Royal Caribbean Names Soccer Star Messi as “Icon” of its Newest Ship

If you’ve followed any news about Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, then you know that the cruise line is going big with the new ship. It’s the newly crowned largest cruise ship on the planet (but doesn’t sail with passengers until January 2024), offers a full-fledged waterpark, new neighborhood concepts, and an experience that promises to be like nothing else at sea.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that the cruise line has also gone big with naming its new “Icon” for the ship — legendary soccer star Lionel Messi.

Global soccer star Lionel Messi has been named “Icon” of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship. Image courtesy of Royal Caribbean.

Messi is one of the most famous athletes on the planet, arguably the greatest soccer player in history, winner of the 2022 World Cup, and an 8-time winner of the Ballon d’Or — the most of all time.

In short, the ships don’t get bigger than Icon of the Seas and the stars don’t get bigger than Lionel Messi. Given that the star has recently moved to the United States to play for Inter Miami CF in the MLS — of which Royal Caribbean is a major partner — the naming of Messi as the “Icon” of Icon of the Seas seems like a perfect match.

“It’s that ability to make such a widespread impact and change the status quo that the Icon of Icon must personify, and Lionel Messi has proven to be the perfect example of that for years in the world of sports and most recently in introducing a new era of excitement and passion for fútbol in Miami and the U.S.,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

As the “Icon” (which appears to be a new term coined by Royal Caribbean for the godfather of the ship), Messi will be part of the naming ceremony when Icon of the Seas arrives to Miami in January.

“I’m thrilled and honored to join the Royal Caribbean family to celebrate the arrival of the game-changing Icon of the Seas,” said Messi.

Icon of the Seas Set to Debut Next Month

Icon of the Seas leaving Finland
Nearly complete, Icon of the Seas starts sailing with passengers in late January 2024 from Miami. Image courtesy of Royal Caribbean.

The new ship sets sail with paying passengers for the first time January 27, 2024 on a 7-night inaugural cruise that takes it to St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and CocoCay.

Passengers will get to experience eight different neighborhoods, including the new Surfside neighborhood designed for families with small kids, Thrill Island with the Category 6 waterpark, along with a new AquaDome with indoor aquatic show and sweeping views.

Icon of the Seas will also feature seven swimming pools onboard, more than 20 spots to eat, and a completely new line-up of entertainment including the first rendition of The Wizard of Oz at sea.

Of course, all this is in addition to the favorites that passengers have come to expect on Royal Caribbean from comedy clubs to music venues, the Flowrider surf simulator, climbing walls, Central Park, and much, much more.

From the ship itself, to things to do onboard, to the new “Icon” of the vessel, it doesn’t look like cruising gets any bigger than with the debut of Icon of the Seas.

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