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Royal Caribbean has an ultra-luxury suite that can cost over $80,000 per week — here's what it looks like

16 Jan 2024

Everything is bigger on Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, including a three-story suite that is bigger than many apartments.

Inside the Ultimate Family Townhouse

On Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, the Ultimate Family Townhouse is the cruise line's most expensive and largest suite it has ever created. The ship has many new features that appeal directly to families, but this one cabin is aimed directly at a family willing to open their wallet for the very best room out there.

The 1,772-square-foot suite can cost over $80,000 on a seven-night cruise and it is already sold out for all of 2024.

Ultimate Family Townhouse

With the new cruise ship ready to set sail with passengers, we have our first look inside the centerpiece elevated cabin.

Slide in Ultimate Family Townhouse

Up to eight people can sleep in the Ultimate Family Townhouse.

The Ultimate Family Townhouse has an in-suite slide, movie-viewing room, karaoke machine and a "backyard" with a ping pong table, outdoor seating and a white picket fence leading directly to the Surfside area.

Ultimate Family Townhouse sign

It spans three decks and includes one of the most jaw-dropping balcony views on the entire ship.

Around the suite

Ultimate Family Townhouse

The Ultimate Family Townhouse is a follow-up to the The Ultimate Family Suites introduced on other Royal Caribbean ships. Those rooms were "only" two levels, so Royal Caribbean wanted to make it even bigger on Icon.

Located across decks 7, 8, and 9 of Icon of the Seas, the entrance is on deck 8.

Ultimate Family Townhouse

The townhouse has two balconies and a backyard.  The master bedroom balcony measures 90 feet, the primary balcony measures 410 square feet, and the backyard offers an additional 251 square feet of space.

Ultimate Family Townhouse stairs

Given the name, this suite is meant to evoke the most family-friendly cabin ever. It's colorful, has lots for children to enjoy, and offers more space for kids (and their parents) to spread out than ever before.

Ultimate Family Townhouse game table

The living area includes a spacious living room and a dining room, which has an interactive gaming table. 

Ultimate Family Townhouse cinema room
Ultimate Family Townhouse cinema room
Popcorn and coffee machine

There's a movie room that has a widescreen television, along with a popcorn machine and karaoke machine.

Ultimate Family Townhouse

You can also slide into the monster-themed daybed in the cinema room.

Ultimate Family Townhouse master bedroom
Ultimate Family Townhouse master bedroom
Ultimate Family Townhouse master bathroom

The master bedroom has a king-size bed and its own master bathroom with twin vanity and double shower.

Ultimate Family Townhouse kids bedroom
Captain America sheets
Disney princesses sheets
Ultimate Family Townhouse kids room
Ultimate Family Townhouse kids bathroom
Ultimate Family Townhouse kids bathroom sink
Ultimate Family Townhouse kids shower

The kids room has bunk beds and its own TV and games, and its own bathroom.

Ultimate Family Townhouse

One neat idea is there's a special entrance to the Surfside neighborhood from your suite. There's even a mailbox that you can use to pick up notes.

Ultimate Family Townhouse perks

The Ultimate Family Townhouse is a Star Class suite, which means it enjoys the very best benefits Royal Caribbean has to offer, including a Royal Genie, free drink package, free WiFi and more.

While the suite has lots of features to admire, the Royal Genie service is not to be overlooked. It provides a mix of butler and "magic maker" to guests staying in the room, and it makes a big difference onboard your ship.

Your Genie gives you VIP treatment every step of the way.  There isn't a set list of Royal Genie benefits, but they will make any dining or entertainment reservations you need and you won't need to wait in line for any of them either.


The Genie can get you to the front of line of pretty much anything on the ship.  They will get you reserved seating in shows, have the ability to have specialty restaurant food delivered to your cabin, enjoy unlimited Starbucks beverages, and even organize a party in your suite.

Read more: A beginner's guide to sailing in Star Class

Other benefits of staying in the Ultimate Family Townhouse are gratuities included with the price, priority embarkation and disembarkation, and access to the Suite neighborhood.

How much does the Ultimate Family Townhouse cost?

Stuffed animals

It should come as no surprise that the Ultimate Family Townhouse is expensive. Very expensive.

The price of any cruise ship cabin varies from sailing to sailing, but the cruise line said the average price for the Ultimate Family Townhouse was around $78,000 - $80,000 per week.

Despite the massive price tag, demand has not been soft for this room. All of the 2024 sailings are sold out, according to Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley.

Bottom line

Icon of the Seas sailing at dusk

Is the Ultimate Family Townhouse worth it? Most people will scoff at the price tag because it is the very epitome of an over-the-top splurge.

However, there are families out there that want an epic family vacation. They do well for themselves and want to enjoy the fruit of their labors with an all-out cruise that they won't ever forget, and that's the purpose of a suite like this.

In general, suites are rarely a value, and the people that stay in them usually prioritize the extra space, enhanced service, and added benefits they provide.

With the Ultimate Family Townhouse, it's all about staying in an incredible room despite the price tag. 

Icon of the Seas restaurant and dining guide

15 Jan 2024

Icon of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, has more dining venues onboard than any other ship in the fleet. 


From the brand-new Empire Supper Club to fan favorites such as Sorrento's and Chops Grille, there's no shortage of options, both complimentary and specialty, for guests to enjoy while sailing onboard this massive ship. 

Whether you want to grab a quick bite to eat at the cruise line's first-ever food hall, indulge in a decadent meal at the Celebration Table, or have a fun brunch at Pier 7 in Surfside, there's something to appease all tastes and preferences onboard Icon of the Seas!

Here is your ultimate guide to all the food and beverage options on this record-breaking cruise ship. 

What restaurants are included & what costs extra?

Top deck on Icon of the Seas

When planning your cruise onboard Icon, it's important to know what venues are and aren't included in the cost of your cruise fare. If you're planning on dining at Empire Supper Club, for instance, you don't want to wait until you are on the ship to learn that the experience costs $200 per person. 

Complimentary restaurants 


🍽️ Pearl Café (with a few exceptions)

🍴 Park Cafe 

🍽️ Windjammer Marketplace

🍴 Surfside Bites

🍽️ Surfside Eatery 

🍴 AquaDome Market

🍽️ Main Dining Room

🍴 Coastal Kitchen (for those staying in suites)

🍽️ The Grove (for those staying in suites)

🍴 Basecamp (with a few exceptions)

🍽️ Sorrento's 

🍴 El Loco Fresh

🍽️ Vitality Cafe (with a few exceptions)

🍴 Sprinkles

Specialty restaurants


🍽️ Empire Supper Club

🍴 Celebration Table 

🍽️ Chops Grille

🍴 Izumi Hibachi & Sushi

🍽️ Izumi in the Park

🍴 Hooked Seafood

🍽️ Playmaker's 

🍴 Pier 7

🍽️ Starbucks 

🍴 Giovanni's Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar

🍽️ Trellis Bar (bar bites)

🍴 Desserted

Royal Promenade


For the first time, Royal Caribbean placed a specialty dining venue in the initial designs of the Royal Promenade onboard Icon of the Seas. If you want to have a delicious Italian meal at Giovanni's, you won't be too far from the fun! 

Read more: Icon of the Seas Royal Promenade: What to expect

Pearl Café

Pearl Cafe

Cost: Included

The Pearl is an interactive, multi-sensory experience made with kinetic tiles that's meant to be the first WOW factor when you walk onboard. 

Adjacent to this one-of-a-kind structure is the Pearl Café, which is essentially the next generation of Cafe Promenade. 

While the majority of the grab-and-go food options are complimentary, there are some extra-cost items. You can, for instance, order a specialty coffee beverage. 

Pearl Cafe choices

Unlike the drinks prepared at Starbucks, you'll be able to use your Royal Caribbean drink package or Diamond vouchers at Pearl Café. 

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

Giovannis entrance area

Cost: Not included

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, which can be found in the Royal Promenade, will dish up some Old World classics, such as veal meatballs. 

Note, however, that this is a specialty venue, so you will have to pay to dine here. It's included in the cost of a Royal Caribbean dining package, though. 

Read more: How Royal Caribbean reimagined its signature Italian restaurant


Sorrento's on Icon

Cost: Included

It's not a proper Royal Caribbean cruise vacation if you don't have a slice of pizza (or two), right? 

Sorrento's caters to those seeking a quick snack after returning to the ship or a late-night bite after seeing an AquaTheater show. 

Onboard Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean reimagined Sorrento's to be better than ever before. In addition to changing specialty pizzas, you can also pair your slice with your favorite draft beer on tap! 

Read more: Sorrento's pizza on Royal Caribbean cruise ships

Point & Feather


Cost: Not included

Point & Feather is Icon's rendition of the classic English-style pub found on other ships. 

Here, you can order from a brand-new spirits menu or challenge a friend to a game of darts, all the while a talented musician is playing. 

1400 Lobby Bar


Cost: Not included

Royal Caribbean intends for 1400 Lobby Bar to be a focal point of the Royal Promenade. Not only is it adjacent to the escalators leading to the casino, but it also sets the stage for the jaw-dropping Pearl. 

Inspired by the history of shipbuilding, this will be the ideal place to meet up with your crew and enjoy a mix of daytime and evening sips that were developed with renowned mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, who has worked with James Beard Award-winning chefs, Bellagio, and more.

Read more: I tried the new cocktails coming to Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas with a Master Mixologist


Boleros on Icon of the Seas

Cost: Not included

Boleros is a Latin-themed bar with live music that's found on numerous ships in the fleet. It can be found on Deck 6 of the Royal Promenade, whereas 1400 Lobby Bar is on Deck 5. 

Schooner Bar

Schooner Bar

Cost: Not included

Schooner Bar is arguably the most well-known Royal Caribbean bar. Located across from Boleros, this nautical-themed bar is where pianists will set the tone for pre-dinner drinks and nightcaps. 

Dueling Pianos

Dueling Pianos

Cost: Not included

Speaking of pianos, Icon of the Seas is home to the cruise line's first-ever dedicated piano bar, where two pianists will take the stage and take requests from passengers. 

Each night of the cruise, there will be two 90-minute shows that you won't want to miss! 

Spotlight Karaoke


Cost: Not included

Aspiring singers will want to check out Spotlight Karaoke on Deck 5. You can either take the stage or rent out a private karaoke room to enjoy with your crew. 

The Attic


Cost: Not included

The Attic is where Icon guests can enjoy comedy shows that will have you laughing until you cry. There's also a bar here where you can order drinks during a show. 

Crown Lounge


Cost: Included

The Crown Lounge is located within the Royal Promenade at the forward end of Deck 6 near Dueling Pianos and the Attic. Only Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club members can utilize this private enclave. 

Whether you want to redeem one of your drink vouchers, enjoy some light snacks, or simply relax away from the crowds, the Crown Lounge is the go-to stop for top-tier members of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society

Read more: 11 of our favorite under-the-radar Crown & Anchor perks



Cost: Not included

Who doesn't love a strong cold brew or specialty hand-crafted beverage? You won't have to go without your Starbucks fix when cruising on Icon of the Seas. 

Note, however, that these drinks are not included in any beverage packages, and top-tier loyalty members cannot use their daily drink vouchers at Starbucks; you will have to pay for each drink individually. 

Central Park


Like on Oasis Class ships, Central Park is a hub for specialty restaurants. Here, you'll find favorites like Chops Grille, as well as new restaurants that cannot be found on any other ship in the fleet, such as Empire Supper Club. 

Izumi Hibachi & Sushi


Cost: Not included

Royal Caribbean’s beloved Japanese specialty restaurant will be located in Central Park on Icon of the Seas, a first for the restaurant. 

There are two sides to Izumi — hibachi and sushi — and guests can enjoy either one in the charming atmosphere of Central Park. Note that if you book the Ultimate Dining Package, Izumi Hibachi has a $15 surcharge, which will be charged onboard. 

Read more: Should you book the Izumi pre-fixed sushi option?

Izumi in the Park


Cost: Not included

What if you don't want to sit down for a lengthy meal? No worries! Located in Icon of the Seas' Central Park Neighborhood, you will find Izumi in the Park, the cruise line's first-ever to-go sushi window, where you can grab sushi, hot gyoza, or soft-serve bubble cones for a refreshing afternoon sweet treat! 

Like the standard restaurant, this venue is not included in the cost of your cruise fare. Each item is priced à la carte, meaning that you'll only pay for what you order, whereas Chops Grille, for instance, charges everyone the same cover charge. 


The price for two sushi and a seaweed salad or edamame is $10, while pork gyoza dumplings, crispy chicken kara-age, and signature bubble cones all cost $8. 

Available sushi include salmon sashimi, tuna sashimi, salmon lovers roll, spicy tuna roll, salmon nigiri, and tuna nigiri. Finally, the five flavors of bubble cones are cookies & cream, rainbow mochi & macha, beach umbrella, chocolate thrill, and strawberry bliss. 

Chops Grille


Cost: Not included

Chops Grille, the cruise line’s signature specialty steakhouse, is found on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and Icon of the Seas is no exception. 

Just like on Oasis Class ships, Chops Grille is located in Central Park with both indoor and outdoor seating. Similarly, you will have to pay to dine here; it is not an included venue. 


What sets Chops Grille on Icon apart, though, is that you'll be able to hand-select your cut of meat thanks to the impressive butcher's display.

Park Cafe


Cost: Included

Park Cafe first launched on Oasis of the Seas. This complimentary venue is returning to Central Park onboard Icon. In fact, it's the only complimentary venue in Central Park. 

While you'll still be able to order the legendary Royal Kümmelweck roast beef sandwich, you can also expect to find new sandwiches and salads. 

Plus, Park Café onboard Icon of the Seas will be open later than on other ships in the fleet and offer dinner!

Empire Supper Club


Cost: Not included

One of, if not the most, expensive restaurant onboard Icon is Empire Supper Club. This eight-course meal, which will feature premium American cuisine like wagyu and caviar, will cost you $200 per person. There will also be a three-piece band playing a different song during each course. 

The venue was designed to be reminiscent of the 1930s in New York City and will have two seatings each night: 6:00pm and 8:30pm. 

If you purchased the Ultimate Dining Package, you will have to pay an extra $130 per person to eat at Empire Supper Club. 

Lou's Jazz N' Blues


Cost: Not included

Whether you want to take in the music from the outdoors while strolling amongst the thousands of real pants or pop in for a cocktail, Lou's Jazz N' Blues will fill Central Park will live performances of soulful classics and jazz-pop tunes.

Trellis Bar


Cost: Not included

Guests will find a larger Trellis Bar than those onboard Oasis Class ships. Plus, it'll feature a brand-new look and menu with pre-dinner appetizers that are available for an additional fee.  



Cost: Not included

Bubbles is a walk-up champagne bar that will serve champagne and champagne-based cocktails by the glass. It's located directly next to Park Cafe, so you can get a fresh mimosa before enjoying breakfast! 



Those familiar with Oasis Class ships might notice that there isn't a "Boardwalk" onboard Icon of the Seas. That's because the neighborhood was replaced with Surfside, which is where families can stay and play all day. 

With an aft pool, carousel, kids splash zone, arcade, and both complimentary and specialty dining venues, there's enough to keep everyone satisfied!

Read more: Icon of the Seas Surfside neighborhood: What to expect

Surfside Bites


Cost: Included

Surfside Bites is complimentary and features grab-and-go options. It's perfect for those looking for a snack or who do not want to waste their afternoon on a lengthy lunch! 

While the menu isn't extensive, you can find popcorn chicken, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, french fries, fruit, and even cinnamon sugar churros here!

Read more: Royal Caribbean is building the best cruise ship for young families on Icon of the Seas

Pier 7


Cost: Not included

Pier 7 is a brand-new specialty venue located within Surfside. The all-day brunch menu has items like mango lime shrimp tostadas, smoked salmon benedicts, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, and surf and turf tacos. 

Pier 7 is free for kids under 12, and everyone else pays a $14.99 cover charge that includes two items in any category.

Surfside Eatery


Cost: Included

Surfside will also feature its own buffet, so families will not have to worry about dragging their kids away from all the fun for too long to go to the Windjammer. 

Surfside Eatery, like the Windjammer, is included in the cost of your cruise fare. 

Note that you'll find a Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine outside of Surfside Eatery. If you're going to purchase a drink package, you can refill your cup here. 

The Lemon Post Bar


Cost: Not included

The Lemon Post Bar allows parents to enjoy their own tropical cocktails while children get to order from a menu of mocktails curated just for them, for an additional charge, of course. 

It's located close to Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay, so you're never far from a beverage! 

Playmaker's Sports Bar & Arcade

Burger at Playmakers

Cost: Not included

Located within Surfside on Deck 8, you will find the beloved sports bar Playmakers, which serves à la carte food and hand-crafted beverages. 

Whether you're craving nachos, wings, onion rings, or jalapeño poppers, you will find a range of options for $3.00 to $29.99. 



AquaDome is another neighborhood exclusive to Icon Class ships, including Star of the Seas, which is scheduled to launch in 2025. 

It's located on Decks 14 and 15 at the very front of the ship and is where you'll not only find numerous food and beverage options but also the first-ever enclosed AquaTheater and breathing ocean views. 

Read more: Icon of the Seas AquaDome: What to expect

The Overlook Bar


Cost: Not included

If you're seeking some of the best ocean views onboard Icon, you will want to make sure you visit The Overlook within the AquaDome Neighborhood, which is outfitted with impressive floor-to-ceiling windows. 

In addition to comfortable pods for relaxing and catching up with friends and family, you'll also find The Overlook Bar. 

Rye & Bean


Cost: Not included

Rye & Bean is perfect for those who might not be ready for a strong cocktail first thing in the morning.

That being said, Rye & Bean is the place to go for coffee-infused cocktails; however, you're able to order a classic cup of coffee, too. 

Hooked Seafood


Cost: Not included

Hooked Seafood is open for lunch and dinner. This specialty restaurant focuses on New England-style seafood and serves dishes such as Maryland Crab Cakes, Drunken Mussels, Maine Lobster Rolls, and more. 

Celebration Table


Cost: Not included

You can think of Celebration Table like an elevated Chef's Table. This fully rentable private dining room inside Hooked Seafood can seat up to twelve guests and is a premium specialty venue onboard Icon of the Seas. 

Rather than have a menu curated by the chef, you can choose from four different family-style prix fixe menus: American, Asian, Seafood, and Italian. You can personalize and upgrade the selections, too.

Read more: Beyond the Buffet: Exploring Royal Caribbean's unique onboard cuisine

AquaDome Market


Cost: Included

Icon of the Seas is home to the cruise line's first-ever food hall. Inside AquaDome Market, you'll find five different stalls, each highlighting a different cuisine or specific food:

  • Crème de la Crèpe (Crèpes)
  • GNGR (Asian)
  • Mac's (Mac and cheese)
  • Feta (Mediterranean)
  • Toast & Garden (Sandwiches and salads)

Even better? It's all included!

Vitality Cafe

Vitality Cafe on Icon

Cost: Included (with exceptions)

At Vitality Cafe, you will find some complimentary healthful options, such as housemade granola and fresh fruit, as well as specialty smoothies for an additional charge. 

Chill Island & Thrill Island

Hideaway pool

The top decks of Icon of the Seas are where you’ll find both Chill Island and Thrill Island. 

Royal Caribbean aims to include a variety of dining and bar venues on the pool and sports deck, so you don’t have to worry about leaving the pool to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a tropical beverage. 

El Loco Fresh and Cantina Fresca

Cost: Included (El Loco Fresh) / Not included (Cantina Fresca)

In between laps at the pool, you’ll want to head to El Loco Fresh on the pool deck for fresh Mexican fare.

This complimentary grab-and-go spot offers burritos, quesadillas, nachos, tacos, and a salsa station that is sure to satisfy any hungry passenger. 

Next to El Loco Fresh is Cantina Fresca, a Mexican-themed bar known for its specialty margaritas and aguas frescas. Specialty cocktails at Cantina Fresca include the Watermelon Margarita, Mezcal Mule, and Cozumel Sunrise.

Swim & Tonic

Swim and Tonic

Cost: Not included

Swim & Tonic is the cruise line's first swim-up bar with in-pool seating. In fact, they claim it's the largest swim-up bar at sea! 

No longer do you have to leave the pool to get a refreshing beverage while sailing through the Caribbean. 



Cost: Included

Sprinkles is located within Chill Island. This is where you can enjoy complimentary soft-serve ice cream throughout the day!

The Lime and Coconut

Cost: Not included

Royal Caribbean’s resort-style pool bar can be found in three different locations on Icon of the Seas, including the brand-new Cloud 17 area. 

The Lime & Coconut is known for a few signature drinks including:

  • Lime & Coconut, made with Malibu coconut rum, coconut milk, coconut syrup, guava syrup, and lime juice 
  • Blue Wave, made with Tito’s vodka, blue curacao, and pineapple juice 
  • Caribbean Sunset, made with Aperol, sparkling wine, and a splash of soda

Windjammer Marketplace


Cost: Included

It wouldn’t be a Royal Caribbean cruise without the Windjammer Marketplace, the cruise line’s signature complimentary buffet that's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day of your cruise. 

Onboard Icon, the Windjammer is located on Deck 15 and wraps around the entirety of the deck below Thrill Island in the aft of the ship. 



Cost: Included (with exceptions)

Basecamp offers a mix of both complimentary and extra-charge items, which include waffle chicken nuggets ($7), Wisconsin cheese curds ($6), crispy shrimp bao buns ($8), grilled chicken sandwiches ($9), and smash burgers ($11). 

Additionally, while beef hot dogs, warm pretzels, and tater tots are complimentary, you can add cheese, bacon, and green onions to any of the free options for an extra $2. 

Plus, you'll find a bar here. It's the perfect place to refuel while having fun at the Category 6 water park! 



Cost: Not included

The new Desserted Milkshake Bar allows passengers to choose from a lineup of milkshake concoctions, including spiked options for adults.

It's located directly across from the entrance to Category 6's slides. 

The Hideaway

The Hideaway neighborhood

The Hideaway is Royal Caribbean's adult-only neighborhood. Yes, that means you won't find a Solarium onboard. No worries, though; this area is only for those 18+!

From its conceptualization, The Hideaway was meant to have a Las Vegas pool party vibe. It has the first suspended infinity pool at sea, day beds (that you can rent for an additional cost), loungers, and an expansive bar area.

The Hideaway Bar

Hideaway Bar

Cost: Not included

The Hideaway Bar has a special menu where you can order specialty cocktails like the Castaway Spritz, Oh Mai Gawd, Coral Blush, and more. 

Since it's located within the adults-only neighborhood, you will not find any children here. Adults can order a tropical beverage before enjoying the infinity pool! 

Suite Neighborhood

Inside the Ultimate Family Townhouse

If you're staying in certain suites, you will gain access to The Grove Sun Deck and Coastal Kitchen. Both have complimentary dining options available exclusively to suite guests. 

Note that if you're staying in a Sea Class suite (i.e., Junior Suites and Sunset Junior Suites), you won't have access to the sun deck. Plus, you'll only be able to eat at Coastal Kitchen for dinner, subject to availability. 

To gain full access, you will want to book a Sky or Star Class suite. 

Read more: Icon of the Seas Suite Neighborhood: What to expect

Coastal Kitchen


Cost: Included (for suite guests)

Coastal Kitchen has been a staple restaurant for suite guests since its debut on Quantum of the Seas in 2014, and Icon of the Seas will be the first ship in the fleet to have a two-story Coastal Kitchen restaurant.

The Grove


Cost: Included (for suite guests)

During the day, Suite guests can grab a bite to eat at The Grove, a fast-casual Mediterranean venue located in the suite-only sun deck that features al fresco seating and a bar. 

This is complimentary to suite guests and surely beats leaving the comfort of the private enclave to eat at the Windjammer! 

Other food and beverage venues

Main Dining Room


Cost: Included 

Every Royal Caribbean ship has a Main Dining Room onboard. This is where you can indulge in three-course meals each night of your cruise for no extra charge. It serves breakfast and lunch throughout the voyage, too. 

If you're unsure when it is open, check the Royal Caribbean app. You may also request a physical copy of the ship's daily schedule from your cabin steward or Guest Services. 

Onboard Icon, the Main Dining Room spans three decks in the aft of the ship: Decks 3, 4, and 5. 

Read more: 21 Tips for the Best Cruise Ship Main Dining Room Experience

Casino Bar


Cost: Not included

There's a bar inside of Casino Royale that features sit-down slot machines. 

Music Hall

Music Hall

Cost: Not included

If you’re looking for a nightclub experience on Icon of the Seas, you can head to Music Hall. 

Located on Decks 3 and 4, this two-story venue features live bands and DJs in the evenings.

Icon of the Seas Suite Neighborhood: What to expect

15 Jan 2024

If you booked a suite on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, there's an entire section of the ship reserved just for you.


Among the eight neighborhoods on Icon, the exclusive Suite Neighborhood offers upscale amenities like a private two-story sun deck and restaurant. 


The Suite Neighborhood overlooks the vibrant pool deck below, including Swim & Tonic, the cruise line's first swim-up bar at sea. 


Throughout The Grove Suite Sun Deck, you'll find tons of plush seating with direct oceanfront views, as well as colorful tropical decor. 

Read more: How to beat the chair hogs on your cruise ship


During the day, Suite guests can grab a bite to eat at The Grove, a fast-casual Mediterranean venue located within the Suite Neighborhood that features al fresco seating. This surely will beat venturing to the Windjammer or El Loco Fresh!


This brand-new dining option is located steps away from the private pool. 

Read more: Everything you need to know about Royal Caribbean's Royal Suite Class


Of course, Suite guests may also take advantage of Coastal Kitchen, the elegant suite-only dining room that's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 


Non-suite passengers are unable to dine at Coastal Kitchen, even if they're willing to pay. 


They will have to choose from one of the numerous other specialty restaurants, such as Empire Supper Club, Izumi Sushi & Hibachi, Chops Grille, etc. These are open to suite guests, too. 

Read more: Royal Caribbean previews all the restaurant and dining choices coming to the world's largest cruise ship


Pinnacle Club members, or those who have reached the highest tier of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society, have the opportunity to enjoy meals in Coastal Kitchen, subject to availability. 


Coastal Kitchen is located on Decks 16 and 17 with large windows overlooking the ship's indoor AquaTheater within the AquaDome Neighborhood. It's a great place to grab a pre-show cocktail! 


Being located so close to the AquaDome Neighborhood means that Suite guests are only steps away from the AquaDome Market, Overlook Pods, Hooked Seafood, and more. 

Read more: I walked through Royal Caribbean's new food hall concept and it could radically change casual dining onboard


Within the Suite Neighborhood, you will find numerous places to get a drink, which is great since some of the most exclusive (and expensive) suites onboard include a Royal Caribbean drink package


Those with children and/or teens will appreciate how close the suite-only spaces are to Thrill Island, which is home to the largest water park at sea: Category 6. 


Activities such as the Flowrider and the brand-new Crown's Edge can be found at the aft of the ship on Deck 16. 


Icon of the Seas has eight new suite categories that cannot be found on other ships within the fleet, including the Sunset Junior Suite, Sunset Corner Suite, Icon Loft, and Ultimate Family Townhouse. 

Read more: Guide to Icon of the Seas cabins and suites

Ultimate Family Townhouse
Susnet Corner suite on Icon

The benefits that you will receive vary based on which tier the suite is in. Sunset Junior Suites and standard Junior Suites, for instance, won't have as many perks as the Ultimate Family Townhome. 


If you want to access The Grove, you'll want to book a suite that's located within the Sky or Star Class. Sea Class suites (i.e., Junior Suites and Sunset Junior Suites) do not have access to the private sun deck and can only eat at Coastal Kitchen for dinner, subject to availability. 


Royal Caribbean swaps adults-only venues on Icon of the Seas

14 Jan 2024

Royal Caribbean has made a last-minute change to which part of Icon of the Seas will be exclusively for adults.

The Hideaway is now adults-only

Ever since Royal Caribbean revealed details on its newest cruise ship, Cloud 17 was to be the adults-only area. Icon does not have a Solarium, which has traditionally been the adults-only area on its cruise ships.

As first reported by Cruise Critic, the plan has changed.

Instead of Cloud 17 (located in Chill Island), The Hideaway neighborhood will become the adults-only area for guests 18 years old or older.

The Hideaway

In speaking with Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider, the change was made in just the last week.

Adults only sign at The Hideaway

When passengers board Icon of the Seas for the first revenue sailing on January 27, they can find a kid-free zone at The Hideaway. Cloud 17 will be open to guests of all ages.

Why the change was made

The Hideaway

Making the swap of venue rules just weeks before the new cruise ship was to set sail had a few reasons for it.

First, Mr. Schneider indicated that since Hideaway Beach at Perfect Day at CocoCay was going to be an adults-only area, having a very similar named venue on Icon of the Seas made more logical sense to have the same policy.

In addition, Cruise Critic reported that Royal Caribbean felt Cloud 17 was in "prime real estate" and did not make sense to have the area closed off to families.

About The Hideaway

The Hideaway neighborhood

One of the new neighborhood ideas on Icon of the Seas is The Hideaway. 

It's at the very back of the ship on deck 15, and it's Royal Caribbean's first ever pool at the back of a ship.

The Hideaway neighborhood

The pool is perched 135 feet above the ocean, offering 180 degree views.

The Hideaway

From its conceptualization, The Hideaway was meant to have a Las Vegas pool party vibe.  It has the first suspended infinity pool at sea, day beds, loungers, and an expansive bar area.

The Hideaway

There's also a multilevel terrace, whirlpools, a variety of seating. The daybeds have an additional cost to them.

Fan reaction

Hideaway Neighborhood

News of the change seems to be have been so far with favorable reaction.

Comments on Reddit showed cruisers think there's more logic to having The Hideaway be for only adults.

"That is a huge improvement, Cloud 17 looked like it would suck whenever it’s windy," wrote Kvalri.

Hideaway Bar

shanham wrote, "I was surprised that hideaway wasn’t the adult area because I saw they were selling the hideaway “pool beds” for $500 on my sailing. I told my husband I couldn’t imagine paying $500 to be on a bed in a pool full of kids."

Hideaway pool

illuminated0ne thinks making The Hideaway adults-only is sensible, but not changing Cloud 17 as well, "I always assumed they would turn The Hideaway into adults only eventually because of the expensive day beds in the area, but I didn't think they'd take away the other adults-only place they've been advertising for a year."

"The Hideaway looks so much smaller. It's even more puzzling they're doing it before trying it out once."

About Cloud 17

Cloud 17

If making Cloud 17 suddenly changes your pool deck plans, here's what to know about the area.

You'll find an infinity-edge pool at Cloud 17 (the same is true at the Cove Pool) that overlooks the ocean. There's also a whirlpool.

It also has its own Lime & Coconut Bar.

Hideaway bar menu

Hideaway drink menu

As mentioned, there is a bar in The Hideaway and it has a special menu.

The menu is simply a starting point, and you can order other cocktails, beers, or mixed drinks.  

Here's a look at the drink menu.

Hideaway drink menu
Hideaway drink menu
Hideaway drink menu
Hideaway drink menu
Hideaway drink menu

First look Inside the World's Biggest Cruise Marvel, Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas

12 Jan 2024

We knew Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship was going to be impressive, but it's pretty darn incredible how they can push the boundaries of what we expect on a ship.

The Pearl

The words, "wow", "I can't believe it", and "amazing" were swirling through my head as I had a brief day visit tour of the biggest cruise ship in the world, Icon of the Seas.

The 20-deck high ship comes in at 250,800 tons, winning the title of biggest cruise ship in the world from sister vessel, Wonder of the Seas.  In fact, it will be the first time in about 5 years that an Oasis Class ship hasn't been the biggest in the world.

The ship appeals to a wide range of cruisers, with a growing focus on the family cruise market. Like a new bride, it borrow the traditions of the past, while forging its own destiny. All new cruise ships build on the progress made by ships of the past, but it is clear to me that Icon of the Seas takes a jump ahead. If there's one thing apparent about Royal Caribbean's new ship, it's that it's anything but ordinary.

Surfside seats

With just weeks to go until the first paying passengers board the ship, I had a day to run around and explore as much of Icon of the Seas as I could squeeze in and share with you what this new ship is all about.

Icon is a brand new class of ship, so that means Royal Caribbean started from scratch. They incorporated ideas from existing ships while creating new ideas and reworking others. Don't be surprised when you see something that is similar to an existing ship. While they may have borrowed the concept, they've also built upon it and iterated it as well.


A great example is when you walk onboard the Royal Promenade.  Icon is not the first ship to have a Royal Promenade, but it is the first one to have a wide-open Royal Promenade that has windows, shops, and certain venues. 

The Pearl

There's sunlight, new restaurants and The Pearl. Much was made of The Pearl at a time when we knew next to nothing about Icon, and it might have been overinflated in terms of significance, but it delivers on making your jaw drop when you first walk onto the ship and that's the first thing you see.

It's three decks high, has a beautiful interior made up of kinetic tiles, and I'm told there will be certain events that occur in there related to sound and sight. You might not want to visit The Pearl every day, but I challenge you not to go there at least once and marvel at it.

Pearl Cafe

Another step up for Royal Caribbean is behind The Pearl with Pearl Cafe.  The replacement to Cafe Promenade on other ships, Pearl Cafe has grab-and-go snacks for guests on the run, as well as specialty coffees.  Best of all, it has many tables and large windows.  It reminds me a lot of Cafe al bacio in some ways, and I would love to sit and people watch from there.

Schooner Bar

Throughout the Promenade you'll find familiar places with fresh looks. Giovanni's Table has a home here, while Schooner Bar has a beautiful nautical motif. 

Dueling Pianos

The new Dueling Pianos bar has the potential to be one of the top nightlife locations, and I really like the seating arrangements in the Point & Feather pub.


The AquaDome


I wasn't sure where to go first once I boarded, but I really wanted to the AquaDome neighborhood. 

The AquaDome is one of those staggering places that you can't help but revel in the magnitude of the space. From the theater in the middle, to the Overlook seating in front, to the food hall, I never thought I would want to spend as much time here as I did once I walked it.

If you've been on the Oasis Class ships, then you know how cool the shows are and I didn't see any of them. Even without its signature attraction on the day I visited, I loved being in this space more than I thought I would.

The giant glass dome encompasses places to chill, eat, and be entertained. Plus, there are cabins within this neighborhood too.

When I get back onboard, I'll look forward to the shows that are performed in the AquaDome. "Aqua Nation!" and "Pirates vs Mermaids" are the two shows you can see.


The Overlook is a sleeper hit of the ship because it has fantastic seating, especially in the pods. It's first-come, first-seated, and I think a lot of people will love to hang out here on a sea day, especially with bar service.

My favorite spot for a bite to eat is easily the AquaDome Market. Royal Caribbean incorporated its first food hall concept, and I want to eat here every day.

Aquadome market
Aquadome Market

Greek, Asian, French, and... whatever Mac and Cheese constitutes is found here. It's complimentary, freshly made, and I could eat it every day. I'm curious to see how it handles rush hour at lunch, but I love the concept.

Top deck looks really fun

Pool deck on Icon

There's still plenty of work to do on Icon of the Seas before the first revenue sailing, and that was the case with the pool deck.

Not to worry, Royal Caribbean says it will all be good to by the time paying guests get onboard. On the day I visited, there was work being done to set everything up. No construction, just finishing touches and deliveries and set up of furnishings.

Even with some areas inaccessible, I think this pool deck is going to be a real winner for the line. 

Swim and Tonic
Swim and Tonic

The Swim & Tonic pool is easily going to be the most popular pool on the ship with its swim-up bar and in-pool seating.

Royal Bay Pool is slated to be the largest pool at sea, and all the hot tubs strewn around the deck should find plenty of customers. Royal Bay is enormous and looks like it takes up half the length of the deck.

Chill Island

But the Category 6 looks like it will deliver a true waterpark experience on a cruise ship.  There's so many slides, and I know it's where my kids will want to go on a sea day.

It will have a drop slide, the tallest drop slide at sea, family raft slides and two mat-racing slides.

I used to think three slides was a big deal, but six seems to be what I always needed but never knew I did.


The weather was overcast and slightly drizzly and hardly worthy of a Miami television commercial, but the one place I really regretted not bringing my bathing suit was The Hideaway.

Hideaway chairs
Hideaway hot tub

Located on the back of the ship, it's the first suspended infinity pool at sea and I wanted to go right in. I had a great plan to tell all of you my camera "died" and I had no other way to capture content as an excuse to go spend the afternoon in the infinity pool. Alas, my sense of responsibility (and the fact I didn't pack a bathing suit) won out.

Hideaway pool

I like variety in my cruise ships, because one day I might prefer one pool and another day a different one. There's plenty of choices with the pools on Icon.

Central Park


Central Park isn't a new concept at all, but it's amazing what a few tweaks, additions, and restructuring can do to dramatically improve an area.


I was ready to walk through Central Park and write off the place as a copy of the Oasis Class, but I found it beautiful and the changes the perfect blend of old and new.


I've always been a big fan of Izumi, and what Royal Caribbean has done with this specialty restaurant on Icon is astonishing. It's been given the necessary space to house all of Royal Caribbean's best ideas in one. There are lots of hibachi tables, sushi tables, a VIP hibachi table, and even a walk-up window where you can get sushi as late as 10pm.


Walking around the park, the colors of the balcony shutters above you combined with the flora and color choices of the park really stood out as a lovely area to be in. 

Bubbles champagne bar

The new champagne window, Bubbles, wasn't open on my visit, but I think it will be popular with the mimosa and Bellini crowd.

Yes, I met Rover


I couldn't believe how much attention the family dog Royal Caribbean is introducing on Icon of the Seas received when it was announced, but it makes total sense once you see Rover in action.

I was on Icon for about 7 hours, and I relegated myself to the fact I wouldn't see Rover until I saw her on the Royal Promenade playing fetch.

Alison is Rover's Chief of Staff and it's her job to take care of Rover while onboard.


If you're wondering if Rover can be as cute as the photos show, you'd be correct. She is adorable and you will wish there was a sign up program to have the dog sleep in your cabin for just one night.

Rover is a symbol for the fun and family-centric nature Icon of the Seas was designed to deliver. Obviously no one is booking a cruise just to see a dog, but it's a really nice touch.


In case you're wondering, no, Rover serves no other function.  She's not a drug sniffing dog and she's not a service animal either.  So Rover isn't allowed in the restaurants.

Family, family, family


I've always thought of Royal Caribbean as the best family cruise line already, but I wish we had Surfside when my kids were under the age of 10.

Imagine the Boardwalk neighborhood layout from the Oasis Class ships completely re-designed to provide family fun for the six and under crowd, along with their parents. Royal Caribbean says 6 and under is the ideal age, but I could see 8 and 9 year olds enjoying some of the spaces too.


Splashaway Bay, Baby Bay, and the adults pool look great and I think parents will appreciate having a place to bring the kids that's more contained than the pool deck without compromising on what there is for the parents.

I was blown away by how many dining venues there are: Lemon Post, Pier 7, Sugar Beach, and Surfside Eatery provide plenty of choices and they're all right there in one area. 


Good luck convincing those kids it's time to leave when there's pools, a carousel, mac and cheese, and Shirley Temples all around you.

Adventure Ocean
Adventure Ocean
Adventure Ocean

The really smart choice here was putting Adventure Ocean just one staircase away. On every other Royal Caribbean ship, the kids club is on a top deck and feels like diametrically opposed from everything else going on onboard. Having Adventure Ocean adjacent to Surfside is brilliant.

Teen club
Teen club
Teen club
Teen club

As usual, I was envious of the teen club because of how chill this place looks. There's lots of space to spread out and enjoy TV, games, and more.

Familiar and new dining


Royal Caribbean has always said they wanted to embrace their past while forging ahead to the future, and that is definitely the case with its dining.

There's a good array of specialty and complimentary food on Icon, with new restaurants mixed in with returning favorites.  But don't overlook the restaurants you may have dined at on other ships, because many of them have new looks.


Starting with Izumi, Royal Caribbean has outdone itself with the revamp of this Japanese specialty restaurant. It's expansive and beautiful.


The new Empire Supper Club is a high-end dinner experience where the phrase, "going out" really has a new meaning.  It's not cheap ($200 per person), but Royal Caribbean wants to offer a truly elevated and distinguished meal for those seeking more than just another specialty restaurant.


I was equally impressed by how many dining venues there are in Surfside. Surfside Eatery, Pier 7, and Surfside Bites all look good and I think it's going to be a boon for families to have so many family-friendly (read: picky eater) choices in close proximity.


The restaurant I was most excited to try while on Icon was the AquaDome Market. When lunch came around, this was the restaurant I wanted to try first.  


The food hall delivered exactly what I hoped for: quick and casual food from a variety of cuisines. I'll be curious to see how it works with a full guest load onboard, but the food quality won't be a problem.

Speaking of grab and go, I managed to stop by Basecamp in Thrill Island for an early dinner before disembarking the ship.

Chicken sandwich
Pretzel bites

Basecamp has a mix of complimentary and extra-cost food. I went with the grilled chicken sandwich ($9) and warm pretzel bites (complimentary). 

I think the idea here is to have something convenient when you're riding water slides and don't want to go all the way back to the Windjammer for something to eat.  Convenience is king on cruise ships.


Then there's Giovanni's, Chops, Hooked, and other grab-and-go restaurants. I'm excited to try these when I sail on Icon, but suffice to say, there's no shortage of dining.

The best ship casino yet?

Casino on Icon

Cruise ship casinos tend to be an afterthought in terms of design. Cram as many tables and slot machines into a space and you're done, right?

The casino on Icon really seems to more spread out and I like the flow a lot more than on other ships.

Casino on Icon

In speaking with the casino hosts onboard (Hi Chris), they indicated Icon's casino is about the same square footage as Wonder of the Seas, but the layout is more rectangular than square. 

It felt like a bigger space to me, and I just liked the flow a lot more.

Just a glimpse with more to come

Main Dining Room

I can't encapsulate everything Royal Caribbean has up its sleeve in just one post. Heck, I didn't have enough time to experience it all either. But I'm more excited than ever to get back onboard.

My father's favorite movie might be "Family Man" starring Nicholas Cage, where the central figure is magically transported to a new life that he falls in love with and pleads with the angel at the end of the film not to return him back to his regular life.  I kind of felt that way when my time on Icon came to a close, because I didn't want to get off the ship yet.

Top deck on Icon of the Seas

There's plenty of takeaways from Icon, but one I really think is just how much there is to do to keep guests moving.  When you hear there as many as 7,000 guests onboard, it can sound like that's a lot, but when I think about all the activities on the pool deck, Surfside, Royal Promenade, and AquaDome, I think crowd management won't be a problem for this ship.

When you're onboard, the scale of Royal Caribbean's ambitions becomes apparent, and I think there's lots of space to handle all the people Royal Caribbean hopes will sail with them every week.

Overlooking Central Park

With every neighborhood I walked through, I thought "This is where I want to spend my day". Until I got to the next neighborhood, and then thought the same thing.  

Coastal Kitchen

I think part of the design process for Icon was to create compelling spaces that draw guests to them for different reasons. I'm certainly not suggesting there won't be lines or a crowd on Icon, but I do think there's enough happening around the ship to keep everyone from congregating in one area.

In my brief day visit to Icon, I saw as much as I could. I can summarize it best by paraphrasing Anthony Bourdain: I write, I walked all over Icon, and I'm hungry for more.

Icon of the Seas Central Park: What to expect

11 Jan 2024

Central Park has been a beloved neighborhood onboard Royal Caribbean ships since Oasis of the Seas launched in 2009. 


On Oasis Class ships, Central Park is pretty standardized. If you have seen one, the rest are relatively similar. 

Central Park on Icon

While Central Park on Icon of the Seas is still a hub for live plants, restaurants, and shops, it is unlike any reiteration done before, though it's still located midship on Deck 8. 

Here's what's included and what costs extra in Central Park:

Empire Supper Club ✔️
Izumi Hibachi & Sushi ✔️
Izumi in the Park ✔️
Chops Grille ✔️
Park Cafe✔️ 
Bubbles ✔️
Trellis Bar ✔️
Lou's Jazz 'n Blues ✔️

Read more: The flourishing garden on Symphony of the Seas has over 20,000 plants, and it's my favorite spot onboard


For the first time ever, Royal Caribbean has relocated the popular Izumi Sushi and Hibachi to Central Park. 


On older ships, the location of Izumi greatly varies, if it is even present onboard. It could be located in the Royal Promenade, adjacent to Casino Royale, or on a higher deck. Some don't even have teppanyaki tables, just sushi. 

Read more: Icon of the Seas Royal Promenade: What to expect


Royal Caribbean also added a walk-up window that serves sushi and other Japanese-inspired snacks. Whether you are craving some sushi to-go or want a sweet treat, you do not have to worry about making dining reservations and sitting down for a lengthy meal. 


Like onboard Oasis Class ships, Chops Grille will remain in Central Park. 

Read more: Royal Caribbean previews all the restaurant and dining choices coming to the world's largest cruise ship


For the first time, however, you will be able to hand-select your cut of meat at the butcher's display. 


Another fan-favorite returning to this neighborhood is Park Cafe. 


The legendary Royal Kümmelweck roast beef sandwich will be available here, as well as other breakfast and lunch sandwiches and salads. Plus, Park Cafe will be open for dinner on Icon. 

If you aren't feeling the Windjammer crowds on embarkation day, this is a great place to go! 

Read more: 15 Royal Caribbean boarding process tips for a fast embarkation


There's also a walk-up champagne bar, Bubbles, which serves champagne and champagne cocktails by the glass.

Bubbles champagne bar

Empire Supper Club is a new specialty restaurant that, as of January 2024, can only be found onboard Icon of the Seas

The venue was designed to be reminiscent of the 1930s in New York City. This upscale restaurant will have two seatings for guests each night: 6:00pm and 8:30pm. 


The eight-course menu will feature premium American cuisine with dishes like caviar and wagyu. 

Additionally, this dining experience will combine food and music. There will be a three-piece band playing a different song during each course. 

This premium dining experience costs $200 per person. If you have the Unlimited Dining Package, you can pay a $130 upcharge to eat at Empire Supper Club. 


Finally, Lou's Jazz N' Blues, another new venue, is the perfect place to either pop in before dinner or afterward for a nightcap. 

Read more: Icon of the Seas Surfside neighborhood: What to expect


If you're seeking a to-go beverage, Trellis Bar, another Oasis Class favorite, will be right across the way in Central Park. 


Don't forget to check out the light snacks menu! You can enjoy small treats like mac and cheese poppers, crab cake fritters, crispy truffle fries, and more. 


Icon of the Seas AquaDome: What to expect

11 Jan 2024

Perched atop Decks 14 and 15 is Icon of the Seas' AquaDome Neighborhood. 


In addition to being home to the ship's next-level AquaTheater, this is also where you'll find other Royal Caribbean firsts, including the AquaDome Market. 

Read more: Icon of the Seas: Itinerary, features, and more


AquaDome Market is Royal Caribbean's first-ever food hall venue. Food halls are a relatively new concept in the cruise industry, and Icon of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to offer one.

Since it's located in the front of the ship, the goal is to help disperse crowds, as the Windjammer and El Loco Fresh and located towards the aft (back) of Icon. 


There are five different food stalls that guests can choose from. Starting with Crème de la Crèpe, this is where you will find both sweet and savory crèpes. You can order anything from a ham and swiss crèpe to one with hazelnut and bananas! 


GNGR will serve Asian dishes, while Mac's will have a set menu of different mac and cheese options. Nobody is stopping you from ordering traditional mac and cheese, but you can (and should) try something a little more unique, like pepperoni pizza mac! 


Feta Mediterranean's focus will be traditional-style Greek pitas, which is different from what you can find in other venues on the ship. 

Additionally, you can create your own Mediterranean-inspired bowl. With three different protein options and numerous different toppings and sauces, you're sure to come up with the perfect creation! 


The fifth option is Toast & Garden. Here, you'll be able to get lighter options, such as sandwiches and salads. 

Read more: Icon of the Seas Surfside neighborhood: What to expect


Also found within the AquaDome Neighborhood is the Overlook. 


If you're looking for some incredible sea views, this is the place to be, as the Overlook's outfitted with two stories of floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Overlook Bar

During the day, you can nuzzle into a cozy pod and catch up on your reading or play a card game with friends and family. 


If you get a little thirsty, there's a conveniently located bar. It's also a great place to grab a pre-show cocktail before heading into the AquaTheater. 


Rye & Bean is perfect for those who might not be ready for a strong cocktail at 1:00pm. While you can certainly get a coffee-infused cocktail, you're also able to order a classic cup of coffee to give you enough energy for the evening ahead. 

And yes, Royal Caribbean drink packages can be used at both!


Finally, Hooked Seafood, as well as the brand-new Celebration Table, can also be found in the AquaDome Neighborhood. 


If you haven't caught on, there's no shortage of places to eat on Icon, especially within the AquaDome, where you can enjoy a delicious salad for lunch and New England-style seafood for dinner. 

Read more: Icon of the Seas Royal Promenade: What to expect


Icon of the Seas Surfside neighborhood: What to expect

11 Jan 2024

Icon of the Seas is full of brand-new experiences at sea, including the family-family Surfside Neighborhood. 

Surfside neighborhood

Replacing what was the Boardwalk on Oasis Class ships, Surfside is where families can stay and play all day. With an arcade, kids splash zone, aft pool, carousel, and both complimentary and specialty venues, there's enough to keep everyone satisfied! 

Read more: Royal Caribbean is building the best cruise ship for young families on Icon of the Seas with a new purpose-built area


With younger families making up a significant portion of Royal Caribbean guests, the cruise line wanted to create a space just for them. 


Unlike Royal Caribbean's Boardwalk, Surfside has a vibrant design that's reminiscent of a surfing town that's complete with a beach-theme carousel where you can ride anything from a flamingo pool toy to a "Volkswagon" van. 


Rather than having to drag kids to the Windjammer, your family can grab a bite to eat at the Surfside Eatery, which is Royal Caribbean's first buffet just for families! 

Read more: Icon of the Seas: Itinerary, features, and more


While not as large as the Windjammer, it's the perfect place to fuel up without having to stray from the fun. 

Read more: Royal Caribbean will introduce new family fun ambassador on Icon of the Seas


There's also Surfside Bites, where you will find grab-and-go options, such as popcorn chicken, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, french fries, fruit, and even cinnamon sugar churros!


The third dining option in Surfside is Pier 7, a specialty restaurant that's exclusive to Icon of the Seas and will serve an all-day brunch with items like surf and turf tacos, mango lime shrimp tostadas, smoked salmon benedict, and fluffy buttermilk pancakes. 


Parents won't be far from a bar, either. The Lemon Post Bar will serve both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for everyone in the family. 

While you are enjoying a tropical cocktail, your child can order from a menu of mocktails curated just for them!  


While Icon of the Seas' food and beverage spots are certainly a highlight of the 250,800 gross registered ton vessel, it is hard to overlook all the fun activities onboard. Surfside is a hub of activity for everyone, starting with the arcade that has over 30 different games inside! 

Read more: Royal Caribbean will offer swanky supper club and food hall on new Icon of the Seas when it launches


Here, you can challenge your family members to a friendly game of air hockey, work on your claw machine skills, or play skeeball. As with all other Royal Caribbean ships, the arcade isn't included in your cruise fare. 


At the very end of Surfside, you will find Splashaway Bay, Baby Bay, and Water's Edge, a pool pressed against the aft of the ship that's sure to get some impressive ocean views on sea days. 


Fans of Oasis Class ships will notice that there's no AquaTheater here. Instead, high-diving spectaculars will be held in the brand-new AquaDome

Located at the front of the ship, this is a whole new neighborhood in and of itself where you'll find, of course, the next-level AquaTheater, bars, and tranquil places to relax during the day. 


While there's so much more of the ship to explore, we have not seen all of Surfside yet! 

In addition to restaurants, splash zones, and more, Surfside is also where you will find Sugar Beach, a candy lover's dream that also serves Royal Caribbean's in-house ice cream, for an extra charge. 

Read more: What's included in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare


Once your children have had their sugar fix, they can get some of their energy out while exploring the Playscape area. 


Surfside will also have its own Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine for those who purchase one of Royal Caribbean's drink packages, making it easy to refill your cup throughout the day. 


Don't forget to look up, either. You'll see some of the record-breaking waterslides in the Category 6 water park


Icon of the Seas Royal Promenade: What to expect

11 Jan 2024

At the heart of Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas remains one of its signature neighborhoods.


The Royal Promenade is a hub of activity and a place you'll probably spend a lot of time onboard the ship.

On Icon, the Royal Promenade has evolved with more space, light, and options.

You will find a combination of more than 15 new and reimagined restaurants, bars and lounges, and floor-to-ceiling ocean views, a first for Royal Caribbean.

Royal Promenade on Icon of the Seas

Here's a sneak peak at the Promenade on Icon of the Seas.

Read more: Icon of the Seas guide

Two levels and views too

Window views from Pearl Cafe

You'll notice two distinguishing factors to the Royal Promenade on Icon of the Seas when comparing this neighborhood to other ships.

First are the ocean views, something other ships never had.

Window on the Royal Promenade

Royal Caribbean sought to make the Royal Promenade more connected to the ocean. On Icon, the Royal Promenade has full glass views of the ocean for the first time ever.

The two-deck Royal Promenade makes getting around easier too.

Two decks on the Royal Promenade

This version of the Promenade has what Royal Caribbean calls "seamless connectivity" to make it easier to get around. This means you can easily get between Deck 5 and Deck 6 or head upstairs to Central Park on Deck 8.


Plus, there's an escalator from the Promenade to get you down to the casino and gangway on port days.

The Pearl

The Pearl

As guests walk aboard Icon of the Seas, they'll first be drawn to The Pearl, which Royal Caribbean calls an "arrival moment."


The Pearl is an interactive, multi-sensory experience made with kinetic tiles.

The Pearl

The Pearl encompasses four things:

  1. A gorgeous way to introduce the ship as you walk into it
  2. An engineering marvel
  3. It creates gorgeous views
  4. It has an experiential moment inside of it that's different for everyone.

Read more: First look at The Pearl on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas

Walking around the Royal Promenade

Boleros on Icon of the Seas

In touring the Royal Promenade, you'll find shopping, dining, and bars to keep you busy every day.

Entrance to Icon of the Seas

When you walk onto Icon of the Seas, you'll pass through the 1400 Lobby Bar.


Royal Caribbean intends for the 1400 Bar to be a focal point. It sets the stage for The Pearl, is adjacent to the escalators going down to the casino, and is at the heart of the ship.

Walking past the Pearl is Pearl Cafe, which is the next generation of Cafe Promenade.

Below the beautiful whale art sculpture is a new grab-and-go venue for elevated bistro food. Most of it is complimentary, but there are some extra-cost options in addition to the food included. 

Pearl Cafe choices
Pearl cafe food
Food at Pearl Cafe

As an example, there will be Starbucks brewed beverages that you can order but are also covered by a Royal Caribbean drink package or Diamond drink voucher.

Drink station

Something else that has evolved here are the drinks you can get on your own. The complimentary coffee and water station will look different from other ships.

Starbucks is located on one side of the 1400 bar. 


The Point & Feather pub is on the other side of 1400 as you walk onto the ship.

Point & Feather pub

NextCruise is where you can go to book a new Royal Caribbean cruise.  It's also where the loyalty ambassador is located.

Next Cruise on Icon of the Seas

Something else new to any Royal Caribbean cruise ship is the destination elevators.

Destination elevator

There are no classic elevators on Icon. Instead, it has destination elevators, where you go to a panel and pick which deck you want to go to. 

Destination elevator panel

It tells you what elevator you should go to instead of waiting for a free-for-all elevator that's crammed with passengers going to different places. 


Near The Pearl is Royal Caribbean's well-known pizza shop, Sorrentos.

Sorrentos on Icon

If you like singing along to your favorite songs, then Spotlight Karaoke is the spot for you.

Royal Promenade

Moving up to Deck 6 is the new Dueling Pianos bar.

Dueling Pianos

This is Royal Caribbean's first double-pianist bar where the two performers take requests and involve guests in the musical fun.

Entrance to Giovannis
Giovannis entrance area

Giovanni's Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar has been moved to the Royal Promenade on Icon. The menu will highlight Old World classics, such as veal meatballs.

Schooner Bar

Of course, no Royal Caribbean ship is complete without the Schooner Bar.

The nautical-themed bar is back on Icon, and it's on the upper level of the Royal Promenade.

Boleros on Icon of the Seas

There's also Boleros, which is the Latin music bar and another fan-favorite place for music and drinks.

The Attic is the comedy club venue onboard. 


The loyalty lounge for top-tier Crown and Anchor Society members is located at the forward end of the Royal Promenade on Deck 6.


This is where Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club guests can go to enjoy a private enclave just for them.


Leading away from the Royal Promenade is where kids and their parents can seek refuge in Adventure Ocean, the teen club, and Playmakers sports bar.

Logo shop on Icon of the Seas
Shop on Icon of the Seas

And of course, there are places to shop around the Royal Promenade.

There are various shops that sell Royal Caribbean souvenirs, along with designer and name-brand clothing, jewelry, and accessories. 

Photos show world's biggest cruise ship arriving in Florida

10 Jan 2024

The most anticipated cruise ship in over a decade has arrived home.

Icon of the Seas sailing into Miami

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas sailed into Miami in the early hours of Wednesday morning ahead of her inaugural sailing in just two weeks.

The new 1,198-foot cruise ship will begin offering cruises from Miami, Florida on January 27, 2024.

The marvel of engineering took 900 days to build and has a capacity for up to 5,610 guests and 2,350 crew members.

Icon of the Seas in Miami

Here's a look at the celebration tied to Icon's arrival.

Arrival home

Sailing into Miami

Icon of the Seas sailed into PortMiami right at 7am to a fanfare celebration.

Royal Caribbean welcomed the ship by shuttling over employees from its Miami headquarters to celebrate the Icon's entrance.

Waiting for Icon

Entrance is the right word, as the new ship came into the turning basin to spin around for onlookers.

Clearly visible are so many of the ship's signature features, from the AquaDome to Surfside neighborhood to the Category 6 water park.

Aft of Icon of the Seas
Zoom in aft of Icon

Onlookers waved ribbons and shouted with excitement for the new ship. Icon had her own deck party going, with music blasted from the ship to match the music heard from the party.

Royal Caribbean's event included a DJ, mini-golf course, snacks, and lots of photo opportunities.

Mini golf

So many employees on the beach shared their collective euphoria for the new ship's homecoming.

Celebrating Icon

New cruise ship launches are always a big deal, but Icon represents more to the cruise industry. She's the first of a new class of ship, and she ushers in the post-Covid era of cruising with an industry experiencing unprecedented demand.

Icon of the Seas has not only more to do onboard than other ships, but its Royal Caribbean's play at positioning itself as the preeminent family vacation choice.

Icon of the Seas arrival

Being on the shore of the waterway, you could sense there was a level of excitement for this ship that was different than when Wonder of the Seas or Odyssey of the Seas launched just a couple years ago.

Aft of Icon of the Seas

As Icon finished her turn, she headed to Terminal A. The new ship will conduct a series of shakedown cruises, which is a sort of "dress rehearsal" for the new ship.

Heading to Terminal A

Along the way, there will be opportunity for the media and travel agents to get onboard too. There will be a lot of pomp and circumstance leading up to her maiden voyage at the end of the month.

Highly anticipated launch

Icon of the Seas sailing in 2024

The arrival of Icon of the Seas represents a historical moment for Royal Caribbean, and it ushers in a new kind of cruise ship experience.

The 250,800-ton ship will have eight neighborhoods and never-before-seen advancements, such as a swim-up bar, a new adults-only retreat, and an expanded Royal Promenade. The Promenade has more than 15 restaurants, bars and lounges and floor-to-ceiling ocean views.

Royal Promenade on Icon of the Seas

The Promenade will feature an interactive, multi-sensory experience made with kinetic tiles called The Pearl
Jay Schneider, Royal Caribbean Chief Product Innovation Officer called it “a bit art, a bit sculpture, a bit experience, a bit wow."

There are 28 different types of rooms, including Royal Caribbean’s first cabins that can turn the balcony space into an extended indoor living space. They're called infinite balconies, and it's a concept first implemented on sister-brand Celebrity Cruises.

Ultimate Family Townhouse

You won't overlook the three-story Ultimate Family Townhouse, which measures 2,523 sq. ft.

Record-setting demand

Icon of the Seas sailing away

Icon's arrival coincides with months of excitement leading up to this moment.

Royal Caribbean revealed plans for Icon of the Seas in October 2022, and the hype surrounding the ship has never stopped. Icon of the Seas’ bookings so far have performed better than any other cruise ship launch. 

"I know it's a brand new product and it's stunning, but it's really driving a huge amount of demand and great rate," Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said. 

Icon of the Seas

Over 6 million people took a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2023. With the launch of Icon of the Seas and other innovations from the cruise line, these numbers will only grow.

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