Icon of the Seas: Caribbean royalty bets on a giant candy-colored cruise ship

When Icon of the Seas sets sail early next year, it will take a while to disappear from the horizon. At 1,198 feet long and a gross tonnage of 250,800, it’s hard to miss.

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship will have 20 decks filled with more than 20 bars and restaurants, seven swimming pools, nine whirlpools, and six water slides, as well as mini golf, rock climbing, and an arcade. She will carry up to 7,960 people – up to 5,610 guests and a crew of 2,350 to pour drinks, re-caps, wipe decks and keep the ship on course.

Since Royal Caribbean announced this newer ship last year, it has helped boost the company’s sales as demand for advanced bookings soars.

It has also become an object of fascination (and scorn) on social media.

Some can’t wait to get on board, as rooms are already sold out for the ship’s maiden voyage. But others criticized its size and bright colors, describing it as “brutality. One critic described the artist’s performance as “Candy Crush version From the dystopian underground world” from the sci-fi series “Silo” on Apple TV+.

Some critics have even drawn comparisons to an ill-fated ocean liner from the past, noting that it is a five times “Bigger and heavier than the TitanicAnd 300 feet longer.

Royal Caribbean senior billing wonders of the seas As “the largest ship in the world.” When the new one is ready, it will be 10 feet longer, heavier and carry more people, possibly giving it bragging rights as the world’s largest.

Royal Caribbean said in a statement Last month, Icon of Seas passed its first round of sea trials, traveling in the open ocean for the first time near Turku, Finland. The company said the vessel would go through another round of trials later this year before its debut in January.

The interest in the ship comes as the cruise industry tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, when multiple outbreaks on ships led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to sanction the industry and ban cruises.

But now voyages have resumed and vacationers are back at sea, though the industry still faces health and environmental concerns.

This year, for example, the CDC scored 13 Norovirus outbreaks on cruise shipsFour of them are on Royal Caribbean’s international cruises.

Environmentalists such as Marcy Keever, director of the Oceans and Ships Program at Friends of the Earth in Washington, assert that cruise lines “continue to build bigger ships.” Reliance on fossil fuels, dumping toxic wastewater into our oceans and burdening coastal communities with air, water and garbage pollution.”

Royal Caribbean referred a request for comment on Tuesday, seeking more details about the ship to its location website. The company said it couldn’t comment on environmental concerns, citing a required calm period before its next earnings report.

However, the company touted the impact the sailor symbol is already having on its bottom line, saying V statement Advance bookings during the first quarter were “significantly higher” than the first quarter of 2019.

Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group president and CEO, said during an earnings call in May that Icon of the Seas was “overbooked” for its inaugural season “more than any other Royal Caribbean ship.”

Michael Bailey, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said during the call that the ship was “the best performing new product launch we’ve seen in the history of our business.”

“It’s really driving a huge amount of demand,” Bailey said.