Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Icon of the Seas, will feature the biggest waterpark at sea with SIX record-breaking slides…
Excited? Me too! So, let’s take a closer look at each of the incredible water slides on the first Icon-class ship, Icon of the Seas.
Category Six Water Park
The waterpark on Icon of the Seas is called Category 6. This is not just because it has six water slides, but it’s also named after the weather.
In fact, each of the rides – Hurricane Hunter, Storm Surge, Frightening Bolt, the two Storm Chasers and Pressure Drop, are named after freak weather events.
Category 5 hurricanes are the strongest on the planet – so Category 6 is wilder than anything that’s gone before. And this waterpark really is.
It’s the largest waterpark at sea, with an area of over 17,000 square feet.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the waterslides…
1. Hurricane Hunter
For the first time ever, Royal Caribbean is introducing family rafts where four people can ride together. The first of these is the Hurricane Hunter – that’s the pink one.
The Thrill-o-meter rating for this slide is 2 out of 6, so it’s nothing to be too scared of.
This ride is 425 feet long, making it the longest raft slide at sea. It twists and turns with stormy surprises in every direction.
There are two water curtains, just to make sure that everyone gets completely soaked.
2. Storm Surge
This green slide is another family raft ride. Because us families do love to go down slides altogether.
The Storm Surge is slightly shorter than the Hurricane Hunter at 395 feet. But, with a thrill rating of 4 out of 6, this one isn’t for the faint-hearted.
The slide is designed to look like a Lotus Leaf that hangs over the edge of the ship. As your raft boomerangs against the edge, you can look straight down over the ocean. If your raft gets too near to the edge, a siren will sound to warn you.
3. Pressure Drop
Next up is the yellow Pressure Drop slide. This is the first open freefall slide at sea.
It’s the shortest slide of the bunch at 108 feet, but it’s also the fastest. This slide has the maximum thrill rating of 6 out of 6.
You’ll have to gain the courage to push yourself off the edge though. If you can do that, you’ll speed down a 66-degree incline into the splashdown. That’s almost vertical.
4 & 5. Storm Chasers
The Storm Chasers are two blue mat racer slides.
There’s fast music, glowing lights and a lot of rushing water. So these slides get a thrill rating of 3 out of 6.
This is the first time that Royal Caribbean has offered mat racers where you can race your friends and see who lands at the finish line first. There’s also a scoreboard so you can see exactly how fast you were!
These slides are the longest on the ship at a whopping 431 feet each.
6. Frightening Bolt
And finally, the Frightening Bolt. This is the tallest water slide at sea with a massive drop of 46 feet.
It has the highest thrill rating of 6 out of 6.
On this slide, you’ll stand in a capsule and the floor will completely drop below you. You’ll plummet down until the G-force sets in and shoots you up and around the 360-degree loop.
Each of these thrill slides is sure to get your heart racing and leave you walking away with some great stories to tell your friends and family.
For a closer look at the slides, take a look at this video that I made…
About Thrill Island
The water slides on Icon of the Seas are all located together in an area of the ship called Thrill Island.
Here, you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy. As well as the slides, there’s a rock climbing wall, a walk-the-plank type thing called Crown’s Edge and some other thrill attractions
But, there are also plenty of places to relax. If your grandparents don’t want to go down the tallest waterslide at sea, they can relax in the comfortable seating areas while they watch the kids.
How the Category 6 Waterpark was designed
The first step to creating the waterslides on Icon of the Seas was consumer research. Royal Caribbean asked a whole load of people what they enjoy on vacations with their families, and what thrills them.
The focus is on delivering thrill, and the team of designers at Royal Caribbean put a lot of energy into thinking about how they would do that.
They decided to build a waterpark that would cater not only to the bold, brave and fearless, but to the whole family. They wanted to offer experiences that you just can not get anywhere else.
As part of the design process, the designers used virtual reality to really get a feel for how the waterpark was coming together.
The waterpark has two different towers which enabled Royal Caribbean to create slides that are longer and faster than ever before.
With a waterpark as big as this one, the designers were very conscious about how so much weight could be safely added to the ship.
They were very aware of how the wind could affect the funnel area and so they had to bring in a lot of experts to make sure that they could design the water park in a way that would be technically sound.
But, the good news is that they have succeeded. Construction of the water park is well underway, and I can’t wait to get on board and try it out.
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