Icon of the Seas, world's largest cruise ship, docks in Miami ahead of maiden voyage

Celebrations under way as Royal Caribbean liner prepares to set sail on January 27

Icon of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, docks in Miami ahead of inaugural journey

Icon of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, docks in Miami ahead of inaugural journey
Powered by automated translation

The world's largest cruise ship has docked in its PortMiami home for the first time ahead of its maiden voyage.

Icon of the Seas, by Royal Caribbean, is scheduled to set sail on January 27. It will break several records, including having the largest water park at sea and the first suspended infinity pool on a cruise ship.

Its arrival in Florida was welcomed with fanfare by air, land and sea with its first passengers counting down the days until the inaugural journey. There were celebratory fireboat salutes, banner planes in flight and a community celebration at Perez Art Museum.

The crew are now making their final preparations before a naming celebration and the first seven-night cruise.

At 250,800 tonnes, the ship is more than 5 per cent larger in volume than Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class vessels. It is more than 365 metres long and beats Wonder of the Seas, currently the world's biggest cruise liner, by three metres.

With 2,805 staterooms, the ship's focus is family-style holidays, with capacity for 7,800 passengers and 2,350 crew.

It is split into eight neighbourhoods, including Thrill Island, which features six record-breaking waterslides, and Crown’s Edge, part skywalk, part rope course and part thrill ride, where travellers dangle on a rope 45 metres above the waves.

Elsewhere, Surfside is a family-friendly neighbourhood with more than 40 dining outlets, a surf simulator, a soft-play centre, an arcade and a carousel. This is also where guests will find the first Ultimate Family townhouse. Spanning three levels, the spacious retreat includes a slide, cinema, karaoke, huge balcony and a private entrance to Surfside.

There's also a neighbourhood exclusively for suite guests, with a two-storey sun deck, private pool and hot tub.

Overall, there are seven pools and nine whirlpools onboard, as well as in-water loungers and the largest swim-up bar at sea. Culinary options range from surf and turf to sushi and Italian favourites, while the 15 nightlife venues include a piano bar, retro arcade spot and jazz lounge. There is also a karaoke space and casino.

Meanwhile, Absolute Zero is an ice arena where skaters will perform against a digitally mapped backdrop. There is also a theatre where there will be Broadway-style renditions of classics, productions for children, adults-only comedy shows and live music concerts.

On top of the ship is AquaDome. It has a waterfall and wraparound ocean views. At night, it will transform into the ship’s social hub, with restaurants, bars and aqua shows where athletes and artists will perform amid transforming pools, robotic arms and other cutting-edge technology.

Each cruise will span seven nights, taking passengers across the Caribbean from Miami. This includes Royal Caribbean's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas. It is where Hideaway Beach, an adults-only all-day experience with a private beach, pools, cabanas and live music, is also opening this month.

Voyages are available to book now, starting from $2,309 (valid from February) per person. A 48-hour sale, due to end on Saturday at 9am UAE time, is running. It includes $600 onboard credit, 60 per cent off on a second guest and free sailing for children (subject to terms and conditions).

Updated: February 07, 2024, 6:47 AM