First passengers on world's largest cruise ship reveal what it was really like
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Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas is set to be the world's biggest cruise ship.
Yep, cruise ships are back and they're bigger than ever.
Icon of the Seas is 365 metres long (that's nearly 1,200 feet) and it will weigh a projected 250,800 tonnes when it's completely set up.
When the cruise ship sets sail on Caribbean waters in January 2024, it would hold 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew.
In June, construction of the cruise ship was completed in a shipyard in Finland and the mammoth vessel was tested out on the open water for the first time.
At an on-site press panel earlier in the year, Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive Michael Bayley told media the ship was on track to join the fleet on October 26, ahead of its 2024 debut.
“We are positioning it as the ultimate family vacation and when you step back and look at all the energy and time that has gone into creating this ship it is mind-blowing,” he said.
Royal Caribbean released a statement after the ship's first sea trials to say everything was working well.
“During her first set of sea trials, Icon of the Seas traveled hundreds of miles, during which the main engines, hull, brake systems, steering, noise, and vibration levels were all tested,” the statement said.
“Everything was done on time as outlined in the schedule, despite her departure being delayed due to wind conditions.”
Carly Caramanna from tinybeans.com was one of the first people to see the ship, visiting the construction site in Finland.
Caramanna said that on any given day, 3000 construction workers were working on the mammoth project.
She said the ship's pools and waterpark are the real highlight.
"If you’ve ever been on a ship with limited pool venues, you know what a drag that can be as spaces quickly fill up with guests—that won’t be a problem on Icon of the Seas," she wrote.
"With the Icon setting sail to the Caribbean, pristine weather can be enjoyed from a whopping seven pools and nine whirlpools—adding up to a total of 62 per cent more water surface area than previous liners."
"The self-proclaimed adrenaline junkies will clamour over Thrill Island, home to Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea. There are six record breaking water slides to choose from, including the tallest drop slide at sea and the first open free-fall slide at an incline of 66 degrees."
The current title holder of world’s largest cruise ship is Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas, which made its inaugural voyage just last year. It's 1,188 feet in length and has 18 decks to explore.