Royal Caribbean International has officially named Icon of the Seas at a celebration in Miami, together with world-renowned sports icon Lionel Messi.
The milestone moment seven years in the making was hosted by four-time Emmy award-winning host Mario Lopez and was held in the AquaDome neighbourhood onboard Icon.
Ringing in the “new era of vacations” were Royal Caribbean executives, crew, employees, fans and partners, including Meyer Turku shipyard and Inter Miami CF.
Messi, the only eight-time Ballon d’Or award-winner and TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year, inaugurated the highly anticipated vacation with a bottle breaking.
When first revealed in October 2022, Icon spurred the single largest booking day and the highest volume booking week in the cruise line’s then 53-year history.
The Icon of Icon was also joined on stage by President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley and Icon’s captain, Henrik Loy.
Lionel Messi, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of Icon said:
“Family is everything to me, and it was exciting to take part in welcoming what is the world’s best family vacation to Miami.
“Everything I’ve seen on Icon of the Seas is next level. There are experiences for the whole family to make memories that they’ll remember forever.”
Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty said:
“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of dreaming, innovating and living our mission – to deliver the world’s best vacation experiences responsibly.
“She is the ultimate multigenerational family vacation, forever changing the status quo in family travel and fulfilling vacation dreams for all ages on board.
“With Lionel Messi presiding over the ship’s naming, we are thrilled and honoured to have someone iconic for delivering memories for millions of fútbol fans around the world and who values making iconic memories with his family even more.”
Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International said:
“We did it! After seven years of pursuing the bold vision to create a one-of-a-kind vacation for every type of family and adventurer, Icon of the Seas has become a reality.
“Officially naming Icon marks more than the introduction of a new ship; it is the start of a new era of vacations, and we’re excited to see tens of millions of families and friends make their mark with memories they create together and on their own adventures without compromise.”
In store on Icon is an all-encompassing lineup of experiences that combines the best of every cruise getaway – from the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure.
Across eight neighbourhoods that are destinations in and of themselves are firsts and next-level favourites for everyone day and night, including adrenaline-pumping thrills like six record-breaking waterslides at Category 6 and the Crown’s Edge experience at 154 feet above the ocean.
There are seven pools – one for every day of the week including the first suspended infinity pool at sea.
Guests can also look forward to a stay-all-day neighbourhood designed for families with young kids, more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; deck-defying entertainment across air, ice, water and theatre; and more.
On Saturday, January 27, cruisers will get away on Icon for the first time and island hop in the tropics.
Each 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean adventure from Miami features idyllic destinations in the Caribbean and an unmatched day at Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas.
Plus, in January 2024, the private island’s first adults-only escape, Hideaway Beach, an all-day experience complete with a private beach and pools, new dedicated spots for drinks and bites, exclusive cabanas, live music and more.
For more details about Icon, vacationers can visit Royal Caribbean’s website.
Travellers can also go behind the scenes to see how the first-of-its-kind vacation was created by watching the “Making an Icon” web series here.