It has taken the crown as the largest cruise ship on the planet, earning major buzz with a look that’s unlike anything else at sea. Coming in at an estimated cost of roughly $2 billion, the ship represents a significant investment from Royal Caribbean.
But the brand-new Icon of the Seas also looks to be an enormous money-maker, generating an estimated $3.4 million per day based on analysis by Cruzely.
Perhaps more interesting is that the figure could actually be lower than the actual revenue generated on some cruises. To see how we arrived at our estimate, keep reading…
Compiling More Than 2,800 Cabins Aboard Icon of the Seas (Plus Some Superstitious Numbering!)
As public companies, names like Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. — parent companies of nearly every major cruise brand — are required to make regular financial disclosures.
These reports outline figures like revenue, passenger occupancy, fuel costs, and more, but only for the company as a whole. Figures for specific cruise lines or even specific ships are not provided. Instead, we had to dig a little deeper to estimate just how much Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas could make on a daily basis.
To do so, we first took on the tall task of compiling every cabin aboard the ship using the ship’s deck plans available online. There, we went deck by deck, entering each room into a spreadsheet, along with details about the room type:
As you might expect, there are a number of different room options aboard the world’s largest cruise ship. These range everything from basic interior cabins all the way to the most expensive stateroom on the ship, a multi-story “Ultimate Family Townhouse” sitting at the back of the ship near the family-focused Surfside neighborhood.
Along the way of detailing every cabin across every floor, we uncovered some interesting notes about the layout and design of Icon of the Seas.
Superstitious? Evidently so is Royal Caribbean. Icon of the Seas has everything you can imagine onboard, except for an “unlucky” thirteenth deck. Instead, the ship’s numbering goes from Deck 12 to Deck 14 to avoid the number.
Room numbering also has a superstitious bent. For instance, there are no rooms that end in “13.” So there will be room 7412, followed by 7414. Room numbers also don’t end in “666,” skipping that suffix on each floor.
(To keep numbering consistent, rooms ending in “266” are also skipped. Rooms on the starboard side of the ship are numbered 400 figures higher than the corresponding room on the port side. Hence, a cabin numbered “10666” would normally have a cabin on the other side of the ship numbered “10266.” Both are skipped to keep numbering consistent.)
Meanwhile, Deck 10 offers the most cabins with more than 420 rooms on that deck alone. Like things a little quieter? The exclusive suite decks — Decks 16 and 17 — have just 22 cabins each.
In total, Royal Caribbean says that Icon of the Seas offers up 2,805 staterooms across the entire ship. Our deck-by-deck check arrived at 2,803 cabins — or 99.92% of the room count listed by the cruise line. While not perfect, this does give us a count close enough to estimate how much the cruise ship might make in a day.
Selecting a Specific Cruise to Analyze Pricing
With our list of thousands of cabins, the next step was to analyze pricing across all the different cabin types. To do this, we turned to the Royal Caribbean website.
It’s well-known that cruise prices vary dramatically. The same cruise cabin may be hundreds of dollars more if sailing during the high season compared to the low season. Therefore, we picked one specific sailing in order to estimate revenue for Icon of the Seas. In this case, we chose to look at a 7-day cruise departing Miami on August 23, 2025.
This was for multiple reasons. First, a late August sailing has the benefit of being a “midpoint” in cruise pricing. During the peak summer months, prices are considerably higher. They then normally fall sharply into September and October. By selecting a trip in late August, we get prices that are off-peak but also not the least expensive time to sail.
As well, we selected a cruise well in the future to ensure plenty of availability across different room types when checking prices. If one category were to be sold out, then we’d have to find a separate cruise on another date to fill out our price list.
To estimate figures, we looked at the base pricing for each room type. While the same room in different locations can have different prices — such as a premium for a room higher up on the ship — our analysis used only the lowest rate available if a passenger picked their own cabin. (Royal Caribbean does offer slightly lower prices if you let the cruise line assign a cabin instead of selecting your own.)
Finally, we priced the cabin based on double occupancy. For some rooms, such as those designed for families, we were required to add more passengers to find availability. In that case, we adjusted the search for the minimum number of people required to book the room.
So how much money do we estimate the ship generates?
An Estimated $2.3 Million in Ticket Revenue… Per Day
First things first, if you want to sail aboard Icon of the Seas, you’ll need to open your wallet. The idea of getting a cheap cruise to the Caribbean for a few hundred bucks is no longer the case.
In our search, the least expensive room on the ship for this sailing was a basic interior cabin, priced at $4,118 for two people. This includes only cruise fare, not gratuities, port fees, or taxes since those are monies passed on by the cruise line.
The most expensive? That is the massive Ultimate Family Townhouse priced at $82,917 in cruise fare for the weeklong cruise, although more than two people can sail in this suite.
All told, across the 2,800+ staterooms, we arrived at an estimated $16,386,929 in cruise fare alone for this specific 7-day cruise if all rooms were sold at current listed prices. That comes out to approximately $2,340,990 in revenue each day:
Of course, this is just an estimate. We mentioned a number of caveats above, and this also doesn't account for price changes, sales, or more passengers sailing in a particular cabin. Still, it gives some idea of what Icon of the Seas could earn from cruise fare.
But the total amount of money the mega ship generates may be considerably higher...
Additional Onboard Spending Could Mean $3.4 Million Per Day... And More Than $1 Billion Per Year
So far, we've focused only on cruise fare for two people to a room in most cases. That is only a portion of what a cruise company earns, however. There is also onboard spending that covers everything from specialty restaurants to alcohol to gambling.
In this case, we have some figures from Royal Caribbean Group we can use to get an idea of what that might total.
Remember, as a public company Royal Caribbean Group provides financial updates via SEC filings.
In the first nine months of 2023 (the latest data available), the company took in $7.28 billion in ticket revenue across all its lines, including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Silversea. In addition, the company generated $3.29 billion in revenue from "onboard and other revenues." That comes out to onboard spending being about 45% of ticket revenue.
With our estimated ticket revenue for this specific cruise at $16,386,929, the onboard spend would equal $7,397,527 assuming the average across the company as a whole.
That adds up to a total revenue figure of $23,784,456 for the 7-day cruise, or $3,397,779 per day. Using the same figure over the course of the entire year, we can arrive at an estimate of Icon of the Seas generating roughly $1.24 billion annually:
Icon's Strong Pricing Is Significant to the Company
A single ship earning more than a billion dollars in revenue a year is staggering, but a look at the Royal Caribbean website shows that pricing for Icon of the Seas is significantly higher than other ships in the fleet.
For example, a 7-day cruise departing June 2, 2024 aboard Wonder of the Seas -- the cruise line's latest ship before Icon -- shows interior pricing starting at $1,489 per person. A 7-day trip aboard Icon of the Seas departing June 1, 2024 shows a starting price for an interior cabin at $3,203 per person. That's more than twice as much.
In fact, we found back in April that Icon of the Seas saw a pricing premium about 80% more than Wonder of the Seas across all of 2024.
But also keep in mind our figures here are estimates. Actual revenue generated over the course of a cruise -- and the entire year -- has yet to be seen. Our figures are only a rough look at a single cruise without getting into the specifics of individual room-by-room pricing, sales, discounts, or increased fares. Think of this as a more beefy "back of the envelope" calculation.
Nevertheless, it's obvious that Icon of the Seas is a big deal not just for passengers, but in the amount of revenue it stands to generate for Royal Caribbean.