Inside the world’s biggest cruise ship: Our graphic tells you all you need to know about


Measuring a whopping 1,198ft long and weighing in at a staggering 250,800 tonnes, the Icon Of The Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship.

The undisputed king of its domain, this mind-blowing vessel cost cruise-line company Royal Caribbean $2billion (£1.58billion) to build and stretches further than 30 double-decker buses parked end to end. 

The 20-deck vessel is five times larger than the ill-fated Titanic, and at full capacity can carry just shy of 10,000 people, with a crew of 2,350 required to look after 7,600 passengers.

It’s set to embark on its official maiden voyage at the end of the month, but residents in Puerto Rico enjoyed a first-hand look at the incredible feat of engineering earlier this week when it embarked on its final trial journey before receiving certification.  

Such a herculean machine obviously requires insanely powerful engines, and Icon Of The Seas boasts six of them. The mutli-fuel Wartsila marine engines provide almost ten horsepower for every person on board, chucking out a total of 90,520bhp. 

Meanwhile, its decks are replete with just about every amenity and top-class amusement one could ask for, including six swimming pools, a zip-line suspended 154ft above the ocean, and the largest at-sea waterpark of any cruise ship in the world.

‘Thrill Island’, as it’s known, contains six record-breaking slides, including the first ‘free-fall’ slide on which customers experience a 66-degree inclined drop. Those looking for a more relaxed experience can lounge under palm trees or paddle around in the world-class infinity pool. 

On the top deck, a 55ft artificial waterfall cascades through the centre of a cavernous amphitheatre – or ‘AquaTheatre’ – where travellers can enjoy panoramic ocean views and all manner of exhibitions, including Cirque du Soleil-style shows. 

And gastronomes will be satisfied by the 40 eateries and bars offering dishes and drinks from every corner of the globe – and those with the most refined of palettes can enjoy a luxury restaurant and exclusive cocktail bar in an ‘adult only’ zone with seating for just 38 esteemed guests. 

Icon Of The Seas will later this month set sail on its inaugural voyage for paying customers from Miami, Florida, on January 27.

It will embark upon a seven-night dash around the Caribbean, including a stop at ‘Perfect Day at CocoCay’, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.

But residents of Puerto Rico were lucky enough to see this ship up close in recent days as the floating behemoth took a break in the port of Ponce amid its final trial journey, necessary to gain its certification ahead of its first official maiden voyage.

Princes for this year’s schedule of a seven-night cruise across the Caribbean start at around £1,200, but so far almost all ‘staterooms’ have been reserved and paid for, with those still up for grabs costing between £4,000 and £6,000. 

Some rooms are even more expensive. The Ultimate Family Townhouse suite spans three decks. While customers can choose to take the stairs to traverse the massive suite, when descending they also have the option of a slide, which spills out on to the living room floor.

The Ultimate Family Townhouse can sleep eight and has its own sundeck and various balconies. Seven nights will set families back an eyewatering $85,000 (£70,000).

The cruise took years to put together, with prototypes of ‘neighbourhoods’ – as the eight main areas of the ship are known – being built to scale in Miami before installing them on the actual ship in the Meyer Turku shipyard on Finland’s Baltic coast.

Most of the ‘staterooms’ are modular builds, constructed elsewhere in Finland then lifted into position. 

The most daring lift came when the Aquadome – the largest free-standing dome at sea, with nearly 700 glass panels and weighing 365 tonnes – was raised from the dock and plonked on the ship like a flying saucer, its weight evenly distributed with the help of computers connected to each cable.

This particular manoeuvre took 24 hours and the dome now features a 55ft waterfall and seating for 1,300 people.

Jay Schneider, Royal Caribbean’s chief product innovation officer, previously told the Mail: ‘We didn’t set out to create the biggest ship in the world.’



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