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Top 10 Icon of the Seas hidden secrets

14 Feb 2024
Matt Hochberg

Ready to take a cruise on Icon of the Seas, but want to know the best kept insider secrets about this game-changing cruise ship?

Icon of the Seas in CocoCay

Royal Caribbean has put together an incredible new ship that offers more for families to do than ever before, and it's the first in the Icon Class. There are so many choices for dining, activities, and ways to relax.

If you're like me, you want maximize your vacation and take advantage of every tip and trick so you can have the best possible vacation. If I've learned anything from cruising a lot, it's that there are usually a handful of secrets you can rely on to get ahead of everyone else.

Read more: Guide to Icon of the Seas

I spent over a week on Icon of the Seas to track down the best tidbits to share with you. Here are the 10 hidden secrets to know before going on Icon of the Seas.

Rye and Bean is secret place for coffee in the morning

Rye and Bean

Everyone loves a latte, cappuccino, or macchiato in the morning, but the line for it at Pearl Cafe can get pretty long.

Instead of waiting in line for your premium coffee drink (which is included in a Royal Caribbean drink package), go to the Rye and Bean in the Aquadome instead.

Rye and Bean is a coffee bar that is best known for its coffee-based cocktails.  But it has an espresso machine and is open in the morning too, and can make your favorite coffee drinks without the giant line that Pearl Cafe usually gets.


In my experience, I found most people have no idea Rye and Bean is open in the morning or that it can make your coffee drink too, and the lack of a line was proof of that.

Speaking of Rye and Bean, you should make plans to go there later in the day for a cocktail too, because their espresso martinis and cocktails are top notch.

USB plugs and outlets at the bars


If you've ever gone on a cruise and lamented the lack of ways to keep your devices charged, Icon of the Seas does not contribute to that stereotype.

Many bars have USB charging plugs and even standard electric outlets available for guests to use, including Pearl Cafe, The Overlook, and Playmakers.

I've seen USB outlets at certain bars on Royal Caribbean ships before, but electric outlets too is so helpful for using laptops. Given how inviting Pearl Cafe and The Overlook are to spending many hours there, it's a great spot for conducting remote work.

Given how useful the Royal Caribbean app is onboard a ship, you might end up going through battery power faster than at home, so it's convenient to have ways to charge your devices.

Secret homage to Royal Caribbean's history

Manhole cover

Royal Caribbean likes to include subtle nods to its past on its cruise ships, and if you look closely, you'll spot one on Icon of the Seas.

If you're a Royal Caribbean super fan, you'll want to keep an eye out for a nod to the ship's leadership located in the Royal Promenade.

There's artwork on one end of the Promenade that has a manhole cover, which can easily be overlooked.  However, it lists the sewer cover company manufacturer as, "Fain, Liberty, Bayley, Kulovaara & Co.".

Michael Bayley and Jason Liberty

These are the last names of Royal Caribbean's top leadership responsible for Icon of the Seas becoming a reality.

  • Richard Fain is the Chairman of the Royal Caribbean Group board, and was Royal Caribbean Group's CEO for much of the project's time before stepping down.
  • Jason Liberty is the current President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group.
  • Michael Bayley is the President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.
  • Harri Kulovaara is the Executive Vice President of Maritime & Newbuilding, and is responsible for leading the design and construction of its new ships. 

Color coding for the direction of where you are on the deck

Icon of the Seas cabin number

Getting around a ship as big as Icon of the Seas is not easy off the bat, but Royal Caribbean color coded the decks to make it easier.

As you walk up or down of the corridors where staterooms are located, you may notice the color of the cabin nameplate changes.

A light teal, indicates you are in the forward section of the ship.  A darker shade of blue means you are aft, and a blend of the two means you are in the middle.

Icon of the Seas cabin number
Icon of the Seas cabin number
Icon of the Seas cabin number

The idea is to provide a reference for where you are.  Perhaps you forgot exactly the cabin number you're looking for, but the visual cue of the color may spark your memory quicker.

Trellis bar has food

Trellis Bar

It's rare to find a bar on a Royal Caribbean ship that also serves food, but you should be aware there is a secret food menu at the Trellis Bar.

The Trellis Bar is not a new venue to Royal Caribbean. It's been the signature bar for Central Park on all of Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships, but those bars only served drinks.

Trellis Bar menu

On Icon of the Seas, there is a food menu too, where you can order mac & cheese poppers, steak bites, and fries. Perfect for noshing while you enjoy a few cocktails!

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen menu items at Giovanni’s Wine Bar


Speaking of food at a bar, you might be interested to know you can order food from Giovanni's Italian Kitchen while seated at the bar.

This is more than just a way to snack like you can at the Trellis Bar, it's actually a hack to get around the restaurant being booked up.

If there's no reservations left for lunch or dinner because Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen is booked up, you can go to the bar and order the same food without any reservations required.

Walk to the back of the Windjammer for quieter seats


With a ship as big as Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean made the Windjammer buffet as big as possible too.

It can certainly get crowded (especially for breakfast), and seats get taken up quickly.

If you walk all the way to the back of the Windjammer, though, you will find a smaller seating area that tends to be much less crowded.

Pier 7 is free for kids

Pier 7

The sit-down specialty restaurant in the Surfside Neighborhood has one important difference from any other specialty restaurant.

Kids under the age of 12 are totally free, which means you only have to pay for the adults in your group (as well as any teenagers).

This makes it a far more affordable family dinner out if you don't have to worry about paying for the kids.

How to get a seat at Dueling Pianos

Dueling Pianos

Dueling Pianos is one of the most popular venues on Icon of the Seas and you'll quickly notice the place gets very busy to the point every single chair is taken up.

If you'd like to have seats and a table for your group, the key is to arrive early.  My advice is show up at least 30 minutes before the scheduled performance time to get a seat.  There will be people that arrive even earlier than that, especially for the earlier show times.

Dueling Pianos

If there is a performance at 11pm or later, it tends to be less busy and even people that have a table will start to head out as it gets closer to midnight.

Nonetheless, grab a table a half hour before show time (or earlier) just to be safe.



Hidden around Icon of the Seas are binoculars you can use to check out what's around.

Royal Caribbean wanted Icon of the Seas to be more outward facing than Oasis Class ships, and to that point, they added binoculars around the ship.


There's no cost to the binoculars. This is a fun activity for kids or adults to try to find them all and it is one of those hidden gems many guests simply overlook.

Did we miss any Icon of the Seas secrets? Share them in our comments!

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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