On the Site:

NATIONAL NEWS

Royal Caribbean takes ownership of the world’s biggest cruise ship

Nov 28, 2023, 6:29 AM | Updated: 6:32 am

The Icon of the Seas has been handed over to Royal Caribbean at Turku in Finland. (Royal Caribbean)...

The Icon of the Seas has been handed over to Royal Caribbean at Turku in Finland. (Royal Caribbean)

(Royal Caribbean)

TURKU, Finland (CNN) — The world’s biggest cruise ship is now in­­ the hands of its new owner, with Royal Caribbean accepting delivery of the 1,198-foot Icon of the Seas this week.

The 20-deck, 250,800-tonne ship was officially handed over to the cruise company at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, on Monday. Its inaugural voyage is set to depart from Miami, Florida on Jan. 27, 2024, and will tour the Caribbean for seven days.

According to a news release issued by Royal Caribbean, it took 900 days to build Icon of the Seas, which has the capacity to hold a whopping 7,600 guests and 2,350 crew members. That’s nearly 10,000 people – the population of a small town.

“Today, we are celebrating more than a new ship; it’s also the celebration of the culmination of more than 50 years of innovation and dreaming at Royal Caribbean to create the ultimate vacation experience,” said Royal Caribbean Group president and CEO Jason Liberty during a ceremony at the shipyard on Monday.

When it sets sail in late January, Icon of the Seas will have eight different neighborhoods for travelers to explore, and some 40 bars and dining options.

Among these is Thrill Island, which will feature Category 6, the world’s largest waterpark at sea. This neighborhood will also have a ropes course/thrill ride that lets guests swing 154 feet above the ocean, a FlowRider wave simulator and a mini golf course.

On the opposite end of the vacation spectrum is Chill Island, which will have four of Icon’s seven pools and an adults-only zone.

Over in the AquaDome, guests will find a 55-foot-tall water curtain and the AquaTheater, which has a cast of robots, skateboarders, divers and more.

The Hideaway is where travelers will find the world’s first suspended infinity pool at sea.

And that’s barely scratching the surface.

In terms of sleeping options, guests can choose from 28 different styles of cabins and suites including the three-level Ultimate Family Townhouse.

Royal Caribbean says Icon of the Seas is the cruise line’s first ship that can be powered by liquefied natural gas and will have the first waste-to-energy plant at sea.

It was originally scheduled for delivery in early 2022, but the COVID pandemic created delays.

According to the cruise line, Icon of the Seas is now on its way to Cadiz, Spain, for some final touches before it sets sail for its new home in Florida.

Viral photo creates a buzz

Much has been said about Icon of the Seas in the months leading up to its delivery, proving once again that cruises are a polarizing travel topic – particularly when mega ships are involved.

A colorful, extremely detailed image of Icon’s stern section went viral in July – and the reaction was far from positive.

It got billed as a “monstrosity,” a “pile of decadence,” and one user suggested a better name for it would be “Icon of Disease.”

But some experts CNN spoke with said this was not out of the ordinary.

“Images of Royal Caribbean’s ships have often elicited strong responses,” cruise expert Stewart Chiron told CNN Travel when questioned about the reaction in August.

“The negative responses to Icon of the Sea are evidently from non-cruisers. The current image is quite colorful and depicts a ship with lots of options. The positive responses far outweigh the others.”

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson, when contacted by CNN several months ago, did not comment on the feedback to this specific image, but said that since the Icon of the Seas was revealed in October 2022 there has been an “incredible reaction,” which has led to the highest volume booking week in the company’s history when sales opened.

The current “world’s largest cruise ship” title holder is another vessel in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Wonder of the Seas, which made its inaugural voyage in 2022. Slightly smaller than Icon of the Seas, it stretches 1,188 feet in length and has 18 decks to explore.

Includes reporting from CNN’s Jacopo Prisco.


The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

President Joe Biden, here in Las Vegas, on July 16, has tested positive for COVID-19.  (Kent Nishim...

Donald Judd and Sam Fossum, CNN

President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19

President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19, according to the president and CEO of UnidosUS Janet Murguía.

37 minutes ago

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, former armorer for the movie "Rust," listens to closing arguments in her tri...

Cheri Mossburg and Dakin Andone, CNN

Attorneys for ‘Rust’ armorer file for dismissal of her case or new trial after collapse of Alec Baldwin case

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, former armorer for the movie "Rust," listens to closing arguments in her trial at district court on March 6, 2024, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

52 minutes ago

This image released by FX shows Eita Okuno as Saeki Nobutatsu, from left, Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko...

Andrew Dalton, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Shogun’ leads all Emmy nominees with 25 and ‘The Bear’ sets comedy series record with 23

“The Bear” has gone on a tear at Wednesday morning’s Emmy nominations with a comedy-series record 23, and “Shogun” led all nominees with 25.

5 hours ago

Thai police display pictures of evidence during a press conference at Lumpini police station in Ban...

Jintamas Saksornchai and Napat Kongsawad

Traces of cyanide found in blood of Vietnamese and Americans found dead in Bangkok hotel

Initial autopsy results showed traces of cyanide in the blood of six Vietnamese and American guests at a luxury hotel in central Bangkok.

6 hours ago

Prime Day, is “a major cause of injuries for the warehouse workers who make it possible,” said ...

Olesya Dmitracova, CNN

Amazon Prime Day ‘major cause of injuries’ for workers, Senate finds

Amazon’s warehouses are especially dangerous for workers during the company’s annual Prime Day event, as well as the holiday season, according to an investigation by the Senate.

7 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Servic...

Rebecca Santana

Homeland Security investigates Secret Service handling of security at Trump rally

The Department of Homeland Security opened up an investigation into the Secret Service’s handling of security for former President Donald Trump.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Royal Caribbean takes ownership of the world’s biggest cruise ship