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Royal Caribbean's new Star of the Seas opens for booking

05 Dec 2023
Matt Hochberg

The first sailings of the second Icon Class cruise ship are now available for booking.

Star of the Seas

Royal Caribbean on Tuesday began taking reservations for Star of the Seas, which will be the second in a new type of vessels that are aimed at dominating the family vacation market.

Bookings for the new ship are only open to members of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program on Tuesday and the general public gets access on Wednesday, but in practice, anyone can book it on Tuesday as well as anyone can sign up to be a Crown and Anchor member.

Royal Caribbean has not posted any details yet of what will make Star of the Seas different from Icon of the Seas, but typically Royal Caribbean changes certain venues and introduces new concepts on subsequent ships that it's likely the ship will not be a direct copy of Icon.

Crown's Edge on Icon of the Seas

As previously announced, Star of the Seas will sail from Port Canaveral, Florida. The new ship will offer seven-night cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, starting in August 2025.

The very first sailing of Star of the Seas available for booking is scheduled for  August 17, 2025. As of early Tuesday, the least-expensive cabin price was starting at $2398 per person for an inside cabin guarantee, or $5,081.58 total. Balcony cabins started at $3298 per person, or $6,881.58 total.


The inaugural sailing will visit three ports of call: Perfect Day at CocoCay, St. Thomas, and St. Kitts.

Based in the family vacation capital

A look down the Surfside neighborhood

The fact Star of the Seas is sailing just an hour away from Orlando, Florida is likely no coincidence.

Both Icon of the Seas and Star of the Seas are ships that were designed to cater to families, and placing Star of the Seas in Port Canaveral is another move to provide a compelling alternative to a theme park trip.

Cruise line executives have talked about how an Icon Class cruise ship has experiences onboard that they think can rival anything you can find in Orlando.

Surfside family

An entire area of the ship is for just young families, known as Surfside.

There's pools for adults, pools for kids, restaurants and bars for kids and adults. The idea is there's enough to keep you entertained throughout the day.

There are three water experiences to choose from, with the idea that families can hang out together:

  • Splashaway Bay: Kids water slides and water features
  • Baby Bay: Water splash area for very young children
  • Water's Edge: The pool pressed up against the glass on the very back of the ship 
Pier 7

Then there's the beach-themed carousel, arcade with over 30 different games, and a Playscape area.

"Icon will be the best family vacation in the world," is what Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider said about the plans for this ship.

Star of the Seas features

Icon 2 steel cutting

Under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, Star of the Seas will follow-up on her sister ship's already impressive legacy.

It will be the second in the Icon Class, so she should be right around the same dimensions as Icon of the Seas, so it should be about 250,800 gross tons and carry approximately 5,610 passengers at double occupancy or up to 7,600 passengers at maximum occupancy.

When you add crew members, that brings the theoretical total amount of people up to 10,000.

Icon of the Seas leaving Turku

Royal Caribbean has deliberately built this class of cruise ship to appeal to the family vacation market, including as many attractions as they've ever thought of in one ship. You'll find a water park, thrill attractions, multiple shows, more pools than ever, and plenty more.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean ship classes ultimate guide

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley's commented on this direction when the ship name was announced, "The idea of combining the best of every type of vacation into one ultimate adventure has created more excitement than ever anticipated, and Star of the Seas will be the next bold answer to the record-breaking consumer demand we’ve seen for nearly a year and counting with Icon of the Seas."

Icon of the Seas in shipyard

The demand that Mr. Bayley referenced has been nothing short of incredible for the cruise line thus far. Royal Caribbean has reported Icon of the Seas has more cabins booked and at higher prices than the company has seen with any other ship.

"Icon is literally the best performing new product launch we've ever had in the history of our business," is what Mr. Bayley said in May 2023 to Wall Street investors.

Star of the Seas has a good chance to follow that trend, especially when Icon launches in January and the excitement for this new type of cruise ship accelerates.

Star of the Seas logo

Royal Caribbean has not yet announced what will be different about Star of the Seas, but we know she'll be bigger than any Oasis Class cruise ship, which are currently the largest ships in the world.

The maximum capacity for Star is about 7% higher than Wonder of the Seas' maximum capacity of 7,084 passengers.

Star of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's third ship powered by liquefied natural gas. 

There's still one more Icon Class cruise ship on order, due in 2026. No details have been revealed yet about Icon 3.

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.

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