Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

Royal Caribbean adds 363-ton dome to top of Icon of the Seas

08 Nov 2022
Matt Hochberg

Construction of Icon of the Seas has reached a new milestone with one of the signature areas added to the ship.

AquaDome installed on Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean has designed Icon of the Seas to have many new features that stand out from the rest of the fleet, as well as just about every other cruise ship out there.

The AquaDome is a new neighborhood concept that will take the AquaTheater concept from Oasis Class cruise ships to a new level.

AquaDome installation process
AquaDome installation process

On Sunday, the Meyer Turku shipyard installed the 363-ton dome, which has over 600 glass panels and was installed using more than 1,600 feet of cables. The length of cables is longer than the height of the Empire State Building.

Lifting the AquaDome

The process of lifting the massive dome is a large-scale, complex process.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from October 2022

Up until now, the AquaDome was located next to Icon of the Seas at the shipyard.

AquaDome installation process
AquaDome installation process

The dome had been constructed on its own in tandem with ship construction. This is a common strategy in cruise ship building, as it allows multiple facets of the cruise ship construction process to be done simultaneously.

Cruise ship cabins, ship blocks, and other features are built elsewhere and then assembled together later at the shipyard.

What is the AquaDome?


Once complete, the AquaDome is located at the very top of Icon of the Seas.

It will be home to restaurants, retail, bars, lounge spaces, and–most importantly–Royal Caribbean’s next-level AquaTheater.

Aquadome render

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 show has the tallest waterfall at sea (55 feet tall), along with flying artists and divers.

Royal Caribbean is also promising guests will see a transforming pool, four robotic arms, state-of-the-art projection, and more.

Other notable new neighborhoods on Icon of the Seas

Hidewaway aerial

Besides AquaDome, there will be a few other new areas added to Icon of the Seas that are new to Royal Caribbean.

Thrill Island is a new water park at the top of Icon of the Seas, which has 6 waterslides to choose from.

If you prefer relaxation over excitement, then Chill Island neighborhood is for you, with seven pools to choose from, along with whirlpools, in-water loungers and breathtaking views. 

Surfside neighborhood with Water's Edge pool

The Surfside neighborhood is another new concept designed with young families in mind, where adults and kids ages six and under can stay and play all day.

There will also be a revamped adults-only area, known as Cloud 17. For guests age 16+ years old, it overlooks the ocean with dedicated Lime &
Coconut bar and whirlpool.

Thrill Island water park render on Icon of the Seas

The Hideaway has a multilevel terrace and first suspended infinity pool at sea.

Icon of the Seas launches in 2024

Icon of the Seas aerial top

Icon of the Seas will debut in January 2024 from her homeport of Miami.

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.

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

Get our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with cruise news & advice

    We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy