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Royal Caribbean Crown's Edge Review: Worth it or waste of money?

19 Feb 2024
Jenna DeLaurentis

I tried Royal Caribbean’s latest thrilling attraction at sea, and while it had my adrenaline pumping, I’m not convinced it is worth the cost.

side by side image of Crown's Edge on Icon of the Seas

With the launch of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Icon of the Seas, came the launch of a brand new attraction for the cruise line: Crown’s Edge.

Marketed as a mix between an obstacle course and ropes course, participants of Crown’s Edge navigate a series of suspended platforms that hang off the ship of the cruise ship. At the end of the course, the platform below their feet drops, sending guests flying on a zip line over the ocean and back to the ship.

From the moment I heard about Crown’s Edge, it piqued my interest, although I felt hesitant to book the experience. At the time, the cost of Crown’s Edge was $90 per person, but aside from the cost, I have to admit I was scared.

Crowns Edge Icon of the Seas

Just thinking of hanging over the side of the ship with nothing but the ocean below was enough to make my palms sweat… would I really be able to complete the course if I tried it?

But what’s life without a challenge? Feeling courageous once I got onboard, I booked Crown’s Edge on a whim, despite my hesitations.

Here’s what Royal Caribbean’s newest—and most frightening—activity is like, and whether or not it is worth the price.

I was nervous when I showed up to my booking, although the activity appeared much shorter than I imagined

Crowns Edge check-in desk on Icon of the Seas

“Why am I doing this?!”

As fellow staff member Angie and I left the safety and comfort of our Icon of the Seas cabin to head to Crown’s Edge, I couldn’t help but ask myself what I had gotten myself into.

Not only did I book a time slot for Crown’s Edge, but the only time available was at 7:30 PM, which meant I would be walking over the side of the ship in the dark. Could there be anything scarier? I wasn’t really sure.

Upon arrival at the check-in desk for Crown’s Edge, I was brought into a small room with other participants. Here we changed into the “uniform” for Crown’s Edge—a long-sleeve bodysuit and hard hat. Closed toed shoes are required for the activity, so make sure to wear these as well.

Jenna and Angie smiling at Crown's Edge on Icon of the Seas

Related: Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship: Review, Photos

We were also required to watch a brief safety video, and then it was time to put my skills to the test.

If anything helped calm my nerves, it was the length of the Crown’s Edge experience. Despite researching Crown’s Edge prior to my cruise, it didn’t hit me how short the ride was until I got onboard and saw it for myself.

I have to admit I expected a ropes course to be longer than just a few steps off the side of the ship, but I was grateful for the shorter length when it came time to put on my harness and start the course.

The beginning of Crown’s Edge was an easy warmup for the more terrifying sections later on

Walking across a bridge on Crown's Edge

I first walked across a short overhung bridge, which was not all that scary, despite the large gaps between pieces of the bridge. In fact, the left side of the bridge does not have any gaps on the bridge, making this section of Crown’s Edge an easy start to the attraction.

Once across the bridge, I stepped onto the first of five oval platforms, which are suspended approximately fifteen feet above the ship’s deck.

Platforms on Crown's Edge

Again, I did not find this section of Crown’s Edge particularly frightening, even if a large step was necessary to make it from one platform to another. I was comforted by the fact that I was not yet hanging off the side of the ship.

Next up was the more nerve-racking part of Crown’s Edge, and my fear quickly took over

X shaped platforms on Crowns Edge

After successfully walking across all five oval platforms, I reached what I found to be the scariest part of Crown’s Edge: the x-shaped platforms, which are suspended over the ocean.

There are four of these x-shaped platforms on the course, which take you from walking above the ship to walking off the edge of Icon of the Seas. I found this section challenging, both physically and mentally, as it not only required more careful footwork, but walking off the edge of a cruise ship is pretty terrifying, to say the least.

I couldn’t decide whether trying Crown’s Edge at night was a better choice than during the day. Perhaps it was easier to block out the fact that I was standing over the open ocean at night, but it was hard to not be afraid of the dark abyss below.

Nonetheless, I took a deep breath and made it across.

I had one more hurdle on Crown’s Edge: the drop

Crown's Edge drop to zipline part

The final part of Crown’s Edge involves walking onto a platform and waiting for the platform to drop beneath your feet, leaving you dangling over the ocean by your harness After the drop, you will ride a zip line back to the starting point.

Allowing yourself to step onto a platform that will drop and leave you hanging over the ocean requires a great deal of trust in both the ride’s engineering and safety harnesses, but I felt fairly confident I would not fall into the ocean below.

As I stood on the platform waiting to drop, I was surprisingly not as panicked as I thought I would be. I had, after all, gotten myself into this situation, and the sooner the platform dropped, the sooner I could get back to the safety of the ship.

girl zip lining on Crown's Edge

What I didn’t expect was that the crew members would surprise participants with when the platform would drop. During one ride, I witnessed a crew member trick the participant by saying he had to come over to her and fix her harness. As he began walking over, though, he pressed the button to drop the platform, sending her into a terrifying flight back to the ship!

Fortunately, there were no tricks played on my turn, and I courageously dropped off the platform and rode back to the ship.

Crown’s Edge was certainly thrilling, but for such a short ride, it comes with a hefty price

Angie and Jenna smiling on Crown's Edge

When Royal Caribbean first announced that Crown’s Edge was available to book on the Cruise Planner site, they were charging $90 for the activity. Since then, it appears Royal Caribbean has lowered the price of Crown’s Edge on certain sailings, with some guests reporting pricing closer to $50 instead.

After trying Crown’s Edge myself, I would not pay $90 for the experience, but I could see paying $50. Personally, I would say the experience is worth about $30, but I don’t think the cruise line will have any trouble selling it at a higher price.

Don’t get me wrong, it was one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve had at sea, but it is simply way too short to justify the original price tag of $90. Honestly, I found the thrill of Crown’s Edge quite similar to the zip line on Oasis Class ships, which is included in guests’ cruise fares.

Crown's Edge on Icon of the Seas

This isn’t the first activity to come with an extra charge on Royal Caribbean, however, but most other extra-cost activities provide a more lengthy experience.

Related: Top 30 extra cruise costs that are not included

The cruise line’s escape rooms, for example, cost $40 per person, but the activity lasts an hour. Likewise, booking The North Star observation pod on a sea day will run guests around $30 for a 15-minute ride, although it’s free on port days.

And even though RipCord by iFLY, Royal Caribbean’s indoor skydiving simulator, costs $50 for a 2-minute flying experience, a complimentary 1-minute ride is also offered onboard for those who do not want to pay extra.

There is no complimentary offering of Crown’s Edge, and, if excluding the prep time for the activity, you’re looking at spending around $1 per second of the ride.

If you simply can’t sail on Icon of the Seas without trying an activity as unique as Crown’s Edge, I would recommend giving it a try. That being said, you shouldn’t feel like you are missing out on anything by skipping it.

Am I glad I tried Crown’s Edge? Sure, and I think the demand is there for the attraction to be successful. Nonetheless, it was definitely a “one and done” experience for me, as there are more than enough other thrilling activities onboard Icon of the Seas to try that do not cost anything extra.

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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