The unveiling of renderings for the world’s largest cruise liner, the Icon Of The Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean, has ignited a storm of comments across social media platforms. However, not all of the reactions have been positive.
The colossal vessel, which has already been constructed and completed its initial round of testing, is gearing up for its inaugural cruise in January 2024. Spanning a staggering 365 meters in length (96 meters longer than the Titanic), with a width of 48 meters, boasting 20 decks, and accommodating 10,000 people including passengers and crew, the Icon Of The Seas is poised to redefine luxury cruise travel. However, not everyone has been captivated by the vivid depictions of leisure and relaxation presented in the visualizations.
Critics have labeled the ship as “monstrous,” “tasteless,” and even likened it to an “icon of disease.” A number of less-than-flattering comparisons have emerged, including phrases such as “tacky and vulgar,” “floating Walmart,” and “a mountain of scattered food plates.” Perhaps the most apt comparison comes from likening the imagery to Hieronymus Bosch’s depiction of Hell.
CNN sought insight into the psychology behind these visceral reactions and consulted a professor of psychology from the University of Alabama. According to the expert, the distorted perspective in the visualizations contributes to the feeling that everything that should be spread across 365 meters has been haphazardly piled together. The ship appears shorter and less stable than it is, and the concentration of amenities appears overwhelming. The vivid, candy-colored palette only adds to the toy-like appearance, making it seem ill-equipped to handle the ocean’s waves. Moreover, the fact that the Icon Of The Seas has a displacement five times greater than the Titanic raises concerns about potential catastrophic events. Finally, for claustrophobes, the sight of such a massive vessel can trigger panic as they envision themselves trapped in its labyrinthine passages.
A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean countered the criticism, highlighting that the project has, in fact, garnered an enthusiastic response. Some cruises have already sold out completely, with prices starting at $2000 per person for a week-long voyage. It is projected that the Icon Of The Seas could generate $10 million in revenue weekly, a figure that bodes well for the project’s swift financial return. Barring any unforeseen epidemics, the future could indeed hold a lucrative trajectory for this mammoth venture.