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World's largest cruise ship Icon of the Seas arrives to fanfare at PortMiami home

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Icon of the Seas arrives Jan. 10 at PortMiami. At 250,800gt with a length of 1,197.5 feet/365 meters and capacity for 7,600 passengers and 2,350 crew, it is the world's largest cruise ship
Icon of the Seas, the new world's largest cruise ship at 250,800gt, is home, arriving at PortMiami early Wednesday to fanfare by air, land and sea.

Fireboats sprayed plumes of water and planes with welcome banners flew overhead.

In hot pink shirts, Royal Caribbean International employees joined crew on deck, waving and cheering, as Icon made its way up Government Cut. Hundreds of other employees in hot pink shirts, along with Royal Caribbean fans and local residents, welcomed Icon at a community celebration at the waterfront Pérez Art Museum.

Echoes of Sovereign in January 1988 

Thirty-six years ago this month, Royal Caribbean introduced the world's largest cruise ship at the time, Sovereign of the Seas, whose Miami arrival also caused a sensation. 

Outsizes largest Oasis-class ship

Icon of the Seas' length is 1,197.5 feet/365 meters, and its beam is 186.6 feet/57.8 meters. It has 5,610 lower guest berths and capacity for 7,600 passengers and 2,350 crew. 

For comparison, the former world titleholder, Wonder of the Seas, the largest Oasis-class ship, measures 236,857gt, stretches 1,188 feet/362 meters and has 5,734 lower berths and capacity for 6,988 passengers and 2,300 crew.

And 1988's Sovereign of the Seas measured 73,192gt, stretched 880 feet and had capacity for 2,673 passengers.

Five new neighborhoods

Among Icon of the Seas' eight neighborhoods are five new ones: Thrill Island water park, Chill Island pools complex, Surfside for young families, AquaDome high atop the ship and housing the AquaTheater, and The Hideaway with its beach vibe and infinity pool. 

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One of the new neighborhoods, Surfside, for young families, is located under the Crown and Anchor, while the suspended infinity pool is overhead. Royal Caribbean employees in hot pink shirts line the upper decks

There are seven pools and six waterslides and the daredevil Crown's Edge experience 154 feet above the ocean.

Icon offers more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges, entertainment across four stages — air, ice, water and theater — and 28 types of accommodations including the three-level Ultimate Family Townhouse. 

Jan. 23 naming by Lionel Messi

Final preparations will now take place leading up to Icon of the Seas' official naming on Jan. 23 by sports superstar Lionel Messi. Several pre-inaugural cruises for Royal Caribbean Group employees and the trade are planned.

On Jan. 27, Icon of the Seas is scheduled to embark on its inaugural cruise. The ship will operate weeklong eastern and western Caribbean voyages, both calling at Perfect Day at CocoCay, where the new adults-only escape, Hideaway Beach, is opening this month.