The Royal Caribbean-owned Icon of the Seas will begin its first official cruise later Saturday, sailing away from Miami and toward the Caribbean.
The world’s largest cruise liner’s first official trip, which will go seven nights, comes about two months after builder Turku Meyer transferred ownership over to Royal Caribbean and just a couple weeks after the ship first reached its home port in southern Florida.
Last weekend, Royal Caribbean conducted a three-night preview sailing of the Icon of the Seas. Travelmation Head of Media and luxury travel advisor Rebekah Ingraham and Travelmation President and Founder Adam Duckworth were among those onboard.
Several things on the ship particularly stood out to the Travelmation execs.
Some big takeaways from the ship
The Icon of the Seas owes its title of world’s largest cruise liner to its nearly 1,200-foot length and its nearly 248,700 gross tons. It also has 20 decks, all but two of which are open to guests.
“When you drive up even to the port, you can’t help but just go ‘wow,’” Ingraham told FOX Business about the size of the ship. “And as we were sitting there waiting to take off, there were a couple other cruise ships that would come by – and these are massive cruise ships – but they look small next to the Icon of the Seas.”
Turku Meyer built the ship with eight “neighborhoods” for guests to explore.
Ingraham said she walked five miles in a single day while taking in all the sights on the cruise liner.
The massive ship has “some crazy things” to do onboard “if you’re really into living life to the extreme,” Ingraham noted.
She pointed to the Icon of the Seas’ water slides – there are six – and the Crown’s Edge, as well as a surf simulator that Royal Caribbean also has on other ships.
The Crown’s Edge involves a skywalk, ropes course and zipline high above the water, according to the cruise line.
Royal Caribbean has included the “Ultimate Family Townhouse” as one of the 28 cabin formats available to guests on the ship.
The three-story accommodation features an “in-suite slide, areas for karaoke and to watch movies,” in addition to two balconies, the cruise operator has said.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Ingraham said. “It was massive.”
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Ingraham also made note of the ship’s spa area.
“You can literally go on this ship and come out a new person,” she said. “They have teeth whitening, they have CoolSculpting. You can get Restylane fillers. There’s IV therapy.”
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It also offers other common spa services like steam rooms and massages.
Duckworth’s favorite thing on the Icon of the Seas was a structure called the Pearl that he thought was the “most spectacular entrance to date on a cruise ship,” according to Ingraham.
Royal Caribbean has described the 16-meter-wide Pearl, located in the Royal Promenade, as the “world’s largest kinetic art sculpture.” It also provides structural support.
Nearby is the Pearl Cafe, which Ingraham said was one of the places she frequented the most for food and was good for quick, smaller meals.
Other things to know about the ship
Up to 7,600 guests can sail on the Icon of the Seas at one time, with space for up to 2,350 crew members on top of that, according to Royal Caribbean.
For its thousands of guests, the ship includes over 40 dining and drinking spots, including the new family-geared Surfside Eatery. Ingraham told FOX Business “there truly was something for every taste and lots of good desserts everywhere” on the Icon of the Seas.
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She had a “great experience” when she went to the main dining room, saying the staff was “great.”
Royal Caribbean started accepting reservations on the Icon of the Seas in late October 2022. That led to the company seeing its “single largest booking day” ever, it said at the time.
The company on Thursday held a naming ceremony for the Icon of the Seas with Inter Miami football star Lionel Messi playing a key role.
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