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.