Royal Caribbean slammed over viral image of its new Icon of the Seas mega-ship: ‘I can’t imagine anything worse’

Reddit was recently shaken by an image of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, which will be the world’s largest cruise ship when it sets sail in January 2024.

The post first appeared in a subreddit for general interesting topics, but it was quickly picked up by r/Anticonsumption, a community whose tagline is simply “consumerism kills.” The subreddit’s members believe in buying fewer things, consuming fewer resources, and being less wasteful in general; this helps to save money, simplify lives, and protect the environment from the effects of endlessly making and discarding products.

Obviously, a cruise ship designed to hold 7,600 passengers and 2,400 crew doesn’t fit that ideal.

The member who crossposted the image called it “just gross,” and many commenters agreed. “This looks dystopian,” said one user. “I’m not sure why I find it so unnerving.”

Icon of the Seas
Photo Credit: u/non-responder / Reddit

The image showed the rear of the ship, with at least 10 external deck floors visible. Pools, waterslides, sunbathing areas, bars, restaurants, tennis courts, and private balconies were all visible. The ship is essentially an entire floating hotel and resort, and not a small one, either. It’s decorated in cheerful colors — an image that rings false given how much pollution and waste such a huge, expensive vessel will produce (and already has produced during the ship’s construction).

According to the description, the Icon of the Seas is “five times larger and heavier than the Titanic, 20 deck floors tall, with more than 40 bars/restaurants, bowling alleys, and live music & circus performances.” Passengers willing to pay the high cost of admission will have plenty of entertainment to enjoy.

Unfortunately, that entertainment has a price beyond just being expensive for passengers. Cruise ships are some of the biggest polluters in the world, with a single company’s cruise lines producing more sulfur pollution than all the cars in Europe. According to Love to Know, the average large cruise ship burns 250 tons of fuel each day — spewing pollution of many kinds, including heat-trapping gases that warm up the planet.

They also have several drawbacks in terms of travel experiences, such as a lack of freedom and the size of the crowd. “As an introvert, this looks like my worst nightmare,” one user pointed out in a comment.

“Yeah, I can’t imagine anything worse to do on your vacation,” another user agreed.

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