Most Decorated Footballer Ever Is Icon of World’s Largest Cruise Ship

A soccer icon will name Icon of the Seas as the ship's official "iconic" godparent, ushering in a record-breaking era of cruising.

Royal Caribbean International has revealed that iconic soccer player Lionel Messi will name their newest, biggest ever ship, Icon of the Seas. As both the ship and the player have broken many records and set new standards of excellence, the pairing is a great choice for the new ship’s naming and ushering in a completely new era of cruising.

Icon of the Seas Godfather Revealed

Traditionally, the individual who helps to name a new cruise ship is that vessel’s godmother or godfather, and Icon of the Seas – a vessel breaking all records and turning cruising expectations upside down – will have a suitably noteworthy godfather in Lionel Messi. Appropriately enough, the cruise line is not calling Messi the ship’s godfather, but instead, he will serve as the “Icon” of Icon of the Seas.

The Argentine native soccer player, who is now the star player of Inter Miami CF, will officially christen the ship in Miami in January 2024, offering good fortune to the ship and all who sail on her and officially welcoming the vessel into the Royal Caribbean fleet.

“I’m thrilled and honored to join the Royal Caribbean family to celebrate the arrival of the game-changing Icon of the Seas,” said Messi. “Icon is beyond anything else that’s out there for family vacations, with incredible never-before-seen features, all designed for making memories together.”

Messi’s new status follows the new partnership between Inter Miami CF and Royal Caribbean International, with the cruise line becoming the team’s Main Partner Official Vacation Partner. Together, they will offer unique experiences to both cruise and soccer fans throughout the world.

About Messi

Lionel Andrés Messi is widely regarded as the GOAT – greatest of all time – soccer player in the world, with a long list of records throughout his stellar career. He has been named as Time’s 2023 Athlete of the Year, and has won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award – the most valuable individual award in professional soccer – eight times, the first time at age 22.

Royal Caribbean CEO and Lionel Messi
Royal Caribbean CEO and Lionel Messi (Photo Credit: Michael Bayley)

He has set goal records, been the top scorer in leagues, and been part of various championship teams. He was also a gold medalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and has broken various records throughout the sport of soccer.

“It’s that ability to make such a widespread impact and change the status quo that the Icon of Icon must personify, and Lionel Messi has proven to be the perfect example of that for years in the world of sports and most recently in introducing a new era of excitement and passion for fútbol in Miami and the US,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

The exact date for the ship’s naming and other details of the naming ceremony have not yet been revealed, but will likely be close to the ship’s official debut. At the moment, Icon of the Seas is docked in Cadiz, Spain for final outfitting work before she will begin her historic first transatlantic crossing to reach her Miami homeport.

Read Also: Giant Royal Caribbean Ship Just Clears Bridge on Historic Journey

Icon of the Seas Debuting Next Month

Icon of the Seas will welcome her first guests on January 27, 2023 with a 7-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day itinerary, sailing from Miami and calling on St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and CocoCay.

The phenomenal new ship will debut as the largest cruise ship in the world at 250,800 gross tons and 1,198 feet (365 meters) long. Icon of the Seas, which was built at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland and delivered just over two weeks ago, can welcome 5,610 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 7,600 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas (Photo Credit: Jouni Niskakoski)

Just as Messi is well-known as a record-breaker, Icon of the Seas is already breaking records. Not only will the ship be the largest ever passenger cruise ship, but when her first itineraries were released in October 2022, Icon of the Seas set the cruise line’s single largest booking day and highest volume booking week ever in more than 50 years of cruise vacations.

“The enthusiasm and excitement for Icon are undeniable in more ways than one,” said Bayley when the ship’s bookings began.

The new ship also features six record-breaking waterslides in the largest-ever waterpark at sea, seven pools, a new neighborhood exclusively designed for young families, more than 40 restaurants, bars, and lounges, and so very much more.

“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of delivering memorable vacations, and it’s set to live up to its name in more ways than one when it changes the vacation industry in January 2024,” said Bayley.

The wait has certainly been a long one for cruise fans, but with Icon of the Seas now less than 50 days away, anticipation for her official debut continues to build, and she is sure to be offering what will truly be an iconic cruise vacation.

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