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Photos show the secret crew-only areas on Icon of the Seas

04 Mar 2024
Elizabeth Wright

From one-of-a-kind experiences to the first-ever Chief Dog Officer, Icon of the Seas is truly unlike any other ship at sea. This distinction extends to its crew area as well. 


While you can book a behind-the-scenes tour to view areas such as the Bridge and galley, they won't take you into the majority of crew-only areas. 

For the first time ever, Royal Caribbean designed a dedicated neighborhood for crew members that includes a private gaming lounge, multiple bars, and even a Windjammer with porthole windows and televisions. 

Chris Wong, an Assistant Casino Host onboard Icon, recently took to YouTube to give viewers a look inside of their living areas. He begins the video by saying, "Welcome to Icon of the Seas, the newest, the biggest, and best cruise ship in the world." 

While some areas are confidential, let's dive into Wong's tour of the crew neighborhood on Icon. 

The Crew Windjammer is impressive


The first area he shows in his video is the Crew Windjammer on Deck 2. That's right— crew members have their own mess hall, and yes, they have a handwashing station, too! 

On the day of filming, it was the crew appreciation dinner, so the spread was more expansive than it usually is. The Windjammer was also decorated with banners, balloons, and even an ice sculpture of the infamous Crown & Anchor logo. 


Like the standard guest Windjammer, there are different stations available to the crew, including "Off the Grill," "Fresh from the Garden," "International Flavors," and "Pasta."

"On this side, I can see steak, chicken, [and] a whole bunch of other meats. Look at this, [I] see all sorts of rice and bread rolls, cold meats, hot meats, cheese platters...can you believe this is all for the crew?" Wong says. 


Moreover, there's complimentary coffee, juice, and tea available to crew members.

He explains that this is where he eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day; however, since this day of filming was crew appreciation night, he notes that dinner isn't always as exciting. Additionally, he says that it's rare he sees it as busy as it was. 


The seating area is bright and colorful, with multi-color chairs and light that floods in from the porthole windows. That's actually a first, as all other crew Windjammers in the fleet don't have any natural light or ocean views. 

On the back walls are a couple televisions, so the crew can watch the latest sporting match or other program while dining. 

Unlike the guest Windjammer, they are responsible for cleaning up their own dishes, rather than leaving them to be collected by someone else. 

Read more: 7 most important crew members to meet on your cruise ship

Wong leaves the Windjammer and heads into the Java Cafe


He describes it as a "chill-out area," that features tons of seating, television screens, and board games, as well as a coffee bar where they can purchase cold beverages like soda or specialty beverages. 

"You will never get anything like this on another Royal Caribbean class of ship; this is only on Icon Class," Wong remarks. 


Inside of the Java Cafe is the crew shop; however, on the day of filming, it was already closed. 

Thankfully, Wong's able to press his camera up against the storefront gate to show viewers a decent look at what's inside, which includes snacks, toiletries, and other essentials. "I do like buying instant noodles and chips," he says. 


There are also pool and ping-pong tables for the crew to enjoy, which are located right outside of the Crew Gaming Lounge in the back of the Java Cafe. 

Nearby are the machines that they use to recharge their SeaPass cards, as well as an ATM. 

Read more: A look at the secret crew-only areas on the world's biggest cruise ship

The Crew Gaming Lounge is a paradise for crew members who enjoy playing video games


The guidelines posted on the exterior of the door indicate that food and drinks shouldn't be brought inside, and they're to sanitize controllers before and after every use. Moreover, when the gaming room is full, they are to limit their time inside to 30 minutes. 

Inside the Gaming Lounge are numerous televisions and consoles, including Xboxs and PlayStations. 


Wong admits that he hasn't spent too much time here yet; however, after his reaction to seeing Grand Theft Auto, I presume he might make more of an effort to venture to the Gaming Lounge every so often. 

"Honestly, there's so much in this [crew neighborhood], I forget what's here sometimes," Wong confesses


After walking back through the Java Lounge, he pans to the Crew Barber Shop. 

There are two barber chairs onboard Icon of the Seas. While it's not too large, Wong says that it's a nice little space. It allows the crew to stay on top of their grooming during their contracts. 

Read more: Photos show the cabin a dog lives in on the world's largest cruise ship

The Crew Nightclub and Karaoke Lounge can be found on Deck 3


The Crew Nightclub & Karaoke Lounge features a small dance floor, as well as a bar where they can purchase beverages. According to Wong, it's not as loud or hectic as the main crew bar, which is located on Deck 7. 

It's amazing to think about all of these spaces hidden beneath the guest areas. While you're watching an AquaTheater show or hanging out at the Dueling Pianos, crew members are having their own night out at their dedicated club. 

Directly across from the Crew Nightclub is the Training Center


Essentially like a large conference room, this is where all crew are required to go to complete various trainings, especially when they begin their contracts. 

"[I've] had many, many hours spent in here learning all the things that we need," says Wong. 

Those wanting to look like an Icon (i.e., strive to meet their fitness goals) will have to venture down to Deck 1


When comparing Icon's crew gym to other ships that he's worked on, Wong claims that he likes the look of Icon's: "It's very visually pleasing."

While there's a nice variety of machines, he does add that the free weights section is pretty limited. He does, however, have access to the guest gym, though, this isn't the case for all crew members onboard. 

The main crew bar on Icon of the Seas is reminiscent of an English-style pub and has forward-facing windows, allowing plenty of light to fill the space during the day


Deck 7 is home to many amenities for guests, including the brand-new Surfside Neighborhood, as well as the upper level of the Royal Promenade. Did you know, however, that it's also where the primary crew bar is? 

Passengers won't be able to access this venue, as it's only accessible through crew-only corridors that are hidden from the public. 

According to Wong, this is where a lot of the crew like to go get a drink after work in the evenings. 


The bar is connected to the Crew Patio, which features a smoking area. 

After walking through the smoking area, you'll find an exclusive outdoor deck for the crew that's located near the helipad, or as Wong calls it, the "winch pad," as helicopters aren't able to actually land on Icon. 


While slightly limited, the available seating seems to be the perfect place to relax outdoors during time off, especially if it's during sunset or when sailing into port. Fun fact: this area is where the champagne was smashed during Icon's naming ceremony! 

Wong ends the video by asking, "What do you think? Is this pretty cool or not?" He says it is by far the best crew area he's ever seen on any ship that he's worked on, and he enjoys spending time around the various exclusive venues. 

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

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