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Royal Caribbean teases new features coming to Icon of the Seas

In:
22 Sep 2022

Royal Caribbean released a new teaser video that didn't reveal everything about its next new ship, but it did provide more of a glimpse of what to expect.

Icon of the Seas construction photo

Icon of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's first in a new class of cruise ships and they still have not shown what the ship looks like, nor confirmed features onboard.  But they have steadily offered brief glimpses of what we might expect.

The newest video teaser was released today, where eagle-eyed viewers might spot a few features that seem to point towards what guests can expect onboard.

Here's what we found in the 7 minute video that stands out as interesting, intriguing, or just plain wow.

Infinite verandahs

Royal Caribbean is borrowing a feature first seen on sister brand Celebrity Cruises with the design of some or all of its balcony staterooms.

While not mentioned, the video did clearly show a new type of balcony stateroom that offers a convertible indoor/outdoor space.

Sister company Celebrity Cruises debuted the infinite verandah on the Edge Class ships.

Infinite Verandah on Celebrity Edge

Celebrity’s design team sought to solve that problem by creating a versatile area that could transform from a balcony into a sun room fully enclosed within your cabin. These cabins are excellent for cruisers on colder-weather itineraries, or who want the option of fresh air but don’t tend to spend much time on their balcony.

With an infinite veranda, there is no permanent wall between the cabin and the balcony. Instead, the balcony area is enclosed on its outer edges with glass windows; the one facing the sea can roll down just like a car window at the touch of a button. 

Accordion-fold doors can be closed to separate the open-to-the-air “veranda” from the cabin interior.

When not in use, roll up the windows, open the doors, and you have a roomier cabin with a sunny seating area at one end.

The inclusion of these types of cabins is not a surprise, as Royal Caribbean first surveyed customers about the idea back in 2018. Then in 2019, Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley confirmed that the cruise line is looking at bringing the Infinite Veranda idea over to Royal Caribbean.

“Edge has a lot of innovation. We need time to assess what works well and what doesn’t but we will take on some elements and put them on the new class of ship – Icon class and potentially Oasis 5."

Later in the video, more traditional balcony cabins were shown as well.

Central Park

Something else we've all assumed was coming and now appears to be all but confirmed is a Central Park area of the ship.

First introduced on the Oasis Class ships, this open air part of the ship has trees, bushes, and lots of plants to help liven up things.

Looking at construction photos, it appears a space was left for a Central Park neighborhood based on the look of the area matching up with the Oasis Class.

While at Royal Caribbean's Innovation Lab in Miami, the video showed executives seeing a virtual reality view of what looks like Central Park on Icon of the Seas.

Of course, the video did not specifically mention it so it's not confirmed.  But the similarities are uncanny.

Big ship name

Icon of the Seas will follow in the new style of a larger sizing of the ship's name on the hull.

Both Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas made the change to the larger ship name look on its hull.

In the case of Odyssey of the Seas, the "O" alone measures 11.2 meters (36 feet) in height.

Pearl

Once again, we have a look at The Pearl on Icon of the Seas and still have no idea what it is.

This time, we not only saw exterior photos, but also got a look at some of the panels.

In January 2022, a large pearl-shaped object appeared in the shipyard that capture the attention of cruise fans who are curious to know what it might be.

Royal Caribbean has not announced what it will be, but it is going to be a feature on Icon of the Seas.

"More water and weight than ever before"

Icon of the Seas 2023

Let your imagination run wild with the teaser at the end of the video about water weight.

The narrator mentions, "...how and where will the teams add more water and weight than ever before."

In the last video update, Royal Caribbean said Icon of the Seas will feature, "unrivalled water experiences."

Watch the video

When does Icon of the Seas launch?

Icon of the Seas bow construction

Icon of the Seas is set to debut in late 2023.

By December, Icon of the Seas will be 80% complete from a construction perspective.

In the video it was disclosed there's about 3,000 people working on the ship every day.

More information on Icon of the Seas and a big reveal is slated for October 2022.

New aerial photos show off Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas construction progress

In:
19 Sep 2022

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship is under construction in a shipyard in Finland, and we have a new look at what it looks like now.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

Because Royal Caribbean has not shared what Icon of the Seas will look like when complete, cruise fans can only guess what the final product will entail, including features onboard.

The cruise line is likely to reveal more details about Icon of the Seas soon, but there remains significant intrigue surrounding the ship.

In an effort to keep our readers up to date, RoyalCaribbeanBlog commissioned its own aerial drone photos to share what we can see so far from the shipyard.

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 construction aerial photo from September 2022

These photos were taken on September 19, 2022 with an eye at the progress being made.

Icon of the Seas is being built at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, and has been under construction since June 2021.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

Compared to construction photos from last month, there has been noticeable progress made in the ship's height, with new decks added.

The aft section on the starboard side is reminiscent of the aft AquaTheater decks found on the Oasis Class ships with the rounded ends.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

More progress has been made just behind the ship on what could be a part of the ship's front, which theoretically would be hoisted and installed later to the front.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

Looking at the top of the deck, we see what look like support columns towards the rear.  Perhaps supports for a water slide?

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

Elevated photos reveal a cavernous middle to the ship, which is an area likely to be similar to the Central Park neighborhood found on Oasis Class ships.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

Moving to the front of the ship, there appears to be stadium-style seating in the middle.  Traditionally, Royal Caribbean places its theaters in the front of the ship, but this appears to be on a much higher deck than where the Royal Theater is located.

Since Royal Caribbean has not announced new features for Icon of the Seas, we can only speculate as to what things might be.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

This aerial photo shows the bow nose piece has been installed.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022
Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from September 2022

Icon will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to feature a parabolic bow design.

A parabolic bow is a functional design element that creates a curved indentation in the bottom of the vessel’s hull.  This new bow design helps increase overall stability of the vessel by shifting the center of gravity forward. In addition, parabolic bows allow the ship to be less likely to capsize or heel. This is due to the bow creating an area of low pressure beneath the ship’s hull. 

Icon of the Seas is scheduled to start sailing in late 2023.

Royal Caribbean's series of video updates has promised a new video update sometime this month, but the September update has not been shared yet.

Icon of the Seas looks like it will have a new bow design for Royal Caribbean

In:
06 Sep 2022

Even as Royal Caribbean continues to remain silent on the cruise line’s newest ship, newly released photos reveal what Icon of the Seas' bow will look like. 

Brand new pictures from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland show tug boats transporting the bow for Icon of the Seas. The exciting series of photos, shared by finki.22 on Instagram, feature the arrival by barge of the massive new bow for Icon of the Seas. 

It was a busy day at the Meyer Turku shipyard! The Instagram caption states that tugboats arrived from Poland with the bow of Icon of the Seas. Earlier in the day, the same tugboats assisted the new Carnival Celebration out of the shipyard for its sea trials. In fact, the two ships have been under construction together at the Finish shipyard. 

As seen in the photos, the bow color is Royal Caribbean’s signature baby blue color, which matches the coloring of the hull. The cruise line’s newest ships have started to feature this new light blue coloring, with Royal Caribbean choosing to phase out its classic white-colored hulls. 

In the background of the photos, the construction for Icon of the Seas can also be seen. Construction on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship started in June 2021. 

Royal Caribbean continues to keep hush-hush regarding Icon of the Seas, leading many to speculate about the ship’s design, amenities and features. 

Thanks to finki.22 for posting these photos.

Parabolic Bow Design

The bow for Icon of the Seas is now confirmed to be Royal Caribbean’s first ship to feature a parabolic bow design. This is a functional design element that creates a curved indentation in the bottom of the vessel’s hull. 

With the arrival of Icon of the Seas’ bow, construction will enter its next phase of fitting the bow to the hull of the ship. 

This new bow design helps increase overall stability of the vessel by shifting the center of gravity forward. In addition, parabolic bows allow the ship to be less likely to capsize or heel. This is due to the bow creating an area of low pressure beneath the ship’s hull. 

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from August 2022

Essentially, it’s unsurprising Royal Caribbean would choose this design for its newest ship; parabolic bows cultivate a smoother ride for cruisers. This is especially important for ships that are heavily-loaded.

Early reports from Royal Caribbean have stated that Icon of the Seas will be the biggest cruise ship in the world, so the parabolic bow is an effective design choice.

Icon of the Seas

Although we know Icon of the Seas will have a parabolic bow design, there has been very little information about the ship’s design released by Royal Caribbean at this point. The cruise line has done an excellent job creating hype and excitement about what Icon of the Seas could bring to the Royal Caribbean fleet. 

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from August 2022

Within recent weeks, Royal Caribbean released a new video series about Icon of the Seas. The highly-anticipated series is titled ‘Making an Icon’. During the first video of the series, Royal Caribbean described its newest ship as “the most transformative ship the world has ever seen”. 

Making an Icon

The series has promised to feature footage from behind the scenes of the ship’s design, construction and eventual launch of Icon of the Seas. Engineers and industry experts will be featured to talk about the revolutionary cruise ship, which Royal Caribbean claims will offer the best family vacation in the world.   

Along with the hype of its design and amenities, Royal Caribbean has also announced that Icon of the Seas will start sailing in late 2023 as the cruise line’s first LNG powered ship in its fleet. LNG powered cruise ships feature dual engines that utilize liquified natural gas to propel the ship. This makes the ships more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Icon of the Seas keel-laying ceremony

A huge media campaign has started for Icon of the Seas, with CEO Michael Bayley hinting at a fall reveal. In addition, Bayley already revealed that Icon of the Seas will first set sail from the UK. 

Icon of the Seas is the first of its kind for Royal Caribbean and the first of a new class of ships. Royal Caribbean has not released a new ship class in over a decade; instead, the company has continued to expand its Oasis-class and Quantum-class ships, including Wonder of the Seas in 2022 and Odyssey of the Seas in 2021.

Icon of the Seas bridge under construction

At one point earlier this year, it was teased that a full-blown marketing event could be launched in New York City this fall. 

The CEO has also emphasized that the innovation and design of Icon of the Seas will be unlike anything Royal Caribbean has built before. Guests can expect incredible onboard thrills, water experiences like no other, and unparalleled entertainment.

Icon of the Seas: Itinerary, features, and more

In:
27 Aug 2022

Icon of the Seas will be the first of Royal Caribbean's Icon Class cruise ships when she launches, marking the first new type of vessel for the cruise line since 2014.

Royal Caribbean has not divulged many details about Icon of the Seas, but this page will be updated periodically when Royal Caribbean announces what the ship will offer to guests.

There is a lot of excitement about what's planned for Icon of the Seas, with the promise from company executives it will be a "game changer" for the industry.

Here is a look at the most important things we know about Icon of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas facts

Icon of the Seas metal

 

Icon of the Seas is the first Icon Class ship.  Since it's the first, we don't know yet what the ship looks like or any substantial details.

The ship is under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. The new class of ship was announced in late 2016.

According to filings made by Royal Caribbean, Icon of the Seas will have a capacity of approximately 5,600 passengers.

She will be 200,000 gross tons in size.

This would make the Icon class ships larger than the Quantum Class ships, but slightly smaller than the Oasis Class ships.

Back in April 2021, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked briefly about the new ship, "We have the brand new Icon class coming, which is going to be a real game changer."

Royal Caribbean has not announced any onboard activities, entertainment or things to do yet.

When will Icon of the Seas be delivered?

Icon of the Seas plaque

Icon of the Seas is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2023.

She was originally scheduled to be delivered in second quarter of 2022, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused her construction plans to be delayed by a year.

Next-gen power

Debuting in fall 2023, Icon will be the cruise line’s first of three ships to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas).

LNG and the state-of-the-art ship’s additional environmentally friendly applications, such as shore power connection, will boost energy efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint. More details about Icon’s advanced environmental technologies will be revealed at a future date.

The LNG fuel tank on Icon of the Seas is 307 tons and 90 feet long.

Traditionally, cruise ships are powered by diesel. The advantage LNG has over diesel is it is more energy-efficient and will reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked about the efficiency of Icon of the Seas, "Our new Icon class is coming with LNG-hybrid but, basically it's LNG. It's 35% more fuel energy efficient than regular fuel. And the ship itself, because of the design, is about 30% more efficient."

In addition, Icon of the Seas will utilize a shore power connection that removes emissions while connected at port.

What is the sphere?

Icon of the Seas sphere installation

 

In January 2022, a large pearl-shaped object appeared in the shipyard that capture the attention of cruise fans who are curious to know what it might be.

Royal Caribbean has not announced what it will be, but it is going to be a feature on Icon of the Seas.

The object was placed about mid-ship, amidst the various blocks of Icon of the Seas during her construction progress.

It measures 46 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter, with 578 aluminum external panels.

Some guessed it could be a LNG fuel tank, but LNG tanks are substantially larger.

Other interesting facts:

  • 9 miles of cables for power & lighting
  • 1,323 feet of air conditioning ducts
  • Steel mounting frames on the inside
  • It required two tugboats to move it to the shipyard
  • 5,600-metric-ton-crane lifted it into position
  • It's taken 45,000 working hours to construct the sphere

On the 2022 President's Cruise, Michael Bayley accidently let it slip the name of the sphere is "The Pearl".

When can we book Icon of the Seas?

Side of Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Michael Bayley said they expect to start marketing Icon of the Seas in September 2022.

"We are launching Icon of the Seas starting this September. By launching, I mean, we are we are starting to communicate. We have a whole planning program of communication, social media, marketing, TV, radio, you name it."

According to Mr. Bayley, there is a media event planned for September in New York onboard Oasis of the Seas. They picked Oasis to host the event because she was the first ship of the then-record breaking Oasis Class, just as Icon will be the first in the new Icon Class.

Icon of the Seas unconfirmed rumors

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from August 2022

I love a juicy rumor, and there are at least a few good ones out there about what to expect with Icon of the Seas.

Caution, here by dragons and information about Icon of the Seas that isn't confirmed, but worth mentioning.

Icon of the Seas will debut first in England

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said Icon of the Seas will sail from the UK when she first begins sailing with passengers.

"I promise you will bring Icon of the seas into Southampton. The UK will be the first country and market that we will bring this incredible ship into [when it launches] in ’23."

Bayley also emphasized how important the UK market is for Royal Caribbean, which helped solidify the cruise line’s decision to debut Icon of the Seas to the country first. 

Icon of the Seas will be homeported in Miami

Terminal A in PortMiami

Mr. Bayley also said in an interview that Icon of the Seas will offer cruises from Miami.

“We will take [Icon of the Seas] across the Atlantic to Miami, which is where it’s going to be homeported.”

Aerial photos show Icon of the Seas cruise ship construction progress

In:
26 Aug 2022

While Royal Caribbean has been quiet about what Icon of the Seas will look like when completed, we have our own construction photos to share of the progress.

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from August 2022

Icon of the Seas is the next new cruise ship Royal Caribbean is building, and it's a brand new class of cruise ship. This means we don't yet know any details about the features or activities offered onboard, or even what the ship design looks like.

Royal Caribbean has been keeping the entire project as secretive as possible up to now in order to maintain a competitive edge, as well as to likely drum up intrigue among cruise fans eager to know more.

While we wait for an official update from Royal Caribbean, RoyalCaribbeanBlog comissioned its own aerial drone photos to share what we can see so far from the shipyard.

Since these are exclusive photos, please do not share these photos on social media.

Construction of Icon of the Seas began in June 2021 with a steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

Icon of the Seas is being built behind the new Carnival Celebration cruise ship.

These photos were taken earlier this week, and you can see the bottom half of the hull is mostly there, with just the bow missing.

Icon already has a baby blue hull color to it, which has been a design change Royal Caribbean has been steadily making with its newer ships.  Instead of a plain white hull color, new ships are debuting with a light blue hue to it.

In a slightly elevated aerial view, we can see there are at least three open air sections visible.

Read more3 hints what Icon of the Seas could look like

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from August 2022

The Oasis Class ships first introduced the idea of open parts of the ship for the Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods. 

Whether Icon has its own Boardwalk and Central Park, or Royal Caribbean is developing a new concept, remains unknown.

A view of the rear of the ship shows an opening at the end of Icon that could be theater of some kind at the very bottom.

We also have a better look at one of the open air sections, which certainly mirrors the Boardwalk general layout.

The ship's name is not yet painted onto the back of the hull.

It also appears the shipyard is working on what is likely a feature for the front of Icon of the Seas. 

While we don't yet know what this is, the overall design reminds me of the glass enclosure that sits atop of the Solarium on the front of other Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

The Solarium glass for Wonder of the Seas seems to have a similar look to it.

Much of the middle of the ship will be the future home for stateroom balconies.

You'll notice most of the cabins are still wrapped up. Cruise ship cabins are assembled elsewhere and then inserted into the ship later as a more efficient construction method.

Some of the balconies towards the rear of the ship are unwrapped, which provide a glimpse of what to expect elsewhere.

Icon of the Seas is scheduled to start sailing in late 2023.

It's not quite clear yet when exactly Royal Caribbean intends to reveal the look of the ship, but earlier this summer, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley hinted at September 2022.

One other key detail about Icon of the Seas is it could be bigger than the Oasis Class ships.

Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Sean Treacy, said in May 2022 that Icon of the Seas will be larger than the Oasis class cruise ships.

3 hints what Icon of the Seas could look like

In:
19 Aug 2022

As excited as everyone is for Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, the one thing everyone wants to know is what the ship looks like.

Icon of the Seas sphere installation

Icon of the Seas will be a new class of cruise ship, which means it will have a new structure to it that isn't exactly like any ship before. When it comes to ship class design, think of it like a car model, where one model looks different from another.

Royal Caribbean has promised the ship will be innovative and unlike any other ship before her.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said Icon of the Seas will feature a combination of ‘tradition, evolution and revolution’ cruising elements from Royal Caribbean. 

Icon of the Seas bridge under construction

Let's be clear, we don't know what it will look like, but we've gotten a few hints over the last few weeks as to its general look.

Until the design comes out, here are the latest hints to consider.

Hint 1: The front?

Icon design meeting

In the newest video update that showcases the creation of Icon of the Seas, what appears to be the front of the ship can be seen in the background of a meeting.

While it doesn't give a tremendous amount of detail, it looks as though Icon of the Seas might have a new bow design.

It's been speculated that Icon would be the first Royal Caribbean International cruise ship to employ a parabolic bow.

While visually polarizing, parabolic bow design is about engineering and not aesthetics.  They are known for offering a smoother ride overall.

Sister company Celebrity Cruises has employed the parabolic bow to its Edge-Class ships and the consensus has been a success.

Hint 2: Blueprints

Icon of the Seas blueprints

In both of the video updates Royal Caribbean has released, blueprints for Icon of the Seas can be seen in the foreground.

Icon of the Seas blueprints

While the video isn't clear enough to show us exactly what the blueprints have on them, it seems to indicate there could be some kind of an open-air part of the ship.

The Oasis Class ships were the first to introduce open areas of a cruise ship in the form of Central Park and the Boardwalk.

Allure of the Seas

Read moreHow Royal Caribbean was able to add a giant park to its cruise ships

Hint 3: The ship's silhouette?

silhouette

Perhaps the most compelling evidence of the ship's look could be from a recent accolade given to Royal Caribbean's top cruiser.

A photo emerged online of what looks like the silhouette of Icon of the Seas as a gift to Royal Caribbean's top cruiser, Super Mario.

Read moreMan who has cruised the most with Royal Caribbean reaches 10,000 points

Is this gift an actual representation of what Icon's profile will look like? Or is it just a generic design they came up with for gifts?

When will we know what Icon of the Seas look like?

If these hints aren't satisfying your curiosity, you aren't alone.

Royal Caribbean has said we should get further details about Icon of the Seas later this fall.

When Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO, was asked in June 2022 about when we might get more information, he pointed to September, "We are launching Icon of the Seas starting this September."

"By launching, I mean, we are we are starting to communicate. We have a whole planning program of communication, social media, marketing, TV, radio, you name it."

Icon of the Seas is set to debut in late 2023.

Royal Caribbean outlines the 5 goals for its bold new cruise ship

In:
18 Aug 2022

Royal Caribbean hasn't shared much about its next new cruise ship, but it has outlined clear goals for what it hopes will be a revolutionary new ship.

Icon of the Seas overheard construction

Icon of the Seas is scheduled to debut in fall 2023, and Royal Caribbean has released a new video that talks about how the company came up with ideas for what this ship should be.

When Royal Caribbean started designing the ship, they referred to it as a "white paper ship", which means they wanted to start with a blank slate.

"The reason why we call it that is we start with a blank piece of sketch paper, so it truly is starting fresh," said Anna Drescher, a manager of the ship's architectural design team.

Idea showcase for Icon of the Seas

The team posed all sorts of ideas, especially considering what its guests wanted.

Yael Steinhart, Director of Product Innovation, talked about how the team looked through the lens of what guests want and incorporate that into a new ship, "We really looked at how can we bring the best of all experiences and vacation types into one place."

"So think about city getaways, beach retreats, all inclusive resorts and amusement parks. You have to dream as big as you can."

Icon of the Seas block

The end result are five pillars of what Icon of the Seas will encapsulate.

1. Unrivalled water experiences

Couple with drinks on Suite Deck

Jay Rosser, Senior Product Owner in Product Development, spoke about the need to incorporate unrivalled water experiences, "Icon really is about bringing our guests back to what surrounds them when they're on a cruise, which is the ocean."

"In every way that the guests interact with the ship, there's always a connectivity back to the water."

One of the slights that the Oasis Class ships have had since their inception has been it's difficult to see the ocean and outdoors while inside the ship. Compared to other Royal Caribbean ships that came before it, there has been less visibility to the outside world.

2. Adrenaline pumping thrills

If you've been on any Royal Caribbean cruise ship in the last 20 years, you know how many fun thrills there are onboard.

Surf simulators, bumper cars, zip lines, and sky diving simulators are just a few of these activities Royal Caribbean is known for, and the cruise line wants to continue that trend with Icon of the Seas.

Emily Rodriguez, Product Owner in Product Development, talked about the importance of thrills on Icon, "As we started seeing more and more excitement for a lot of our thrilling experiences, we said, How can we take that to the next level? How can we offer something that is really for the bold, for the brave, for the fearless and experience something that they've never been able to do anywhere else."

3. Ultimate family vacation

Kids at the pool on Wonder of the Seas

Simply put, Royal Caribbean wants families to look at Icon of the Seas as their primary choice for a family cruise, not just another option.

Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Associate Vice President of Product Development, thinks putting the family vacation first is a major priority, "One of the things that stands out to me the most about the insights that we've received from our guests is that bonding with family, friends, or whoever you're traveling with always comes to the top."

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider went one step further by saying, "This is a ship of unrivaled entertainment. It's adrenaline pumping thrill. It is amazing. Food and beverage. Simply put, Icon will be the best family vacation in the world."

Read moreHere are the absolute best cruises for families

4. Sensational entertainment

AquaTheater on Wonder of the Seas

Live entertainment has always been a staple of any Royal Caribbean cruise, and Icon of the Seas will continue that with the kind of Las Vegas and Broadway glitz the cruise line has always delivered on.

Ms. Steinhart hinted that not only will Icon have the kind of shows we've known, but something extra, "Icon of this Seas will deliver some of the best shows in the world, but we've also really expanded with new, diverse additional variety of entertainment on board."

5. Celebration of food and beverage

Giovanni's Table on Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean has been steadily elevating its dining offerings for years, with new ships rolling out new concepts and enhancements to favorites.

Tim Klauda, Vice President of Product Development, "The food is diverse, so you can try things you never tried before or you can try things you love, maybe a little bit of a spin. You can get access to that food in ways we've never done before. So convenience is huge."

Perhaps that spin is an idea Royal Caribbean first played with in 2019: onboard food delivery.

Watch the full video

Royal Caribbean published Episode 1 of "Making an Icon" and you can watch it here.

Royal Caribbean launches new video series about Icon of the Seas

In:
10 Aug 2022

Royal Caribbean is slowly beginning to talk about its next new cruise ship by launching a new video series.

Making an Icon

"Making an Icon" will be a new video series that Royal Caribbean will produce to provide more details and insight into Icon of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas will be the first ship in a new class of Royal Caribbean ship that the cruise line says will be, "the most transformational ship the world has ever seen."

New episodes will launch in advance of when Icon is unveiled this fall and continue leading up to the 2023 debut.

Icon of the Seas sphere installation

The teaser for this new series launched today, which hypes the coming episodes that promise a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Icon of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean describes the video series as an "inside look at Royal Caribbean International’s journey to create the world’s greatest vacation – Icon of the Seas"

"Industrial engineers, interior designers, architects, artists, innovators, teams across entertainment and food and beverage, and more take you behind the scenes to see all that goes into envisioning, designing and constructing the soon-to-be-revealed cruise ship."

"In each episode, experts from Miami, Turku, Finland; New York City, Toronto and beyond come together to create the vacation to rival all vacations."

A few familiar voices are heard in the video, including:

  • Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO
  • Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President, Maritime & Newbuilding
  • Jay Schneider, Chief Product Innovation Officer (CXO) at Royal Caribbean Group

Up until now, Royal Caribbean has been extremely quiet about revealing any details regarding Icon of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas 2023

We still don't have a design of the ship, or are aware of any features.

It did slip out the name of the large white ball we've seen teased as a feature of Icon will be called, "The Pearl".

Michael Bayley speaking at President's Cruise

When Mr. Bayley was asked in June 2022 about when we might get more information, he pointed to September, "We are launching Icon of the Seas starting this September."

"By launching, I mean, we are we are starting to communicate. We have a whole planning program of communication, social media, marketing, TV, radio, you name it."

Icon of the Seas is set to debut in late 2023.

Icon of the Seas by the numbers

Icon of the Seas plaque

While there is not a lot of information about Icon of the Seas, we at least know a few stats based on publicly disclosed information.

Royal Caribbean Group shared in its form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of July that Icon of the Seas will have approximately 5,600 berths, which is the ship's capacity.

In terms of passengers, Icon would have slightly less passenger capacity than an Oasis Class ship. However, it remains to be seen if Icon will indeed be larger than the Oasis Class ships.

In March 2022, Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Sean Treacy, indicated Icon of the Seas will be larger than the Oasis class cruise ships.

"Icon will be the biggest. It launches in the fall of next year and will be the first new ship class for Royal in a decade," Mr. Treacy said while onboard Wonder of the Seas during a trade event.

New Royal Caribbean trademarks could hint at name of new venue

In:
14 Jun 2022

When Royal Caribbean files a trademark application, it sparks interest in what it could possibly mean.

Trademark office website

Royal Caribbean Group filed a number of new trademarks recently that seem to be connected to its next new cruise ship, Icon of the Seas. Or perhaps not at all.

The new trademarks were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office late last week.

Icon of the Seas 2023

Two of the trademarks sound like marketing slogans, since they play on the name of Icon of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas is under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

  • Live Like An Icon
  • We built an Icon, you make it Iconic

The other trademarks are less obvious, and could be names of a venue or feature on the new ship.

  • The Star
  • The Pearl
  • The Jewel
  • The Orb
  • The Gem
  • The Oyster

Royal Caribbean often trademarks names in bunches, so that it can later decide which name to use. This is most commonly seen with ship names.

Freedom of the Seas name

Each of the trademarks simply has a description of a trademark registration is intended to cover the category of cruise ship services. This is the commonly used description that Royal Caribbean Group uses as a catch-all for almost everything it trademarks.

Since the names seem to have a common theme among them and were all registered on the same date, it stands to reason they are related.  Either as the possible name of a new feature, or names of different parts of a new feature.

Royal Caribbean has been extremely quiet about its new class of cruise ship, the Icon Class.

Icon of the Seas sphere installation

They have not yet revealed what the ship looks like, or any features.

The only substantive announcement they've made so far is to tease a sphere-like object that was recently installed onboard.

There's been no word what it is, or what it does. With trademarks like "orb", "pearl", and "oyster", it could be related.

As always, it's important to remember trademark filings don't necessarily mean anything or indicate any intention Royal Caribbean has. Moreover, Royal Caribbean Group files all of its trademarks under a single brand on behalf of all of its subsidiary lines, which includes Royal Caribbean International. Celebrity Cruises, and SilverSea.

What do you think the names could be used for? Share your guesses in the comments!

Icon of the Seas construction update: mystery sphere installed on ship

In:
24 May 2022

While we don't know what it is yet, the sphere-like object that is part of Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship has been installed onboard.

Icon of the Seas sphere installation

Royal Caribbean released a new construction update teaser that talks about the pearl-shaped object being added to Icon of the Seas.

We first spotted this object in December 2021, and it remains a mystery as to what it possibly could be.  Royal Caribbean has not confirmed what it is, but we do know now where it is located.

In the video update, the object was placed about mid-ship, amidst the various blocks of Icon of the Seas during her construction progress.

Sphere installation

It measures 46 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter, with 578 aluminum external panels.

According to the update, the object is 175-metric tons and was transferred on a barge down to the shipyard for installation.

Icon of the Seas is under construction in Turku, Finland.

Other interesting facts:

  • 9 miles of cables for power & lighting
  • 1,323 feet of air conditioning ducts
  • Steel mounting frames on the inside
  • It required two tugboats to move it to the shipyard
  • 5,600-metric-ton-crane lifted it into position
  • It's taken 45,000 working hours to construct the sphere

What is the sphere?

Since news of the sphere's existence came to light, Royal Caribbean has not confirmed what it is.

In fact, Royal Caribbean has released no information about what the design of the ship will be at all.

In March 2022, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider said about the new class of ship, "everything you'll see on icon will will be an evolution or revolution."

"And and we'll push forward again us being the at the top of the mantle on the ultimate family vacation."

There has been quite a lot of guesses shared on social media as to what the sphere might be, but it remains a question.

Whatever it ends up being, we'll have to wait for Royal Caribbean to reveal it at a later date.

Icon of the Seas will be the first ship in the Icon Class to launch.  She is scheduled to be delivered in Fall 2023, and there are two other Icon Class ships on order.

The other two ships will be delivered in 2025 and 2026.

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