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Royal Caribbean’s plan for the arrival of Icon of the Seas in Miami, Florida was for it to be loud and to attract as much attention as possible.

And, it’s safe to say that goal was achieved. In fact, there were 17 noise complaints made to  authorities in the city to prove it.

Cars stopped on Miami’s highways and people delayed their trips to work to witness the ship’s arrival.

Royal Caribbean’s management said they were “unapologetic” about the fuss made over the ship’s arrival.

Carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of loud outdoor speakers all aimed at the city as it approached, everyone was aware that something new had arrived in town.

That hype has spread around the world with tens of millions of views of Icon’s arrival being viewed across social media platforms, including youth skewed TikTok.

Speaking to TravelTalk in Miami, Jason Liberty, the  President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean International said the message they’re wanting to spread is more about the experiences that can be had on board rather than the size of the ship itself.

“Seven years of development and planning has gone into making this ship. We’ve taken the feedback and data we have gathered from our previous ships and that’s all gone into the Icon that we are all sailing on today.”

As media waited for this morning’s press conference held in a New York loft styled venue on the 6th floor of the ship, screens showed montages of the ships design and construction. It stood as a reminder of just how much of an amazing technological achievement Icon of the Seas is.

This sailing, a round trip to Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day Island, is hosting media and travel agents from around the world, including us.

For this sailing, there’s around 3000 people onboard, plus the 2400 crew.  Each sailing over the next few weeks will increase in size by a few hundred until the ship is operating at its maximum capacity of 7600 guests.

The Icon of the Seas is designed to be the ultimate vacation for families, and a big part of that is the first neighbourhood designed purely for young families, particularly those with children under the age of 6.

Surfside features a number of small eateries, a carousel, children’s swimming pools and characters hosting kids party-like activities.

There are performances happening all the time all over the ship.

Last night I viewed a stripped back semi-rehearsal of a new show in the Aquadome.

It’s very common for phrases such as “like you’ve never seen before” to be used when describing a new show or experience.

In the case of Aqua Action, this really was something that hadn’t been seen before, as it was the first time it had been performed in front of an audience.

It’s a mixture of diving, aerobatics, lighting and dance all played out in a multi-dimensional space that is the AquaDome.

There are so many cliches I could use here. You have to see it to believe it would be one. That’s because it’s really quite hard to describe the action that plays out in front of you.

The pool at the centre of the show transforms from being deep enough for olympic diving from head spinning heights, to one that is just a centimetre or two deep with splashes of water being created as dancers move across the surface, all within a short space of time and without the audience even being aware the pool had even changed.

With unusually cold conditions throughout the area, have meant that less time has been spent in pools and water slides as what could have been expected, even though they are heated.

But, there’s still some time to go so who knows which part of the ship I’ll be heading to next.


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