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I spent $7,800 for a seven-night cruise on Icon of the Seas. Here's what everything cost, from $700 airfare to $1,000 in onboard expenses

21 Feb 2024
Angie Vognild

Sailing on the inaugural cruise of the largest ship in the world has a premium price tag. After all, to be one of the first people to sail on a brand-new ship comes at a big price.

How much it cost to sail on Icon of the Seas

From the initial cost of the cabin, plus airfare, many rideshares, a hotel, and onboard purchases, this once-in-a-lifetime trip came out to be almost $8,000.

Read more: I took the inaugural cruise on Royal Caribbean's newest ship

Here’s what everything cost during my seven-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day cruise on Icon of the Seas, as well as how much I spent to get to and from Miami, Florida.

I originally spent $638.21 on airfare, but ended up spending $715.62

Let’s just say it was quite an ordeal for me to get to Miami!

When looking at all of my options from my home in the Midwest to Miami, it appeared that flying to Fort Lauderdale was the cheapest option. I prefer to fly to Fort Lauderdale too, as I have traveled through this airport numerous times. In fact, for all of my recent Miami cruises, I have flown through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

So, I booked my flights on United for $578.21, plus I had a 50-pound bag that needed to be checked, and that was another $60 roundtrip. The flight total was $638.21.

Read more: Guide to cruises from Miami

United plane at Fort Lauderdale airport

Upon arriving at the airport, it was a chilly January morning. I checked my bag, went through security, and boarded the plane like normal. Everyone had boarded the plane and we were ready to take off when the captain suddenly announced that we had to all get off because the plane needed to be thawed. Well, after a few hours, we later found out that the tank was completely frozen! This caused a six-hour delay.

I had missed my original connection through Denver, so I tried to get on the later connection, but after the extensive delay, I was going to miss that one too. While all of this was happening, I tried to get my checked bag off the plane, but they were not going to open the doors to get everyone’s luggage off.

At this point, my options were limited to Miami/Fort Lauderdale, so ultimately, I decided to book a late flight on Allegiant instead of United. Luckily, this was a direct flight to Fort Lauderdale, so I didn't have to worry about a tight connection.

Allegiant airplane

This last-minute flight cost $416.02. Allegiant is known for offering dirt-cheap flights, but because this was so last minute, it was much more expensive than usual. I would’ve had to pay for a checked bag too, but since I couldn't get it off the United plane, I had to travel without it.

All of this chaos also messed up my return flight home. Because I didn't fly United to Fort Lauderdale, my seat was forfeited on the way home from Fort Lauderdale. After trying to get back on my original flight home, the options were not looking good, so I once again booked a last-minute flight, this time on Delta for $299.60.

Delta planes

This was the most hectic flight experience I’ve had in a while, but I am thankful everything worked out and I was able to get to Icon of the Seas.

I stayed with family before the inaugural cruise, so I took the Brightline train for $168

Brightline train car

Since I had prior engagements in Miami before the inaugural cruise, I had a few free days and decided to go see family in Orlando. When looking at options to get from Miami to Orlando, the Brightline was the most enticing.

The Brightline Smart fare (the cheapest option) was $59 each way; this included a carry-on and my backpack as my personal item. I had my 50-pound bag too, so I had to pay $25 each way to get that checked. The total was $168 roundtrip from Miami to Orlando.

Seats on the Brightline train

The train ride each way was three and a half hours, but it went by fast because I was able to use the free Wi-Fi to get work done. I thought the ride was smooth and comfortable, so I would definitely do another Brightline trip in the future!

Read more: I took the Brightline train from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale for my cruise. Here's what it was like

I took the Brightline back to Miami so I could stay in a hotel the night before my cruise. This was $260.73

Miami downtown night

It is highly encouraged to get to your embarkation city the day before your cruise just in case of travel delays or cancelations. Because of this, I arrived back in Miami on January 26, the day before the inaugural sailing of Icon of the Seas.

While there are lots of hotel options in Miami, I chose Courtyard Miami Airport. This hotel is perfect for those flying in and out of the Miami International Airport because of its close location. I chose this hotel because it was the cheapest option for me: $260.73. This price included my dinner, which was $17.78.

I had to use many rideshares throughout my trip, and this totaled $405.84

Whenever I had to get somewhere like the airport, hotel, train station, or cruise port, I used the rideshare Lyft.

The rides that cost the most were the ones from the Orlando train station to my family’s house and vice versa. Each of these rides cost $90, including a tip, since it was a nearly 50-mile drive.

Another costly trip was going from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Miami and vice versa. Both of these trips cost between $50 and $60, including a tip, and were 27 miles of driving. I still prefer to fly in and out of the Fort Lauderdale airport over the Miami International Airport, even though the ride is 30-40 minutes between the two cities.

The rides within Miami (like from the hotel to the cruise port or the train station to the hotel) were close and only cost around $20 each way. 

The cost of my Spacious Infinite Central Park View Balcony cabin was $5,179.62

Spacious Infinite Central Park Balcony Cabin on Icon of the Seas

I booked a cabin on Icon of the Seas as soon as they were available back in October 2022.

I chose a Spacious Infinite Central Park View Balcony on deck 10, midship. This cabin cost $5,179.62 for two people, including pre-paid gratuities. Of course, this was the largest expense during my inaugural trip.

Spacious Infinite Central Park Balcony Cabin king bed on Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas is the first ship in the Royal Caribbean International fleet to have infinite verandas, so that was the main reason why I selected this type of cabin. For research purposes, I wanted to see if an infinite balcony cabin was different from a traditional balcony cabin, and after sailing on Icon, I definitely think they are.

Infinite veranda area in the Spacious Infinite Central Park Balcony Cabin on Icon of the Seas

While I liked being able to open and close the veranda, I much prefer to have an actual balcony where I can fully step outside. The veranda did allow me to get some fresh air, but it just wasn't the same as a regular balcony.

You can take a photo tour of my cabin by clicking here!

Read more: I stayed in a 200-square-foot room on the world's largest cruise ship, where there's a new kind of balcony. Here's what it's like inside.

I had several onboard purchases during my week on Icon, and this totaled $1,014.17

Icon of the Seas docked at CocoCay

When you go on a cruise, you can choose to not spend anything extra. It is possible to not spend an additional dime on cruise add-ons, but while on Icon of the Seas, I made a number of onboard purchases.

Before the cruise, I purchased Wi-Fi for one device. This was $23.99 per day, or $167.93 for seven days. If I had purchased the Wi-Fi more in advance, I probably could've gotten a better deal. While onboard, I thought that the Wi-Fi was quick; I had no problems streaming videos or posting on social media.

The Pearl on Icon of the Seas

I splurged on two specialty dining experiences while on Icon: Dinner at Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and dinner at the new Empire Supper Club.

Since I am a Diamond Plus cruiser, I was able to utilize my BOGO offer when I dined at Giovanni’s on the first night of the cruise. The total for my meal was $37.44, and it was well worth it!

Carbonara at Giovannis on Icon of the Seas

On the second night, I dined at the snazzy Empire Supper Club. This meal was pre-paid and cost $200. This is the most expensive restaurant in the Royal Caribbean fleet.

Icon of the Seas Empire Supper Club trio

During this formal dinner, I enjoyed four appetizers, a main course, three desserts, six cocktails, and other starters and palate cleansers not listed on the menu. Throughout the meal, the American Standards Trio played jazz music which was lovely to listen to while I was eating my many courses. You can read my full review of the Empire Supper Club here!

Icon of the Seas Empire Supper Club chocolate beehive

Read more: I dined at Royal Caribbean’s most expensive restaurant: I didn't expect to like it as much as I did

After attending the Ladies Pamper Party on the second day of the cruise, I decided to treat myself to a massage at the Vitality Spa. Because I attended the party, I got $50 off a Swedish massage (along with other “mini” massages that focused on my arms, shoulders, etc.) that was originally $210. Again because I am a Diamond Plus cruiser, I also got a complimentary add-on spa treatment, so I opted for a foot exfoliation. In total, the massage cost $188.80. This included a service charge of $39.80.

Spa room on Icon of the Seas

Another brand-new experience I wanted to try was renting one of the daybeds at The Hideaway, the adults-only area onboard Icon of the Seas. Before the cruise, I purchased a daybed for a sea day, and this cost $350. The cost is an all-day rental and can hold a maximum of four people.

The Hideaway on Icon of the Seas daybeds include towels, water, and champagne

The cost does fluctuate depending on when you buy the rental and whether you choose a sea day or port day (port days are cheaper). You can read about my daybed experience here!

Read more: I tried the $350 in-pool daybed rental on Icon of the Seas. It was pricey, but you get a prime spot

My sister collects Starbucks mugs from around the world, so I bought the exclusive Icon of the Seas mug for her, which cost $20.

Starbucks mugs on Icon of the Seas

My last expense was tips for various crew members, including my cabin steward, and this totaled around $50

I went on one excursion to St. John for $85

Trunk Bay at St. John

During the seven-night cruise, we visited St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Perfect Day at CocoCay. While docked in St. Thomas, I decided to purchase an excursion to St. John. This excursion was called “St. John On Your Own.”

This excursion cost $50 and covered the cost of a ferry that took me between St. Thomas and St. John. The two islands are close, so the ferry ride was fairly quick and took around 20-30 minutes.

We were docked in St. Thomas from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., so everyone on the excursion had to meet at the Royal Theater at 7:30 a.m. and get on the ferry around 8 a.m. By the time we got off the ferry in St. John, found a taxi to the beach, and then had to allocate time to get back to the ship, we were at the beach for only an hour and a half.

Trunk Bay at St. John

Once the ferry arrived in St. John, I took a taxi to Trunk Bay. The taxi ride cost $20 roundtrip, including a tip. Upon arrival to Trunk Bay, I had to pay a $5 admission fee. I also wanted a beach chair, and this cost $10.

The beach was stunning and the water was a perfect temperature. I loved this short beach getaway. I wish we had more time docked in St. Thomas so I could've stayed at Trunk Bay longer!

In total, I spent $7,828.98 to sail on the inaugural cruise of Icon of the Seas

Angie at The Hideaway on Icon of the Seas

I knew that my trip on Icon of the Seas would cost a lot, but I didn't think it would be almost $8,000!

The largest expense was the cost of the cabin at $5,180, and when looking at prices throughout the year and into 2025, it appears that I got a decent price. For example, looking at the same itinerary in the same cabin for January 2025, my Infinite Central Park cabin would cost $7,360 - more than $2,000 more!

Icon of the Seas infinite balcony cabin

There were many times when I could’ve saved money, like saying no to specialty restaurants, Wi-Fi, or the spa treatment. But, these cruise add-ons made my trip more enjoyable.

Angie selfie with Icon of the Seas

I really liked a lot of the free entertainment onboard Icon of the Seas, including The Wizard of Oz, the ice skating show, Starburst, and the diving show, Aqua Action! I also took advantage of the many free dining options, like AquaDome Market and Park Café, for most of my meals which I thought were delicious.

Wizard of Oz on Icon of the Seas

Overall, I had a blast onboard the maiden voyage of Icon of the Seas. I can now say that I was one of the first people to sail on the world's largest cruise ship! It was an experience I will never forget.

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