Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas just set sail out of its home port of Miami and is designed with families in mind.
“We set out to design Icon of the Seas as the world’s best family vacation and you can see that in proof points throughout the ship,” Jay Schneider, Royal Caribbean senior vice president and chief product innovation officer, told “Good Morning America.”
With eight unique neighborhoods on board, the ship — dubbed the world’s largest cruise ship — is home to a water park, an ice rink, a state-of-the-art aqua theater and an assortment of dining experiences.
“GMA” set sail for a sneak peek at the family fun.
Family fun activities
Whether you’re traveling with little ones or teenagers, Icon of the Seas has something for kids of all ages and, of course, parents too.
Aside from its sheer size, one of the first things noticeable about the ship is its water attractions. There are seven pools, nine whirlpools, a flowrider and six waterslides on board.
Icon of the Seas is home to the largest water park at sea, featuring the tallest drop slide and first family raft slides at sea.
The Hideaway, the adults-only section, features the first suspended infinity pool at sea, which sits 135 feet in the air with breathtaking ocean views.
There is also mini golf, a basketball court, rock climbing, and a thrilling skywalk and ropes course called Crown’s Edge, where guests can hang 154 feet above the ocean.
For families traveling with little ones, the Surfside neighborhood is loaded with activities.
“Surfside was purposely designed for families with young kids,” Schneider said. “Everything from the food and beverage activities, the entertainment slides, the arcade, are all really designed for families.”
Surfside also features water attractions for little ones, including Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay.
Just off Surfside is Adventure Ocean, with dedicated programs and spaces for kids 6 months to 12 years old.
“Adventure Ocean … is our kids club, where you can drop kids off, they can meet other kids and go through games and fun programming that allows parents to break away and have their own experiences,” Schneider said.
When it comes to entertainment, guests can catch the classic “The Wizard of Oz” or an ice show at Absolute Zero — the world’s largest ice arena at sea — or a performance at the ship’s Aquadome.
Each cruise will visit Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, where guests can enjoy the Thrill Waterpark or relax at one of the island’s beaches or pools.
Accommodations for the family
When it comes to accommodations for its 5,610 guests, Icon of the Seas offers 28 different types of suites and staterooms to choose from.
“We’ve really amped up the number of family style cabins that we have available on board,” Schneider said.
The Surfside family suite and family infinite balcony staterooms are designed with separate areas for adults and kids. “We’ve created spaces for adults, spaces for kids all integrated in one,” Schneider said.
The family infinite balconies include bunk beds and can sleep up to six.
“They have split bathrooms, so somebody can be in the bathroom, somebody can be in the shower. This allows people to get ready faster,” Schneider said.
The Icon class will also feature newly designed adjoining suites with a shared entry instead of doors between staterooms, in hopes to make it easier for families or groups traveling together.
With more than 40 dining venues, there are a lot of options on the table, including everything from classic buffets to elevated dining at Celebration Table or Empire Supper Club, which offers an eight-course curated experience.
The ship even has its own ice cream bar, Desserted, offering both regular and boozy milkshakes. Similarly, Lemon Post, located in Surfside, features drinks for kids as well as beverages for adults.
“All of these new experiences that we’ve brought to Icon of the Seas are really meant to give options for families, whether it’s a multi-generational family, a family of four, or frankly even a retired couple just going and having a great time without their kids,” Schneider said.