Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean’s Newest Ship
Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Get To Know Icon of the Seas
As Royal Caribbean's newest ship, Icon of the Seas has been designed from bow to stern with families in mind. This massive vessel can accommodate over 5,000 guests and offers activities, dining, and entertainment options to satisfy every member of the family.
One of the most talked-about features of Icon is its eight distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique personality and theme. From the chilled-out Surfside to the futuristic Chill Island, there is a neighborhood to match every mood and interest. Families can explore each one to discover new adventures. The neighborhoods are connected by the Icon Central park, an innovative open-air design that gives the ship an airy, community feel.
At the heart of Icon is its family pool district, a massive two-deck recreational space with three pools, two surf simulators, and dedicated areas just for kids and teens. With dedicated lifeguards on duty, parents can relax while the kids splash safely nearby. Icon also features Royal Caribbean's largest poolside movie screen, so the whole family can enjoy films under the stars.
Thrill-seekers will find plenty to love at Thrill Island, home to Category 6, the largest wave pool at sea, along with the tallest slide on a cruise ship. This neighborhood pushes the adrenaline to the max with heart-pumping activities for teens and adventurous parents.
Younger kids can roam free at Chill Island, an imaginative playscape filled with cool activities like a culinary lab, art studio, and the signature Royal Caribbean carousel. Counselors at the complimentary Adventure Ocean kids club will keep children engaged for hours on end with gaming, experiments, arts and crafts. Tweens and teens have their own dedicated hangout spaces to mingle with new friends.
When it's time to refuel, Icon offers more than 20 dining venues spanning culinary styles from around the world. Picky eaters can find comfort foods like chicken fingers and pizza, while foodies will delight in concepts from celebrity chef José Andrés. For the ultimate family gathering, book a private dinner in the Chef's Table, an exclusive venue serving a multi-course tasting menu.
After a day packed with activities, families will appreciate Icon's variety of accommodations. The ship's 2,800+ staterooms include interconnected cabins ideal for larger groups, cabins with balconies, and Royal Suite Class rooms delivering luxury touches like private restaurants and lounges. With room configurations suitable for any family, all travelers can get the space they need.
What else is in this post?
- Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Get To Know Icon of the Seas
- Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Activities For All Ages
- Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Dining Options Galore
- Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Stateroom Selection Tips
- Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Best Family-Friendly Excursions
- Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Planning Group Activities
- Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Entertainment & Nightlife Fun
- Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Making Memories Together
Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Activities For All Ages
When it comes to family vacations, having plenty of activities suitable for all ages is key to keeping everyone engaged and happy. This is an area where Icon of the Seas truly excels. Across its eight distinct neighborhoods, the ship offers an incredible variety of experiences tailored to every member of the family.
"We traveled with our three kids ages 5, 8 and 12 and were amazed by how much there was to do," shares avid cruiser Jenny S. "No matter their age, every one of our kids was entertained from morning to night."
At the Family Pool District, families can splash together in the pools, ride the twin FlowRider surf simulators, and enjoy outdoor movies under the stars. For the littlest cruisers, the Splashaway Bay aqua park provides kiddie slides and fountains where they can safely play. Older kids will love racing down The Perfect Storm trio of high-speed waterslides.
Meanwhile, teens have their own dedicated spaces like Social180 and The Patio to hang out and meet new friends through gaming, music and sporting activities. The ship also offers a robust counselor-led program at the Adventure Ocean kids club where children can do science experiments, arts and crafts projects, and more. Kids can spend hours having fun in this complimentary program while parents enjoy alone time.
Beyond the pools and kids clubs, Icon offers many family-friendly activities in venues across the ship. At Playground, the arcade and gaming center, families can go head to head in friendly competition. Aspiring artists of all ages can express their creativity in the Powered by the Imagination art studio. For hands-on learning fun, the culinary classroom in Wonderland teaches kids basic cooking skills.
Thrill-seekers shouldn't miss the attractions at Thrill Island. At Category 6, cruisers can ride waves in the largest wave pool at sea. The industry's tallest slide, The Plunge, offers heart-stopping action. Less intense but still exciting options like the Royal Bayam and Wave Rider round out the offerings.
At the other end of the excitement spectrum, Chill Island helps families decompress. Little ones adore Wonder Dunes, an interactive sand box, while kids can let their imaginations run wild at the whimsical carousel. For family play time, the area has oversized games like chess, checkers and Jenga.
To bring families together, Icon also offers shared experiences like glow-in-the-dark laser tag, mini golf, karaoke, and bumper cars. The variety ensures every generation finds an activity they love and can enjoy as a family. Cruisers consistently remark how Icon's activities foster quality bonding time.
"It was amazing to see my teenagers laughing and playing with their younger cousins," shares Betty K. "From mini golf to the carousel, there was always something they could all do together."
Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Dining Options Galore
When it comes to feeding hungry vacationers, especially finicky kids, having a wide variety of dining options is crucial. Icon of the Seas delivers with over 20 restaurants and lounges spanning flavors from around the world. Families will never get bored with the immense variety this ship offers.
“The dining was absolutely incredible,” explains mom of three teenagers Susan W. “From grab-and-go options for my kids to upscale meals for my husband and I, Icon had something for every taste and occasion.”
For casual fare, Icon’s eight distinct neighborhoods each offer quick bites like pizza, tacos and sandwiches. Families appreciate neighborhood spots like The Lime and Coconut for beachy snacks and Ben & Jerry’s for delicious ice cream. The ship’s buffet restaurant, The Globe, serves comfort food staples.
More formal restaurants cater to foodies with cuisine celebrating flavors from around the globe. Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen tempts with housemade pastas and refreshing limoncello. Izumi serves up sushi and sake for a taste of Japan. Le Bistro’s fine French fare offers swoon-worthy desserts like Profiteroles au Chocolat.
Foodies craving celebrity chef creations flock to venues from Michelin-star winners like José Andrés. His two restaurants offer avant-garde tasting menus along with family-style paellas perfect for sharing. “Eating at José Andrés’ restaurants was a highlight of our cruise,” shares dad Trevor J.
For picky eaters, venues like the Family Dinner with serve chicken fingers and other familiar dishes even finicky kids will eat. Plus, complimentary room service is available 24/7 for easy in-stateroom dining when the kids need a break.
“As a mom of three picky eaters under 10, it was amazing to always have convenient options to please everyone,” says Christine R. “Room service saved us when the kids were just too tired for another restaurant.”
When it comes to celebratory meals, cruisers recommend Chops Grille for premium cuts of meat and Wonderland’s Imaginative Cuisine for a touch of whimsy. Foodies wanting to splurge book the exclusive Chef’s Table, which serves a lavish multi-course menu paired with wine. This venue seats just 16 guests for an intimate, memorable dining occasion.
For a unique family dining experience, the Family Dinner is an innovative new concept exclusive to Icon. This complimentary restaurant offers interactive cooking demonstrations and kids’ menus alongside elevated dishes for parents. Kids as young as three can get hands-on making their own pizzas and cupcakes.
To bring everyone together, families should book one of Icon’s package dining experiences. “We loved doing family sushi making at Izumi. The kids thought rolling their own sushi was so cool,” shares parent Mike G.
At Wonderland, the Mad Hatter's Tea Party package includes hands-on decorating of teapot sugar cookies. Le Petit Chef uses innovative technology to project a tiny animated chef onto plates to “cook” a whimsical tasting menu. Interactive experiences like these delight kids while giving families quality time together.
Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Stateroom Selection Tips
With over 2,800 staterooms on Icon of the Seas, choosing the right room for your family is key to an enjoyable vacation. Selecting a room configuration and location that suits your family’s needs and budget will enhance your time onboard.
For family groups, interconnected staterooms or suites allow you to book two or more cabins that connect together via an inside door. “Booking interconnected oceanview rooms was perfect for our family of five,” explains dad Michael S. “The kids loved having their own room connected to ours.” Some suites even have three rooms that connect for more space.
Families also appreciate Icon’s new Family Infinite Balcony rooms that blend indoor and outdoor spaces. With movable floor-to-ceiling windows that create an open-air balcony, kids have more space to spread out. Parents enjoy fresh air without safety concerns. “The infinite balcony was a dream with our toddler,” shares mom Amanda T. “We could relax on the balcony without worrying about her climbing over the railing.”
When choosing a room, consider your family’s priorities. For budget-focused families, interior staterooms without windows offer the lowest rates. Oceanview rooms with a window or porthole view allow natural light. Splurging on a balcony gives you outdoor space, ideal with kids who need room to burn energy. Suites provide extra room, concierge service and other upscale amenities.
Experienced cruisers recommend selecting a room mid-ship which avoids the most ship movement. “We learned our lesson after booking a room at the back on our first cruise,” dad Richard V. explains. “The bumpy ride made my wife seasick. Now we only book mid-ship.” Lower decks also feel less movement.
Proximity to kids clubs should be considered. “We purposely chose a room near Adventure Ocean so the kids could easily get themselves there,” shares Susan W. Being near elevators is also convenient for families.
For the best views, ocean-facing rooms port (left) side are ideal in Alaska or Norway to see scenery. Starboard (right) has better views in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mediterranean where sunsets are the highlight. Higher decks have better views over lifeboats.
Space is crucial with kids. While entry-level interior rooms average 150 square feet, upgrades add space. Oceanview cabins start at 179 square feet while balcony rooms begin at 198. Suites offer a spacious 546 square feet minimum. Specific layouts also impact livability, so check the floor plan.
Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Best Family-Friendly Excursions
One of the best parts of cruising is getting off the ship to explore fascinating destinations. On an Icon cruise, travelers can choose from an incredible array of shore excursions suitable for every family to make the most of time spent in port.
"Booking shore excursions was effortless with so many great options for our family of four," shares dad Trevor J. "Each excursion was clearly labeled by activity level and interests so we could easily find the right fit for us."
Cruisers consistently rate Icon's exclusive Perfect Day at CocoCay as the ultimate family-friendly shore visit. This private island paradise in the Bahamas offers endless activities for all ages to enjoy together. Families rave about Thrill Waterpark with 13 waterslides and the tallest ride in North America. For little ones, Coco Beach has a shallow lagoon ideal for swimming. Everyone can chill together on the beach or floating down the Lazy River.
Icon also visits tropic destinations like Cozumel, Puerto Costa Maya, and Roatan that offer family-friendly excursions. At Costa Maya, experienced cruisers recommend the Kohunlich Mayan Ruins where kids can explore temple pyramids on a kid-centric tour. In Cozumel, a catamaran sail and snorkel lets families experience the ocean together.
In Nassau, animal lovers shouldn't miss the exclusive Blue Lagoon Island where they can interact with dolphins, sea lions and stingrays on a special family program. "Swimming with dolphins in Nassau was the highlight of our vacation," shares Jenny S. "The kids were grinning ear to ear the whole time."
Up north, Icon visits historic ports like Boston and Nova Scotia. Book a whale watching cruise to see these gentle giants up close. For fun on land, join a family-focused guided tour of Boston's Freedom Trail hitting historical highlights.
Cruising to Alaska brings stunning scenery and adventures. Book fishing trips or wildlife tours suited for families to see bears, whales and more. Families also enjoy train rides through the wilderness, panning for gold, or learning about native Alaskan culture together.
"Doing the Klondike Gold Panning excursion as a family in Skagway was the perfect mix of outdoors fun and history," explains Trevor J. "The kids loved getting to be prospectors for the day."
In Europe, Icon visits locations like Rome, Florence and Barcelona. Join a kid-friendly Colosseum tour, make pizzas in Naples or build Gaudi models in Barcelona. Bike tours allow active families to see icons like the Vatican or La Rambla together.
No matter the destination, Icon's shore excursions have something to thrill every family member. "Kids, teens, parents and grandparents were all taken care of with each meticulously planned excursion," shares Richard V.
Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Planning Group Activities
When planning a cruise for an extended family, getting quality time all together is a top priority. But with diverse ages and interests, it can be challenging to find activities everyone enjoys. This is where Icon of the Seas shines with options to please all generations. FromReserved experiences like game night or cooking classes to spontaneous activitieslike karaoke, Icon makes it easy for big groups to bond and make memories.
"As a family of 14 spanning ages 5 to 75, we wanted a vacation where we could all be together," shares dad of three Brian C. "Icon had so many great activities that suited everyone in our group perfectly."
For low-key group fun, families book one of the ship's Ultimate Family Suites. These multi-room suites include plenty of space to gather, movies under the stars, table tennis and bumper cars right in your living quarters. "Being together in the suite was the highlight for our family reunion," explains The Wilson Family. "With teens, parents, and grandparents, the suite gave us room to play together."
Interactive game experiences are also popular with groups. Families can battle in glow-in-the-dark laser tag or race go-karts together. Oversize chess, checkers, Jenga and Connect Four gamesare ideal for some friendly competition. The indoor sports complex hosts basketball, volleyball and more.
Participating in the culinary experiences as a group is also a hit. "Doing family sushi rolling at Izumi was a blast," shares Linda R. "From grandparents to our little ones, everyone could get involved." The family baking demo at Wonderland and pizza making at Giovanni's also deliver hands-on fun.
For musical merriment, reserving seats at the iconic Grease! Broadway show allows families to sing along to beloved tunes together. The high-tech theater shows and ice skating spectaculars also appeal to all generations. Don't miss family karaokewhere groups can belt out classics side-by-side.
Many families reserve one of the behind-the-scenes tours offered onboard, like the interactive culinary tour of the ship's kitchens. "Walking through the kitchens and seeing the inner workings was fascinating for everyone from my teenagers to parents," explains Brian C. "It gave us a whole new appreciation for the dining experience."
The most memorable group activities invite participation. "Painting ceramic piggy banks together at the art studio was so much fun," shares Linda R. "Now everyone in the family has their own masterpiece to take home." For adventures, book a shore excursion like a jungle zip lining tour that lets the whole gang fly together.
Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Entertainment & Nightlife Fun
While families want plenty of together time on vacation, having adult-only entertainment options allows parents to enjoy couple time. Luckily, Icon's world-class nightlife venues give parents the chance to unwind while kids are well cared for.
"As much as we loved being with our kids all day, it was so nice to have date nights out in the evening," shares mom of two pre-teens, Angela S.
For shows, Icon delivers unforgettable entertainment in its state-of-the-art theater. Families rave about the original productions like Alter Ego with mind-blowing singing competitions and popular Broadway musicals like Hairspray and Grease performed by a talented cast. The theater's cutting-edge technology like immersive projection mapping blows cruisers away.
Beyond theater shows, Icon offers headline comedy acts, mesmerizing magic shows, Chinese acrobats and more. The ice skating spectaculars invite participation from the audience and showcase professional skaters in an intimate in-the-round setting. Impromptu street performances around the ship like jugglers, musicians and mimes add whimsy.
For cruisers that want to be the entertainment, Icon offers family karaoke, bar trivia and talent show competitions. "The talent show was a riot with everything from terrible singing to amazing magic tricks," shares Angela S. "We were laughing all night."
After the kids turn in for the night, adults-only comedy shows turn up the raunchy humor. For a thrill, brave parents head to The Plunge dance club to show off their best moves. Live music venues offer everything from classical quartets to rock cover bands to appeal to diverse tastes.
Night owls flock to the casino for slots, table games and tournaments. James C. explains, "It was awesome to be able to gamble into the wee hours knowing the kids were sound asleep." The Up All Night party options like glow parties and silent discos keep energy levels high.
For a romantic evening, couples indulge in specialty dining at venues like Wonderland, Le Bistro and Chops Grille while kids enjoy complimentary group babysitting. "Booking a dinner for two while our kids did a pajama movie night was the perfect date," shares Angela S.
Icon of Family Fun: How to Plan the Ultimate Vacation on Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship - Making Memories Together
At the heart of any family vacation, it’s those shared moments and new experiences that turn a simple trip into treasured memories that will be reminisced upon for years to come. An Icon cruise offers countless opportunities to bond and create those lifelong memories as a family.
“Our family cruise on Icon was hands-down our best vacation ever,” raves the Moore family of five. “Every day was packed with new adventures and laughs that brought us closer together.”
Parents find that cruising allows quality time together without distractions from work and technology. “For the first time in forever, we all put away our phones and were present with each other,” shares parent Melanie K. “The memories we made playing board games and talking for hours are priceless.”
Watching their kids discover the cruising high life also delights parents. “Seeing my kids’ faces light up when they explored the ship was amazing,” describes mom Amanda T. “Their sense of wonder and excitement made me so happy.”
From enjoying splash parks together to racing down waterslides as a family, Icon’s recreation brings squeals of joy. “Riding the double FlowRider with my teen was a total bonding moment,” says dad Trevor J. “We were laughing so hard at our wipe outs.”
For teens, having dedicated spaces to hang with new friends is special. “I loved that my kids got to do their own thing in the teen clubs instead of being dragged along to everything,” says mom Susan W. “They came back with crazy stories and inside jokes, thrilled to have independence.”
Younger kids adore being immersed in imaginative spaces like Wonder Dunes and making crafts in Adventure Ocean. Christie R. shares, “My little ones were so proud showing me their art projects and couldn’t stop talking about their Adventure Ocean friends.”
Elated kids then get to show off their masterpieces at family times like parade nights. “My daughter felt like a princess twirling in her handmade tiara during the Royal Promenade parade,” describes Melanie K. “Seeing her so happy brought me to tears.”
While kids roam free in supervised activities, parents appreciate couple time. “Reconnecting over a romantic dinner while the kids had a blast at camp was amazing,” shares Angela S. “We came back refreshed and ready to enjoy family time again.”