Royal Caribbean hasn't shared much about its next new cruise ship, but it has outlined clear goals for what it hopes will be a revolutionary new ship.
Icon of the Seas is scheduled to debut in fall 2023, and Royal Caribbean has released a new video that talks about how the company came up with ideas for what this ship should be.
When Royal Caribbean started designing the ship, they referred to it as a "white paper ship", which means they wanted to start with a blank slate.
"The reason why we call it that is we start with a blank piece of sketch paper, so it truly is starting fresh," said Anna Drescher, a manager of the ship's architectural design team.
The team posed all sorts of ideas, especially considering what its guests wanted.
Yael Steinhart, Director of Product Innovation, talked about how the team looked through the lens of what guests want and incorporate that into a new ship, "We really looked at how can we bring the best of all experiences and vacation types into one place."
"So think about city getaways, beach retreats, all inclusive resorts and amusement parks. You have to dream as big as you can."
The end result are five pillars of what Icon of the Seas will encapsulate.
1. Unrivalled water experiences
Jay Rosser, Senior Product Owner in Product Development, spoke about the need to incorporate unrivalled water experiences, "Icon really is about bringing our guests back to what surrounds them when they're on a cruise, which is the ocean."
"In every way that the guests interact with the ship, there's always a connectivity back to the water."
One of the slights that the Oasis Class ships have had since their inception has been it's difficult to see the ocean and outdoors while inside the ship. Compared to other Royal Caribbean ships that came before it, there has been less visibility to the outside world.
2. Adrenaline pumping thrills
If you've been on any Royal Caribbean cruise ship in the last 20 years, you know how many fun thrills there are onboard.
Surf simulators, bumper cars, zip lines, and sky diving simulators are just a few of these activities Royal Caribbean is known for, and the cruise line wants to continue that trend with Icon of the Seas.
Emily Rodriguez, Product Owner in Product Development, talked about the importance of thrills on Icon, "As we started seeing more and more excitement for a lot of our thrilling experiences, we said, How can we take that to the next level? How can we offer something that is really for the bold, for the brave, for the fearless and experience something that they've never been able to do anywhere else."
3. Ultimate family vacation
Simply put, Royal Caribbean wants families to look at Icon of the Seas as their primary choice for a family cruise, not just another option.
Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Associate Vice President of Product Development, thinks putting the family vacation first is a major priority, "One of the things that stands out to me the most about the insights that we've received from our guests is that bonding with family, friends, or whoever you're traveling with always comes to the top."
Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider went one step further by saying, "This is a ship of unrivaled entertainment. It's adrenaline pumping thrill. It is amazing. Food and beverage. Simply put, Icon will be the best family vacation in the world."
4. Sensational entertainment
Live entertainment has always been a staple of any Royal Caribbean cruise, and Icon of the Seas will continue that with the kind of Las Vegas and Broadway glitz the cruise line has always delivered on.
Ms. Steinhart hinted that not only will Icon have the kind of shows we've known, but something extra, "Icon of this Seas will deliver some of the best shows in the world, but we've also really expanded with new, diverse additional variety of entertainment on board."
5. Celebration of food and beverage
Royal Caribbean has been steadily elevating its dining offerings for years, with new ships rolling out new concepts and enhancements to favorites.
Tim Klauda, Vice President of Product Development, "The food is diverse, so you can try things you never tried before or you can try things you love, maybe a little bit of a spin. You can get access to that food in ways we've never done before. So convenience is huge."
Perhaps that spin is an idea Royal Caribbean first played with in 2019: onboard food delivery.
Watch the full video
Royal Caribbean published Episode 1 of "Making an Icon" and you can watch it here.