Royal Caribbean describes Icon of the Seas as a “white paper ship” – a design that began “with a blank piece of paper” with “no boundaries to the ideation”. The largest cruise ship in the world is designed for multi-generational holidays, a major post-pandemic cruise trend. But perhaps a more fitting description would be the ‘white napkin ship’. This is because the idea for its Iconic 363-tonne AquaDome was first drawn onto a white napkin by Royal Caribbean’s chairman Richard Fain.
AquaDome To Steal The Show
The AquaDome is a futuristic domed entertainment venue towards the bow of the ship. It includes a 55-foot (17m) “shapeshifting” waterfall above a pool where Royal Caribbean’s high-diving athletes and stunt artists perform, alongside robotic arms and fountains. Reportedly the largest structure of glass and steel ever lifted onto a cruise ship, the construction and placement of the AquaDome was a feat of engineering in itself that took months to develop and build. It was created at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland – where Icon of the Seas has just moved to its outfitting pier after floating out – as one module, which even included the water system that would be used during performances. Once built, the next challenge was to lift it on board without negatively impacting the ship’s stability.
A Demographic Decision
The AquaDome is one of five new neighborhoods that have been designed specifically for this class of ship. Three familiar ones remain: Royal Promenade with 15 restaurants; Central Park – a livelier version will hit Icon; and Suite Neighborhood – its largest iteration so far. The new four are Thrill Island, Chill Island, Surfside, and the Hideaway. Royal Caribbean is pitching Icon of the Seas as the answer to multi-generational holidays, identifying this as a major post-pandemic cruise trend. These different zones are strategically designed to meet the needs of parents, babies, toddlers, teens, and seniors, all in one destination – and they have included staterooms that can welcome large families of five plus.
Reducing Friction And Energy
Passengers will be able to use the Royal app on board Icon to optimize their time on board. Features include check-in 24 hours before sailing, registering a credit card for online purchases and completing their online health and safety questionnaire. To help reduce friction, the app includes a real-time activity calendar, in-app chat as well as a bookings service for restaurants and excursions. The ship will also include heat recovery systems that repurpose energy across the ship. This idea is extended further into staterooms as Icon will be fitted with in-room smart technology to help conserve energy. Staterooms have an ‘eco mode’ that “turns on as a guest disembarks and turns back off when they return” to ensure their stateroom “is at optimal temperature” when they come back. “From the moment they step on board, every experience is specifically designed to give them the best vacation anywhere on land and at sea. With Icon of the Seas, we’ve taken this to a new level and made the ultimate family vacation.” said Liberty.
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