Is Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship Really Sustainable?

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On Tuesday, in a ceremony that, of course, involved a soccer ball, the Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi pressed a button and a bottle of champagne smashed against the bow of Icon of the Seas, christening the world’s largest cruise ship at its home port of Miami. Like an A-list celebrity stepping onto the red carpet, the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s 250,800-ton ship has captured the world’s attention, with some marveling over its cutting-edge features, like the largest water park at sea, while others criticize the gigantic ship’s potential to damage the environment.

With the capacity to carry nearly 8,000 people, the 20-deck, 1,198-foot-long vessel — whose inaugural cruise with paying passengers departs Jan. 27 — is the size of a small city. There are eight “neighborhoods” packed with amenities that include a 55-foot waterfall, six water slides and more than 40 restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

According to Royal Caribbean, the ship, which is registered in the Bahamas, also sets a new standard for sustainability with the use of energy-efficient technology designed to minimize the ship’s carbon footprint and move closer to the company’s goal of introducing a net-zero ship by 2035.

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Is Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas Cruise Ship Really Sustainable?

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