Royal Caribbean: Aboard the Icon of the Seas

Take a glimpse into the modern spectacle that is Icon of the Seas, with first-hand point of view from two of Direct Travel's key personnel. 

Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's latest marvel and the new title holder of the world's largest cruise ship, embarked on its maiden voyage from Miami in late January. This monumental launch marked a significant milestone in cruise innovation and luxury travel.


After a hiatus of a quarter-century on Royal Caribbean ships, stepping aboard this floating masterpiece was nothing short of magical for Robin Dunn, Direct Travel’s Regional Manager for Western Ontario. 


The magnitude of the ship was astonishing, yet it possessed an uncanny ability to feel intimate, with cozy nooks varied aboard the near 1,200-foot vessel, Dunn described. 


The entertainment aboard Icon of the Seas was an impressive selection of talent and creativity. The Musical Hall felt alive with the sounds of bands, dueling pianos, and comedy acts reverberating the walls, while the Broadway-style production of "The Wizard of Oz" was a spectacle in itself.


It was the Aqua Show, though, that truly captivated Dunn. “I have never seen anything like that, and it blew my mind,” she remarked. 


So much talent I saw the show two times.” 


On the contrary, the Aqua Dome emerged as Dunn’s sanctuary on the ship. 


This space, complete with the Rye and Bean coffee shop, offered sublime views of the ocean. 


[It was] a great place to curl up with a book,” said Dunn. The addition of Aqua Market – a made-to-order café - further enhanced the appeal of this area for her.


Family amenities onboard were abundant and varied, catering to all ages. With attractions such as mini-golf, waterslides, and the FlowRider, there was always something to do. 


The Hideaway, an adults-only escape, provided a retreat from the bustling energy of family activities for Dunn, which came complete with its own pool, hot tub, and bar.


Lodging on the Icon of the Seas has been thoughtfully designed to cater to families and multi-generational groups, offering a range of options from cozy cabins to lavish suites. 


Dunn’s experience was culminated by a perfect day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island: “There is something to do for everyone on [the] island. I especially enjoyed the water slides at Thrill Island.


Rene Schneeberger, SVP of Leisure Supplier Relations, had similar thoughts regarding the ship's unparalleled suite options. 


This ship, more so than any other, focuses on providing families amazing accommodation options,” he said.


From traditional adjoining rooms to the beautiful Royal Suite, which boasts a duplex layout and sleeps six, the Icon of the Seas offers a variety of accommodations to meet every family's needs. 


The ship's design also ensures that guests are evenly distributed, preventing any sense of overcrowding, and guarantees a smooth sailing experience, even in rough seas. 


This ship is cleverly built to spread its guests out in a way that never feels crowded.  The benefit of its heft is that you won’t feel any waves, even when the seas are rough,” he remarked. 


Like Dunn, Schneeberger also found solace at the Aqua Dome.


The panoramic views from the cozy sofas are where reading a book is the perfect way to spend a few hours” said Schneeberger.


 At night, it doubles as the entertainment hub, with acrobatics and water sports that left him dazzled. 


Many [of the performers] are past Olympic contestants which now have a career opportunity to continue with their craft and talent outside of competition events. It’s creative [and] dynamic,” he noted. 


From Robin Dunn's splendid reacquaintance with the wonders of cruising with Royal Caribbean, to Rene Schneeberger's insights into family-centric luxury, the Icon of the Seas is more than just a ship; it's a floating masterpiece that redefines the modern cruising experience, making every journey an unforgettable adventure in engineering and hospitality excellence.

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