“That’s a great idea,” said Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley in a coy voice that raised a few eyebrows. Bayley was speaking to a packed theater of mostly Diamond- and Pinnacle-level cruisers aboard this week’s President’s Cruise when asked about creating a private island closer to Galveston. “I would love to say more but I cannot.”
He wasn’t the only Royal Caribbean exec to tease new Perfect Day destinations. Senior vice president and chief product innovation officer Jay Schneider said announcements around future private destinations “around the world” will be forthcoming.
While neither Bayley or Schneider would say more on the location of new private destinations, they did talk about what’s coming to Icon of the Seas and Utopia of the Seas, both due for delivery next year.
A lot of Icon of the Seas’ major attractions have already been announced, with the ship featuring 23 new-to-Royal food and beverage venues, 15 new water experiences, and five new neighborhoods.
Schneider dropped a couple of “biggest ever” notes. For instance, with six slides the Category 6 Water Park is the largest waterpark at sea. The Deserted Milkshake Bar will have the largest milkshakes in the fleet. Royal Bay will be the largest pool at sea.
The entire ship, overall, will have 62% more water than any of the Oasis Class ships and Central Park will be 20% greener with lusher, taller vegetation.
It will also be the first ship in the fleet to give cruisers the option to slide down to a lower deck instead of taking the stairs on several select decks.
In a move welcomed by the audience, Schneider also announced the mezzanine overlooking the Royal Promenade will be a full 360 degrees.
Utopia of the Seas
Royal Caribbean last month revealed initial details of Utopia of the Seas, the next Oasis Class ship, and much of what Schneider talked about echoed the initial reveal. However, he did offer a few new details.
For instance, in last month’s reveal Royal Caribbean said Utopia will have an “immersive” dining experience. Schneider revealed the experience will feature a “train” journey that “stops” in various destinations with related food and beverage choices, as well as scenery. Diners will enter their journey via a fully decked out train station, before boarding a train car for the “eatertainment” dining and entertainment experience.
The name of the venue remains undecided with Bayley favoring “The Train Trip” and Schneider favoring “Utopia Station at the Royal Railway.” When asked to vote on between the two, only one person liked Bayley’s “The Train Trip.”
Utopia of the Seas will also be the first Oasis Class ship without a Bionic Bar. Instead, it will have a tiki-style bar called the Pesky Parrot. Higher up the ship, Utopia will feature The Spare Tire, the line’s first food truck-style eatery.
In terms of accommodations, Utopia will feature the line’s first Solarium Suites, each one above the bridge wings and featuring 270-degree views.
One change that might be coming to both Icon of the Seas and Utopia of the Seas, along with the rest of the fleet – if the vocal Diamond and Pinnacle members have anything to say about it – is raising the minimum age for entry to the Solarium to 18. When asked by Bayley to vote on it, every person in the theater chose 18 versus 16.