TURKU, Finland -- Royal Caribbean gave travel advisors and journalists a tour of the in-progress Icon of the Seas at the Meyer Turku shipyard on Aug. 12, and enough is built to envision how the ship will live up to its billing as the ultimate family vacation when Icon debuts in January.
Some of that is represented in our slideshow that depicts how ship spaces look now compared with renderings that Royal Caribbean has published. A walk through the Surfside neighborhood -- and a few of the suites that tower over the neighborhood -- left little doubt that as a resort at sea, this ship will reach heights even higher than the massive ships in Royal Caribbean's popular Oasis class.
At 250,800 gross tons, the Icon will be 6% bigger than the largest Oasis-class ship (Wonder of the Seas), and every bit of it is needed to accommodate the Thrill Island waterpark's six slides, a massive resort-style pool and a swim-up bar cleverly called Swim & Tonic. And that's just the pool deck.
For the pinnacle in size and luxury, there's the Ultimate Family Townhouse, an accommodation that spans three decks and averages around $55,000 for a seven-night cruise.
Royal Caribbean showed off what has been completed in the townhouse already, such as the frame of an in-suite slide and a bedroom with wraparound balcony. When it's all done, there will be cinema space and karaoke in this extravagant home away from home.
Royal Caribbean also gave a tour of the AquaDome neighborhood, which will be a place for dining, relaxation and entertainment. Royal previewed the water-light-music shows that will wow guests at the AquaTheater.
Adjacent to the theater is the Overlook lounge -- similar to the Two70 space on the Quantum-class ships with a massive mosaic of floor-to-ceiling windows.
AquaDome will be a great spot for ocean views but certainly not the only one. Royal Caribbean is striving to achieve the ability to see the ocean from public spaces everywhere on Icon, from the Royal Promenade to Central Park to the Surfside neighborhood.