Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas was officially christened in Miami on Tuesday, January 23, 2023.
Held in the ship’s AquaDome and hosted by American actor Mario Lopez, the naming ceremony was attended by executives from Royal Caribbean Group, Royal Caribbean International and Meyer Turku shipyard. Also in attendance were Miami-Dade County officials, founding families involved with the cruise line, crew families and many more.
The naming ceremony, which was live streamed for the world to see, included all the traditions of a christening along with the uniqueness of the world’s largest cruise ship. 31 members of the Royal Caribbean production cast sang the United States National Anthem from various locations across the ship from the Royal Theater to the promenade. There were live drone views of the ship, pre-recorded footage from the ship’s crew members, and live performances from the entertainment team. The traditional playing of the bagpipes and blessings of safety from both a rabbi and a pastor were included.
Speaking at the ceremony, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Michael Bailey, said, “It’s been a long and incredible journey. Seven years and our dream has now become a reality. We believe we’ve created the world’s best family vacation. What you see throughout Icon and its eight incredible neighborhoods is more than 50 years of passion and innovation coming together to create truly the best.”
At the end of the evening, world-renowned fútbol player, TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year, the ship’s godfather and the Icon of Icon Lionel Messi officially christened Icon of the Seas by placing a soccer ball on the ceremonial podium to release the “largest production bottle” of champagne down a wire to smash on the ship’s hull.
Icon of the Seas, may you have fair winds and following seas as you embark on what will surely be an iconic sailing season on Saturday, January 27, 2024.