In a striking blend of maritime tradition and contemporary star power, Royal Caribbean International has announced soccer legend Lionel Messi as the godparent of their newest and largest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas. Messi’s appointment is a significant moment both for the cruise industry and the soccer star, who is globally recognized as one of the most accomplished athletes in soccer history.
Lionel Messi Named Godparent to Icon of the Seas
The role of godparent in maritime tradition is a position historically bestowed to bring good luck and protection to the vessel.
The godparent of a cruise ship is typically given the title of godmother or godfather, but Messi will be given the fitting title of “icon” to the new ship.
This collaboration follows Messi’s successful year, marked by his eighth Ballon d’Or award and being named TIME’s 2023 Athlete of the Year. His recent affiliation with Inter Miami CF, Royal Caribbean’s partner, has brought a fresh wave of football fervor to the U.S.
His involvement will culminate in the iconic naming celebration of the Icon of the Seas, scheduled for January 2024 in Miami.
Messi expressed his enthusiasm for joining the Royal Caribbean family, highlighting the Icon of the Seas as an unparalleled destination for family vacations with its unique features geared towards making unforgettable memories.
“I’m thrilled and honored to join the Royal Caribbean family to celebrate the arrival of the game-changing Icon of the Seas,” said Messi. “Icon is beyond anything else that’s out there for family vacations, with incredible never-before-seen features, all designed for making memories together.”
Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas represents a new era in the cruise industry. Icon is the newest cruise ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet and the largest in the world.
As the official icon of this ship, Messi will welcome the vessel in Miami and partake in the naming ceremony, a longstanding maritime tradition. The naming ceremony spotlights the ship as a groundbreaking addition to the world of luxury cruising.
The ceremony highlights the merging of sports and maritime worlds and underscores the importance of celebrity influence in modern branding and marketing strategies. Messi’s involvement is expected to draw significant attention to the maiden voyage of Icon of the Seas, further cementing Royal Caribbean’s position as a leader in the cruise industry.
Icon of the Seas is a marvel, boasting the largest single-day booking in Royal Caribbean’s 53-year history upon its reveal in October 2022. The ship offers six record-breaking waterslides, seven pools, and eight unique neighborhoods, among other attractions.
Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, underscored the significance of the Icon of the Seas. He praised Messi as the embodiment of the impact and innovation the ship represents, noting Messi’s role in rejuvenating football excitement in Miami and the U.S.
“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of delivering memorable vacations, and it’s set to live up to its name in more ways than one when it changes the vacation industry in January 2024,” said Bayley.
With the Icon of the Seas set to be the world’s largest cruise ship, this collaboration with Messi, a figure synonymous with excellence and achievement, underscores the grandeur and ambition behind the vessel. It marks a significant moment in both the sporting and maritime realms, showcasing the power of iconic figures in enhancing brand value and audience engagement.