“Water, water everywhere,” is part of the concept behind Royal Caribbean International’s new Icon of the Seas, said Jay Schneider, senior vice president and chief product innovation officer.
Sailing from Miami in early 2024, the Icon will become the world’s largest ship, and will also have more waterslides at sea than any other ship with six.
With six slides, it is about managing throughput, said Schneider.
“We don’t want long lines,” he explained. “We studied the ship at maximum guests and maximum number of kids and we looked to minimize the lines. One of the ways to do that is to charge for it, and you reduce capacity, but we don’t want to do that.”
The six water slides with the brand’s Aquatheater, seven pools and more proved an engineering challenge with significant water weight located high in the superstructure of the vessel, which is currently under construction at Meyer Turku in Finland.
“We hit a tipping point with the amount of water we can have on the top of the ship,” said Schneider, also pointing out that the pools on the Icon will face outward, toward the ocean.
“We have 62 percent more water than compared to the open decks on Oasis class ships.”
Schneider said the cruise line had hit the point where it could not add more significant weight to the top of the ship and as a result a number of hot tubs were cut out of the design.