“Water, water everywhere,” according to Jay Schneider, senior vice president and chief product innovation officer at Royal Caribbean International, is part of the concept behind the new Icon of the Seas. The Icon, which will set sail from Miami in early 2024, will be the world’s largest ship and will have six waterslides at sea, more than any other ship.

Schneider explained that the six slides are about managing throughput. He explained, “We don’t want long lines.” “We studied the ship with the most guests and the most children, and we tried to minimize the lines.” One method is to charge for it, which reduces capacity, but we don’t want to do that.”

The six water slides with the brand’s Aquatheater, seven pools, and other features proved an engineering challenge, with significant water weight located high in the superstructure of the vessel, which is currently being built at Meyer Turku in Finland.

“We’ve reached a tipping point in terms of the amount of water we can have on the top of the ship,” Schneider said, adding that the pools on the Icon will face outward, toward the ocean. “We have 62 percent more water than Oasis class ships with open decks.”

Schneider stated that the cruise line had reached a point where it could no longer add significant weight to the top of the ship, and as a result, a number of hot tubs were removed.