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On Icon, water, water everywhere at Chill Island and The Hideaway

Article-On Icon, water, water everywhere at Chill Island and The Hideaway

Chill Island with its many pools
Market research showed one of the major draws to cruising is wanting to be connected to the ocean so Royal Caribbean International designed Icon of the Seas accordingly.

High on Deck 15 and rising up to part of Deck 16, Chill Island and The Hideaway provide some firsts at sea and a chill vibe.

'The whole experience is built around water,' said Michael Bayley, president/CEO, RCI.

Several 'firsts'

Icon of the Seas sports what Royal Caribbean touts as the largest pool at sea, the first suspended infinity pool at sea and the line's first true swim-up bar.

In the latest 'Making An Icon' video (see below), Royal Caribbean tells how the design starting point was adding more pools than ever before and more water at the top of the ship — a challenge. But with a 'bigger canvas,' as Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty put it, it could be done.

Up to a thousand tons of water

'Normally a ship has maybe a couple hundred tons of water in the pools. Here, we'll have between 500 and a thousand tons of water,' said Harri Kulovaara, EVP maritime, Royal Caribbean Group. The result is 62% more water surface area than on the Oasis class.

Instead of putting the pools into the superstructure, the superstructure was designed around the pools. A main objective was bringing the pools toward the outboard, allowing passengers to be in the water and look out at the ocean.

Chill Island pools

The largest pool at sea, Royal Bay, spreads across 5,813 square feet and has tiered loungers, whirlpools and shade, with a bandstand above. Royal Bay overlooks the Central Park neighborhood below.

Swim & Tonic is Royal Caribbean's first true swim-up bar with a 'party vibe all day.'

For a calmer experience, Cove Pool has an infinity edge with water flowing over the side, and shaded seating. The secluded Cloud 17 is an adults-only pool.

Hideaway Beach

Located all the way aft with wake views, Hideaway Beach is said to be the first suspended infinity pool at sea; it bridges the port and starboard 'wings' of the superstructure.


The first suspended infinity pool at sea

'The Hideaway should have a day club/beach club vibe with an incredible infinity pool,' said Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, AVP product development, RCI.

Convenient food and beverage options

Chill Island and Hideaway Beach provide numerous casual food and beverage options, responding to passengers' desire for convenience.

El Loco Fresh was expanded, adding Cantina Fresh so patrons can order a Margarita along with tacos and burritos. AquaDome Market, Royal Caribbean's first food hall, will have five stations with choices such as mac 'n' cheese, crepes, sandwiches and salads. People can walk up and get items to take back to the pool if they wish. There's also the ever-popular Sprinkles, for soft-serve ice cream.

Royal Caribbean's biggest Windjammer Marketplace is located between Chill Island and The Hideaway.

There are four bars. The Lime and Coconut, the 'most successful bar we've ever created,' will have frozen options with several self-serve machines for drinks like piña coladas and margaritas.

And The Hideaway will offer special Champagne cocktails.


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