MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Royal Caribbean International’s groundbreaking Icon of the Seas has docked at PortMiami for the first time, marking a historic moment in the world of cruising. The colossal vessel, the world’s largest cruise ship, arrived Wednesday, heralding a new era of vacations.

Icon of the Seas introduces an unprecedented fusion of vacation experiences, from serene beach retreats to thrilling theme park adventures and luxurious resort escapes. It boasts an impressive 20 decks, seven pools, nine whirlpools, and six record-breaking water-slides, making it a floating paradise for the anticipated passengers.

“This is history,” said one early morning onlooker.

Many people arrived to South Pointe Park Pier before sunrise to watch the spectacle arrive to its new home in Miami.

“This is the first time Icon was coming in so I had to be there,” said Greg, who watched the largest cruise ship arrive. “It was fantastic. It is an incredible ship. I don’t know if I wanna go on it. It’s a little too big for me, but it’s pretty amazing.”

This mammoth of metal and steel is more than 1,000 feet long and can welcome close to 8,000 passengers, along with another 2,000 crew members. Matthew, a spectator among the crowd in Miami, deemed the ship as impressive in its size.

“The size of this ship and how technically advanced it is compared to the other ships that I was on. Like, those are only the beginning,” he said.

Noteworthy among its innovative features is The Hideaway, unveiling the first suspended infinity pool at sea, 135 feet above the ocean, offering a beach club-vibe experience. The ship’s neighborhoods, each a destination in itself, cater to every taste and preference, ensuring an unforgettable experience day and night.

With 28 different room types, including Royal Caribbean’s first Family Infinite Balconies and the three-story Ultimate Family Townhouse, Icon provides accommodation options for every traveler.

Another beautiful feature is the ship’s AquaDome neighborhood, an architectural marvel with a 55-foot-tall water curtain and 220° of ocean views, promising tranquil days and vibrant nights with next-level entertainment.

“It’s surreal,” said another spectator. “It’s unlike any ship I’ve ever seen. It looks like a space craft.”

Sports icon Lionel Messi, named the official icon of Icon of the Seas last December, welcomed the ship in an exclusive naming celebration in Miami.

The $2 billion vessel is the first in Royal Caribbean’s new Icon Class, with two more additions, Star of the Seas in 2025 and another in 2026, on the horizon.

As Icon of the Seas prepares for its official maiden voyage, the world eagerly anticipates the unparalleled experiences and memories this groundbreaking cruise ship is set to deliver later in January.

Icon’s seven-night voyages will explore the Eastern and Western Caribbean, including Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
The inaugural cruise is set for Jan. 27, featuring stops at St. Thomas, St. Kitts & Nevis, and the Bahamas’ Perfect Day at CocoCay.

“People expect more from their cruise vacation an all the cruise lines are stepping up,” said Porthole Magazine editor, Bill Panoff. “It’s becoming more and more of a destination to itself. The ports are very interesting. At first, it’s a big part of the cruise, but the ship onto itself is a destination.”

Prices for a single person start at $1,700.

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