Your Best Family Vacation On Icon Of The Seas

Icon Of The Seas℠ Is The Best Family Vacation

By Amanda Mesa | Published on August 16, 2023

When it comes to planning the best family vacation, lots of options probably come to mind as you're researching the best deals. Take it from a seasoned travel expert — nothing compares to the convenience and versatility of choosing a cruise for your next group getaway, especially when you opt for a ship designed with families in mind. So just what is the best cruise for families? When it launches, you'll find the best-of-the-best cruise for families offered onboard Icon of the Seas℠.

Making its debut in 2024, this extraordinary ship checks all the boxes for an epic multi-generational escape. Not only will this bold new cruise ship offer a long list of opportunities to bond with your loved ones, it will also deliver world-class dining, top-notch entertainment and a wide range of amenities for toddlers, tweens and young adults. Moreover, the ship will offer a variety of connecting staterooms, multi-bedroom suites and in-room comforts to accommodate families of all sizes and configurations. Here are just some of the many reasons why the first Icon Class ship is poised to deliver the best family vacation in the world.

The Largest Waterpark At Sea

Nearly every family has at least one daredevil in the group — someone who's all about chasing thrills. Those folks will be happy to know Icon of the Seas℠ offers a variety of adrenaline-amping attractions the whole family can enjoy. Thrill Island, an entire neighborhood dedicated to exhilarating thrills, will be loaded with ways to earn serious bragging rights during your next family vacation. The neighborhood's main attraction will be Category 6 Waterpark, the largest waterpark at sea, where you'll find plenty of rip-roaring water slides and rides. One of the attractions I'm most looking forward to is the Frightening Bolt, the tallest waterslide at sea. Riders will plunge through a drop-hatch into a wild, watery journey of pulse-pounding twists and turns. If you have a tolerance for heights, you can try the near-vertical Pressure Drop℠. It'll be the first open free-fall slide at sea and will definitely up the thrill factor like nothing else. For those who prefer to ride together, there's Hurricane Hunter℠, the first family raft slide at sea that will offer plenty of shriek-worthy fun for everyone in your group. Look out for the FlowRider®* surf simulator, which funnels 30,000 gallons of water to create top-notch swells all day, every day. Another highlight: Crown's Edge℠, a skywalk over the edge of the ship that leads to a courage-testing obstacle and ropes course. You'll have to keep your wits about you once you harness up and step onto the walkway — the floor beneath your feet could disappear at any moment, leaving you dangling over the crashing waves far below – have no fear though, the zipline takes you right back to where you started.

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Ready to book a cruise on Icon of the Seas℠? Its' time to set sail! 

One Unforgettable Pool Day

Nothing beats a day spent soaking up the sunshine poolside with the whole family when you're on vacation. Icon of the Seas℠ will take this to a whole new level by offering a different pool for every day of the week. I'm beyond excited for The Hideaway, a cool and chic retreat inspired by Mediterranean and Aegean beach clubs. The vibes are spot on with nonstop lounge beats and the first-ever suspended infinity pool at sea. Meanwhile, Swim & Tonic℠, the largest swim-up bar at sea, will keep the libations flowing. In the ship's Chill Island℠ neighborhood, you'll enjoy kicking back with the whole fam at Royal Bay℠ Pool — the largest pool at sea. Here you'll find plenty of in-water loungers for everyone in your group, as well as elevated whirlpools that offer captivating views. And for parents craving a little grown-up time, nothing exceeds Cloud 17℠. This adults-only oasis will be nestled high up on one of the ship's topmost decks. Offering private access to The Lime and Coconut®️ bar, it'll be the perfect place for parents to unwind while kids have a blast exploring the ship's many attractions. If you're staying in a suite onboard the ship, you and your family will also enjoy access to the Suite Neighborhood, home to a private pool, hot tub and two exclusive restaurants — Coastal Kitchen and The Grove.

A Family-Focused Neighborhood

If you're still wondering how to plan your best family vacation ever, this next bit of news should help. Icon of the Seas℠ will have an entire neighborhood designed specifically for families. It's called Surfside℠ , and it'll be loaded with plenty of things for kids, their parents and even grandparents. Little ones will be able to soak up hours of fun at the neighborhood's interactive PlayscapeSM or Splashaway Bay℠ , an aquapark created exclusively for tots and tweens with dynamic water cannons, mini waterslides and a huge bucket that tips over to drench them when they least expect it.

Once you and the family have worked up an appetite from hopping between adventures onboard, you'll have your pick of casual restaurants to choose from, many of which — including Surfside Eatery℠ — are just steps away from some of the neighborhood's top attractions. Also on my radar of must-try family restaurants is Pier 7℠ , which will specialize in California casual cuisine, such as surf and turf tacos and mango shrimp tostadas. And at Surfside Bites℠ , you'll find plenty of fast-casual sweet and salty snacks. Feeling parched? Make sure you hit up the modern take on a poolside lemonade stand, The Lemon Post℠ , where you'll find talented bartenders slinging yummy grown-up cocktails as well as beverages for all ages.

Any parent who has ever tried to plan a stress-free family getaway understands the value of convenience. Icon of the Seas℠ will offer plenty, especially when it comes to choosing accommodations for your vacation.

Plenty Of Elbow Room

Any parent who has ever tried to plan a stress-free family getaway understands the value of choosing the right room configuration. Icon of the Seas℠ will offer plenty of options when it comes to staterooms. When booking a cruise on Icon of the Seas℠, you'll be able to choose from a diverse array of stateroom categories designed for families and groups of all sizes — including connecting rooms with expansive balconies and suites with multiple bedrooms built to maximize family comfort. Soak up captivating vistas from a spacious Family Infinite Ocean View Balcony stateroom or unwind close to top attractions in a Surfside Family Suite.

Want to go all the way during your next vacay? Splurge on the first-ever Ultimate Family Townhouse — a sprawling, three-level retreat with three full bathrooms, a dining room and kitchenette, an in-suite slide, a karaoke station, a private movie theater and a patio just steps away from the fun-filled Surfside℠ neighborhood. The townhouse will even have its own private balcony whirlpool. It will sleep eight guests comfortably, too, so — depending on the size of your immediate family — you may even have room to invite some members of your extended family, whether that's grandparents or beloved cousins.

Making Memories After Dark

Another thing I love about choosing cruises for my family vacations is that there's something to look forward to every evening, whether you're cruising with tots, young adults or kids of any age in between. Icon of the Seas℠ will be the first ship in the fleet to introduce the AquaDome℠, a two-level lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows that may just make it the most immersive scene at sea. This engineering marvel will be home to a towering waterfall that plunges into a dive pool, where world-class performers will dazzle guests with aerial stunts and synchronized swimming. AquaDome℠ is also where you'll find Rye and Bean℠ , a coffee bar by day and a great place to nab an espresso martini at night, and The Overlook Pods℠, private nooks set in an indoor garden setting.

Another standout is Absolute Zero℠, poised to be the world's largest ice arena at sea and home to ice shows you won't soon forget. And, finally, grown-ups can look forward to more than 15 venues featuring live music and dancing, DJ-driven parties, top-notch drinks and more — from battling baby grands at Dueling Pianos℠ to soulful performances at Lou's Jazz 'n Blues℠ and hilarious stand-up comedy at The Attic. Looking to dial up date night while grandma or grandpa give you a break and watch the kids? Parents who have been set loose from the responsibilities of corralling their little ones for a few precious hours can belly up to the Trellis Bar for handcrafted cocktails and sophisticated apps or raise a pint and reconnect over a game of darts at Point & Feather℠, the ship's charming English pub.

What Is The Best Cruise For Families? 

Sure, there are plenty of all-inclusive resorts and theme parks that tout nonstop thrills and family-friendly experiences all over the world. But, in my opinion, nothing beats a cruise ship like Icon of the Seas℠ if you're looking to maximize memory-making experiences and have the best family vacation. Once your family has compared school calendars and work schedules and lined up the best time to go, you're sure to be wowed by the sheer volume of options on this ship, which offers everything from an abundance of onboard attractions to an unrivaled pool scene, a head-spinning array of delicious dining options and nonstop daytime entertainment and nightlife. This is the perfect vacation for multi-generational families of all sizes. Whether you're cruising with toddlers, tweens, young adults or other grown-ups, you'll never run out of things to see and do onboard this best-of-the-best cruise ship.

Written By

Amanda has written for Royal Caribbean since 2017. She also covers travel, lifestyle, food and beverage for Indulge Magazine, the Miami Herald and PureWow. She's traveled extensively around the world, enjoys building unforgettable itineraries and loves introducing readers to lesser-known Cynthia J. Drake is an award-winning freelance writer in Austin, Texas, whose work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Wine Enthusiast, House Beautiful, Southern Living, Cruise Critic, AAA, Texas Monthly, and others. She specializes in writing about food, cruise travel, family travel, and off-the-beaten-path destinations. destinations. 

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