February 2024 Caribbean Cruise
On Icon Of The Seas

The Largest Cruise Ship In The World!

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Aerial photo of Icon Of The Seas

I love cruise ships, and I especially love seeing all the improvements when a cruise line comes out with the first ship in an entirely new class of ships.  So, when I heard about Icon Of The Seas and learned about some of the interesting new features it has, I knew this was a cruise ship I wanted to see for myself.

What sealed the deal for me was that my travel agent, Caitlin Gallagher, made a brilliant move that saved me a LOT of money.  Because there was so much interest in this all-new ship, the supply/demand equation was hugely in Royal Caribbean's favor and they were able to charge a HUGE premium for cruises on this ship...  about double the normal prices.  But Caitlin is a cruise expert and knows a thing or two.  She reserved something like a hundred cabins on various dates, years ago when Royal Caribbean first started accepting reservations.  This was before they realized this ship was so popular that they could jack up the rates.  By reserving those cabins when she did, Caitlin locked in relatively low prices.  So, Kellyn and I were able to stay in a balcony cabin that looked out to the ocean, for about half the price of what others were paying for that same type of cabin after Royal Caribbean jacked up the prices.

Kellyn Zimmerlin on cruise ship balcony
Kellyn relaxing on our balcony


Icon Of The Seas cabin 14220
Our cabin on Icon Of The Seas...  stateroom 14220

Since Icon Of The Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world,
I knew exactly the right t-shirt to bring along with me...

I Like Big Boats And I Cannot Lie

In case you don't get the joke, it's a reference to a rap song from 1992 called "Baby Got Back".
There's a line in the song that says "I like big butts and I cannot lie".


Perhaps you're wondering how big the biggest cruise ship in the world actually is.  Big might not be a big enough word for it, as you can see from this next photo...

Biggest Cruise Ship In The World - Icon Of The Seas

So, how did I like Icon Of The Seas?  Like all cruise ships, there were things I liked about it and things I didn't like.  It's a really great cruise ship for families cruising with children, because there's so many things for the kids to do on this ship.  However, my favorite cruise ships have a quiet, adults-only pool where senior citizens like me can spend a relaxing sea day in the pool without being bothered by a bunch of kids or any loud music.  Unfortunately, Icon Of The Seas did not have that.  So, while I did enjoy my cruise, I doubt I'd sail this particular ship again.

For my YouTube channel, I created a half-hour video that details many of the things I liked about this ship, as well as the things I didn't like.  Using lots of video clips that I shop while I was onboard, I think the video does a good job of showing some of the best and worst things about Icon Of The Seas.  Just click the little triangle on this photo below, if you'd like to watch the video.

To make the video fill the screen (recommended) click the little symbol in the lower right corner of the video player


For me and Kellyn, the best thing about this 7-day cruise was where it took us.  We're beach people.  In the months of January and February, when the weather where we live is at its worst, we love to take a cruise to somewhere warm... and spend time on sail boats or catamarans, and as much time as possible at some of the world's best beaches.  We had a great time at three different beaches in the Caribbean during this cruise.

The first island the ship stopped at was St Kitts.  We signed up for a catamaran excursion that would take us to a nice beach, where we could enjoy a lunch of barbecued chicken, and spend time in the warm ocean water.  From where the cruise ship was docked, we had about an hour ride on the catamaran to get to the neighboring island of Nevis.  We love a good boat ride like this!

Catamaran excursion to Nevis
The water was wonderfully warm and I loved spending time in it!


The next day, we had an even better beach day!  Our ship was docked at the island of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.  Since this was my 64th cruise since 1996 and I had been to St Thomas quite a few times before, I knew exactly what to do here to make it a perfect day.  We signed up for an excursion over to the neighboring island of St John, most of which is a US national park that is unspoiled by development.  Within the park is one of the world's greatest beaches, at Trunk Bay.

Trunk Bay on the island of St John
Trunk Bay on the island of St John, a spectacular part of Virgin Islands National Park


The beach at Trunk Bay
The beach at Trunk Bay is one the best beaches we've come across in all of our travels.
Even in February, the water was wonderfully warm.


On another day, the ship brought us to Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas, which is known as Coco Cay.  Quite a few of the major cruise lines have their own private islands, but Coco Cay is the best of them all.  They're so sure that you're going to have a perfect day at Coco Cay, that they've posted large signs that basically promise it.

Perfect day at Coco Cay

The tall colorful structures on the right side of the photo are waterslides.  They have an incredible waterpark on the island that kids will love!  However, Kellyn and I chose to spend our day at a much quieter and more relaxing part of the island.  It's known as the Coco Beach Club.

Coco Beach Club on Coco Cay

Our day at the Coco Beach Club was absolutely delightful, in spite of the weather being cooler and more windy that day.  There's a really nice beach at the Coco Beach Club, but I elected to spend much of the day in that big pool you can see in the photo.  It's an infinity pool that looks out over the ocean, and the water was delightfully warm.  At that large wooden structure you see right behind the pool, which is a restaurant just for folks at the Coco Beach Club, Kellyn and I each enjoyed filet mignon for lunch.  Kellyn also had some lobster.

Speaking of infinity pools, the ship has seven pools and the one at the back end of the ship is an infinity pool with fantastic views of what's behind the ship!

The Hideaway Pool on Icon Of The Seas

However, that photo of the infinity pool is a bit deceptive.  I shot it fairly soon after the ship set sail, and that was before most passengers had unpacked their luggage.  So, since they hadn't unpacked their swimsuits, the pool was fairly empty.  A more honest representation of what that infinity pool was actually like during the cruise is this:

hideaway pool on Icon Of The Seas

Since this is the largest cruise ship in the world and carries so many passengers, the pools were almost always crowded with people like this.  This particular pool is the only adults-only pool on the ship, which explains why you don't see any kids in the photo.  The other pools were full of rowdy kids.  This particular pool at the back of the ship had two other strikes against it:  the water was not heated, and they played really obnoxious music here, way too loudly.  Basically, it was a party pool...  and that's just not the kind of place I spend much time at when I'm on a cruise.  The Instagram generation would love it, but it wasn't for me.

A part of the ship that I did really like was a quiet area at the very front of the ship, enclosed in glass.  It is called "the overlook" because it looks out over the bow of the ship, and features great views of what's ahead of the ship.

The Overlook on Icon Of The Seas


Here's a short little video I made that I think you might enjoy.  It's only about three minutes long.  It shows off some of the fun things there are for kids to do on this ship, and also features some interesting views of the ship sailing away from each of the islands we visited.

To make the video fill the screen (recommended) click the little symbol in the lower right corner of the video player


Kellyn and I were not alone on this cruise...  we cruised with our friends, Bob Kaplan & Joan Dillon.
We met them several years earlier on a Columbia River cruise, and quickly hit it off with them.
This has now been four cruises that we've taken together!


Internet Access

Internet access on Celebrity Solstice was provided by Starlink, and it worked very well.  While I've seen faster upload and download speeds on other ships I've cruised on, what I noticed about the Internet connection on Icon Of The Seas was that it just worked, and with almost un-noticeable lag or latency.  I never had any trouble using the Internet on this ship, and I was even able to watch videos on YouTube and upload videos to Facebook.

Need A Travel Agent?

Booking a cruise can be confusing, especially if you haven't been on many cruises before.  There are lots of first-time cruiser mistakes that a travel agent can keep you from making.

If you're interested in booking a cruise with any cruise line...  please feel free to use the services of my travel agent, Caitlin Gallagher.  She's extremely pleasant to deal with, easy to talk to since she lives in the United States and speaks without any kind of an accent, and quite experienced and knowledgeable about different types of cruising.  Caitlin is the owner of Ambren Travel.  Visit her web site, check out the Ambren Travel Facebook page, or contact her using the information below.

Caitlin Gallagher business card Ambren Travel


I've been recommending Caitlin for years, and she's gotten a LOT of her clients from me.  In appreciation of all those referrals,  she arranged for a bottle of sparkling wine to be delivered to our cabin.  It was one of the best sparkling wines that Kellyn and I have ever had, so I took a look at the label to see exactly what it was.  To our surprise and delight, it was from a winery about 25 miles south of our home in Washington state!

Other Cruise Ships We've Been On

If you've enjoyed this page, you would probably also enjoy reading my web pages about:

December 2022 Caribbean cruise on Carnival Celebration
A Puget Sound cruise on American Constellation
A Cruise on Viking's new expedition ship, Viking Octantis
February 2022 cruise on one of our favorite ships, Carnival Panorama
A Cruise Up The Mississippi River on American Melody
American Harmony... our first river cruise!
A cruise to Iceland... our first cruise after the pandemic
Our first time on Carnival Panorama, January 2020
December 2019 cruise in The Haven on Norwegian Joy
May 2019 Carnival Horizon cruise
April 2019 Norwegian Breakaway cruise
January 2019 Caribbean cruise on the Viking Sea
December 2018 country music cruise on the Norwegian Getaway
May 2018 Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Bliss
January 2018 cruise on MSC Seaside in a suite with a private Jacuzzi
September 2017 Carnival Vista cruise in a Havana Suite
October 2017 Norwegian Sky cruise in the owner's suite
The $1600 per night owners suite:  January 2017 Norwegian Pearl
An Un-crowded Small Ship Experience:  Viking Star
One Of The Best Waterslides At Sea:  Liberty Of The Seas
Quite Possibly The Best Cruise Ship In The World:  Anthem Of The Seas
January 2017 Allure Of The Seas
One of the best cruise ships we've ever experienced: The Norwegian Escape
2015 Carnival Breeze back-to-back cruises
Back-to-back cruises on Independence Of The Seas
World's largest cruise ship: Allure Of The Seas
2015 Carnival Freedom repositioning cruise
Our first VIP cruise in The Haven: The Norwegian Getaway
Our June 2014 Alaska cruisetour with Princess
Our first cruise with Princess!  January 2014 Sapphire Princess
2014 back-to-back eastern/western Caribbean cruises on the Carnival Glory
The completely refurbished Carnival Sunshine
One of Carnival's best ships, the Carnival Breeze
A sister ship to the Breeze, the Carnival Magic
Our 2013 cruise on the Carnival Conquest
One of the oldest ships in the fleet, the Carnival Inspiration
Our first Caribbean cruise:  the Carnival Glory
Our many cruises on the Carnival Spirit
Our February 2010 cruise on the Carnival Splendor
Our January 2008 cruise on the Carnival Elation
Our April 2008 cruise on the Norwegian Star
Our first cruise!  1996 on Carnival Cruise Line's MS Holiday

Click here to see the complete chronology of all the cruises we've ever taken.

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