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Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas floated out in shipyard in Finland

09 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

Icon of the Seas is sitting in water for the first time.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

The new cruise ship is under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, and earlier today the dock where she is located was filled with water to continue to the next phase of construction. commissioned these photos of Icon of the Seas floated out to share with all of you what this process looks like.

Since these are exclusive photos, please do not redistribute these photos. Feel free to share a link to this article instead.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

Essentially what a float out means is when the dry dock is filled with water and it becomes a wet dock. 

Last month, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider added the float out allows the ship to move forward so another cruise ship can be built behind it.

"It's a super exciting and super momentous occasion for a new ship, especially a new class of ship, because, this will be the first time it ever floats. And so, as you can imagine, that's a pretty big milestone," Mr. Schneider said when talking about the float out process.

More than 10,000 people in Finland and abroad have participated in the construction and design of the Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

In addition to the transition from dry dock to wet dock, we also have a look at the construction progress being made with Icon.

Looking to the back of the ship, we can see water slide supports being installed for the Category 6 water slide.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022
Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

We can also see more of the aft superstructure installed, along with the name of the ship beginning to be written.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022
Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

At the front of the ship, the AquaDome is installed, and more progress is being made with cabins installed and other top deck work.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022
Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

What's next for Icon of the Seas?

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

The latest timeline Royal Caribbean provided for the Icon of the Seas construction has work continuing at the shipyard for a few more months.

In May or June 2023, sea trials will commence. This is when a cruise ship's navigational and technical systems are tested and it is the final part of cruise ship construction prior to delivery.

Icon of the Seas float out December 2022

Everything from the ship's propulsion, to navigation, to engines are tested before it can be ready to join the fleet.

Following the sea trials, delivery will take place sometime in the second half of 2023 and that's when the ship changes ownership from the shipyard to Royal Caribbean.

The inaugural Icon of the Seas sailing will be January 27, 2024.

Icon of the Seas render at sunset

When completed, the ship will be the world's largest cruise ship and Royal Caribbean's first ship to use liquified natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology. The ship is 1,188 feet long and can accommodate up to 5,610 passengers at double occupancy (7,600 passengers if you maxed out every bed).

Meyer Turku is building three Icon class ships. Icon of the Seas is the first of these, and the next one will be completed in 2025 and the third in 2026.

Royal Caribbean reveals new restaurants, bars, and activities on Icon of the Seas

08 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced new venues coming to Icon of the Seas when the ship launches in early 2024.


Icon of the Seas will have more than 40 food and beverage concepts, with 23 of them completely new to Royal Caribbean.

More venues were announced today that show off new concepts coming to the ship.

Let's look at everything Royal Caribbean released:

Desserted milkshake bar


The new Desserted will allow passengers to choose from a lineup of milkshake concoctions, including spiked options for the adults. 

Surfside Eatery

Surfside Eatery

Surfside Eatery will debut as the dedicated buffet in Surfside, the new neighborhood designed for young families.

More Royal Caribbean firsts include a spot for a quick stop between adventures, Surfside Bites, and specialty restaurant Pier 7 for beachside favorites.

Pier 7

Pier 7

Adults and kids alike can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the new Pier 7.

This is a specialty restaurant that will serve up beachside bites like mango shrimp tostadas and surf ‘n’ turf. 

Lemon Post Bar

Lemon Post Bar

The Lemon Post will debut as the bar for the whole family, with a menu of options for grownups and another for kids. 

Lost Dunes mini golf

Lost Dunes

We knew Icon of the Seas would have a mini golf course, but now we know more details behind it.

Lost Dunes is located in the Thrill Island neighborhood.

It's described as, "At Lost Dunes, the whole family can join the fun and find their way around a course of shipwrecks, plane crashes and fallen palms."



Basecamp will also be located in Thrill Island, this is a new bar concept that has a walkup window and bar.

It will be located near the Category 6 water park.



Royal Caribbean cruise ships all have an arcade, and the arcade in Surfside neighborhood is designed to appeal to kids and adults.

 Adventures include a variety of games at the Arcade, like retro-style favorites.



Little kids can enjoy a beach-themed carousel. 

More in store includes a slideable, climbable Playscape and the Splashaway Bay aquapark. 

Adrenaline Peak

Adrenaline Peak

Royal Caribbean has reimagined the rock climbing wall with Adrenaline Peak.

This one features the cruise line’s highest vantage point yet, racing lanes for friendly competition and endless ocean views.

Launching in 2024

Icon of the Seas aerial top

Icon of the Seas doesn't sail with passengers until January 2024, but has already sold extremely well.

Icon of the Seas is scheduled to be delivered in late 2023 and begin sailing in January 2024.

The first sailing of Icon of the Seas, a seven-night voyage out of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean, is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2024.

The ship will alternate between Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean itineraries.

New Royal Caribbean Sky Junior Suite with benefits: average or epic?

08 Dec 2022
Jenna DeLaurentis

Debuting on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is the new Sky Junior Suite, the fleet’s first Junior Suite to offer exclusive benefits usually found only in higher category staterooms.

Sky Junior Suite benefits include Suite Neighborhood access, all-day dining at two suites-only restaurants, free wifi, and concierge service. While these benefits will surely enhance your cruise vacation, are they worth the extra cost?

Let’s take an in-depth look at the new Sky Junior Suite to help you decide if it’s the right fit or if you’re better off sticking to a regular Junior Suite.

Sky Junior Suite details and benefits

Icon of the Seas render at sunset

The Sky Junior Suite will only be available on Icon of the Seas, which is set to launch in January 2024. There are eight Sky Junior Suites available on the ship.

The suite has occupancy for four guests and comes at 322 square feet with an 80 square foot balcony. Although the suite does not have a separate bedroom, it does have a separate dressing area in the room and a full bathroom with a tub.

While guests in regular Junior Suites still receive double Crown & Anchor Society points each night of the sailing and enjoy more living space, additional benefits are slim. Because of this, many cruisers prefer to classify Junior Suites as a large balcony room compared to a suite.

Junior Suite on Harmony of the Seas

Related: Royal Caribbean's Junior Suites: What you need to know

The Sky Junior Suite, however, takes Junior Suite benefits to the next level by offering Sky Class benefits.

What are Royal Caribbean’s Sky Class benefits?

Suite Sun Deck on Wonder of the Seas

Sky Class is the second tier in Royal Caribbean’s Royal Suite Class, a suite program available on Quantum, Oasis, and Icon Class cruise ships.

Sky Class benefits:

  • Dedicated Check In Line
  • Priority Boarding
  • Coastal Kitchen Dinner
  • Royal Caribbean Bathrobes for use onboard
  • Luxury Bathroom Amenities
  • In Room Lavazza Espresso Coffee Maker/Tea Service
  • VOOM Internet
  • Concierge Service
  • Exclusive Signature Activities
  • Suite Lounge/Concierge Club Access
  • Priority Departure

Related: What are the Royal Caribbean suite perks?

Onboard experience

Suite Sun Deck render on Icon of the Seas

While the list of Sky Class benefits available in a Sky Junior Suite provides a peek into what you’ll experience on Icon of the Seas, let’s dig deeper into these benefits to see just how much they can impact your onboard experience.

Suite Neighborhood access

One of the best benefits of staying in a Sky Junior Suite is access to the Suite Neighborhood, a private enclave reserved exclusively for suite guests on Icon of the Seas. Sky Junior Suites are the only Junior Suite category to have access to the Suite Neighborhood.

Located in the Suite Neighborhood is a suite sun deck, private pool, Coastal Kitchen restaurant, and Mediterranean-style casual eatery. It’s an enclave away from the hustle and bustle found elsewhere onboard, and offers a more upscale experience than the ship’s other pool and dining areas.

Suite Sun Deck render on Icon of the Seas

Related: Icon of the Seas: itinerary, features, and more

Plus, the Sky Junior Suite is located within the Suite Neighborhood, providing easy access to the neighborhood’s amenities.

Coastal Kitchen

Coastal Kitchen on Icon of the Seas

Coastal Kitchen, Royal Caribbean’s suites-only restaurant, is another benefit of staying in a suite. For guests in most Junior Suites, however, dining at Coastal Kitchen is only available for dinner (subject to availability).

Guests in Sky Junior Suites, on the other hand, can dine at Coastal Kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Suite Lounge cocktails and hors d’oeuvres

Complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are available each evening in the Suite Lounge on Royal Caribbean ships. This is another benefit of staying in a Sky Junior Suite as opposed to a regular Junior Suite.

In a Sky Junior Suite, you can enjoy alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages each evening without spending hundreds of dollars extra on a drink package.

Concierge Service

Sky Junior Suite guests have access to the Suite Concierge, who acts as a personal Guest Services member for suite guests. The Suite Concierge can help guests with billing discrepancies, dining reservations, priority disembarkation, etc.

Related: 10 Surprising things you didn’t know the Royal Caribbean concierge can do for you

VOOM Internet

Another great benefit of staying in a Sky Class suite as opposed to a regular Junior Suite is the VOOM internet included in your cruise fare.

If you stay in a regular Junior Suite and plan to purchase an internet package for 2 guests in the room, this can easily cost $140 per person on a 7-night cruise. By staying in the Sky Junior Suite instead, you’ll save $280 on internet packages.

Price difference: Junior Suite versus Sky Junior Suite

With the added benefits and enhanced onboard experience of a Sky Junior Suite comes higher cruise fares. Just how much can you expect the price difference to be between a Junior Suite and Sky Junior Suite?

You can expect a Junior Suite to run anywhere from $5800 to $6800 total for two guests on a 7-night cruise. Sky Junior Suites range from around $9200 to over $11,000.

Related: Is a suite on Royal Caribbean worth it?

Therefore, compared to a regular Junior Suite, a Sky Junior Suite can cost anywhere from $3000-$4000 more total for 2 guests on a 7-night cruise.

Sky Junior Suite vs larger Sky Class suites

Owner suite on Icon

If you’re interested in receiving Sky Class benefits on Icon of the Seas, should you reserve the Sky Junior Suite or spend more for a larger, more opulent suite?

Let’s take a look at the price difference between the Sky Junior Suite and other large suites on Icon of the Seas. These prices are for two guests on a 7-night sailing in February 2025:

  • Sky Junior Suite: $9,235
  • Grand Suite: $13,003
  • Sunset Suite: $14,963
  • Owner’s Suite: $24,523

Booking a Sky Junior Suite can save you $5000 or more while still receiving the same benefits as other Sky Class suites. Because of this, the Sky Junior Suite can be an attractive option for any Icon of the Seas cruise.

Average or Epic? Our thoughts on the new Sky Junior Suite

Icon of the Seas aerial render from the aft

The Sky Junior Suite may cost more than a traditional Junior Suite–and significantly more than a standard balcony stateroom–but you’ll receive Sky Class benefits at a fraction of the cost of other Sky Class cabins.

There’s no concrete answer when it comes to deciding if a Royal Caribbean suite is worth the cost. Depending on your budget and vacation style, a suite could be a necessity or an out-of-the-question upgrade.

RelatedGuide to Icon of the Seas cabins and suites

All things considered, the Sky Junior Suite is much more lucrative than a regular Junior Suite. Regular Junior Suites are more similar to standard cabin categories than a suite; if you’re looking for a ship-within-a-ship concept on Royal Caribbean, a regular Junior Suite might be a disappointment.

Therefore, if you’re already spending, say, $6800 on a Junior Suite and see a Sky Junior Suite for $3000 more, it’s not too big of a price difference to receive the added Sky Class benefits.

Access to the Suite Neighborhood, all-day Coastal Kitchen access, and Suite Lounge benefits will certainly add to the enjoyment of your cruise vacation, making a Sky Class Junior Suite an enticing cabin option.

More Royal Caribbean suite tips & tricks:

How different is a 3-night vs 4-night cruise?

08 Dec 2022
Marcy Miyar

Short cruises are the perfect getaway, but how many days should you choose?

I recently did a back-to-back cruise on the Independence of the Seas. The first cruise was the four night sailing, the second was the three night voyage.

While not my first time doing a back-to-back sailing in order to extend a weekend sailing, I started thinking about the differences between these seemingly similar cruises.

I was curious if that one extra day made that much of a difference. It turns out, it was more than I expected.


Perfect Day at CocoCay seen from ship

A four night cruise will typically leave Monday afternoon and return early Friday morning, whereas a three night cruise will leave on Friday afternoon and come back Monday morning. This can be the biggest deciding factor as to which sailing to choose.

If you work Monday through Friday, it may be more beneficial to take a weekend sailing as the four day will take up almost an entire work week.

Perfect Day at CocoCay beach

Both itineraries included Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay as ports of call.

The only difference being a day at sea on the four night sailing.


Price of a cruise

You may be surprised to find out that four day cruises are less expensive than the weekend sailings a majority of the time.

While I don’t know the exact reason for this, I would speculate that it’s because it’s easier for people to sail on the weekends thus, it sells out more often. Simple supply and demand.

Day at Sea

Balcony smooth seas

The four day sailing has a day at sea built in and that really makes it feel more relaxing.

I’ve always felt very rushed on a three day cruise. Embarkation day is crazy on any ship. You have to check in, go through security at the port, do your safety briefing, get acclimated to the ship and figure out what activities you’d like to do. The next two days you’re in port and before you know it, your cruise is over.

The extra sea day is perfect to be able to enjoy the ship or just relax.

If you’re a fan of the casino, it will be open the entire day. Plus, there are offerings on that sea day that aren’t available on the weekend cruises.

Sea Day Brunch

Breakfast in mdr

On a three day sailing, the dining room is open every day for breakfast for approximately two and half hours. It serves your typical fare of eggs, pancakes, omelets etc.

However, the four day sailing has a sea day brunch that extends into the afternoon. You will find the same breakfast offerings as other days but also on the menu are lunch items including cheddar and potato soup, a charcuterie plate, the Royal burger and chicken and waffles.

Captain’s Corner

The Captain’s Corner is a question and answer session with the senior officers.

Ours featured the Captain, the Hotel Director and the Chief Engineer. The cruise director and his staff walk around the room with microphones and allow passengers to ask anything they’d like about the company, the ships or questions that are specific to the officer’s positions.

This is a favorite activity of mine that I never miss. I’m used to seeing it offered on seven day sailings. I don’t think I’ve even seen it on a shorter itinerary so this was a treat.

All Access Ship Tour

All Access tour badge

I love that the ships have started bringing back the all access tours. Each one is customized a little different however, parts of the ship you may see include the galley, the laundry facilities, crew corridors, the engine rooms and the navigation bridge.

There was a morning and afternoon tour listed on the four night sailing. It was not offered at all on the three night cruise.

You can check your cruise planner on Royal Caribbean’s website prior to your cruise to see if it’s available for your specific sailing. I would highly recommend booking it before you board.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean brought back the behind-the-scenes tour: here's what it's like


Liberty of the Seas pool deck

If you are concerned with motion sickness on a sea day, then four night sailing is perfect for you.

Since there is an extra day built into the itinerary, the ship doesn’t have to travel as fast to get to the Bahamas. There were times I swear the ship was just slowly drifting to its next destination. I didn’t feel the ship move once.


There was a completely different mood between the three and four night sailings. The three night cruises have a reputation of being a “party” vibe and that’s pretty accurate. If you’re looking for a more lively atmosphere, that’s the sailing for you.

The three night was filled with a younger crowd. There were birthday parties, bachelorette parties and even a wedding on that sailing.

In contrast, the four night sailing was more subdued. There was more of a mature crowd. In fact, I don’t think I saw more than a handful of children on board. It was definitely quieter and more relaxed.

Final Thoughts

Independence of the Seas docked in Nassau

As I mentioned earlier, we were on a back to back sailing. I was surprised to see Independence of the Seas offer the special lunch in the main dining room for repeat cruisers on turnaround day. I hadn’t experienced that since the return to service. It was at the same time as the Key guests lunch but we were in different parts of the dining room. I don’t know if the menu was the same.

So, is the three of four night sailing better? Really, any cruise is a great cruise so you can’t go wrong with your choice.

I would love to be able to do more of the four nights. That sea day really made a difference in the cruise feeling more relaxed and much longer than just one extra day.

More information

7 TikTok cruise tips and if they actually work

07 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

I love sharing cruise tips and tricks because it helps people have a better cruise, and I'm always looking for new secrets.

The TikTok social media platform has become well-known for sharing advice on just about every topic, including going on a cruise.

Just like anything on the internet, just because it's on the internet, doesn't mean it's true.  So I wanted to check out the top cruise advice to see which tips were being shared and if I agreed with them or not.

I spent a couple hours checking out every cruise related tag to see what tips I could find, and I'm happy to report the vast majority of tips were quite helpful and the sort of tried-and-true advice that has been shared for years.

Liberty of the Seas pool deck and chairs

There really was no outlandish or bizarre advice that truly defied logic. I guess that's still relegated to investment advice on there.

But I did find 7 popular videos that cover various aspects of going on a cruise with tips and tricks that I thought were worth evaluating since they had fairly high view counts.

Be sure to follow Royal Caribbean Blog on TikTok if you don't already for our own collection of cruise tips and fun videos!

Let's dig into these cruise tips!

Bring your swimsuit on the first day

@yourstrulychelsea A tip for first time cruisers #cruise #cruiselife #cruisetips #cruisetipsandtricks #cruisehacks #vacation #royalcarribean #royalcarribeancruise #carnivalcruise #carnivalcruiseline #virgincruise #virgincruiseline #norwegiancruise #disneycruise #disneycruiseline #ocean #cruisequestions #cruisequestionsanswered #qanda #cruisefacts #goingonacruise #crusingtok #cruisetok #cruisetiktok #cruisetiktoks #cruiseessentials #cruisefood ♬ Good Day - Nappy Roots

The first video I found was by yourstrulychelsea and it talks about wearing your swimsuit on the first day of the cruise.

"Be sure to bring your swimsuit in a carry on bag or wear it under your clothes," she shared because of how uncrowded pool deck activities can be on the first day.

She recommended it for the water slides, FlowRider and even pools or hot tubs.

Women on pool deck

Matt's advice: I totally agree with Chelsea, and this is very underutilized tip.

Pack your bathing suit in a carry on bag and then change in one of the public restrooms.  By bringing bathing suits with you to change into on embarkation day, you will be able to enjoy the pools and hot tubs without the crowds that will soon arrive for the rest of the cruise.

Verdict: True

Read more25 things you need to know for your first day on a cruise ship

Don't shower in your stateroom

@joe_tolley My number one cruise tip… #cruise #cruiseship #cruisetok #royalcaribbean #carnivalcruise #disneycruise #norwegiancruise #fyp #foryoupage ♬ Blue Blood - Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

Our next tip is by joe_tolley and he advises instead of using the shower in your cabin (or having to share it with someone in your cabin), use the free showers in the fitness center.

He says for guests to go to the changing room in the ship's gym where you'll find (likely) a nearly empty space where you can enjoy a complimentary sauna, steam room, and of an extra large shower.

Fitness Center

Matt's advice: There's some truth to what Joe recommends, but it depends on your ship.

He's right that every ship's fitness center has a changing room and shower that you could use. No denying that piece of advice.

The issue is not all ships offer complimentary sauna and/or steam rooms for guest use.

To the best of my knowledge, these ships offer complimentary steam rooms and saunas in the fitness center changing rooms:

  • Adventure of the Seas 
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Explorer of the Seas
  • Grandeur of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Jewel of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Radiance of the Seas
  • Rhapsody of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Vision of the Seas

The rest of the ships do not offer these.

Verdict: Somewhat true

Don't pack towels

@yourstrulychelsea #cruise #cruiselife #cruisetips #cruisetipsandtricks #cruisehacks #vacation #royalcarribean #royalcarribeancruise #carnivalcruise #carnivalcruiseline #virgincruise #virgincruiseline #norwegiancruise #disneycruise #disneycruiseline #ocean #cruisequestions #cruisequestionsanswered #qanda #cruisefacts #goingonacruise #crusingtok #cruisetok #cruisetiktok #cruisetiktoks ♬ Anti-Hero - Taylor Swift

Another TikTok by yourstrulychelsea says not to pack towels because the cruise ship will provide them.

"You can use them at the pool and you can take them off the boat and use them in port."

She also advocated returning them to avoid being charged for them later.

Matt's advice: Chelsea is correct again, there's no need to bring towels with you on a cruise ship.

I think maybe some people think they should pack towels for use on a shore excursion, but Royal Caribbean's towels are more than sufficient. 

Couple at the pool

You can get the towels from the pool deck. Don't take the bath towels in your cabin off the ship.

And Chelsea is also right about the hefty fee if you don't return them. It's $25 per towel for any unreturned towels after the cruise is over, whether you take them home or left them somewhere.

Verdict: True

Hacks for Cruisers from a Crew Member

@ezrafreeman PART 1: Hacks for Cruisers from a Crew Member!!!! 🥳🚢 did you know you could do this!?!? #cruiseship #travelhack #travel #cruisehacks #cruising ♬ original sound - Ezra 🙏 Georgian-American Life

Ezra works on a Princess Cruises ship and listed tips and hacks for cruisers from a crew member perspective.

She recommends asking the activities staff to add events to the calendar if there's something you think is missing.

"This is something people don't take advantage of," she says in her TikTok. "You can literally add it in. You have way more power than you realize, as guests."

Trivia event

She says it's their job to keep guests happy and if the staff can add it to the schedule, they absolutely will.

She mentions an example of when a guest wanted more outdoor deck parties on a recent sailing instead of the one they had on the schedule.  They ended up adding one every day of the cruise as a result of the request.

Pool party

Matt's advice: I'm certainly not going to doubt a crew member as to whether or not this is possible.

I think it's a terrific piece of advice that most are unaware of, but I think the important thing to remember is the activities staff can't accommodate every request.

On an Anthem of the Seas cruise I took a few years ago, I remember asking the Cruise Director about an event I didn't see on the schedule and he checked on it and then was able to get it added to the calendar.

Piggybacking on Ezra's tip, I'll add it's important to get the request in early on in the sailing so they have time to circle back with their team and verify it can be done and then still have time to add it to the schedule.

Also keep in mind that they'll likely schedule it where there's a gap, and that doesn't necessarily mean it will be at a convenient time for you.

Nonetheless, this is a terrific piece of advice to keep in mind if your favorite activity isn't listed.

Verdict: True

Unconventional packing tips

@flyingwithjames Unconventional packing tips for a cruise — thank me later 💡 #carnivalcruise #carnivalpanorama #cruisetips #cruiselife #traveltips #packingtips #cruisingtok #fyp ♬ Che La Luna - Louis Prima

This video had 2.4 million views and included these items you should pack:

  • Over the door shoe organizer
  • Multi-plug outlet
  • Magnetic hooks
  • Laundry hamper
  • Nightlights
Inside cabin

Matt's advice: Having recently put these packing hacks to the test, I agree with flyingwithjames' advice.

The only tip I personally don't find useful is the over the door organizer, just because I don't find it all that useful.  But I do recognize others may find it helpful.

Regardless, these are smart ideas to bring on your next cruise.

Verdict: True

Five things I would never do while cruising

@dutchworld_americangirl Five things I would never do while cruising #cruise #cruiseship #hollandamericaline #cruisedirector #alaska #caribbean #europe #travel #dontdothis #traveltips ♬ Sunroof - Nicky Youre & dazy

Another (former?) cruise director, dutchworld_americangirl, shared her list of 5 things she would never do when taking a cruise.

  1. Never fly in the same day of the cruise
  2. Picking cruise line more important than picking destination
  3. Never travel internationally without travel insurance
  4. Book shore excursions with the cruise line
  5. Never forget to put phone into airplane mode
Odyssey of the Seas at dusk

Matt's advice: I agree with all of Christine's advice, but there are two pieces of her advice I want to expand upon.

Her suggestion to pick the cruise line before picking the destination is very interesting, and I like this tip a lot.

She talks about the importance of knowing what you are looking for in a ship, such as water slides, being able to learn something, dining options and more.  Figure that out first, and then look at where you can sail to.

I think a lot of first time cruisers can overlook this tip because they may assume all cruise lines are mostly the same.  Cruise lines can vary quite a bit in terms of how the onboard experience, as well as what they excel in.  It's a very good idea to learn about the line and ship you're considering before you start looking at where you can go.

Her other tip is to book shore excursions through the cruise line, "if you're in a port of call for only a limited amount of time."

The reason why she recommends this is if there's some kind of an unexpected issue during the tour that prevents you from getting back to the ship on time. Cruise line sponsored tours have the benefit of ensuring they'll get you back even if the tour is delayed.

This is definitely true, although I think you can safely book a tour on your own provided you give enough time before the all-aboard time to protect against traffic, flat tires, or some other delay.

How much time should you pad? Two hours is a good number to start with.

But there's nothing wrong with booking a tour with the cruise line if that concern is too great for you.

Verdict: True

Get free credit card points or cash back

@thecreditbrothers The Cruise Ship Hack To Get Free Credit Card Points Or Cash Back @alexojeda ♬ original sound - Credit Brothers

I tried to find a piece of cruise advice I've never shared and something I haven't really heard of either, and I think I found it with this tip from thecreditbrothers.

Their advice is if you have a credit card that gives you 2 or 3 times points back on travel purchases, to get up to $2,000 per day in cash advances from the ship's casino. 

Because that cash advance gets billed to your room, the charge to the credit card after the cruise will still be from "Royal Caribbean", it will be categorized as a travel charge.

Casino on Royal Caribbean

In their example, on a 7-night cruise where you take $2,000 out every day, you'll rack up $14,000 in cash and that counts for (up to) 42,000 credit card points.

That is the equivalent of $420 in cash back, or just a ton of points to redeem for travel or something else.


Matt's advice: I can't speak for all cruise lines, but this advice has a major catch if you're brand new to Royal Caribbean or someone that doesn't gamble a lot in the casino.

Yes, you can take out cash advances every day of your cruise and those charges do come back to your credit card as a travel category charge because everything on your SeaPass account gets lumped into one final cost at the end of the cruise.  If you had the right travel credit card, it would then qualify you for bonus credit card points.

The catch is the fee the casino charges (besides having $14,000 in disposable income you can draw from and a high enough limit not to hit).

Casino Royale on Royal Caribbean charges 5% on every cash advance you make at a table or from the cashier.

There is a workaround, where any money you take out as a cash advance from a slot machine does not accrue the 5% charge for some reason.

However, the slot machine limits you to $500 per cash advance, as I recall. You may be able to get $500 four times a day from the slot machine, but I've never tried it.

Another workaround is if you are Prime or higher in the Casino Royale loyalty program, but I suspect not many people are at that level.

So this hack is feasible, but not for everyone. And the financial responsibility side of this hack is an entirely different question that you need to evaluate for yourself.

Verdict: Theoretically possible, but maybe not a great idea.

Royal Caribbean adds price tracker feature in new cruise search update

07 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has once again updated the look of its cruise search page.

It's not clear when it rolled out, but Royal Caribbean's search results have a new cleaner look to them when looking for cruises to book on the cruise line's website.

While the search form looks the same on Royal Caribbean's homepage, the results come through a new layout.

The search results now include tags to easily identify distinct sailings, such as weekend cruises & holiday cruises.

The search results are in a cleaner layout with less "fluff" around it so you can drill into the itinerary and ship you want.

Read moreHow do I pick the perfect first cruise?

Earlier this week there was the ability to search by specific dates, but it looks as though that functionality has been removed.

It's not clear if they will bring back that ability, as you can only narrow down the search by month instead of week or day.

New features

There's also a new ability to add a cruise to a list of favorites.

By clicking the heart icon, it will add the cruise to your favorites list that you can reference later.

Additionally, Royal Caribbean has added a new Watchlist feature, that claims it will alert you of a price change.

"Planning your next cruise? Find a sail date, add to watchlist to track price changes, and get notified via email."

To add a cruise to the watchlist, you just need to find the specific sailing, and then click Watchlist to add it to your list.

It's not clear how often it will check and/or alert you to a price drop.

A price tracking feature is a major addition to the Royal Caribbean website as they've never offered any kind of price tracking feature before.

Up until now, it was up to the guest to monitor and track price changes for cruises.  It remains to be seen how useful this new feature is, but it's still a significant addition for consumers.

Read more7 things worth checking again on a Royal Caribbean cruise

There are some third party websites that offer price tracking options, but results are varied. In addition, some travel agents will monitor price drops for their clients.

Your thoughts

Junior Suite on Symphony of the Seas

What do you think of the changes Royal Caribbean has made to the search functionality? Will you use it more than third party websites?

Let us know in the comments below.

5 real-life places that inspired Royal Caribbean cruise ship design

06 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's cruise ships travel the world, and some of the most well-known features found on these vessels were inspired by those same places.

Quantum of the Seas near New York

Cruise ship design will come from many sources, as the industry relies on its own research and trends from the hospitality industry. 

Over the years, Royal Caribbean has introduced new activities and things to do on its ships that came directly from places in the world.

Royal Caribbean's new drink menu

When Royal Caribbean restarted cruises in 2021, it revamped its fleetwide drink menu to pay homage to the Caribbean islands the line has relied on for decades.

The new menu is inspired by some of the signature Caribbean islands Royal Caribbean has traditionally visited, and as a way of honoring these destinations, a popular drink recipe was highlighted from each spot.

Linken D'​Souza, Global Vice President Culinary, Dining & Beverage, thinks these featured drinks not only provide a tasty cocktail, but a tip of the hat to these places, "It's like bringing a port of call to your experience onboard the ship. And maybe you have the cocktail on board and you get off from the island and you say, hey, I got to get one of those here to see how close they are."

Some of the new signature cocktails that Royal Caribbean highlighted include:

  • Goombay Smash (Bahamas)
  • Planter's Punch (Jamaica)
  • Papa Jac (Puerto Rico)
  • The Painkiller (British Virgin Islands)
  • Dark 'n Stormy (Bermuda)
  • Rum Puinch (Barbados)

The new drink menus are available on all the cruise ships in the fleet.

North Star

The observation pod on Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class ships is an idea born out of a well-known tourist attraction.

North Star is a 300-foot observational pod that provides guests 360-degress views of everything around them.

London Eye pod

The idea for North Star was inspired by the London Eye, but instead of placing it on a Ferris wheel, there is just one pod and it is attached to a giant robotic arm.

Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain said in an interview, "Quite frankly, the success of the London Eye had a lot to do with this."

The North Star pod is smaller than the the London Eye pods, but the goal is the same: provide great views. The concept of North Star is for cruise ship passengers to see the ship, the sea and the ports in perspective.


The Boardwalk neighborhood on Oasis Class ships is a fan-favorite area of the ship because of the pleasing aesthetics, fun activities and great views of the sea.

The Boardwalk neighborhood was inspired by both the seaside piers that dot the coast of England and the nostalgic boardwalks of yesteryear such as Coney Island.

Coney Island boardwlak

The focal point of the Boardwalk is the traditional, hand crafted carousel, which would be common on many boardwalks.

There are also hot dog stands, ice cream, and even a candy shop called, "Candy Beach" (get it?).

Portside BBQ

Have you tried Portside BBQ restaurant on Oasis of the Seas yet?

Royal Caribbean's first foray into barbecue food was planned to mirror the best options in the real world they could find, and that took the company to Texas.

Mr. D'Souza rented a minivan and tested 14 to 15 BBQ restaurants in Austin, Texas, before creating the BBQ offering on board the Oasis of the Seas.

In fact, after sampling barbecue around Texas, they tested the best choices back at Royal Caribbean's headquarters in the company parking lot for staff to get a sense of which performed best.

Viking Crown Lounge

The Viking Crown Lounge has long been one of the most iconic features of Royal Caribbean cruise ships, especially the early vessels.

Read moreWhat happened to Royal Caribbean's first cruise ships?

The Viking Crown Lounge was a feature first conjured up by the founder of Royal Caribbean, Edwin Stephan.

This area of the ship is known for its dramatic ocean views, perched as it is atop the one of the highest decks on the entire ship.

Mr. Stephan was inspired by the Seattle Space Needle and came up with the idea for the Viking Crown Lounge so that its ships could have a striking visual profile that stood out from competitors.

Built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle platform and restaurant was designed to evoke a flying saucer.

Best cabins to book for an Alaska cruise

06 Dec 2022
Jenna DeLaurentis

One of the first decisions you’ll make when planning an Alaska cruise is selecting a cruise ship cabin. Everything from tiny studio rooms to two-story suites are available to book, but it can be challenging to find the best cabin for your Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska.

Let’s take a look at the best cruise cabins for an Alaska cruise to fit any budget, travel party, and vacation style. Knowing which cabins are available–and at what price–will help you determine which cabin will suit your vacation best.

Best cabin for a budget traveler: Interior

Cruising to Alaska on a budget? An interior cabin may be your best bet. While some cruisers may swear by a balcony cabin on an Alaska cruise, an interior cabin will give you the most bang for your buck.

Interior cabins have no window or balcony, and they’re often smaller than most other cruise ship cabins. These cabins are usually several hundred dollars cheaper than balcony rooms, making them an excellent value on a cruise to Alaska.

Pros of an interior cabin on an Alaska cruise

Many passengers who book inside cabins do so because they don’t plan on spending much time in their cabin. With so many activities and entertainment options around the ship, it’s possible that you’ll only visit your cabin to sleep, shower, and change.

Therefore, saving money on cruise fare allows for more wiggle room in your budget to spend on extras like shore excursions, dining packages, and other pre-cruise add-ons.

Related: I tried the best inside cruise ship cabin hacks to see how well they worked

Many of Alaska’s excursions are truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences, whether a helicopter ride to a glacier or traveling on the famous White Pass & Yukon Railway in Skagway. These excursions can cost hundreds of dollars, so you may want to put your vacation budget toward these experiences instead of an upgraded cabin.

Alaska glacier scenery

One other plus of cruising in an interior cabin is that you’ll find it easier to fall asleep. You may experience 18 or more hours of daylight in Alaska during the summer months. Trying to keep to a normal sleep schedule when it’s still light outside at 10 PM can be difficult, but you won’t have to worry about this in a pitch-black interior cabin!

Cons of an interior cabin on an Alaska cruise

The biggest drawback of cruising to Alaska in an inside cabin is that you won’t have views of Alaska’s scenery out the window or balcony.

It’s worth noting, though, that even though interior cabins don’t provide private views of Alaska’s scenery, you’ll often find better views from other areas of the ship than you would from a balcony.

Related: Ultimate Alaska cruise guide

People watching glaciers on Alaska cruise

Most balconies only face one side, meaning you’re often seeing only half of the scenery as you sail through the Inside Passage. When you cruise to Alaska in an interior cabin, you tend to spend more time watching scenery from the pool deck and other more panoramic venues onboard.

Another con is that interior cabins can be much smaller than balcony rooms. Some interior cabins, for example, only have a small chair instead of a couch, and there is little walking room.

Spacious ocean view, balcony cabins, and suites can provide much more living space, which is especially helpful when traveling with kids or a larger group.

Virtual Balcony cabins

If you’re cruising on either Quantum of the Seas or Ovation of the Seas to Alaska, all interior cabins feature a “virtual balcony”. These virtual balcony cabins have a floor-to-ceiling television screen projecting a real-time view from outside the ship.

Virtual balconies are a nice benefit for those who want to save money by sailing in an interior cabin but still want to know what the scenery looks like outside. 

Best cabin for families: 2 connecting rooms

If you’re traveling with kids on an Alaska cruise, we recommend booking two connecting rooms instead of one room. Connecting rooms are two cruise cabins with a door in between, which can be opened to connect the rooms together. Connecting rooms are available for interior, ocean view, and balcony cabins.

One of the biggest perks of connecting rooms is extra living space. Cramming into one room with a sofa bed or pullman bunk beds is not necessary with connecting rooms. Plus, you’ll also have an extra bathroom which is helpful when traveling with kids and teenagers.

Related: Here are the absolute best cruises for families

More often than not, the price difference between two connecting rooms versus staying in one room is quite reasonable. Sometimes, in fact, the price for two connecting rooms is actually cheaper than booking four guests in one cabin.

Let’s take a look at a Quantum of the Seas sailing to Alaska in September 2024. I priced out the cost for one room versus two connecting rooms for two adults and two kids in an interior cabin:

  • 1 room: $2,632
  • 2 connecting rooms: $2,146

In this example, the cost of two connecting rooms is around $500 cheaper than staying in one room! While this type of deal does not always occur, there’s no doubt that booking two connecting rooms in this example offers a much better value.

Best cabin overall: Balcony cabin

The best option for most passengers cruising to Alaska is a balcony cabin, as it gives you the chance to enjoy Alaska’s nature from the comfort of your own private outdoor space.

Balcony cabins are usually around 180 square feet (not including the balcony), which is a comfortable size for most passengers. The balcony has a set of chairs along with a small table, making it the perfect place to relax with a view.

Related: Guide to balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean

Some cruisers are adamant that a balcony cabin is a necessity on an Alaska cruise, but others are unsure of whether they should pay extra to upgrade from an interior or ocean view cabin to a balcony. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Pros of a balcony cabin on an Alaska cruise

Alaska’s scenery is breathtaking, and you’ll find gorgeous mountain views outside nearly the entire sailing. Having a private balcony to enjoy the views is, undoubtedly, a marvelous addition to your Alaska cruise vacation.

Imagine sipping warm hot chocolate while watching glaciers pass by from the privacy of your balcony. Or perhaps enjoying a cocktail in the evening as the sun sets behind Alaska’s mountains. You can experience all of this–and more–in a balcony cabin to Alaska.

Another plus is the extra space a balcony provides. Whether you’re traveling with your spouse or with kids, it’s beneficial to have extra room to spread out, even if it is a bit chilly!

Cons of a balcony cabin on an Alaska cruise

Alaska balcony

Balcony cabins are more expensive than interior or ocean view cabins, and you’ll often find the price difference between these categories more pronounced on an Alaska cruise due to high demand for balcony cabins.

To put this into perspective, I priced out the cost for two adults to sail in either an interior, ocean view, or balcony cabin on a July 2024 Alaska cruise on Ovation of the Seas. Here were the results:

  • Interior: $2,647
  • Ocean View: $2,809
  • Balcony: $3,699

As you can see, a balcony is around $1000 more than an interior and $900 more than an ocean view cabin in this case. And while prices can change from day to day, you can usually expect to pay significantly more for the comforts of a balcony cabin.

Related: How to plan a Royal Caribbean cruise on any budget

Another con of a balcony cabin on an Alaska cruise is that the weather will usually be quite chilly outside, even in the summer months. You may find it too cold to relax on the balcony and stick to watching scenery from indoor spaces instead, thus lessening the value of the balcony.

Best cabin for luxury: Loft Suite

If you’re sailing to Alaska on a Quantum Class cruise ship, look no further than a loft suite. These spacious suites feature two stories with massive floor-to-ceiling windows providing unbeatable views of Alaska.

Related: Royal Caribbean suites guide & review

While these suites are always in high demand, cruising in a Loft Suite can be extra enjoyable on an Alaska cruise, where you’ll have the best views of the state’s mountains, glaciers, and fjords out the window.

There are four loft suites available: the Sky Loft Suite, Grand Loft Suite, Owner’s Loft Suite, and Royal Loft Suite. Each suite is part of the Royal Suite Class, with the Sky Loft Suite in Sky Class and the others in Star Class.

Pros of a loft suite on an Alaska cruise

It’s hard to find things not to love about a loft suite on Royal Caribbean. Not only will you stay in the most spacious, luxurious cabins, but you’ll have access to the elusive benefits that come with the Royal Suite Class.

If staying in a Star Class suite, for example, you’ll have access to a Royal Genie, a crew member that acts as your personal concierge and magic maker during your time onboard. You’ll also receive a Deluxe Beverage Package, Unlimited Dining Package, VOOM internet, and other perks to enjoy throughout the cruise.

Related: My advice for someone using a Royal Genie on a Royal Caribbean cruise

When cruising to colder climates, it’s common to spend more time relaxing and less time rushing from activity to activity onboard. Loft suites can truly be your home away from home on an Alaska cruise, and you’ll likely find yourself spending more time than ever in your cruise cabin.

Cons of a loft suite on an Alaska cruise

The most obvious con of staying in a loft suite on an Alaska cruise is the price. Loft suites are, unsurprisingly, quite expensive, with cruise fares as high as $20,000 common for the largest loft suites.

Considering you can book an interior cruise cabin to Alaska for as little as $1,500 (or even less), booking a loft suite is certainly way more expensive.

Other cabins to book for an Alaska cruise

Outside of the cabins listed above, there are a variety of other stateroom categories to book for an Alaska cruise.

Before booking an interior cabin, check the price for an ocean view. The price for an ocean view cabin versus an interior is often only $100-300 extra, and the benefits of natural light and scenery out the window can be well worth the cost for some cruisers.

Traveling solo? Consider booking a studio room, as these cruise cabins are built for just one passenger. While small, booking a studio cabin means you can avoid paying a single supplement fee on your cruise fare, which leads to fantastic savings.

Studio on Anthem

Related: Guide to Royal Caribbean’s Single and Studio staterooms

In addition, don’t assume you have to stay in the biggest and most luxurious suites on an Alaska cruise. Outside of the impressive loft suites are many other suite categories, including Junior Suites, Grand Suites, and Owner’s Suites.

These suites can still provide a lavish cruise experience without forking away $20,000!

Lastly, consider an aft facing balcony cabin if sailing on a Radiance Class ship to Alaska. These cabins face backward and provide some of the best views from the ship from your private balcony.

Truthfully, there’s no right or wrong cabin to pick for a cruise to Alaska, so weigh the pros and cons of each type of cabin before booking. Regardless of whether you sail in the cheapest interior cabin or most opulent of suites, any Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska is sure to be a memorable vacation for all onboard.

More Alaska cruise tips:

22 new trademarks that are probably things to do on Icon of the Seas

05 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

Sometimes guessing at what Royal Caribbean has up its sleeves is a lot of fun, and based on what we know so far, there's a good chance we can make reasonable assumptions about other unannounced areas of Icon of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas aerial at night concept art

Before Royal Caribbean revealed the look of Icon of the Seas and shed light onto more of the ship than ever before, it registered 22 trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The words and phrases trademarked didn't mean much at the time, but since the Icon of the Seas reveal, we can see many are venues confirmed coming to Icon of the Seas.

But what about the rest?

Hideaway aerial

It stands to reason that if we for certain 12 of them are definitely meant for Icon, that the rest of the trademarks made on the same day are likely also related to Icon.

Moreover, a few of the trademarks are probably for venues that Royal Caribbean has not revealed yet, but based on hints we've gotten so far, are the names of spaces the cruise line will use.

In the interest of full disclosure, this article makes a lot of guesses as to what the venues could be for, so please don't use the information here as the gospel truth. I freely admit this could all be totally wrong.  But I think logically, if half the trademarks in the batch we know for certain are for Icon, it's likely the rest are too.

Surfside looking up

Here's a look at the 22 trademarks and what they could possibly mean!

Trademarks we know for certain are for Icon of the Seas

Let's start with the easy stuff, and that's the dozen trademarks we know for certain Royal Caribbean will be using on Icon of the Seas.

We know these trademarks are meant for Icon, because they are the names of places on the ship already confirmed by the cruise line.

Izumi Hibachi & Sushi & Izumi in the Park

Izumi pickup window

Even without this being about Icon of the Seas, Izumi is a well-known name of a popular specialty restaurant on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Read moreAn inside look at how Royal Caribbean's Izumi restaurant went from concept to success

The Izumi location on Icon of the Seas will be the largest Izumi ever, according to Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider.

Central Park render on Icon of the Seas

Mr. Schneider also referred to Izumi as "Izumi in the Park" when talking about the restaurant on Icon of the Seas because for the first time, Izumi will be located in the Central Park neighborhood.


1400 Bar concept art

While not officially announced by Royal Caribbean, the 1400 bar has been leaked as the name of a bar guests will see when they board the ship.

Located on the Royal Promenade, this is a bar that will be right when you walk onto the ship.

The name is a reference to the hull number from the shipyard where Icon is being built. Every ship built in a shipyard gets a hull number before the ship actually gets named. Icon of the Seas' hull number was 1400.

Thrill Island

Thrill Island water park render on Icon of the Seas

Thrill Island is one of the neighborhoods on Icon of the Seas.

This will be a new water park at the top of Icon of the Seas, which has 6 waterslides to choose from.

Crown's Edge

Crown's Edge on Icon of the Seas

Crown's Edge is part skywalk, part ropes course, part thrill ride, and an all-out test of courage. At any moment, the floor could collapse and leave you dangling high over the ocean.  Height and weight restrictions will be shared at a later date.

Pearl Cafe

Pearl Cafe

Located adjacent to the Pearl, Pearl Cafe is a place to get food and drink on the Royal Promenade.

The Hideaway

Hideaway at sunset

Another new neighborhood on Icon of the Seas, The Hideaway is located on the back of the ship.

This lounge space that will feature the world's first suspended pool at sea, with great views of the ocean.

The Grove

The Grove on Icon of the Seas concept art

The Grove is an area just for suite guests that is essentially an entire lounge space, but also with an uplifted buffet restaurant.

This casual Mediterranean restaurant is located outdoors on the suite sun deck and provides a more laid-back yet still exclusive dining option for suite guests.

Royal Bay

Pool aerial on Icon of the Seas

This will be the largest pool at sea, located in the Chill Island neighborhood.

Social 020

Social 020 is the name of the teen club on Icon of the Seas.

Lost Dunes

Royal Caribbean confirmed in its original announcement this is the name of the mini golf course on Icon of the Seas.

Adrenaline Peak

Thrill Island and Surfside

This is the name of the rock climbing wall on Icon of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean describes it as, "a high-scoring new twist on the rock climbing wall."

Trademark guesses for Icon of the Seas

Overhead concept art for Icon of the Seas

Now let's hit the other trademarks in the batch that are likely meant for Icon of the Seas.

Once again, these are my best guesses as to what they could be. Some of the trademarks I feel pretty good about what they are supposed to be, while others I truly have no idea.

AquaDome dining experiences concept art

Aqua Nook

The trademark says the Aqua Nook is, "intended to cover the category of retail store services featuring a wide variety of consumer goods of others."

Based on the name having the word "aqua" in it, I will guess it's the name of a retail shop in or near the AquaDome neighborhood.  

My first instinct was to say it would be near the pool deck, but given the use of the word "aqua" in its name and the AquaDome name, it seems like a better fit.

Lou's Jazz N' Blues

Icon of the Seas concept art

When I saw this trademark, I immediately thought of an unnamed venue Royal Caribbean shared a look at recently but did not talk about the name.

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships have Jazz on 4 venue (except Wonder of the Seas), and the concept art for this unnamed venue certainly looks like it could be a jazz club.

Thrill park concept

Frightening Bolt

The trademark provides no hint as to what this could be, but it all but certainly has to be some kind of attraction on Icon of the Seas.

Rye & Bean

Icon of the Seas will have 23 new food and beverage concepts, and I think Rye & Bean will be one of them.

The trademark says it, "is intended to cover the categories of bar services; Restaurant services."

Surfside bars and restaurants

Desserted Milkshake Bar

Another likely bar or dining venue, the name certainly points to an idea of it being centered around indulgent drinks.

Given the pun of "desserted" sounding like deserted but with the word "dessert" in it, it sounds like you'll find plenty of yummy choices here.

6th & Main

I thought this would be another bar, but the trademark says it's a retail store.

Top deck bar on Icon

Pier 7

The trademark says it is the name of a bar or restaurant, but I have no idea even which neighborhood it might be a part of.

It certainly has a nautical name to it.


Probably the most difficult trademark to guess in this batch, the trademark just gives the generic description of, "intended to cover the category of cruise ship services."

The name is so generic that it doesn't provide any insight into where it could go, or what it may entail.

Point & Feather

Point and feather on deck plan

I included it in this grouping until I realized it's the name of the English Pub listed on the ship's deck plans.

Located on the Royal Promenade, I'll keep it here because I overlooked it until writing the post.

Thrill Island


Another bar or restaurant, my guess is this is located in Thrill Island because the overall motif for that area is themed to be a lost island.

"The idea of Thrill Island is that you'll feel like a lost island," said Mr. Schneider during a recent talk about Icon of the Seas.

"In fact, we've gone to the trouble of even like the mini golf course, which is a will be our best mini golf course ever, is themed as a lost island with a sunken sub and a crashed airplane all in the jungle."

"All the venue names have are related to a lost island. So we've got a new F and B [food and beverage] venue sitting underneath the sport court. That we haven't shared the name of yet. And it will be in that same vein."

Perhaps Basecamp is that venue.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: December 4, 2022

04 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

Happy December! We cannot believe that we are already one full week into the month – there is so much going on with holiday preparation and shopping and baking!

Want to see the new main dining room menus Royal Caribbean is testing?

If you haven't heard, Royal Caribbean is testing a new main dining room menu on Symphony of the Seas.  It is simultaneously surveying past cruisers on new menus.

We now have a look at seven new menus Royal Caribbean is testing. Whether or not they end up being used across the fleet remains to be seen.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 477th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is available to enjoy featuring an interview with Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider.

In this episode, Mr. Schneider talks about the big reveal of Icon of the Seas and what we can expect leading up to the ship's launch.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

New video: 47 Easy tricks to make your cruise so much better

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video — 47 Easy tricks to make your cruise so much better — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

What happened to Royal Caribbean's first cruise ships?

Ever wondered what happened to the very first Royal Caribbean cruise ships now that they aren't in the fleet?

Song of Norway, Nordic Prince, and many others graced the seas long before the current fleet.  So where are they now?

Here's a look at where each ship went after leaving the fleet, and what their fate is today.

How much can you save by sailing on an older Royal Caribbean cruise ship?

Everyone loves finding a great cruise deal, so how much money can you expect to save by sailing on an older ship?

You’ll often see savings in the hundreds of dollars when cruising on an older ship. This means you're able to stretch your vacation budget much further.

To illustrate this point, here's how much you can expect to save by sailing on an older cruise ship.

What you should know about cruising from Galveston instead of FloridaAllure of the Seas in Galveston cruise terminal

If you've never cruised from Galveston before, there are a few important things to know compared to cruises from Florida.

Every embarkation port has its nuances, and there are a few important details you should be aware of that you are likely to encounter on these sailings.

7 cruise ship main dining room rules to follow — Plus 1 to break

What changes has Royal Caribbean made to eating on a cruise since restarting? | Royal Caribbean Blog

When you dine at the main dining room on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, there are certain expectations and rules to expect.

Etiquette at the main dining room on a cruise ship is not all that different from a land-based restaurant, but there are a few nuances that first time cruisers may be unaware of before they step aboard.

Here is my list of 7 main dining room guidelines you should know, as well as one well-known supposed rule that I think you can disregard.