The Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, set sail with its inaugural voyage on January 27th, taking on nearly 5,000 passengers at Port Miami in Florida. The ship, weighing 250,800 tons and capable of carrying 8,000 people, has generated headlines, with some concerns about its size and potential impact on the environment. However, passengers who paid between $1,800 and $100,000 for the experience were awe-struck by the sheer scale of the vessel, some even getting down on their knees to kiss the ship’s logo-emblazoned rug.
The ship, designed by Royal Caribbean, features open and airy interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows, effectively bringing passengers closer to the water. It boasts eight distinct “neighborhoods,” including Central Park, a serene area filled with 20,000 plant species, and The Royal Promenade, which offers entertainment but can get noisy at peak times.
The ship offers an array of activities for passengers, including a fitness center, spa, water park, and numerous dining options. The variety of dining choices was a pleasant surprise for many passengers, with specialty restaurants like Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and Hooked Seafood offering a unique culinary experience.
In terms of the environment, Royal Caribbean claims to have set a new standard for sustainability with the Icon of the Seas, implementing advanced water-treatment and waste systems. However, some environmental groups argue that building a vessel of this size is not in line with the cruise industry’s long-term sustainability goals.
As for the opinion, passengers seemed relatively unconcerned about the ship’s potential impact on the environment, with some pointing out that land and air travel also have negative effects. Overall, the inaugural sailing of the Icon of the Seas was a remarkable experience for passengers, offering a mix of luxury, entertainment, and adventure on the high seas.