Spectacle Of The Seas: World's Largest Cruise Ship To Set Sail

This behemoth cruise ship holds 28 different accommodations and boasts the largest water park at sea, promising passengers 40 ways to dine and be entertained when it sets sail in January 2024. 

Bigger isn’t always better, but in the case of Royal Caribbean International’s “Icon of the Seas,” that statement might just hold true. The immense seacraft is gunning for the title of world’s biggest cruise ship, measuring nearly 1,200 feet with an estimated weight of 250,800 tonnes. Its physical size isn’t the only reason why it’s set to break records. 

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Royal Caribbean's latest and biggest cruise ship, "Icon of the Seas"
Royal Caribbean’s latest and biggest cruise ship, “Icon of the Seas”/Photo via Instagram @royalcaribbean

A Sustainable and Large-capacity Vessel

Icon of the Seas recently completed construction in Finland, and finished its first set of sea trials on June 22. Its second set of trials will take place later in 2023, specifically around October. 

It’s an impressive 20 decks high, and can hold a total of 7,960 people. That’s around 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew members, according to an article by CNN. The ship will hold eight “neighborhoods,” which are distinct spaces for every kind of vacationer—from kids all the way to adults. 

For perspective, Royal Caribbean’s “Wonder of the Seas” was the previous record-holder for world’s largest cruise ship. Though it measured 1,188 feet lengthwise, it only contained a total of 18 decks.

Royal Caribbean's latest and biggest cruise ship, "Wonder of the Seas"
Royal Caribbean’s “Wonder of the Seas” was the previous record-holder for world’s biggest cruise ship/Photo via Instagram @royalcaribbean

Those who value sustainability need not worry about the Icon’s resource consumption. It’s actually going to be Royal Caribbean’s very first vessel running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology, marking a greener future for the cruise industry.

Endless Fun

Royal Caribbean promised passengers 40 different ways to dine and be entertained. One look at the Icon’s facilities is enough to show that they’ll uphold this pledge. 

The crown jewel of the behemoth vessel is its water park, which will be the largest one at sea. Called “Category 6,” it’ll feature a grand total of six slides. The ship will also hold seven full-sized swimming pools, a walk-up champagne bar, arcades, unique dining establishments, and an indoor aquatic theater for live shows, among many other mind-blowing features. 

Royal Caribbean's latest and biggest cruise ship, "Icon of the Seas"
Fun activities await with Icon of the Sea’s comprehensive facilities/Photo from the Royal Caribbean website

As for accommodations, the ship offers 28 different cabins, as well as a three level townhouse. The company calls it the “most impressive suite anywhere at sea,” and it even comes complete with a white picket fence and mailbox. Guests will likely spend $75,000 for a week-long stay at this lavish accommodation.

Royal Caribbean's "Icon of the Seas" bigget water park at sea
The cruise boasts the biggest water park at sea/Photo from the Royal Caribbean website

“Icon will introduce a new era of vacations for years to come,” shared Royal Caribbean in a recent press release. “From the resort getaway to the beach escape and theme park adventure, every type of family and kind of adventurer can make memories together and on their own terms without compromise across record-breaking thrills, relaxing ways to chill, a neighborhood designed for young families.”

All Hands on Deck

Guests at the Icon will never be short on service: the ship will have some 2,600 workers per day. As always, Royal Caribbean is taking all the appropriate measures to ensure safe trips for passengers. Hundreds of specialists oversaw its first set of trials, each of them assessing the ship’s performance for four straight days. 

Icon of the Seas during its first set of trial runs in Finland
Icon of the Seas during its first set of trial runs in Finland/Photo from the Royal Caribbean blog

“Icon of the Seas traveled hundreds of miles, during which the main engines, hull, brake systems, steering, noise, and vibration levels were all tested,” Royal Caribbean shared in a statement.

A Highly-Anticipated Experience

Many people are clearly excited about the launch of the giant ship, as its first cruise has already sold out. Chief executive Michael Bayley describes Royal Caribbean’s quarterly financial results as “the best-performing new product launch” they’ve ever had. 

Rest assured, there are plenty more opportunities on the horizon for those who plan to book a trip. The cruise is estimated cost around $1,700 per person, though it may vary.

The Icon will start its first voyage in January 2024. Afterwards, it’ll offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami year round. More passengers can sail through the Eastern or Western Caribbean starting February 2024.

Banner photo via Instagram @royalcaribbean.

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