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