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Updated January 4th, 2024 at 18:38 IST

SEE PICS | World’s largest cruise ship spotted in Puerto Rico ahead of big debut

The world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, provided locals and visitors in Ponce, Puerto Rico, with a sneak peek.

Manasvi Asthana
World’s largest cruise ship spotted in Puerto Rico ahead of big debut
World’s largest cruise ship spotted in Puerto Rico ahead of big debut | Image:AP
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The world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, provided locals and visitors in Ponce, Puerto Rico, with a sneak peek. Despite not having welcomed its first paying guests, the 1,198-foot-long, 250,800-gigaton pleasure cruiser has already stirred attention, with some labeling it a "monstrosity." The ship is currently on a trial voyage as part of the certification process.

Royal Caribbean's capacity

With 20 decks and the capacity to accommodate up to 7,600 passengers, the Icon of the Seas boasts notable features, including a food hall, six pools, and the largest waterpark at sea featuring a variety of waterslides. The ship, five times larger than the Titanic, is designed with separate experience-oriented and themed "neighborhoods."

“We are positioning it as the ultimate family vacation, and when you step back and look at all the energy and time that has gone into creating this ship it is mind-blowing,” said Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive Michael Bayley in a statement.

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Critics on Royal Caribbean

Armchair travel critics are having a field day poking fun at Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, a bloated craft reportedly costing $2 billion to build. One user on X remarked, "As visions of hell go, that’s pretty much the most hellish," while another described it as a "nightmare." A different user expressed intense dread upon seeing pictures of the ship, adding, "I’m sorry but this is a nightmare."

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Despite being the world's largest cruise ship, some keen-eyed cruisers view Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas as a relatively modest upsizing from pre-existing megaships like Wonder, Utopia, Harmony, and Symphony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean is known for its over-the-top selection of activities and dining options, featuring amenities like rock climbing walls and wave pools to attract travelers.

First sail of Royal Caribbean

Scheduled for its first sailing from Miami on Jan. 27, the Icon of the Seas has reportedly sold out. The seven-night voyage includes stops in St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and CocoCay, Royal's private island in the Bahamas.

Despite the criticism, current fares for the year's schedule of seven-night Caribbean sailings start at $1,542 per person.

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Published January 4th, 2024 at 18:38 IST

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