Lionel Messi Christens World’s Largest Cruise Ship, Icon Of The Seas

The world’s largest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, was officially named by football legend Lionel Messi in the AquaDome, an exclusive spot reserved for Royal Caribbean International. The exceptionally designed AquaTheater, situated inside and forward on top of the ship, is the pride of the exquisitely constructed AquaDome. A spectacular show came to life with high divers, aerialists, and Scotland’s Red Hot Chili Pipers, who performed with electric guitars, drums, and bagpipes.

The ship was envisioned as the ideal family getaway when it was initially built, taking seven years to complete. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, expressed joy in referring to Icon of the Seas as a true engineering masterpiece and the company’s most prominent dream. Longtime visitors like the Carter family, multigenerational families serving as crew members, and the other families connected to Royal Caribbean were also honoured during the ceremony.


Video Credits: Royal Caribbean/YouTube

Icon, which represents more than 50 years of innovation, is a groundbreaking invention that challenges the limits of human creativity, according to Jason Liberty, President and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group. The seventh-generation shipbuilders, the Meyer family, were honoured for their revolutionary accomplishments, and the late Ed Stefan, the creator of Royal Caribbean, was remembered. During the event, Captain Henrik Loy gave a football to Lionel Messi, and Messi used it to bless the ship. Messi introduced the ship as Icon of the Seas and spoke Spanish before using the ball to set off a champagne bottle to crack on the ship’s bow.

Messi and his teammates took part in the customary ship-naming ceremony, recognising Messi as the ship’s godfather or “icon,” at a different event honouring the collaboration between Inter Miami and Royal Caribbean. Originally named the Icon of the Seas, the ship made history when it set sail for the first time. It measured 1,198 feet, making it the longest cruise ship in the world.

Icon Of The Seas
Screengrab from Royal Caribbean video on YouTube

Earlier in the day, Royal Caribbean unveiled their collaboration with Inter Miami and revealed the team’s new black uniform for the 2024 season inside the ship’s theatre. The jersey with the Royal Caribbean insignia was unveiled by Messi and his colleagues, together with Jorge Mas, the owner of Inter Miami. Messi and Inter Miami will play matches in Saudi Arabia during their global preseason tour.

The celebration highlighted the importance of the partnership between Inter Miami and Royal Caribbean. Chief Marketing Officer of Royal Caribbean Kara Wallace emphasised the decision to name the ship Icon of the Seas as it relates to Lionel Messi’s unmatched skill and worldwide influence. The Icon of the Seas, which can accommodate around 10,000 guests, will be based in Port Miami. It boasts outstanding attractions like a record-breaking water park and 20 decks. The event ushered in a new era for cruise ships and football collaborations by bringing together two South Florida superstars, Royal Caribbean and Lionel Messi, in a confetti-filled extravaganza.

Reference: NBC Miami, Seatrade Cruise News

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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