The AquaDome has been installed aboard Icon of the Seas, making it the largest structure of glass and steel that’s ever been lifted onto a cruise ship.
The dome will cover the AquaDome neighbourhood aboard the ship, a transformational space with 220-degree ocean views, restaurants, bars, and lounges.
At night, it will host a range of aqua entertainment shows, similar to those held at the AquaTheatre aboard the Oasis-class ships.
The installation of the massive structure, made up of 673 glass panels and 712 aluminium panels, took months of planning and prep with structural engineers and naval architects.
The dome, which is 82 feet tall and 164 feet wide, weighs 363 tons and was assembled separately at Meyer Turku in Finland beforehand.
It took 80 hours to complete the installation, with the final few feet alone taking 6 hours of welding. A 155-foot rig had to be built to lift the structure onto the ship, using 1,640 feet of suspension cables.
The AquaDome Neighbourhood will be one of eight aboard Icon of the Seas, the other seven being the Suite Neighbourhood, Thrill Island, Chill Island, Surfside, The Hideaway, the Royal Promenade, and Central Park.
The Suite Neighbourhood is the largest luxury enclave on any cruise ship. Across its four decks there are a dozen suite categories, as well as a multilevel suite sun deck – The Grove – that has a private pool, whirlpool and dining, and a two-story Coastal Kitchen.
The pool deck will feature 7 pools, including the first swim-up bar at sea, and the largest pool on any cruise ship.
The waterpark up on the pool deck will be the largest at sea, with 6 record-breaking slides, including the first open free-fall slide on a cruise ship. There will also be a kid’s waterpark, a separate pool for adults, and a range of cafes and restaurants around them.
The ship will feature more than 40 restaurants, bars and nightclubs, 15 of them in the Royal Promenade alone. These range from casual cafes and deli-style countertops to the best fine-dining cruise restaurants in the industry, many of which are all-inclusive.
The ship will feature 10 fleet favourites, including Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and a brand new standout, The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar.
Icon of the Seas will be 250,000-gross tons, even larger than Oasis-class Wonder of the Seas, currently the world’s largest cruise ship, and will carry more passengers: 5,100 at double occupancy and as many as 7,600 when all berths are full.