The new four-legged crew member reinforces the cruise line's family values
Royal Caribbean’s new resident pet dog Rover (pictured) has been doing the rounds on trade and media preview sailings on its latest ship, Icon of the Seas.
The four-legged addition to the crew underlines the company’s family values, according to cruise line bosses.
Royal Caribbean International president and CEO Michael Bayley said: “We continue to focus on being a family brand. A lot of families have a family dog, so we thought it would be a wonderful idea to have a family dog, too.”
Bayley continued: “The crew love Rover, and we thought, this is going to be hit with the kids, and it is, so we're delighted.”
Bayley was speaking at a press conference on board Icon of the Seas this weekend, highlighting improvements made in Royal Caribbean’s new Icon class of ships.
“It's really exciting when you introduce a new class of ship,” Bayley added. “But it's even more exciting when it seems to be really spot on – and for our demographic and our customer, this ship seems to have ticked all the boxes. The demand that we've seen for Icon has been just unbelievable. We're extremely excited by that. We feel like all of the new features and spaces we've created are just right.”
Launching this month as the world’s biggest-ever cruise ship, Icon of the Seas introduces five distinct new neighbourhoods, 21 new dining concepts, world-first slides at Category 6 water park and the new Crown’s Edge skywalk, which see passengers hanging 150 feet about the ocean.
Describing Icon as the “biggest, baddest ship on the planet”, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, Jason Liberty attributed the realisation of the Icon class ships to the company’s “culture of dreaming”.
“It’s always a tough thing to do, to wake up every day and always want to be better, but for us, in our 50-plus year history, that is our DNA,” said Liberty. “Even as we're walking around this ship, we're asking ourselves, ‘How do we do this better?’ We’re trying to understand what the customer today and the customer tomorrow is looking for, across all of our brands, and being very tuned into that. You'd be amazed at how much time senior leadership spends in every inch of these ships looking for how we can do it better before we start construction.”
The ship’s naming ceremony took place in Miami on 23 January 2024, with VIPs in attendance including footballing legend Lionel Messi, the official ‘Icon’ of Icon of the Seas, a role similar to that of a ship’s godmother.
The maiden voyage, departing 27 January, is a seven-night Caribbean itinerary, calling at Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, in the Bahamas. The ‘7 Night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day’ will also make stops at St Thomas and St Kitts & Nevis.
Icon of the Seas will be followed by sister ship Star of the Seas, which will set sail in August 2025.