Royal Caribbean takes world’s largest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, out for its first spin

Royal Caribbean knew its new ship could float, but now the cruise line knows Icon of the Seas can move from point A to point B and back.

The cruise line took Icon of the Seas out for its first sea trials last week,venturing out from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, where it has been under construction for the past two years.

The 20-deck, 250,800-gross-ton, 1,198-foot-long cruise ship surpasses the size of Oasis-class ships like Wonder of the Seas.

It’s set to arrive to Miami late this year before it begins sailing with customers in January .

The line said more than 450 specialists spent four days earlier this month running through tests of its main engines,

bow and propellers, noise and vibration levels ahead of a second set of planned sea trials.

The ship, which got its first taste of water when it was floated out in December 2021,is back in the shipyard, and work will continue on interior spaces up through its arrival to Florida in the fall.

The cruise line plans a series of preview cruises in December and January ahead of its first regular itineraries that begin on Jan. 28.

It’s the first of three announced ships in the Icon class with the next two set to be delivered in 2025 and 2026.

Similar to the five existing Oasis-class ships with one on the way, the Port Canaveral-bound Utopia of the Seas, Icon of the Seas is carved up into neighborhoods.

The most visible of those is the new AquaDome, a massive 363-ton engineering feat that sits at the top and front of the ship.

Icon of the Seas is about 15,000 gross tons larger than the current world’s largest cruise ship Wonder of the Seas,

but has less passenger capacity based on double occupancy – 5,610 compared with Wonder’s 5,734.

The size of the cabins and suites, though, among 28 categories gives Icon a maximum capacity of 7,600, which exceeds Wonder’s 7,084.

That includes the largest exclusive area for suite guests to date for the line covering three decks.

It’s one of eight neighborhoods that also includes familiar spaces like the Royal Promenade and the open-air Central Park.

AquaDome is one of the new spaces and will be home to the popular diving and aerialist shows put on in the AquaTheater, but within a controlled atmosphere.

During the day, it will be home to a 55-foot-tall waterfall in an inviting space with bars and restaurants.

The Boardwalk space on Oasis ships gives way to a family-friendly Surfside neighborhood at the aft of the ship.

The top deck is home to Thrill Island, including the largest water park at sea called Category 6 and a feature called the Crown’s Edge that is part ropes course and part thrill ride.

On the more relaxing side is Chill Island also on the top decks with the line’s first swim-up bar at sea with in-water loungers and tables, among four pools within the neighborhood.

There are seven pools shipwide. Another new neighborhood is called The Hideaway, home to a suspended infinity pool 135 feet above the ocean along with a multilevel sun terrace, more whirlpools and bar.

The line recently revealed details of some of its unique dining offerings including a 1920s-themed, high-end specialty space called Empire Supper Club,

and a food hall concept called the AquaDome Market with venues dedicated to macaroni and cheese and crepes among others.

Icon of the Seas will sail year-round alternating seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from PortMiami.


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