THE world’s biggest cruise ship – Icon of the Seas – has been unveiled by Royal Caribbean, capable of carrying 7,600 passengers and costing more than £1.2BILLION.

Dubbed the ultimate family vacation, the mega ship will feature the largest waterpark at sea, an 155ft waterfall inside a vast geodesic dome, the world’s first swim-up bar at sea and an infinity pool suspended over the ocean.

Setting sail from January 2024, Icon of the Seas will feature eight unique neighbourhoods spanning 20 decks featuring everything from a sunken pirate ship on the top deck to the line’s largest ice arena in the bowels of the ship.

More than 40 dining, bar and nightlife venues will feed and entertain the thousands of passengers.

Cruisers will be able to choose from 28 different cabin types with the Ultimate Family Townhouse spanning three decks complete with a slide, white picket fence and mailbox.

Infinite Balcony rooms will feature a retractable window turning floor-to-ceiling glass into a balcony and new Sunset Corner Suites will enjoy vast terraces overlooking the rear of the ship.

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The ship is the first in the new Icon series – the first new ship category from Royal Caribbean since it launched its Oasis-class ships in 2009.

It will have five brand new neighbourhoods as well as welcoming back three from the Oasis ships.

  • Thrill Island is home to Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea with six record-breaking slides. Pressure Drop will be the first open free-fall slide at sea; the 46ft tall Frightening Bolt will be the tallest drop slide on a ship. Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter will be the first family raft rides. The area will also be home to Crown’s Edge, part skywalk, part ropes course, it will culminate in a surprise drop off that will see riders swing 154ft above the ocean.
  • Chill Island is home to four of the ship’s seven pools and will feature Swim & Tonic, the line’s first swim-up bar at sea, the Royal Bay Pool, the largest on a ship and Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat as well as the infinity-edge Cove pool.
  • Surfside will be the ultimate play zone for younger families with with aqua parks for toddlers and babies as well as chill out pool for parents to relax while they keep an eye on the kids as well as playgrounds, an arcade and even a whimsical carousel.
  • The Hideaway, a neighbourhood 135ft above the ocean will have a beach club feel and uninterrupted views of the ocean from the world’s first suspended infinity pool at sea as well as multi-level sun terraces and whirlpools.
  • AquaDome – perched at the very top of the front of the ship will transform from a tranquil oasis by day to a vibrant theatre by night. The vast geodesic dome will feature a 155ft waterfall and four robotic arms for incredible aerial highwire shows.

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Returning favourite neighbourhoods will include the Royal Promenade with floor-to-ceiling ocean views plus more than 15 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges; a lush Central Park with thousands of flowers, plans and even TREES and Royal Caribbean’s largest Suite Neighbourhood with three decks of luxury rooms as well as sun deck, private pool and restaurant.

The new ship will also be the line’s most environmentally-friendly, it’s first with fuel cell technology and powered by liquefied natural gas.

 From January 2024, the ship will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami with every cruise visiting Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas.

On shore there are 13 waterslides, including the tallest in North America, as well as a beach club with over-water cabanas and in time for Icon’s arrival, a new adults-only oasis, Hideaway Beach, with pool, cabanas with private pools and ocean views.

Talking to The Sun on the launch of the new ship,  Michael Bayley, president and CEO, said: “We are super excited to reveal what is going to be truly the ultimate family holiday.

“Now more than ever, families and friends are prioritising experiences where they can bond and enjoy their own adventures.

“We set out to create a vacation that makes all that possible in one place for the thrill-seekers, the chill enthusiasts and everyone in between. It’s this first-of-its-kind combination that makes Icon the future of family vacations, and that future is here.”

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  • 20 decks
  • 7,600 maximum guests
  • 5,610 guests double occupancy
  • 7 pools and 9 whirlpools
  • 6 record-breaking waterslides
  • 250,800 Gross Tonnage
  • 1,198ft / 365metres long

Michael added: “Pricing is yet to be announced but we are confident a family of four will be able to enjoy a seven night cruise with all their food and entertainment included for around £2,663 in total with lots of special offers including kids sail free.”

 Cruises on Icon will go on sale on October 25. See

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