The first-of-its-kind combination of the best of every vacation was the star of the show, as the most decorated fútbol player in history bestowed safekeeping onto the world’s best family vacation, the dedicated crew and themillions of families who will make memories on board for years to come.
“Family is everything to me, and it was exciting to take part in welcoming what is the world’s best family vacation to Miami,” said Lionel Messi, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of Icon. “Everything I’ve seen onIcon of the Seas is next level. There are experiences for the whole family to make memories that they’ll remember forever.”
The milestone moment seven years in the making, hosted by four-time Emmy award-winning host Mario Lopez, was held in the AquaDome neighborhood – an engineering and experiential feat in itself that represents the record-setting lineup of experiences in store on Icon. Ringing in the new era of vacations was Royal Caribbean executives, crew, employees, fans and partners, including Meyer Turku shipyard and Inter Miami CF.
“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of dreaming, innovating and living our mission – to deliver the world’s best vacation experiences responsibly. She is the ultimate multigenerational family vacation, forever changing the status quo in family travel and fulfilling vacation dreams for all ages on board,” said Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty.
“With Lionel Messi presiding over the ship’s naming, we are thrilled and honored to have someone iconic fordelivering memories for millions of fútbol fans around the world and who values making iconic memories with his family even more.”
Messi, the only eight-time Ballon d’Or award-winner and TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year, inaugurated the highly anticipated vacation with a bottle breaking fit for an icon that has set records in its own right.
When first revealed in October 2022, Icon spurred the single largest booking day and the highest volume booking week in the cruise line’s then 53-year history. The Icon of Icon was also joined on stage by President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley and Icon’s captain, Henrik Loy.
In store on Icon is an all-encompassing lineup of experiences that combines the best of every vacation – from the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure. Across eight neighborhoods that are destinations in and of themselves are firsts and next-level favorites for everyone day and night, including adrenaline-pumping thrills like six record-breaking waterslides at Category 6 and the Crown’s Edge experience at 154 feet above the ocean, and unrivaled ways to chill with seven pools – one for every day of the week – like the first suspended infinity pool at sea.
The game-changing experiences also include a stay-all-day neighborhood designed for families with young kids, more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; deck-defying entertainment across air, ice, water and theater; and more.
On Saturday, Jan. 27, vacationers will get away on the new vacation for the first time and island hop in the tropics. Each 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean adventure from Miami features idyllic destinations in the Caribbean and an unmatched day of thrill and chill at Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. Plus, dialing up the perfect on Perfect Day in January 2024 is the private island’s first adults-only escape, Hideaway Beach, an all-day experience complete with a private beach and pools, new dedicated spots for drinks and bites, exclusive cabanas, live music and more.