Making an Icon: Trailer for cruise ship building docu-series
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Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean’s Vice President of EMEA, shared some of the latest news from the brand. He told Express.co.uk what makes Icon of the Seas so special and which cruise cabins people will have to move fast to secure.
Royal Caribbean put the tickets on sale for Icon of the Seas’ first voyage earlier this week and sold out almost immediately.
While the ship has plenty of amazing new features for everyone, it also has some incredible new suites for high-end customers.
Ben said: “The luxury cabins are some of the hardest categories to find space in. It goes very, very quickly.
“I think the trend started with the Ultimate Family Suite a few years ago which we launched and frankly you can’t get hold off!
“There’s always people looking for that truly special location and space. We have some of the most enviable suite space on any ship.”
Icon of the Seas’ brand new Ultimate Family Townhouse has three amazing levels of living space.
Ben said the brand has seen more families travelling as several generations, often with grandparents as well.
He said: “I think as families look to reconnect, people value time together more than they ever did.
“Maybe they took it for granted in the past but I don’t think they will moving forward. We’ve seen a lot more interest this year from big family groups.”
Icon of the Seas will be the brand’s largest ship taking over from Wonder of the Seas which previously held the title.
“One person told me ‘I don’t think I would ever get off this’. There is so much to do. If you’re going for a week you simply won’t do it, even if you don’t get off it at all,” said Ben.
He added: “The reality is if you want to stay and have the ultimate combination of thrill and chill, you can with great food, dining options and entertainment.
“But I think the ability of cruises is to take you around the world to see places you might not have considered going.
“It gives you a bite size experience to try a whole host of different locations that you can visit either later or at a different time.”
But the cruise industry is facing several challenges, not least protests against the ships in several popular destinations.
Barcelona is planning to increase tourist taxes on cruise guests while Venice has banned the ships altogether.
Ben said: “We spend a lot of time and a lot of resources working very closely with communities and the destinations we visit to ensure that we visit them in the most sustainable fashion.
“We want to be respectful of communities and add genuine economic value to the locations we go to.
“But at any given time, there are pockets of concern that arise. We work very quickly to try and appease that concern and find solutions that work for all parties.
“We also have the benefit of operating globally and have a really wide array of destinations.”
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