Unconventional Ceremony: Lionel Messi Names Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship as Inter Miami Announces Royal Caribbean as New Away Jersey Sponsor.

Lionel Messi has now bizarrely christened the largest cruise ship in the world – Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas – as he and his Inter Miami teammates showed off the team’s new away kit sponsor.

On Tuesday, Messi and his teammates attended a ceremony held by the world’s second-largest cruise line operator at the Port of Miami, where they took part in the naming of the new ship, which will formally set sail for the first time this weekend.

It is the world’s longest liner at 1,198 feet. But, it didn’t come without a $2billion cost, funding the construction of 20 decks for a maximum capacity of 7,600 people and a  weight of 250,800 gross tons.


Messi – a World Cup and eight time Ballon d’Or winner – was the headliner at the event, placing a soccer ball atop a stand to ‘start’ the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle against the bow of the ship – something that is supposed to bring good luck to the vessel and its passengers.

The 36-year-old, Argentine later called it a ‘privilege.’

Lionel Messi participates in the naming ceremony of the ‘Icon of the Seas’ in Miami on Tuesday.

Messi show off Miami’s new away kit sponsor – Royal Caribbean – with Luis Suarez & Jordi Alba.

The Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship at 1,198 feet, costs an estimated $2billion.

‘It’s a great honor for me and I know what it means for the city of Miami and the entire world,’ Messi said in Spanish. ‘So, I name this ship Icon of the Seas. God bless you and all of the people who will sail with her.’

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley added: ‘We built the biggest, baddest ship on the planet. It’s really exciting when you introduce a new class of ship, but it’s even  most excited when it seems to be really spot on.’

An array of entertainment options are on board, including seven swimming pools, six water slides, the world’s largest waterfall, tallest water slide, and largest waterpark at sea, according to the company.

New concepts have been introduced on the Bahamas-registered liner, too, including an ‘Aquadome’ – a diving and performance venue under a glass dome on top of the ship;  a structural feature designed as a dynamic art installation on a thoroughfare, called ‘The Pearl’; an ice skating rink, called ‘Absolute Zero’; a family neighborhood called ‘Surfside’; a beach club featuring a first suspended infinity pool of any ship, called ‘The Hideaway’; the largest waterpark at sea, featuring six different water slides, called ‘Thrill Island; and the largest swim up bar at sea, called ‘Swim & Tonic.’

Royal Caribbean’s ‘Icon of the Seas’ also contains 20 decks and a maximum capacity of 7,600.

The cruise liner has seven swimming pools and six water slides among other features on board.

The ship also has a structural feature designed as a dynamic art installation on its main access route, called ‘The Pearl’.

Passengers lounge in the Aquadome area of Icon of the Seas, a diving and performance venue under a glass dome on the top of the ship.

An employee walks through the Central Park area of the ship, as it also contains its own ‘family neighborhood,’ called ‘Surfside’.

Royal Caribbean claims the ship has the tallest waterfall, the tallest water slide, and the largest waterpark at sea.

Icon of the Seas sitting at dock as it prepares for its inaugural public voyage on January 27.

At an earlier event inside a theater aboard the ship, Inter Miami showed off its new black kit for the 2024 season. Messi and his teammates removed pink zippered sweatshirts to reveal the black jersey, trimmed in the team’s traditional pink with a Royal Caribbean logo across the chest.

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