This Week in Cruise: Icon Named, Sun Princess Delayed

Soccer legend Lionel Messi christened the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International's Icon of the Seas, in a spectacular naming ceremony at PortMiami last Tuesday. Messi placed a soccer ball atop a button that sent a huge bottle of Champagne crashing into the ship's side. Presto, the 5,610-passenger ship was officially named. Messi's Inter Miami teammates also attended the naming ceremony, as the cruise line is the soccer team's prime partner. Moderated by actor Mario Lopez, the christening ceremony event unfolded in the ship's AquaDome, and attendees were treated to an impressive aqua and aerialist performance.

Speaking to the naming ceremony's audience of VIP guests, travel advisors and media in attendance, Jason Liberty, president/CEO of Royal Caribbean Group and CLIA’s new chair, called the ship “the ultimate multi-generational family vacation, forever changing the status quo in family travel and fulfilling vacation dreams for all ages on board.” Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International’s president, also spoke, and Richard Fain, the group’s chairman, was present in the audience. Immediately after the christening, the ship set sail for a three-night inaugural cruise. Look for our update from that sailing soon.

While Icon of the Seas is now sailing on revenue cruises, the newest Princess Cruises' ship, Sun Princess will arrive a bit later than anticipated. Princess Cruises and Fincantieri announced a delivery delay. So, the ship's inaugural 10-day voyage from Barcelona, Spain, on February 8, 2024, has been canceled. A new delivery date has not yet been announced.

More Cruise News

Ilma_Main Pool View Rendering_The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection announced two more 2024 Mediterranean season voyages for Ilma, its second superyacht. (The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection)

Viking opened its 2026 ocean voyage lineup a bit earlier than expected due to high consumer demand. Additionally, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has added two voyages to its 2024 Mediterranean season for Ilma, its second superyacht, while Norwegian Cruise Line also announced new 2024 fall Caribbean cruises.

Designed to attract new-to-cruise luxury hotel clients and those cruisers desiring lengthier time in port destinations, Regent Seven Seas Cruises introduced a new collection of six “Immersive Overnights” voyages; each port of call includes an overnight stay. Paul Gauguin Cruises announced the experts for its “Yoga & Wellness” program for guests sailing on the “Cook Islands and Society Islands” itinerary departing April 13, 2024, aboard Paul Gauguin

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering savings for solo travelers and travel advisors. In addition, Aurora Expeditions announced a partnership with Approach Guides.

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