Just how excited are Royal Caribbean fans about the coming debut of Icon of the Seas — the biggest cruise ship ever? Excited enough to snap up nearly every cabin available for the vessel’s first sailing within hours of the ship opening for bookings.
As of early Tuesday, just 26 of the 2,805 cabins on the ship remained available to book on Royal Caribbean’s website for the initial voyage of the 22-deck-high vessel — essentially a sell-out.
The much-awaited new ship, which will debut in January 2024, opened for bookings for the first time on Monday to members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society. The general public was able to book the ship starting Tuesday morning.
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The first sailing of Icon of the Seas, a seven-night voyage out of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean, is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2024. As of early Tuesday, every single one of the 179 suites on the ship was listed as sold out on Royal Caribbean’s website.
Also listed as sold out for the first sailing were all 535 of the ship’s windowless interior cabins and all 276 ocean-view cabins.
Only a handful of the ship’s 1,815 balcony cabins remained, all overlooking the interior “Central Park” area of the ship. There were no balconies facing the sea still available.
The handful of cabins that were still available to book were priced starting at a relatively high $2,755 per person, based on double occupancy. Balcony cabins for the sailing were priced starting at $1,958 on Monday morning.
The second sailing of Icon of the Seas, a seven-night voyage out of Miami to the Western Caribbean starting on Feb. 3, 2024, also began to sell out in some cabin categories as of Tuesday morning. Every one of the ship’s 535 interior cabins was listed as sold out for the Feb. 3, 2024 departure on Royal Caribbean’s website, for instance.
Icon of the Seas will be the first of an all-new series of ships at Royal Caribbean — the line’s first new series since the debut of its smaller Quantum class ships a decade ago. It’ll break new ground in cruising on several levels.
Icon of the Seas will have lots of family-friendly attractions. ROYAL CARIBBEAN
For starters, at 250,600 tons, it will be more than 6% larger than the current size leader among cruise ships, Royal Caribbean’s 7-month-old Wonder of the Seas. It’ll also be able to hold up to 7,600 passengers — a new record for a passenger ship.
The bigger passenger capacity is in part due to the ship’s greater focus on family travelers. Icon of the Seas is notably being built with a lot more cabins that have plenty of extra bunks to accommodate families with many children. It’ll also have more amenities geared to families, including a new-for-the-line outdoor “neighborhood” called Surfside dedicated to families with young children.
As announced on Thursday, Surfside will feature splash areas for babies and kids, pools and lounge spaces for parents, family-friendly eateries and shops, and a bar with “mommy and me” matching mocktails for kids and cocktails for grownups.
An artist’s rendering of a Panoramic Ocean View suite on Icon of the Seas. ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Icon of the Seas will also feature the largest water park ever built on a cruise ship, with a record six decktop waterslides.
In all, the ship will include eight neighborhoods, as Royal Caribbean calls distinct areas of its bigger ships themed around specific activities. Five will be new to Icon and three are returning from the line’s last series of giant ships, the five-vessel Oasis class. The current size leader in the cruise world, Wonder of the Seas, is part of the Oasis class.
As previously announced, the first sailings of Icon of the Seas will be seven-night voyages to the Caribbean out of Miami, starting on Jan. 27, 2024. The ship will alternate between Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean itineraries.
On Monday, Royal Caribbean opened all of the ship’s departures through April 2025 to bookings.
While the first sailing of Icon of the Seas is nearly sold out, space remains available on a wide range of later departures, and at lower price points. As of Tuesday, the least expensive sailing on the ship — a Sept. 14, 2024 departure — was available to book on Royal Caribbean’s website for $998 per person. That’s up $17 from Monday when cabins for the same departure date started at $981 per person. In both cases, the lowest pricing was for an interior cabin.
Currently under construction at the giant Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Icon of the Seas was ordered before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic brought a downturn in cruise bookings and has been under construction since June 2021.
Icon of the Seas is just the first of three sister ships Royal Caribbean has on order for delivery by 2026 that will make up its new Icon class. The line also has one more Oasis-class ship on order for delivery in 2024.
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