Icon of the Seas: World’s Largest Brand-New Cruise Ship in 2024

A brand-new class of ship has debuted with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Introducing the long-awaited Icon Class of ships. These ships, which have been specifically designed to cater to multi-generational families and children in mind are the largest ships in the world to launch (in terms of gross tonnage) to set sail into a new era of cruising. The first ship in the class, Icon of the Seas is a whopping 248,663 GT, compared that to the Titanic only 46,328 GT. With 2,805 cabins across a mix of categories, Royal Caribbean Group’s signature Infinite Veranda Balcon Cabin’s are finally debuting on their mainline ships, a popular category now seen on sister brand Celebrity Cruise Lines. The ship itself can take 5,610 passengers at double capacity and up to 7,600 passengers at maximum capacity!

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The launch and maiden voyage out of the Port of Miami to various Eastern and Western Caribbean destinations has made waves over the internet as the ship was handed over to Royal Caribbean and began her maiden voyage. Icon is indeed an Icon with 8 different neighborhoods catered mostly to children and teenagers. Some of the more familiar neighborhoods to loyal Crown & Anchor sailors that are making a comeback are Central Park, Promenade and Suite Neighborhood. Chill Island, Thrill Island, Aquadome and Surfside are all brand new distinctively different neighborhoods that are all unique in their own ways.

Chill Island

Chill Island is a great area to just relax and literally ‘chill’. Enjoy great views and dip by the pool while sailing into the ports on your intinerary. With 4 new pools, Icon of the seas will have the first swim up pool bar named ‘Swim & Tonic’ on a cruise ship! Accompanying this are the Cove Pool and Cloud 17 pool which are both smaller cozy places to relax, while Cloud 17 is an adult only retreat, useful for when the running around of kids get a bit much. The Royal Bay Pool is the main pool on Deck 15 and is set to be the largest pool at sea.

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Thrill Island

Located on the aft of Deck 16, adrenaline junkies are spoilt for choice. Thrill Island houses the largest waterpark at sea, ‘Category 6’. The waterpark hosts 6 different water slides for the young. Crown’s Edge is a new adrenaline high ropes course experience that is being offered. Climb out and walk 150ft above the water by the side of the cruise ship. There’s even a mini-zipline to get back to the start. Thrill Island is also home to Lost Dunes, a mini-golf course and the Flowrider that are both fan favorites on most ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Fancy getting a better view? Adrenaline peak is the new rock-climbing wall on Icon of the Seas soaring above the cruise ship. 

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The newest innovation that Royal Caribbean has brought to the cruise industry is the Aquadome. A sphere like glass structure located at the forward section of the ship is a massive sight to behold. This new neighborhood is a combination of two previous neighborhoods combined from other ships, these are the Aquatheatre and Indoor Solarium spaces.

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At night, this space comes alive with the cruise line’s signature Aquatheatre shows seen on other Oasis Class ships. In the day, this space transforms into a serene observation deck offering expansive 180-degree views. The dome is also home to ‘Hooked’ seafood restaurant, with the Solarium bistro also situated within this premise as seen in previous ships within their own solarium areas.


Surfside is another new neighborhood that is designed with Royal Caribbean’s younger clientele in mind. This area consists of a mix of activity spaces and accommodations with greater flexibility for families travelling together. There are three F&B options here, Surfside Eatery, Surfside Bites which are casual dining places, and Pier 7, an Icon of the seas exclusive specialty restaurant. Pier 7 serves up all day seafood brunch items from surf and turf to mango lime and shrimp tostadas.

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A week onboard is simply not enough to explore all this ship has to offer. There are still many other neighborhoods that have been redesigned such as the Promenade and Central Park, The Suite Neighborhood and The Hideaway.

Icon Class Ship Out of Singapore?

While the Icon Class of the Seas and sister ship, Star of the Seas set to debut in 2025 have all announced to be sailing out of Florida, it is likely that these ships will end up moving around ports as we’ve seen with most other newbuilds across the years. Don’t expect such a ship to sail in Singapore anytime soon though. With only 2 more on order as of January 2024, and only one more Icon class ship with its homeport unannounced, it seems likely that the third will also only debut in one of the ports along the eastern seaboard of the United States.

Back home on our shores, we will be hosting three royal Caribbean ships this year in 2024. Spectrum of the seas, currently sailing and leaving Singapore in April after serving the market since 2022, Anthem of the Seas, arriving in November for the next deployment season replacing Spectrum of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas currently on a world cruise to visit Singapore in April as well.

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