The world’s longest and largest cruise ship is nearing completion at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland – and tour guide Lisa Minot was there this week for an exclusive first look at the £1.2billion Leviathan.
Royal Caribbean’s Icon Of The Seas took six years and more than a million hours to develop.
Over 3,000 shipyard workers bring the 20-deck aircraft to life, using 12,000km of on-board wiring and enough wiring to travel TWICE around the world.
The ship will set sail from here Miami all year round Caribbean Sailing beginning in January, she will call at Perfect Day At CocoCay, the cruise line’s very own private island in the United States Bahamas.
Accommodating 7,600 passengers, Icon Of The Seas is considered the ultimate family vacation with eight unique neighborhoods and more than 40 restaurants and bars.
Benjamin Bouldin, Head of Royal Caribbean UK, said: “Icon Of The Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of Royal Caribbean innovation in delivering the best possible experiences. I am really looking forward to welcoming the guests when we set sail next year.”
Lisa reveals what guests can expect when the ship is complete, including a 55-foot waterfall and other new features on the cruise.
The hiding place
WHILE the ship has acres of family fun, adults will love the unique hideaway with its laid-back beach club vibe.
The world’s first floating infinity pool at sea features floating sun loungers and breathtaking sea views from eight floors.
There are multi-level terraces with lounge chairs for sunbathing — or afternoon snoozing — multiple hot tubs, and a dedicated bar with an in-house DJ for the ultimate sundowner.
THIS returning Royal Caribbean favorite—a five-deck-tall outdoor park—has been updated to feature 50 percent more flora and fauna than ever before.
Numerous shops and restaurants line the lush pathways, including the new Bubbles champagne bar and Lou’s Jazz ‘n Blues.
Depending on the time of day, the walls of the live music venue can be removed to bring the interior to the outside.
There are also two top dining favorites: Chops Grille for surf and turf and Izumi, which serves Japanese fare.
THE beating heart of the ship is packed with bars and restaurants.
But The Pearl, the spherical steel structure spanning two decks, is a marvel of engineering.
It weighs more than a Boeing 787 and is taller than them Hollywood It acts as a load-bearing device to physically support and anchor the ship.
As you climb the steps, the walls can move and change color.
This neighborhood also features a new piano hall and the cruise line’s largest ice arena.
Find the best cabins and stay in an exclusive area.
Across four decks there is a multi-level sundeck with its own pool and the two-level Coastal Kitchen restaurant overlooking the all-glass AquaDome.
For families, the ultimate stay is in the three-storey townhouse.
It sleeps eight people and has its own garden, as well as a direct slide from the bedroom to the living area.
However, a week’s stay will cost you a whopping £60,000. . .
INTENDED for young families, parents will find plenty of places to relax with a cocktail while keeping an eye on their little ones.
The open-air street features a giant beach carousel, playground and arcade, as well as plenty of water fun at Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay.
The Adventure Ocean kids club is nearby. You’ll also find kid-friendly dining at Surfside Eatery, mocktails at The Lemon Post, and sweet treats at Sugar Beach. The special specialty restaurant Pier 7 serves a brunch menu where kids eat free.
Thrills on the island
Spread across two decks, Thrill Island is home to the largest water park at sea, Category 6.
The six slides include Frightening Bolt, the tallest drop slide on board, and Pressure Drop, the first open drop slide that allows riders to throw over the ship’s edge in a clear bowl.
There’s also Hurricane Hunter and Storm Surge, the first family raft slides at sea.
The expansive grounds also feature Crown’s Edge, a terrifying obstacle course that puts guests soaring 154 feet above the sea, and recurring favorites like the Flowrider surf simulator and miniature golf course.
THIS three-deck aquatic paradise has pools for all ages and moods.
The Royal Bay Pool, the largest at sea, has 40,000 gallons of water, while Swim & Tonic is the line’s first swim-up bar.
And those looking for the perfect Instagram moment will love the infinity edge and ocean views at The Cove Pool.
The Royal team upped the ante with colorful cabanas that jut out over the sea.
New restaurants include El Loco Fresh and Catina Fresca, and guests can enjoy a frozen cocktail at Lime & Coconut.
This is the first free-standing geodesic dome on a ship.
Constructed of steel and 600 panels of glass, the AquaDome is 82 feet tall and 164 feet wide, and features a stunning 55-foot waterfall that cascades onto a stage.
During the day, guests can grab a bite to eat or drink at the many bars and restaurants, including the popular Hooked Seafood.
But at night it’s a lively hotspot, where guests can enjoy shows at the Aqua Theater, with its 60-foot dive platforms, aerial performers, and cutting-edge technology.
Go green on the poop deck
ICON is Royal Caribbean’s greenest liner to date and the first ship to be powered by LNG – the cleanest marine fuel.
Capable of harnessing and reusing excess heat from its engines, the ship is the first ship to use MAP technology to convert biowaste — the feces of its 7,600 passengers and 2,350 crew members — into energy.
Icon can also produce 93 percent of its fresh water through reverse osmosis and desalination, and is targeting a 60 percent reduction in single-use plastics.