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Day 2 - Boarding Icon of the Seas

Today is the day we board Icon of the Seas! We started the day in Miami and strolled down to the Blue Lavender Cafe for a quick breakfast. I had some freshly squeezed orange juice and some bacon which was just enough to hold me over before the cruise.

Our boarding time was 11:30am, but we decided to go a little early and hope for the best. We arrive at 10:48am and by 11am we were on the ship. Royal Caribbean has the best boarding process of any cruise line I’ve sailed. It was high energy when we boarded and the Royal Promenade was much wider and lighter than I was expecting. There are windows and natural light which brings new life to the space.

Amaris boarding Icon of the Seas
Boarding Icon of the Seas

We wondered around the ship, taking advantage of being among the first passengers on the ship. We strolled through Central Park and Chill Island. My breakfast was on the light side because I was excited to try the new AquaDome and the crepes! They had the crepes pre-made and then you picked which toppings you want. They have a menu with combinations, but you could also create your own. While I love a fresh crepe, this tasted just as good and there wasn’t a long wait. Next, we headed to the Windjammer because they were serving extra special things like filet and crab legs. I don’t eat seafood and unfortunately the filet was cooked with something I’m allergic to so no special goodies for me. Don’t worry, there are 40 places to eat and dine onboard so there was still plenty to try.

We rolled right into lunch by touring the specialty dining restaurants onboard. Some even had samples of the menu to taste. The Supper Club is a jazz club and a really interesting new restaurant. The menu is set, but they reach out ahead of time to accommodate any food allergies. They don’t have a set menu for what the alternative would be, but they assured me that it would be comparable to the real thing. I’d love to try this place, but it’s invite-only on our sailing. Another one of my favorites was Izumi which houses the hibachi tables. I worked as a waitress at a hibachi restaurant when I was younger and despite eating it every day for awhile, it’s still my favorite type of meal.

Dining room, musical instruments, food, main entry, old phone
Supper Club on Icon of the Seas

Our rooms were ready at 1pm so we took the opportunity to drop-off our stuff and collect our lanyards. The lanyards have a giant checklist of places to see and if you complete the checklist, you get a prize. It’s a good thing that I had my walking shoes on because that was intense! Icon of the Seas has so many room categories and I’m pretty sure we saw them all. My favorite normal-ish cabin was the Sunset Corner Balcony Suite. It’s tucked away at the aft of the ship and is very spacious and has an amazing balcony. The gem of the cabins was the Ultimate Family Suite which was impressive. It has a slide inside and yes I tried it. It’s surprisingly fast!

We took a break from touring rooms to head to Crown’s Edge. It’s a ropes course that dangles you off the edge of the ship. I signed my life away and then headed into the adventure room with five other adventurous. We couldn’t bring anything with us except our SeaPass card. The card was tucked into our jumpsuit and I really questioned why it was so important for each of us to have the card on us. My mind went to, “it’s there to identify the body if you fall off.” We watched a video that basically said don’t mess with the straps and put your feet on the anchor at the end. We’re also told that once you start, you can’t go back. You must go forward. The course starts with a simple bridge that’s not that high. The straps were pulling me up and my toes could barely touch the ground. No one else seemed to have this issue so I’m not sure if it’s a short person problem or that my straps were adjusted too tightly. The bridge was challenging because I couldn’t really touch the ground. The next part was a little easier to touch, but the stepping platforms were more difficult to traverse. You’re then brought to the platform with an anchor and in front of you is a very long drop to the ocean. You’re away from everyone and I stand there thinking, now what? I don’t remember it saying anything else beyond standing on the anchor. I look around at the staff for some instruction, but I can’t see them from the other side. I guess I jump? I jumped. The ropes caught my fall and the track swung me around back to the beginning. The Royal Caribbean staff member says, “You jumped!” At first I thought he was saying yay you did it, but his expression wasn't conveying that and was more concerned. I ask, “Was I not supposed to jump?” His response, “No.” LOL. The video is intentionally vague, but for me it was too vague to get the full experience.

Amaris geared up in the jumpsuit and the course
Crown's Edge

We didn’t finish all the staterooms on our checklist so we find the elevators to take us down. Icon of the Seas features “smart” elevators. There are screens all around the elevator and you press what floor you want to go to. Then, the screen gives you the name of an elevator. You wait for it and when you get in. There are no floor buttons to press. We wait for our designated elevator. It opens up and the elevator has a handful of people. There is lots of space as the elevators can hold 30 people. There is a security guard there and he asks us to get another elevator. We are puzzled because the elevator clearly has more room. As the door closes, I look at who is on the elevator. There is a guy looking down at his phone and it’s…. A.C. Slater! Yep, Mario Lopez! So we almost got on an elevator with him, but security wasn’t having it.

Operation, “Try all the bars,” begins. The drinks are free on this special sailing, but it's already 5pm and we haven't tried one yet. We rectify this situation immediately. First, we head to the Hideaway Bar, but it’s really loud in this part of the ship so we decide to find another bar. We walk to the Basecamp Bar and I have a Passion Fruit Guava Sangria. Yum! We then walk to Desserted for a sample milkshake. Then to the classic Schooner Bar where I order a Lavender Daiquiri. OMG I found my favorite cocktail of all time.

It’s nearing dinner time so we head back to the room. We watch the naming ceremony on our stateroom TV and realize that we were walking behind the Captain and his family earlier in the day. I really thought Messi was going to kick the soccer bowl at the champagne bottle to christen the ship. That didn’t happen and I was pretty disappointed at what really happened which was he set the ball with his hands onto a box that triggered a lever to break the bottle of champagne. I mean, I’m all about Rube Goldberg machines, but I don’t think of science machines when I think of Lionel Messi.

Dinner was nice and we ate with a bunch of other travel advisors. I had a steak with vegetables as my entree and Key Lime Pie for dessert. Both were very good and cooked to perfection.

Sangria, Lavender Daiquiri, Lavender Haze
Drinks on Icon of the Seas

I was more than ready to go to bed after dinner, but that’s not what happens when you’re on the largest ship in the world for 3-nights and you’re on a mission to experience it all. We went to the headliner act in the Royal Theatre, then to Spotlight Karaoke which was surprisingly really fun, then watched the Sail Away Parade, then witnessed 10,000 balloons being dropped which was cool. Then, heard 10,000 balloons being popped which was not cool. We hightailed it out of there. We also saw fireworks at some point in the day. It’s been a really fun day, but I am so exhausted. Tomorrow we’ll be at Perfect Day at CocoCay!

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