By Amanda Mesa | Published on December 8, 2022
Arriving in 2024, Icon of the Seas℠ sets sail — and it's now open for bookings. It's in position to be a game changer to vacations, brimming with complimentary ways to fill every single moment of your cruise getaway with epic travel thrills, endless relaxing chill vibes, as well as world-class dining and iconic wows that showcase awe-inspiring entertainment including the magnificent AquaDome. With so many exciting things to look forward to, you may be wondering what cruise foods and vacation activities included in a cruise on the first Icon Class ship.
For starters, there's the largest water park at sea that's home to six record-breaking waterslides, an aqua park for kiddos that offers buckets of fun, an adults-only pools that goes long on beach-club vibes and never-before-seen culinary concepts across the ship's various neighborhoods. I'm most looking forward to the seven pools onboard, including the largest pool at sea and the largest swim-up bar. And that's barely scratching the surface of what the first-ever Icon Class ship has to offer.
So, you're excited and ready to book a trip on the biggest ship to ever set sail. First things first: What is included on a cruise vacation on Icon of the Seas℠? There are so many wow-worthy things to do on Icon of the Seas from dining to entertainment, many of which are included in your cruise fare. That said, coming up with a game plan on how to fill every moment onboard can be overwhelming. Here's a pro-tip: Start by understanding what is included in the cruise price and what experiences are available for an additional fee. If you're trying to stick to a budget, knowing what's free onboard will simplify your vacation-planning process.
Here's an insider's guide to what is included in a Royal Caribbean cruise booking vs. what is extra when you sail onboard Icon of the Seas.
A cruise vacation is a great opportunity to go outside your comfort zone and try something new with thrilling activities like Category 6. Located in the Thrill Island neighborhood of the ship, Category 6 is a sprawling water park that encompasses six ground-breaking waterslides, including the tallest waterslide on the seas, the first open free-fall waterslide on a cruise, the first family raft slide on a ship and exhilarating mat racers, just to name a few. The best part? Guests can ride any and all of the slides as many times as they like for free.
If you're like me, then it wouldn't be a vacation without getting your adrenaline pumping. The FlowRider is a returning favorite to Icon of the Seas℠. This huge surf simulator funnels 30,000 gallons of rushing water to create the perfect swells all day, every day. It's one of the top free things to do on any ship that has one onboard, including the first Icon Class cruise ship. You can choose to tame the waves — and try to keep your balance — upright on your feet or hit the water boogie-style on your belly. Rides are complimentary for cruise guests, though you can also reserve lessons with an instructor for a fee.
The Rock Climbing Wall is one of my favorite cruise activities. It's known for yielding some of the best views at sea, too. Located on Deck 16 in the Thrill Island neighborhood, Icon of the Seas takes rock climbing to the next level with Adrenaline Peak. It's the ultimate rock climbing experience: a thrilling, pulse-pumping scramble to a vantage point that will wow you. It even has racing for speed climbers. Adrenaline Peak is totally free for cruise guests; anyone ages six years or older is welcome to harness up and head to the top as many times as they like.
Thrill-seekers will feel right at home in the Thrill Island neighborhood, where Crown's Edge — one of the most exhilarating attractions onboard Icon of the Seas℠ — is located. Any guest who dares can suit up with a harness, summon all their courage and step onto a walkway over the edge of the ship. The walkway quickly transforms into a hair-raising obstacle course where the floor could disappear beneath your feet at any moment, leaving you dangling above the surging waves down below. Did I mention that it’s also free? Sign me up!
There's no better place than the Sports Court to keep your family's competitive side going. Onboard Icon of the Seas℠, this large play space offers a variety of different team activities, including basketball, volleyball, pickleball and dodgeball. You don't need to make a reservation or pay a fee to enjoy the Sports Court at any point during your cruise — just keep in mind that equipment is subject to availability and is first come, first served.
If you're cruising with your children, there's no shortage of activities and attractions to excite little ones onboard Icon of the Seas℠. Like Playscape, a place for kids to slide, climb and play. There's also the cruise ship's beach-themed carousel, which doubles as a great photo opp. Both attractions are included in your cruise fare.
On a beautiful sunny day, head to Splashaway Bay, an aqua park for pint-sized cruisers. It's designed exclusively with tots to tweens in mind and offers plenty of cool interactive water features and mini waterslides just for little ones. Think water cannons, fountains, splash pools and more. There's also Baby Bay for your littlest adventure seekers. And of course, admission is included in your cruise fare.
That’s right — seven. Each pool has its own unique vibe, and every one is free for cruise guests (though one is exclusively for Suite Guests…more on that later). So let’s take a tour of all the picture-perfect places to plunge. First stop is the Hideaway Pool — the only suspended infinity pool at sea, you can soak up ocean views surrounded by a multilevel sun terrace with its own resident DJ, whirlpools, a variety of seating and a dedicated bar. Then there's Royal Bay, the largest pool at sea with over 40,000 gallons of water, plenty of in-water loungers and raised whirlpools that offer beautiful ocean views. If you love a swim-up bar — and who doesn’t? — grab a seat at Swim & Tonic, the first swim-up bar in the Royal Caribbean® fleet. Water's Edge Pool has everything families need to make a splash with the little ones right in the heart of Surfside. And on the flip side, Cloud 17 is a chill adults-only pool you can pair with a poolside drink from The Lime and Coconut. Finally, the Cove Pool is located portside and directly facing the wide-open sea, offering stunning views and a laid-back vibe perfect for a day spent reading or listening to your favorite podcast.
What is included on a cruise for suites guests? If you're staying in a Sky or Star suite, you can also access the Suite Neighborhood for additional perks and activities included with your cruise suite. Or, head to Grove Suite Sun Deck, a casual outdoor venue with its own exclusive pool just for suite guests.
Since Icon of the Seas is the biggest ship to ever set sail, you won't run out of things to do. In fact, any guest can access any neighborhood onboard Icon of the Seas℠ for free, including Thrill Island, Chill Island, the Royal Promenade, Surfside and the Hideaway.
Wondering which restaurants are free on Icon of the Seas? There are several dining options where every bite is complimentary. This includes the casual, family-friendly Surfside Eatery buffet and Surfside Bites, your go-to for sweet and salty snacks. If you're staying in a suite, there's Coastal Kitchen and the Grove. More Icon of the Seas complimentary restaurants will be announced in the near future, so stay tuned.
Now that you know all of the wonderful entertainment, attractions, dining and more that is complimentary on Icon of the Seas, what is not included in your cruise fare? The following restaurants and attractions are open to guests sailing onboard Icon of the Seas, but you'll have to pay an additional fee to access them.
The Surfside and Thrill Island neighborhoods are home to some incredible specialty restaurants. At Basecamp, you can refuel between adventures, choosing among a variety of food windows popping out delicious provisions. At Pier 7, you can look forward to plenty of relaxed vibes paired with beachside bites — think mango shrimp tostadas and surf 'n' turf tacos. Though these restaurants are not complimentary offerings, they are absolutely worth a visit, especially if you're one to crave tacos at any moment.
Perfect for birthdays and celebrations, the menu at Desserted is all about extravagant milkshakes piled high with all your favorite toppings. Here, you can enjoy frothy classics inspired by old-school soda parlors or, for adults, boozy concoctions and spirited sweet treats. Located on Deck 16, it's the perfect spot to indulge à la carte. This decadent menu has me convinced to purchase a Specialty Dining Package to enjoy a discounted rate.
Aptly named, Icon of the Seas has some iconic offerings onboard. Be sure to check out Swim & Tonic, the largest swim-up bar at sea. Admission is free if you want to hang out and wade in the water, though alcoholic beverages will cost you extra unless you purchase a Specialty Beverage Package. The package is a great deal, and it includes beers, wines, and other vacation libations at bars such as the Lemon Post.
If you're craving some game time, you can hit up the arcade, located in the family-friendly Surfside neighborhood. It's well-stocked with classic games and some cool new favorites that will delight children and adults alike. Play until your heart's content — just keep in mind that games are not included in your cruise fare.
Now that you know everything that's included in your Icon of the Seas cruise, you can start planning an unforgettable escape on the first-ever Icon Class cruise ship.
Book your adventure onboard Icon of the Seas℠