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The most iconic ship at sea: 7 of the most cutting-edge features coming to Icon of the Seas

25 Oct 2022
Jenna DeLaurentis

Royal Caribbean’s innovative cruise ship designs never fail to amaze me, but Icon of the Seas has my mind blown. A 6-slide waterpark, indoor AquaTheater, and suspended infinity pool on a cruise ship? It’s ingenious.

Icon of the Seas is the first Icon Class cruise ship, and a new class of ships means Royal Caribbean will bring new activities, amenities, and venues to the table.

She will be the biggest cruise ship in the world with a maximum capacity of 7,600 guests, and has a focus on family-friendly activities while still offering amenities for every age and cruising style.

Here are 7 of the most cutting-edge features coming to Icon of the Seas.

Crown’s Edge

Crown's Edge on Icon of the Seas

While Royal Caribbean ships are packed with activities like water slides, bumper cars, and zip lining, perhaps no other activity is as adrenaline-pumping as Crown’s Edge.

Crown’s Edge is a brand new activity coming to Icon of the Seas, combining a skywalk, ropes course, and thrill ride all in one.

This activity first takes passengers on a ropes course as they walk and balance on different shapes and pathways. Sounds easy? Here’s the catch: you’re walking off the side of the ship with nothing but the ocean below you.

If that doesn’t sound thrilling enough, the walkway drops for the second part of the ride, and you suddenly find yourself swinging 154 feet above the ocean back to safety.

I consider myself a thrill seeker, but I’ll admit that Crown’s Edge will surely push my bravery to the limit!

Category 6 waterpark

Waterslides on a cruise ship? Been there, done that. But a waterpark on a cruise ship? Now that’s something new.

One of the most thrilling features found on Icon of the Seas is the Category 6 waterpark, located fittingly in the ship’s Thrill Island Neighborhood.

Unlike other Royal Caribbean ships which may have 2-3 waterslides onboard, Icon of the Seas has a whopping 6 record-breaking slides:

  • Pressure Drop: the industry’s first open free-fall slide
  • Frightening Bolt: the tallest drop slide at sea
  • Storm Surge & Hurricane Hunter: family raft slides which can fit 4 riders per raft
  • Storm Chasers: the cruise industry’s first mat-racing duo

From boomeranging off a slide’s “lotus leaf wall” over the ship’s edge to waiting anxiously for the free fall slide’s “floor” to drop beneath you, Category 6 is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

I’ll admit that I don’t typically use the water slides when I cruise. However, with a waterpark so impressive, I’ll definitely have to try each slide at least once. While I’m always impressed with the amenities Royal Caribbean manages to fit on a floating vessel, I am flabbergasted by how incredibly fun Category 6 looks to be.

AquaDome Neighborhood


When Royal Caribbean introduced the AquaTheater–a high diving, acrobatic performance space on its Oasis Class cruise ships–it was a mind-blowing entertainment venue in the cruise industry.

With the new Icon Class, Royal Caribbean aims to take the AquaTheater to the next level in the AquaDome neighborhood.

Located at the very top of Icon of the Seas is the AquaDome, which features restaurants, retail, bars, lounge spaces, and–most importantly–Royal Caribbean’s next-level AquaTheater.

Aquadome render

The AquaTheater has been moved indoors on Icon of the Seas to allow for complete control over the venue’s weather, lighting, and sound. This helps ensure the AquaTheater shows are not affected by outside elements and allows Royal Caribbean to enhance the performances like we’ve never seen before.

Beyond the shows, however, are other ways to enjoy the AquaDome’s amenities.

Aquadome bar

By day, passengers can relax in one of the AquaDome’s comfortable seating areas with expansive, 220 degree views of the ocean. Based on the ship’s deck plans, the AquaDome also features several dining venues including Hooked Seafood.

The AquaDome is one of the features I’m most looking forward to on Icon of the Seas, not only for the incredible entertainment aspect, but also to kick back and relax with gorgeous ocean views.

Family-focused neighborhood at sea

Surfside family

Royal Caribbean always strives to make its ships as family-friendly as possible, but Icon of the Seas goes above and beyond with the new Surfside neighborhood.

Somewhat similar to the Boardwalk neighborhood on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class cruise ships, the Surfside neighborhood is located in the ship’s aft and focuses on family fun.

Splashaway Bay and Water's Edge

The neighborhood features the Water’s Edge Pool and Splashaway Bay aquapark, a carousel, arcade, and children’s play place. You'll also find kid-friendly dining venues which includes, of course, an unlimited soft service ice cream station.

Not only that, but Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean kids programming and Social 020 teen club are located in the neighborhood as well. The goal of this neighborhood is to combine the best of Royal Caribbean’s family-friendly activities in one convenient location, and they certainly hit that goal!

While I don't have kids myself, this neighborhood looks so fun that I might just have to book my nephews on this cruise with me!

Expanded suites-only areas

Royal Caribbean is following in the footsteps of other cruise lines by introducing more of a “ship within a ship” concept in the fleet’s newest vessels.

The fleet’s newest ship, Wonder of the Seas, made headlines by introducing a suites-only neighborhood complete with a private deck, bar, plunge pool, lounge, and restaurant. Icon of the Seas, however, takes this concept one step further.

Related: Wonder of the Seas neighborhoods tour

Suite Sun Deck render on Icon of the Seas

The Suite Neighborhood on Icon of the Seas is the largest suite neighborhood to date. The neighborhood spans three decks and includes a two-level suite sun deck with a private pool, whirlpool, and outdoor lounge spaces.

A new restaurant, The Grove, is available for suite guests on Icon of the Seas as well. This casual Mediterranean restaurant is located outdoors on the suite sun deck and provides a more laid-back yet still exclusive dining option for suite guests.

Suite Sun Deck render on Icon of the Seas

The Grove is in addition to the sit-down restaurant for suite guests, Coastal Kitchen. Coastal Kitchen has been expanded to a two-story venue with views into the AquaDome.

Swim-up Bar

Swim and Tonic

Royal Caribbean’s swim-up bar at Perfect Day at CocoCay has been a huge hit, and they brought this concept onboard Icon of the Seas with the new Swim & Tonic swim-up bar.

Swim & Tonic is located in the Chill Island neighborhood of Icon of the Seas (the pool deck), and it’s a spot where passengers can soak up the sun with a drink in hand.

Long gone are the days of walking to a bar on the other side of the pool deck. Hanging out at Swim & Tonic means your drink is only a short swim away, and I have a feeling this spot is going to be the place to party.

First suspended pool at sea

Las Vegas pool vibes meet a Royal Caribbean cruise ship? That’s what you’ll find at the Hideaway Pool on Icon of the Seas.

The Hideaway is another of Royal Caribbean’s new neighborhoods on Icon of the Seas, and it is located in the very aft of the ship. The neighborhood features a multilevel terrace with comfy seating, whirlpools, and a bar, but what really makes it stand out is the Hideaway Pool.

The Hideaway Pool is the first suspended infinity pool at sea. Suspended eight decks above the Surfside neighborhood and offering infinity views of the horizon, it might be the most unique pool concept Royal Caribbean has designed yet.

Hideaway at sunset

Not only can you relax in the pool’s full-size daybeds surrounded by water, but you can party the day away with the neighborhood’s own resident DJ.

The Hideaway has to be one of the coolest features coming to Icon of the Seas for adults. Sipping a mojito in an infinity pool at sunset? What more could you ask for on a cruise ship?

Looking for more Icon of the Seas information? Watch our YouTube video on everything you need to know about Icon of the Seas:

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Jenna DeLaurentis enjoys exploring new ports of call around the world on a cruise ship, learning about new cultures, discovering beautiful landscapes, and trying diverse cuisine. She loves to get active while at port, whether cycling through mountains in the Caribbean or scuba diving under the sea.

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