Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The AquaDome on board Royal Caribbean International’s very new and very shiny, not to mention, stunning Icon of the Seas was the center of the cruise industry yesterday during an iconic naming celebration where soccer star Lionel Messi did the honors of christening the world’s largest ship.

TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year, Messi, told the audience—which included his Inter Miami team members—that it was a “privilege” for him to christen the ship and be named The Icon of the Icon of the Seas. Messi placed a soccer ball—what else?—atop the stand triggering the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle against the bow of the ship. He said, in Spanish, he understood “what the ship means to Miami and to the entire world.”

Four-time Emmy award-winning host Mario Lopez, along with Royal Caribbean and Inter Miami ownership and executives, joined players, staff and fans during the celebration.

This is a game-changer, said Royal Caribbean Group president and CEO Jason Liberty, noting that Icon of the Seas represents the “ultimate multigenerational vacation. We’ve pushed every boundary of innovation and design to form this marvel that is Icon of the Seas. The ship is the evolution of the brand.”

Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International, added, that it’s the entire Royal Caribbean team that made the Icon of the Seas a reality: “teamwork makes the dream work.”

The festivities were topped off with a dazzling acrobatic performance by the AquaTheater performers as well as the Red Hot Chili Pipers, direct from Scotland and playing a combination of bagpipes and rock ‘n roll music. Topping off the evening was a fireworks display set against the Miami skyline.

We’re getting a peak at the Icon of the Seas this week, so be sure to check out Recommend’s March issue to find out why you should recommend it to the target client: a multigenerational family group. In the meantime, check out @Recommendmag on Instagram for some of the highlights.

For more information, visit