Icon of the Seas is a vibrant floating resort designed to stimulate all your senses. There is an entire water world and kids’ paradise onboard. This takes the form of 7 pools at sea plus an entire neighbourhood dedicated to tikes to keep them entertained, stimulated and (hopefully) exhausted by the end of each day.
Icon’s Neighbourhoods – a Waterworld at Sea
Taking inspiration from Perfect Day at CocoCay, Thrill Island onboard Icon of the Seas is the largest waterpark at sea. It is a rainbow of twisting snake-like tubes designed to thrill the brave. This features six record-breaking slides; Crown’s Edge, part skywalk, part ropes course and part thrill ride on which adventurers swing 154 feet above the ocean. Thankfully I did this at night and didn’t pass out as the inflatable hoop I was clinging to washed up to the edge of the slide’s edge which reaches over the side of the ship (not for the faint-hearted!).
Don’t eat a big meal before going on Storm Chasers, Hurricane Hunter or Frightening Bolt. Equally, Storm Surge, described as a family raft slide, is still a white-knuckle ride or else I’m showing my age. These are all brilliant, adrenaline-inducing rides that will whet a thrill-seeker’s appetite.
The FlowRider simulator returns and here you will find the Lost Dunes minigolf course and more. Ideal for the young and enthusiastic (a wonderland for kids and teens), there are eateries to serve up comfort food or sweet treats: Basecamp and Desserted for over-the-top milkshakes.
As a parent of three, Chill Island is definitely up my street. This is three decks of turquoise pools and sun loungers. This is home to four of the 7 pools onboard icon. There is the lively Swim & Tonic (recommended by Jennifer Callister) and this is the cruise line’s first swim-up bar at sea – ideal for toasty temperatures and cool beverages. Royal Bay is here and boasts being the largest pool at sea. Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat provides a kid-free oasis and finally, the infinity-edge Cove Pool with views of the ocean. There is plenty to choose from with different vibes to suit any mood from live bands and DJs. There are a multitude of poolside spots for drinks and quick, casual food – like The Lime & Coconut and its new frozen cocktail bar, and El Loco Fresh & Cantina Fresca – vacationers can chill day and night. Grabbing a bowl of nachos proved a tasty and vibrant dish, quick on the go and packed with flavour. Pair with a margarita for a festival feel.
Surfside is Royal Caribbean’s first neighbourhood made for young families. Adults and kids can stay and play all day between ways to splash, like at the new Water’s Edge pool for grownups nearby. This also means that most of the other areas will be relatively kid-free as I’m not sure you could entice any child away from this enormous play area designed with kids and their imaginations and sense of fun in mind.
There are new dedicated dining options such as the Surfside Eatery buffet, Pier 7 for all-day brunch and Surfside Bites for nibbles and more plus The Lemon Post, a brand-new bar that features two menus – one for adults and the other for kids. Everyone, whatever age, will be happy.
Daytime activities for kids included Steel Pan Family Jam, Family Dance Party, Family Karaoke (there are also Teen and Adult Karaoke Sessions), Family Mini Golf competitions and family game shows to highlight a fraction of what was on offer. This also only comprises the kids’ activities!
Beside the FlowRider is a new neighbourhood called The Hideaway. This has an infinity pool that offers 180-degree ocean views at the back of the ship. Surrounded by sun loungers, this adult-only oasis is the place to be, especially for spectacular sunsets. You could spend the whole day here except for the fact there is so, so, so much more to see and do onboard.
Adventure for All
Importantly, the ship isn’t just a family ship. Couples, groups and solo travellers would be fully immersed in the extensive activities, facilities and entertainment on offer. Equally, families will find this will meet every age’s expectation for an amazing holiday. There is Baby Bay and Splashaway Bay – an aqua park for younger kids. Teens will not be bored with the slides and adventures. The dining options are immense. As you would expect, the food is high-standard and there is something for every appetite and craving.
Stay tuned to ITTN for more on the activities, accommodation, entertainment and dining offerings onboard Icon of the Seas.