for complimentary discounted Internet onboard. Platinum and Emerald members will receive a 15% discount any onboard internet purchases; even Gold members (who only need 3 cruise points) can receive a 10% discount on internet purchases. 


Once you reach Diamond status, you start to receive even better benefits with complimentary internet access. Diamond guests receive one complimentary day of Surf + Stream while Diamond Plus receive two complimentary days. This can also transfer to a discount of equivalent value, from $25.99 for Diamond to $51.98 for Diamond Plus. 

Top-tier Pinnacle Club members receive free unlimited Surf and Stream internet on their cruises for the entire duration of their cruise, which amounts to huge savings on each cruise!

BOGO specialty dining

There’s plenty to eat and drink onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, but I’ve found that I am increasingly drawn to the specialty dining experiences while cruising. I enjoy the change of pace, the ambiance, the high-quality food and the impeccable service.

Giovanni's Kitchen

Crown and Anchor Society’s top-tier members can receive complimentary speciality dining onboard their cruises. Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Members each receive a BOGO deal to buy any specialty dining restaurant on the first or second night, and receive complimentary dining for the second guest. (Note, this does exclude Izumi Hibachi and Teppanyaki, Chef’s Table and Hooked Seafood). 

Considering every member receives this discount, you can save pretty big money with this complimentary BOGO offer. For example, my husband and I each have this BOGO voucher, which means we can essentially get an entire specialty dining meal comped between the two of us. 


I’ve also found that as long as you pre-pay for the specialty dining on the first or second night, the hosts will normally let you dine at a later date as long as it’s been paid for during the voucher timeframe. 

Platinum members and above can each receive a complimentary coffee beverage with a purchase of a specialty dining purchase. 

Finally, top-tier Pinnacle members receive Coastal Kitchen access and daily breakfast in a specialty dining restaurant throughout their cruise. Coastal Kitchen is designed as a top-tier dining option for suite guests, so this is a very nice benefit to receive. 

Priority access and seating for events

Royal Caribbean is known for building mega cruise ships that can hold thousands of people onboard. They don’t call ‘em the world’s biggest cruise ships for nothing!

With so many people onboard, it can sometimes be difficult to find seating at popular shows, events and entertainment offerings. Some of Royal Caribbean's biggest ships require reservations for shows, but others do not require any reservation - and events can be equally as popular. 

Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members of the Crown and Anchor are given propriety access and seating at theater shows, Ice shows and AquaTheater events. This can be a huge perk that many overlook because it doesn’t have a monetary value; however, it’s really nice to arrive to a show right on time and not worry about finding a seat.

Ice Show

I’ve even had luck with attendants allowing others in my party to sit in the section who were cruising with me but didn’t have the same status, if there were open seats. 

Exclusive events

On each Royal Caribbean cruise, you can almost always find Crown and Anchor Society hosting a Top Tier Event during the cruise. This exclusive event normally features free champagne, but I’ve also been invited to events with morning mimosas and special pastries or baked goods.

Platinum members and above will receive an invite to this exclusive event in their stateroom for a designated date, time and location of the Top Tier Event. 

On my recent Odyssey of the Seas cruise, the Top Tier Event was a special Icon of the Seas reveal, which was highly-anticipated at the time. This was an exciting event with luxurious baked goods and free drinks. 

Icon of the Seas event

Not everyone goes to these events, but it’s a nice offering that Royal Caribbean wants to recognize loyalty members on each cruise. The free alcohol is a bonus for sure! You can also usually meet the Captain or other Senior Officers during the Top Tier Event. 

If the event fits in my schedule, you can often find me there. Who doesn’t like being recognized and thanked for their loyalty?

Complimentary bottled water

While this might seem like a small perk, I always appreciate boarding my cruise and finding complimentary bottled waters waiting for me on the vanity. 

Bottled water is not free onboard, so it’s nice to have disposable bottles that can be used around the ship. I often use these to take ashore too so I don’t have to lug my personal water bottle around. 

Bottled water

In addition, I travel with LiquidIV (or equivalent hydration packets, like these Propel electrolyte packets) because I want to stay as hydrated as possible. I hate adding these packets to my personal water bottle because I am not able to wash it for a few days. It’s much easier to use bottled water to add my hydration or flavor and toss the bottle when I’m done. 

Note, we receive a small commission if you purchase from these affiliate links while it costs you nothing extra. 

Discounts on balcony staterooms

One of the best perks for booking your Royal Caribbean cruise is receiving a Crown and Anchor discount on Balcony and Suite Staterooms. Anyone with a status of Platinum or above is eligible to receive a balcony or suite discount when booking their stateroom. If booking online, you simply need to enter your Crown and Anchor number to have the discount automatically applied. 

Junior Suite Balcony

I can’t tell you how much money this has saved me over the years! I’ve been able to upgrade my inside guarantee cabin to a balcony for the same price because of this Crown and Anchor discount. A quick look at recent reservations from the last year unveil a savings of $150 on a 4-night sailing and a $326 discount on a 12-night European cruise last summer, just to name a few. 

Upon review, the discount received varies on your loyalty status and when you are booking your cruise relative to the sail date. Those who book more than 6 months in advance receive bigger discounts than those booked within 6 months of sailing.

Alaska balcony

However, I’ve also seen prices drop more significantly as a sailing gets closer and after final payments are made, which can be a good time to upgrade or book your stateroom with this discount. 

In fact, I just upgraded from an inside guarantee to a balcony guarantee for just $300, which is the lowest price I’ve been able to lock-in for an upcoming Iceland cruise. For a scenic cruise, I think this is totally worth it and the balcony discount saved us $326. 

Dedicated Loyalty Service Desk

Waiting on the phone or holding for hours is not a great experience for anyone. When Royal Caribbean runs certain sales and promotions, the call center can get very busy, which can make it difficult to get ahold of anyone. 

Odyssey of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members can call (800) 526-9723 to reach the dedicated line for Crown and Anchor members. Those outside of the US and Canada should call (541) 285-9723. 

The desk is not open 24/7, so be sure to call during business hours: M-F from 9am-10PM EST and weekends from 9am - 8pm EST.

Just recently, I tried to call on a Sunday evening to upgrade my inside stateroom to a balcony, as I mentioned above. It was a 2-hour wait so I gave up. Two days later, the sale returned and I called during business hours to the dedicated loyalty desk. The entire call took 8 minutes and I had already made the payment to upgrade and received confirmation. This is a HUGE timesaver and benefit that might fly under most peoples' radar. 

Status Match Program

If you’re a member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society, you can also receive some pretty awesome status match perks with other cruise lines and travel companies. 

Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor members can receive reciprocity benefits with sister-brand Celebrity Cruises. Those with a status of Platinum or above will receive status match when sailing on Celebrity cruise ships. 

For example, as a Diamond Plus member, I just sailed on Celebrity for the first time and received Elite-level benefits, which included free drinks, discounted internet, free laundry, and more. I absolutely loved my first Celebrity cruise experience and receiving benefits was a huge perk for the onboard experience. 

There are other companies that will provide some level of reciprocity with your Crown and Anchor status as well. Most notable, your Crown and Anchor status will be matched at MGM Rewards. Emerald and above will receive Gold status at MGM while lower tiers will also receive some status perks. Simply visit an MGM Rewards desk at any MGM Rewards destination to validate your status. 

Finally, all of Crown and Anchor Society members can receive Hertz Gold Plus Reward points as well. For the purposes of this article, I followed instructions through Royal Caribbean’s website and entered information on Hertz’s website to sign up. The link from Royal Caribbean pre-populated a few fields during the sign-up process.

Hertz Gold Rewards includes Skip the Counter and E-Return access, which can save time at the airport. You will earn points with rentals and receive Ultimate Choice benefits.

Complimentary Photos

While phones are becoming very sophisticated with picture-taking capabilities, there’s a hint of nostalgia when it comes to taking and purchasing cruise photos. Personally, I love getting the welcome abroad picture which has the sail dates, itinerary and ship because it’s a great memory keepsake. 

Diamond members and above each receive a complimentary photo of any size during every single cruise. The 8x10 pictures are upwards of $25 onboard now. I always pick out a picture on the last day of the cruise (or two pictures if I am sailing with my husband who also gets a free picture).

Family Photo

Gold through Emerald members receive a discount on photos in which buying 1 photo earned a 50% discount on a second photo. 

With so many cruise pictures, I decided to get this photo album where I can keep all of the cruise pictures in an orderly fashion (this one fits up to 8x10 photographs). I was running out of space to hang up all of the photos; and let’s be honest, some of those cruise pictures are NOT wall worthy!

This photo album has sticky pages, so I can simply place the printed cruise photos in there without needing to tape or glue anything. I know I won’t have time to scrapbook these days, but it really is a nice keepsake to have all of your cruise photos in an easy album.

You also have an option to download the digital file of your photo, which can often make more sense than lugging home a physical photo. 

Single Supplement Reduced Cruise Fare

If you’re someone who cruises solo, paying double occupancy can be a huge blow to your budget. Royal Caribbean provides top-tier loyalty members with discounts for reduced cruise fares for single supplement rates.

Diamond Plus members with 340+ points and Pinnacle members can received a reduced rate for solo cruising from 200% to 150%. For solo cruisers, this can amount to big savings!

Complimentary and Discounted Laundry 

It can be tough living out of a suitcase, especially if you’ve traveling for a while. Royal Caribbean does not offer any self-service laundry options; instead, you have to send in your laundry to be washed and folded by crew members. Platinum and above members receive anywhere from $5 to $10 discounts on wash and gold laundry for sailings 5+ nights or longer.

Laundry bags

Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members can receive one free $34.99 wash and gold bag on cruises longer than 5+ nights. This is a super nice perk, especially on those longer itineraries where you desperately need some clean clothes.

My husband even likes to send out his laundry towards the end of the cruise so he can bring home a bag of clean clothes, meaning we don’t have to wash them when we get home. He simply places the clean clothes in a separate packing cube from the dirty clothes, which our future selves are always grateful for. 

Royal Caribbean News Round-Up: March 26, 2023

26 Mar 2023
Matt Hochberg

This was a busy week with Royal Caribbean news, and we have a summary of all of the news from this week to make certain you did not miss any of it.

Earlier this week, Royal Caribbean announced it will remove the Sky Pad from all of its ships.

No reason was given why, but the venue will be replaced with an unnamed new activity.

Beginning March 31, 2023, Royal Caribbean will begin removing the trampoline experience.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 492nd episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where Matt reviews his recent Wonder of the Seas cruise.

Matt sailed on Wonder of the Seas almost a year after the ship debuted, and shares what stood out from his spring break cruise.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

New RCB Video: What it's like to sail on Royal Caribbean's NEWEST vs OLDEST cruise ships

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video — What it's like to sail on Royal Caribbean's NEWEST vs OLDEST cruise ships — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

6 things I did in advance to prepare for a stress-free vacation

Wonder of the Seas docked in St. Thomas

After spending a week on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas, I greatly benefitted by doing 6 important things to ensure a relaxing cruise.

After years of cruising, it's become apparent to me how important just a little planning ahead of time can do to improve your vacation experience.

Looking back at thee cruise, these are the things Matt did on Wonder to eliminate hassles before they could ever occur.

How to use Royal Caribbean loyalty perks to save money on a Celebrity Cruise

Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society program is such a good loyalty program, it even benefits you if you sail Celebrity.

Because Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises are owned by the same parent company, the two cruise lines actually have a status reciprocity program. Celebrity’s Loyalty Match program allows cruisers to receive comparable benefits from Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Program when sailing on Celebrity cruise ships. 

Allie found her years of Royal Caribbean cruising saved her money on her first Celebrity cruise.

11 reasons to get as early a check-in time as possible for your cruise

Allure of the Seas in Galveston cruise terminal

The earlier you get onboard your cruise, the more quickly you can start the vacation you’ve been dreaming about for so long.

Beyond just starting your vacation earlier, though, are a range of other benefits you can experience by boarding earlier than most other passengers.

Here are the top 11 reasons to get as early a check-in time as possible for your cruise.