This is iconic.
Ahead of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas — the world’s largest cruise ship measuring 1,198 feet and weighing 250,800 tonnes — setting sail with passengers on board, one crew member is documenting its journey across the Atlantic Ocean from Cadiz, Spain, to Miami, marking the first time it will be in the US.
Erica — better known as @ericafromamerica on TikTok — has shared footage of the holiday festivities from the passenger-less ship and from the underbelly of the vessel as the finishing touches were applied to the Icon, which is five times larger than the Titanic.
“This will actually be my sixth time crossing the Atlantic Ocean, which I’m super grateful for,” Eric said in the first installment of her Icon of the Seas TikTok series, which began on Dec. 17.
“Taking out the world’s largest cruise ship is a big deal,” she added in another video.
The crew — which Erica estimates is comprised of 1,000 people — got to enjoy Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations aboard the cruise ship, which involved a visit from Santa Claus and lavish dinners.
They even get to test out the passenger suites, play laser tag and mini golf and even eat at the ship’s more than 20 dining experiences, including an “amazing” meal at the on-board restaurant Izumi.
“Of course the venues need to make sure they’re ready for guests when they open,” she said in a video that boasted the perks of having the “world’s largest cruise ship all to ourselves.”
The 20-deck ship, which took 900 days to construct and is slated to set sail from Florida on Jan. 27, has the capacity for 5,610 guests and 2,350 crew members, according to CNN.
Icon of the Seas is also home to seven pools, eight “neighborhoods” and the largest waterpark in the ocean, which is equipped with the tallest waterslide on the open sea. As of Friday, the average ticket price for a seven-day stay on board in the Eastern Caribbean is approximately $1,749 for an interior room, $1,994 for an exterior view room, $2,341 for a room with a balcony and $3,359 for a suite.
“We are positioning it as the ultimate family vacation and when you step back and look at all the energy and time that has gone into creating this ship it is mind-blowing,” Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International president and chief executive, said in a statement.
But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the behemoth vessel, which was labeled a “monstrosity” last summer and likened to the buzz around the ill-fated Titanic. Critics branded the highly anticipated cruise as “hellish” and “a nightmare.”
The crew, however, seemed to be living their best lives aboard the Icon; Erica, for one, said being a port and shopping guide on a cruise ship is the “coolest job.” The on-board occupation, she explained online, allows people to showcase their personalities, connect with guests, socialize, gain “a family” onboard, travel the world and get paid for all of it.
“Now I know that this is a dream for a lot of you out there, but you really do get to travel the world and get to experience some of the most beautiful places on Earth while making money being a port and shopping guide,” Erica said.