Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Royal Caribbean International
Cruise StyleMainstream
Ship SizeLarge
Prince Range$
Sails To CocoCay

Caribbean destinations, including Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay
Sails From Miami
Duration7 days

With every new Royal Caribbean vessel that leaves the shipyard, the ‘largest cruise ship in the world’ baton is passed on. Before you bristle at the thought of being squeezed in with upwards of 7,600 other passengers while trying to enjoy a week island hopping in the Caribbean, know that innovative design and connectivity combine to make Icon of the Seas feel more like 8 small ships than a single enormous one. As with its Oasis-class vessels, Royal Caribbean’s first Icon-class ship makes genius use of eight unique neighborhoods to carve up the 1,198 feet long, 213 feet wide city at sea. But that’s just the start of this exciting story, because Royal Caribbean engineers, architects, dreamers, and designers have developed not only new dining destinations, record-breaking waterslides, and adventurous experiences, but introduced Infinite balconies that make cabins significantly larger, and created a breathtaking new version of the beloved Aqua Theater, they have also reinvented the ways in which people will connect to, move through, and be distributed throughout the ship. The result is nothing short of spectacular. Icon of the Seas is a ship that’s capable of delivering every kind of vacation, for every kind of traveler.


New family-focused Surfside neighborhood with staterooms, play areas, and restaurants that are custom-built for kids and their adults  
Every sailing on Icon includes a day at Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s marvelous private island  
Icon runs on LNG, is fuel cell ready, and can connect to shore power, making it Royal Caribbean’s most sustainable ship to date
Only Caribbean sailings are planned for this incredible new ship
The AquaDome, while innovative and interesting means there’s no more AquaTheater, the unique outdoor venue
Ultimate Family Townhouse is already sold out for most of 2024

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Editor Rating

The ship’s three-story Ultimate Family Townhouse will grab the headlines, but there are a whopping 28 different types of accommodations on Icon of the Seas, and amazingly, of the 2,805 total staterooms, only 203 are of the traditional interior variety with no view or balcony. This is thanks in large part to the hollow center of Icon, a brilliant piece of design introduced by Oasis-class ships, which allows the vast majority of interior rooms to have views or balconies looking out over the Central Park or Surfside neighborhoods instead of looking at only four walls.

What we’re most excited about in Icon’s cabins are the Infinite Balconies, which have already made a splash on sister ships in the Celebrity fleet (Edge class). Available here in standard and family configurations, at 250 and 335 square feet respectively, these cabins eschew the standard outdoor balcony space that often goes underutilized during a weeklong cruise in favor of an expanded room layout and a create-your-own balcony window that can bring the fresh salt sea air inside with the touch of a button. The Family Infinite Ocean View Balcony staterooms might just be the best at sea for families of up to six people who are looking for extra space to unwind after a day spent at Perfect Day at CocoCay, playing laser tag, or ice skating, surfing, rock climbing, and doing the many other thrilling activities on board Icon of the Seas. These cabins have bunk beds tucked into a separate alcove, a pair of TVs with Bluetooth headphones, and lots of clever storage solutions for clothes, gear, books, and toys.

The suites onboard are clustered together in a four-deck suite neighborhood that has its own exclusive sun deck, dining options, and superb AquaDome sightlines.

Accessible staterooms on Icon and all Royal Caribbean ships are designed especially for guests with mobility disabilities and other disabilities. There are a variety of accessible staterooms, each offering a generous turning radius in both sleeping areas and bathrooms, as well as sitting areas, across most of the 28 different types of accommodations on this ship. This provides passengers with mobility issues the utmost in choice and maneuverability. The width of the doors (entry and bathroom) are wider and there are grab bars in the bathroom, roll-in showers, lower sink and vanity, raised toilet seats, lowered safes and closets, and no doorsill to get into these cabins. After booking an accessible stateroom, Royal Caribbean requires that guests acknowledge their need for an accessible stateroom by completing an online form.

Food & Drink

Editor Rating

On a ship this big, there’s a lot of room and need for a plethora of food and drink destinations. Icon sports over 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges.


The Icon of the Seas’ main dining room is, predictably, large and glamorous, and will be where the majority of guests will be served some of the fanciest food they will ever enjoy, and Royal’s popular Windjammer buffet has never been bigger than it is here on Icon. Other highlights of the complimentary dining experiences on board include Mexican lunches at El Loco Fresh and Cantina Fresca, tasty cheese, pepperoni, and veggie pizza at Sorrento’s at almost any time of day and night, family bites in multiple Surfside eateries, and grab-and-go goodies at Pearl Café that is found in front of the breathtaking 36×95 foot window off The Promenade, just at the top of sparkling, Spanish Steps-style attraction, The Pearl.

But, because the best and most diverse of Icon’s dining, like Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar, Chops Grille, Playmakers Sports Bar, Hooked Seafood, Izumi’s sushi and teppanyaki, and a brand new intimate 38-seat restaurant, to name just a half dozen, exist behind the paywall known in the cruise world as ‘specialty dining,’ a foodie may feel limited during a weeklong cruise. That said, the Windjammer buffet on Icon of the Seas is massive and truly diverse with a bounty of seafood, Indian, Chinese, and other theme nights for dinner. Room service is free for continental breakfast only. All other orders throughout the day and night will have an extra $7.95 delivery fee, per order.

The bar scene on Icon is lively and varied, with drinks flowing all over the ship, including of course at Schooner Bar, a Royal Caribbean staple. Other highlights include The Lemon Post, a Surfside neighborhood bar serving up mom and dad’s favorite beverages along with plenty of fruity non-alcoholic drinks and make-it-yourself mocktails kids will love on warm days cruising in the Caribbean, and Bubbles, a new walk-up champagne bar that’s a highlight of any stroll through Central Park. Together with the park’s Trellis Bar, a venue where guests can munch on a menu of appetizers too, and the additional greenery that’ll surround you, this neighborhood is now a hot spot for before or after-dinner drinks. A dueling piano bar and the 1400 Lobby Bar that opens the Royal Promenade up to the outdoors, are two more prime locations for a cocktail, glass of wine, or cold beer.

Swim and Tonic marks Royal Caribbean’s foray into the exotic world of swim-up bars, which makes sense considering this new ship features 62% more water surface than ever before and Royal Bay Pool, the largest pool at sea, with 40,000 gallons of water. And finally, Rye & Bean, located in the AquaDome, severs up lattes and coffee-infused cocktails that will be perfect for enjoying in one of the pods of the Overlook, a stunning collection of semi-private lounge spaces suspended in mid-air beneath the glass dome.


Editor Rating

Generally speaking, there are two distinct ways of being entertained during a cruise: you can play an active role in your own entertainment or be entertained while relaxing in a comfortable seat. There may be no cruise ship on the planet that packs more of both kinds into a single weeklong sailing. Starting with the passive kind of entertainment first, The Royal Theatre main stage productions will be a Broadway-style Wizard of Oz musical, the ongoing superhero saga The Effectors created by Royal Caribbean will be on stage too, as will an original show called Starburst – Elemental Beauty. The most notable change in onboard entertainment on Icon is the AquaTheater — no longer is it a back-of-ship outdoor, open-air showpiece for aquatic and acrobatic shows. On Icon of the Seas, all of that spectacle, and so much more, will take place beneath the AquaDome, a sprawling venue located beneath an 82-foot tall, 164-foot-wide glass dome sitting resplendently at the top of this massive ship. There are 200-degree ocean views from inside and a 55-foot-tall waterfall capable of pouring down into the center of the performance space producing dramatic effects and “wow” moments. In addition to time spent in a theater seat, Icon provides cruisers with even more onboard entertainment and activities. For a mix of passive and active entertainment, there’s Absolute Zero, Royal Caribbean’s largest ice arena that is now a proper oval (unlike the rectangle ice rink on other ships). This space will host open skating sessions for guests and be the chilly stage for the most thrilling ice shows at sea.

Most passengers will be eager to enjoy the many outdoor activities on board the ship, including Crown’s Edge, a brand-new experience for the most adventurous cruisers. While strapped into a harness, this ropes course takes guests out over the edge, a jaw-dropping 154 feet above the ocean, by going in front of the enormous Royal Caribbean logo at the very top of the ship. There’s also a bigger-than-ever rock climbing wall and the fun Flowrider surf simulator that is now situated for maximum photo ops facing the ocean at the back of the ship. What will ultimately set Icon of the Seas apart from its Oasis-class cousins are Thrill Island’s water rides found inside Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea at 17,010 square feet. It’s here where guests will find Frightening Bolt, the tallest drop slide at sea at 46 feet tall and 282 feet long and Pressure Drop, the first open freewill slide at sea with a 66’ incline, as well as the first family raft rides and first mat-racing duo water slide on a cruise ship.

Finally, few things on a cruise (or in life) are more entertaining than listening to regular people sing famous songs. For this kind of after-hours fun, head directly to Spotlight Karaoke each night. And maybe warm up your vocal cords while you take on board some liquid courage for your own star-turn, doing your best to sing anyone from Elvis to Amy Winehouse.

If you’d rather listen to the professionals on stage, head to Lou’s Jazz and Blues in Central Park, a live music venue that breathes fresh life into the greenest outdoor space at sea, with music pouring out into the new tropical take on Central Park that’s 20% lusher with 60 live tall trees rising 45 feet high.

Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating

An expansive 24-hour gym, basketball court, and an outdoor jogging track that spans the whole of the ship are the highlights of the complimentary fitness options for guests on Icon of the Seas, with personal training and additional workout sessions and classes available at an additional cost.

The Vitality Spa and the To Dry For dry bar each offer an array of treatments, from massages to facials, and nail care to salon-style services. All spa services carry additional costs that, as with the spas on most all cruise ships, don’t always provide great value for money when compared to similar treatments available back on land.

Key cruising tips

Health & Safety

Guests who get sick during their sailing can be evaluated immediately by trained medical staff on the ship through an in-stateroom visit or by video consultation. The ship has the capability of running tests onboard in a medical lab. If isolation is required due to a serious illness or an infectious disease, guests will remain in their stateroom or be moved to a stateroom near the medical center. Complimentary room service and WiFi will be provided in these cases.

Before embarkation, all guests are required to complete a muster drill. This safety exercise may be conducted in person or via the Royal Caribbean app or the in-cabin TV.

Dress Code

Casual dress is standard while cruising in the Caribbean onboard the Icon of the Seas, with the exception of formal nights. While black tie is no longer the expectation, many guests still choose to dress up in the evening when going to dinner in the main dining rooms and in specialty restaurants.

Junior Cruisers

Icon of the Sea is the most family-friendly, all-ages ship in the Caribbean thanks to the new Surfside neighborhood designed for children and their adults, the number of activities, camps, food, and fun available to junior cruisers. Additionally, Admiral Awesome, the newest member of the Royal Caribbean family, will help make a family’s time spent on board even more fun, serving as the host of all the different family experiences on Icon of the Seas. The age-appropriate Adventure Ocean has free youth programs that will allow grown-ups to enjoy date nights and quiet time while their kids are being cared for and enjoying themselves in teen lounges, pools, learning to surf, ice skating, rock climbing, playing laser tag, and zooming down water slides. For infant care, babysitting is available for an extra charge.


The 2,305 international crew members on board Icon of the Seas crew excel in helping to deliver whatever kind of vacation you need and want during your weeklong Caribbean cruise — from peaceful escapes to thrilling adventures. All allergies and dietary concerns will be accommodated in the complimentary and specialty restaurants, and passengers can expect that all other needs will be cared for and accommodated by Icon’s dedicated and passionate crew.


Prepaid gratuities are standard across all non-luxury cruises (where tips are usually included in the rate), and the same is true on all Royal Caribbean sailings, including the new Icon of the Seas. Upon embarkation, all gratuities will have been paid in full, but many cruisers frequently choose to carry some extra cash to provide additional tips to their cabin attendant and other crew members who have provided exceptional service during the cruise.


Entered Service
Number of Cabins
Passenger Capacity
Crew Members
Passengers to Crew Ratio
Gross Tons
213 feet
1,198 feet

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