A new episode of Royal Caribbean’s Making an Icon is out. The new series takes its audience behind the scenes of what it takes to create a memorable cruise. There are currently four episodes of the series available. The fourth, “Creating AquaDome,” reveals the process of designing the revolutionary AquaDome neighborhood aboard the new ship, Icon of the Seas.  Throughout the episode, the audience learns more about the design process from President & CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley, President & CEO of Royal Caribbean Group Jason Liberty, Chief Product Innovation Officer of Royal Caribbean International Jay Schneider, Senior Vice President of Architectural Design/Newbuilding Kelly Gonzalez, and many more company executives. 

The designers of the AquaDome wanted to create a versatile space, doubling as an entertainment venue and a signature neighborhood. Guests can relax and take in the 220-degree ocean views during the afternoon and enjoy vibrant entertainment in the same space at night. One of the ideas behind the AquaDome was to connect guests with the water, letting people be “outside” and take in ocean views while still getting out of the heat and sun for a while. 

The neighborhood will feature brand-new restaurants along with some old favorites. Entertainment can be found in the Aquatheater, where guests will experience next-level aqua shows featuring divers, slackliners, and robots. Although it isn’t a brand-new concept, the Aquatheater has been completely revamped for the AquaDome. 

Located forward on the outer decks, the AquaDome’s original concept was sketched by the chairman of Royal Caribbean on a napkin and handed to the shipyard. Subsequent stages of layout and construction required tons of architects, interior designers, entertainers, and food and beverage experts. 

Constructing the 363-ton facility was a challenge, but with many tests and team collaboration, they were able to create a functional futuristic space. The structure was assembled at Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, and the installation onto Icon of the Seas required the largest structure of glass and steel to ever be lifted onto a cruise ship. The dome consists of 12 individual modules and took 8 months to assemble. 

The one thing designers couldn’t control was the weather. During the construction of the AquaDome, the company assigned an entire team to monitor wind and rain so they could plan accordingly to ensure the structure was assembled safely and effectively. 

While the AquaDome is a signature neighborhood aboard Icon of the Seas, it’s also the hub for all things aqua entertainment. The AquaDome utilizes some familiar technology from the Aquatheater like 3D flying, while also implementing new technology that allows for spectacles like two performers executing an aerial dance above the heads of the audience. The Aquatheater will have two 60-foot-high diving platforms, robots, and tons of other ultramodern features. 


Upcoming episodes of Royal Caribbean’s Making an Icon will reveal more about the entertainment and dining options in the AquaDome and all about the new Icon of the Seas.

Have you watched all of the Making an Icon episodes yet? Let us know in the comments!