Icon of the Seas: Royal Caribbean Bets on Huge Candy-Colored Cruise Ship

When the Icon of the Seas sets sail early subsequent yr, it can take a while to vanish from the horizon. At 1,198 ft lengthy and a gross tonnage of 250,800, it’s onerous to overlook.

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship may have 20 decks filled with greater than 20 bars and eating places, seven swimming pools, 9 whirlpools, and 6 water slides, in addition to mini golf, mountain climbing and an arcade. It will carry as much as 7,960 folks — as much as 5,610 company and a crew of 2,350 to pour drinks, flip again covers, swab the decks and hold the vessel on course.

Since Royal Caribbean introduced this latest ship final yr, it has helped to spice up the firm’s gross sales with high demand for superior bookings.

It has additionally turn into an object of fascination (and scorn) on social media.

Some can’t wait to climb aboard, with rooms already promoting out for the ship’s first voyage. But others have criticized its dimension and vibrant colours, calling it a “monstrosity.” One critic referred to as an artist’s rendering a “Candy Crush version of the dystopian underground world” from science-fiction sequence “Silo” on Apple TV+.

Some critics even drew comparisons to an ill-fated ocean liner of yesteryear, noting it’s 5 instances “larger and heavier than the Titanic,” and about 300 ft longer.

Royal Caribbean payments the older Wonder of the Seas as the “biggest ship in the world.” When the new one is prepared, it is going to be 10 ft longer, heavier and can carry extra folks, maybe giving it bragging rights as the world’s largest.

Royal Caribbean stated in a statement final month that the Icon of Seas had handed its first spherical of sea trials, touring in the open ocean for the first time close to Turku, Finland. The ship may have one other spherical of trials later this yr forward of its debut in January, the firm stated.

Interest in the ship comes as the cruise trade tries to bounce again from the coronavirus pandemic, when a number of outbreaks onboard ships led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to chastise the trade and ban cruises.

But now the voyages have resumed and vacationers have returned to the sea, at the same time as the trade nonetheless faces health and environmental issues.

This yr, for instance, the C.D.C. has recorded 13 norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships, 4 of them on Royal Caribbean International cruises.

And environmentalists like Marcie Keever, program director of oceans and vessels at Friends of the Earth in Washington, contend that cruise traces “proceed to construct greater ships that rely on fossil fuels, dump poisonous wastewater into our oceans and burden coastal communities with air, water and rubbish air pollution.”

Royal Caribbean referred a request for remark on Tuesday looking for extra particulars about the ship to its website. The firm stated it couldn’t remark about environmental issues, citing a quiet interval required forward of its subsequent earnings report.

However, the firm has touted the impact that the Icon of the Seas is already displaying on its backside line, saying in a statement that advance bookings throughout the first quarter had been “significantly higher” than the first quarter of 2019.

Jason Liberty, president and chief government of Royal Caribbean Group, stated throughout an earnings name in May that the Icon of the Seas has been “significantly more booked” for its inaugural season “than any other Royal Caribbean ship launch.”

Michael Bayley, president and chief government of Royal Caribbean International, stated throughout the name that the ship was “the best performing new product launch we’ve ever had in the history of our business.”

“It’s really driving a huge amount of demand,” Mr. Bayley stated.

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