World’s Largest Cruise Ship Is Officially Christened in Miami

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There’s officially a new name in cruising, and that is Icon of the Seas. The massive new ship from Royal Caribbean International has been christened in Miami, in a star-studded event filled with all the exciting energy the ship has been building toward ever since she was officially announced.

Icon of the Seas Officially Named

In a boldly energetic showcase of the ship’s features and all that makes her truly iconic, Icon of the Seas was officially named while docked in her homeport of Miami, Florida on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

The event was livestreamed across social media, drawing thousands of viewers and highlighting what makes the ship unique combined with traditional ceremony elements and time-honored maritime symbolism.

Traditional parts of the ceremony included a bagpipe serenade as well as blessings from both a rabbi and a pastor to bring well wishes and safety to all who may sail on the massive vessel in the years to come.

With a guest capacity of 5,610 at double occupancy and up to 7,600 when fully booked with all berths filled, along with 2,350 international crew members, that is many people under those blessings.

Hosted by American actor Mario Lopez, the naming ceremony was held in the new ship’s stunning AquaDome, with Royal Caribbean Group and Royal Caribbean International executives in attendance, as well as the Icon of Icon, Lionel Messi.

Various founding families involved with the cruise line, as well as Meyer Turku shipyard executives, crew families, local Miami-Dade County officials, and others were all present to welcome the ship into the Royal Caribbean fleet, and featured in the remarks made by Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International as well as by Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group.

You can watch the full ceremony below:

“It’s been along and incredible journey,” Bayley said. “What you see through Icon and its eight incredible neighborhoods is more than 50 years of passion and innovation coming together to create truly the best family vacation.”

Liberty echoed the emphasis on family, as Icon of the Seas has truly been designed as the ultimate family vacation.

“As Icon prepares to sail forward, there is no doubt that she will leave a wake of inspiration in her path for years to come and forever change the tides of the family vacation experience,” he said.

Showcasing Icon of the Seas

Part of the naming ceremony included live drone views of the ship as well as pre-recorded footage from crew members talking about their experiences with Royal Caribbean International and aboard Icon of the Seas, as well as amazing live performances from the ship’s entertainment team.

Worth Checking: Icon of the Seas Cabins and Suites Guide

A total of 31 vocalists performed the Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of the event, with singers in various locations around the ship, including at The Pearl and in different theaters where VIPs had gathered.

Guests were also treated to an excerpt from the ship’s aquatheater show, which also highlighted how the AquaDome space can transform for different activities.

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas

Ultimately, Icon of the Seas‘ naming ceremony was all the ship herself has become – a culmination of the cruise line’s history of innovation and groundbreaking appeal for travelers of all ages.

Read Also: Icon of the Seas vs. Wonder of the Seas – A Giant Comparison

“From one ship and an office trailer on Biscayne Boulevard to this,” Bayley explained, “Icon is the very best of all of us. It’s our past, our present, Icon is also the future and what’s to come for Royal Caribbean. We truly have an exciting future ahead.”

At the conclusion of the night’s very special ceremony, the Icon of Icon, Lionel Messi, placed a soccer ball on the ceremonial podium to release the largest production champagne bottle available down a wire to smash into the ship’s hull, officially christening the vessel as those aboard erupted with cheers and were showered with ceremonial confetti.

Cruise Hive wishes Icon of the Seas well and hopes she has many years of smooth seas, amazing vacations, and incredible destinations ahead of her. The new ship will welcome her first guests aboard on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

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