Cruise Ships

What We Learned About Icon of the Seas in Episode 2

Royal Caribbean has been teasing its newest class of ship, the Icon of the Seas, for months. Their marketing department has been hard at work dropping small tidbits of information here and there to get fans excited. Today they released their second episode of “Making an Icon: Shaping the World’s Newest Icon”, and we caught a few insights. 

Icon of the Seas will be longer than Wonder of the Seas

icon of the seas length
The video states the Icon of the Seas is currently 1,197 feet long

It’s been hotly debated as to whether Icon of the Seas will be the largest ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Early rumors stated it would be smaller than Oasis-class ships, but conflicting reports have leaked. However, in the video, Royal Caribbean at least confirmed it will be their longest ship ever. It’ll be at least 1,197 ft. That’s 10 feet longer than Wonder of the Seas. We still don’t know the passenger count or total gross tonnage, but overall, while it may be bigger, the size isn’t going to be significantly different with this ship. 

Icons of the Seas will have Infinite Verandas 

Looking at the video, we can see Royal Caribbean is taking inspiration from its sister cruise line, Celebrity, by adding Infinite Verandas. Celebrity debuted this cabin type when they introduced the Celebrity Edge in 2018. 

celebrity edge infinite veranda
Infinite Veranda on Celebrity Edge

Rather than a traditional balcony, these cabins have large floor-to-ceiling windows. With the push of a button, the top panel can slide down, giving a quasi-balcony experience. The benefit of these rooms is it provides more space in the cabin itself.

That being said, the design is polarizing. Some cruisers say they lack the feel of a traditional balcony. If you’re someone who enjoys laying in the sun on your balcony, it just won’t be the same on this ship.

infinite veranda on icon of the seas
With Celebrity’s Infinite Veranda design on Icon of the Seas (it’ll likely have a different name due to trademarks)

This video shows footage of the team in a mockup of an infinite veranda cabin. The addition of these types of cabins has been widely speculated based on the photos taken at the Meyer Turku shipyard, and this confirms it. 

infinite balcony sliding down
The top window panel slides down to reveal a balcony-like experience

You can see footage of the top panel dropping down to turn it into a “balcony.” Looking at the video, it seems like the infinite verandas will be on the balconies facing the inside (on Oasis-class ships, these are Central Park and Boardwalk Balconies). Of course, the feature won’t likely be called “Infinite Veranda” as that is trademarked by Celebrity. 

inside of icon of the seas
In looks like the interior facing cabins will have infinite verandas instead of traditional balconies.

Not all balconies will be infinite-style, though. Icon of the Seas will also have traditional balconies, as seen later in the video.

traditional balcony of icon of the seas
Traditional-style balcony on Icon of the Seas (although it looks to be a suite sized balcony)

Cabin design

We get a glimpse of several cabin types during the design phase. While this is obviously early in the design process, it gives us an idea of what they’re going for. 

cabin design on icon of the seas
The closets have been moved to the bathroom wall rather than straddling the bed/couch

In this cabin, we can see one of the designs. It looks like, for this cabin, they’re moving away from having two separate closets on either side of the couch/bed. It’s a shame, as it’s one of the best features on the Quantum and Oasis-class ships; two people can each be in a closet at once. Here, the closets are right next to each other, built into the bathroom wall. Perhaps this is to help reduce some of the loud sounds coming from people flushing the toilets. You’ll also notice the almost steam-punk looking light fixtures on either side of the bed.

alternate cabin design
This unique design looks to have the bed facing a window or balcony

We also get a glimpse of this unique cabin setup. It’s hard to tell what kind of cabin this could be. It seems too small to be a suite. The bed facing the room’s far wall probably means that side is a window or balcony. Could it be the interior facing the infinite veranda?

Central Park-like area

central park render of icon of the seas
The 3-D models here shows what will likely serve the same function as Central Park

In the video, we see the designers using 3-D technology to walk virtually through the ship. In this scene, they’re in an area that looks very much like Central Park on the Oasis-class ships. You’ll see the familiar glass dome that lets natural light down from the area to the promenade. However, the space looks a bit more modern and contemporary than the more classic design of the Oasis-class Central Park neighborhoods. Will it have the same name?

Infinity pools

infinity pool construction on icon of the seas
The white, circular area at the bottom seems to be half of a rear infinity pool

One of the biggest complaints about Oasis-class ships is they lack connection with the ocean. Here, we get some hints on how the Icon of the Seas might remedy that. Looking closely at the aft of the ship, we see what seems to be the makings of a large infinity pool. This is the area that the Aqua Theater typically occupies on Oasis-class ships. Aft-facing infinity pools are quite common on the newer ships from other cruise lines like the Norwegian Prima and Carnival Mardi Gras, so it’s nice to see Royal Caribbean following suit. 

The Pearl

the pearl in warehouse
The Pearl is huge, spanning 4 or 5 decks

One of the first big teases from Royal Caribbean was the large sphere-shaped object that was installed mid-ship. During a press event, Royal Caribbean CEO let it slip that it’s called “The Pearl,” but we’re still not 100% certain what it will be. However, in the close-ups of it, we see that it lights up and has articulating panels installed on it. It also looks huge. 

articulating pieces on pearl on icon of the seas
The pieces of the white metal are mounted on articulating arms. We can’t tell if this will be used on the inside or outside of The Pearl

New AquaTheater / Solarium confirmation 

Another widely speculated theory is that the ship will have a new area at the front that combines the AquaTheater and Solarium. While there’s been nothing official, Royal Caribbean has trademarked the name “AquaDome,” and it does seem to fit that description. 

the dome construction on icon of the seas
The new dome that will be on the Icon of the Seas is a super-sized version of the Solarium found on Wonder of the Seas

In the video, we saw the colossal dome superstructure being built, and we know it will be placed on the front of the ship. We also see stadium-like seating featured in the area, so the AquaTheather/Solarium theory is pretty much confirmed. It makes sense, on Oasis-class ships, AquaTheater shows are frequently cancelled due to inclimate weather conditions. Having an enclosed space could help reduce that risk.

stadium seating on icon of the seas
You can see the start of built-in stadium seating at the top front of the ship

Several times during the video, we saw close-ups of falling water colored with LED lights. This fixture is likely going to be part of the experience. Unlike the AquaTheater on Oasis-class ships, the AquaDome will be completely enclosed, so these fixtures can be suspended from the ceiling and used in parts of the shows. 

suspended water effects
Fixtures like these will likely be installed in the AquaDome for performances

The AquaDome seems to be very similar to The Dome, which Princess cruises just announced last week. It’s a shame Royal Caribbean delayed the release of information about Icon of the Seas, and Princess got to show it off first. 

Full reveal of Icon of the Seas next month

The last piece of information we got was that all will be revealed in the next video. The videos have been monthly, so that means by late October, we’ll finally have all the details on Icon of the Seas. 

Watch the Making an Icon: Episode 2

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Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.