An iconic kickoff is set to mark the start of a new era of vacations when Royal Caribbean International’s revolutionary Icon of the Seas debuts January 2024. The world’s largest cruise line has revealed sports icon Lionel Messi is the official Icon of Icon of the Seas. As the Icon of the first-of-its-kind combination of every vacation, the most decorated fútbol player in history will welcome the new ship at an exclusive naming celebration in Miami.
Widely regarded as the greatest of all time, Messi has and continues to set a long list of records throughout his career that includes winning the prestigious Ballon d’Or award eight times and being named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year for ushering in a new era of fútbol in the U.S. when he joined Royal Caribbean partner and new Leagues Cup champion Inter Miami CF.
In its own right, Icon has also marked record-breaking moments. The highly anticipated vacation’s reveal in October 2022 spurred the single largest booking day and highest volume booking week in the cruise line’s then 53-year history, confirming vacationers are looking for a getaway that combines the best of every type of vacation – from the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure – now more than ever.
With six record-setting waterslides, seven pools, the first neighborhood designed for young families, more than 40 ways to dine, drink and be entertained, and more, Icon is where every type of family and adventurer can make memories together and on their own without compromise.
“I’m thrilled and honored to join the Royal Caribbean family to celebrate the arrival of the game-changing Icon of the Seas,” said Lionel Messi, Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of Icon. “Icon is beyond anything else that’s out there for family vacations, with incredible never-before-seen features, all designed for making memories together.”
Messi’s new role follows the recent announcement of Royal Caribbean and Inter Miami CF’s unprecedented partnership in which the cruise line is the Club’s Main Partner and Official Vacation Partner. United in the sense of leadership, passion and delivering unforgettable moments to fans and vacationers, Royal Caribbean and Inter Miami CF will also celebrate the arrival of Icon with the next phase of the partnership – details which will be revealed at a later date.
“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of delivering memorable vacations, and it’s set to live up to its name in more ways than one when it changes the vacation industry in January 2024,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “It’s that ability to make such a widespread impact and change the status quo that the Icon of Icon must personify, and Lionel Messi has proven to be the perfect example of that for years in the world of sports and most recently in introducing a new era of excitement and passion for fútbol in Miami and the U.S.”
As part of a longstanding maritime tradition, Messi will take part in the iconic naming celebration for Icon in January 2024 in Miami. The Icon of Icon will have the honor of bestowing safekeeping onto the new ship, its crew and the millions of families who will create memories of a lifetime on board in the years to come.
Whether “family vacation” means getting away as a family, couple or friends, everyone can make memories their way every day with Icon’s all-encompassing lineup of firsts and next-level favorites across eight neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is a destination in itself filled with a variety of experiences, live entertainment, restaurants, bars and more.
Rounding out the world’s best vacation are the sun-soaked destinations vacationers can visit year-round while on Icon. Each 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean adventure from Miami is all about island hopping, featuring idyllic locales across the Caribbean – like Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas – and an unmatched day of thrill and chill at Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. Plus, dialing up the perfect on Perfect Day in January 2024 is the private island’s first adults-only oasis, Hideaway Beach, an all-day experience complete with a private beach, pools, spots for drinks and bites, exclusive cabanas, live music and more.