Here's what I did on the world's largest cruise ship

Royal Caribbean's viral nine-month cruise isn't the company's only cruise to make a splash. In January, it launched the world's largest cruise ship, the Icon of the Seas.

The 250,800-ton ship can accommodate 7,600 passengers and is divided into 8 areas, such as AquaDome, Thrill Island and Central Park, spread across 20 decks on the ship. In total, they feature seven swimming pools, an ice skating rink, 20 different restaurants, bars, casinos, theaters, art galleries and more.

a lot of. When I was invited aboard the 1,198-foot-long vessel for its maiden voyage, I jumped at the chance.

My three-night trip between Miami and the Bahamas began with a launch ceremony hosted by soccer icon Lionel Messi and saved by Bell Mario Lopez, during which religious leaders blessed the ship The ship "ensures safe navigation for all on board." After a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne was ceremoniously smashed over the side of the boat (a practice that dates back to Queen Victoria's time in 1891), we set sail amid an impressive fireworks display.

The Mammoth Ship itself. royal caribbean

Pearl, the world's largest kinetic art sculpture. royal caribbean

My first order of business was to collect my cabin key opposite the Pearl, the largest kinetic art sculpture in the world. It was here that I was struck by the sheer scale of Icon. There was so much to see and do on this record-breaking cruise, and I tried to make the most of my time on board.

Available in Category 1 and Category 2 fun

My first night was spent in what Royal Caribbean CEO Jason Liberty describes as a "state-of-the-art" AquaTheater, where I witnessed a spectacular synchronized swimming and diving display.

Later, I stopped for a citrus cocktail at the Royal Promenade Bar before returning to my Deck 11 cabin. The next morning, I explored the vicinity of Thrill Island, where, strapped in and with shaky legs, I strolled the ship’s Skywalk (a narrow platform that hovers over the deep ocean below).

Show times at the AquaDome. Royal Caribbean.

I also (rather unsuccessfully) tried out the FlowRider surf simulator, zipped up the ship's ocean-view climbing wall, and tried all six slides at the Category 6 water park, including the tallest water slide ever, called the Frightening Bolt, and The first open free-fall slide on a cruise ship.

I ended my busy day with a quiet dip in The Hideaway, the adults-only infinity pool, and watched the sunset over the sparkling ocean. With the DJ playing soft tunes and a cocktail in hand, the atmosphere feels like a Barcelona beach club.

There are Category 1 and Category 2 fun available. Royal Caribbean.

In addition, there are many restaurants

To avoid busy breakfast spots like Windjammer Cafe - where I found a wide variety of global cuisine on my first day - I chose to start my morning at Park Cafe, which is located in the quieter center Park nearby. For a pick-me-up, try the made-to-order Kummelweck roast beef and egg sandwich, along with a piping hot double espresso.

There is an impressive array of lunch options on board, such as El Loco's fresh Mexican buffet, AquaDome Market and Surfside Eatery. I'm spoiled for choice when I'm craving something for lunch, but my favorite place to go is The Grove Bar and Restaurant on Deck 18. Dining al fresco, I opted for a Mediterranean-style lamb shank, served with a light feta cheese and watermelon salad.

Near Central Park.

Have breakfast at Central Park Cafe.

For dinner, the magnificent multi-level main restaurant is a luxurious venue. For my first meal on the ship, I sat under a towering chandelier and ordered “the most popular dish of the night,” as the waiter told me, steak and lobster tail with seaweed.

I also made a reservation at the Nobu-style Izumi Hibachi and Sushi restaurant on deck 6. On my last night, I indulged in the chef's signature Izumi Ryu Futomaki roll and green tea mochi ice cream.

Izumi Hibachi and sushi restaurant.


You'll stop at this Bahamas hideaway

The only stop on my 72-hour journey was CocoCay in the Bahamas, a 120-acre private destination exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests.

Like Icon itself, CocoCay offers visitors the choice of relaxation or excitement. I chose the former, hanging out at the poolside bar at Oasis Lagoon and the warm sand of Hideaway Beach, practicing my backstroke in the turquoise water.

Coco Island.


Grabbing a lobster roll from the nearby Snack Shack, I wandered around the island, past the Thrill Waterpark, the zipline and the 137-meter-tall helium balloon experience, overlooking CocoCay and the Mammoth Ship itself.

Although brief, my stay on the world's largest cruise ship lived up to expectations. If you're looking for the ultimate cruise experience, Royal Caribbean's Mark of the Seas is sure to satisfy all your needs.