Icon of the Seas’ perfect happy hour spot is in an unlikely location

Basecamp on Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas
Basecamp on Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas / Cristine Struble

While much has been said about the impressive offerings that Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas offers, one location has been a surprise find for many guests. Even though it was billed as the spot to take a break from all the adventure action, this Icon of the Seas’ restaurant and bar is the ultimate happy hour location.

With so many restaurants and bars to savory and sample, it can take the entire 7-day itinerary to enjoy every option on Icon of the Seas. Although there is a flavor for every palate and a refreshment for every thirst, some spots have become the hidden gems. Even though some people might not want to reveal these tasty tidbits, the secret is out about Basecamp.

Located on Deck 16 in Thrill Island, Basecamp is a quick service location with a little bar. Nestled between Lost Dunes and Adrenaline Peak, the spot was designed as a gathering place for guests to take a break in between all the action. From the person who needs to calm the nerves after dangling off the side of the ship on Crown’s Edge to the toasting a victory after racing on Storm Chasers, the covered area offers a little respite from all the activity,

While all of those notions are true, it is also the perfect happy hour spot. The combination of the Basecamp nibbles and the cocktails makes this location a great place to have a nosh before dinner, watch the sunset, or just take a moment to unwind. It is almost like a little neighborhood hangout.

Although the cocktail menu at this location may not necessarily have a unique specialty cocktail, the ship wide offerings are quite refreshing basking in the warm sun. From a hoppy IPA to one of the Red Bull infused mocktails, the beverage choices pair well with the menu. While the beverages are good, the food is what makes Basecamp special.

Basecamp food and beverage items on Icon of the Seas
Basecamp food and beverage items on Icon of the Seas / Cristine Struble

The Basecamp menu is intended to be little bites, small portions, snackable items. The nod to the parent who wants the kid to eat something before they hit the Frightening Bolt, again, is clear. The food is approachable beyond the family friendly aspect. It is also great happy hour food.

More importantly, the choices are smart and innovative. For example, Wisconsin Cheese curds are an option. While true Mid-westerns might cringe when marinara is suggested as a condiment, ranch is available, if requested.

Putting aside the sauce, the cheese curds are perfectly fried. The crunchy coating gives way to a delicious pull of cheese. Although it might not necessarily have that classic squeak, it is quite tasty. When enjoyed with an ice cold beer, it is the perfect happy hour pairing.

In addition to this classic fried cheese curd, the Royal Caribbean food team pushed the menu innovation at Basecamp. The chicken and waffles, which has the fried chicken stuffed inside the waffle, is pure genius. After first bite, it causes that reaction of, “why hasn’t someone thought of this food idea sooner.”

Although the chicken might not be quite as crispy as a traditional fried chicken and waffle, the eat with your hands bite is perfect for the location and the cruise environment. If the Royal Caribbean food team is listening, this idea needs to be front and center on more menus.

The chicken and waffles are served with a traditional syrup or a hot honey. The hot honey will bring some color to your cheeks. It is the bold flavor that brings the whole bite together.

Sitting at the bar by Basecamp with a basket of cheese curds or chicken and waffles and a beverage is the perfect end to an afternoon on board. It is just the right amount of food to tide everyone over to a later dinner. Cheers to happy hour, whether it begins at 5 o'clock or earlier in the day.

Basecamp is one of the 11 new dining options on board Icon of the Seas. More information on this Royal Caribbean ship as well as its various itineraries can be found on the company’s website.