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Royal Caribbean will homeport Star of the Seas in Port Canaveral

30 Nov 2023
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's second Icon Class cruise ship will call Port Canaveral home.

Star of the Seas coming 2025

Star of the Seas will begin sailing in 2025 and offer cruises from the popular Central Florida port, located just an hour from Orlando.

The new bookings will go on sale on December 6, 2023.

Star of the Seas is schedule to debut in summer 2025, although its not clear yet exactly when. Royal Caribbean did not divulge when her first sailings will be.

Canaveral for Star of the Seas

Star of the Seas will be built around the same design as Icon of the Seas, so it will be approximately 250,800 gross tons and carry roughly 5,610 passengers at double occupancy (two passengers per cabin). With crew, the ship could sail with nearly 10,000 people on board.

Read more: Icon of the Seas guide and features

Following up on the already incredibly successful Icon of the Seas, Star of the Seas will be the second ship to launch and her position near Orlando is at the heart of Royal Caribbean's strategy to dominate the family vacation market.

Orlando, Florida on a map

Orlando is one of the top family vacation destinations in the world, and Royal Caribbean executives have said they intend to go after this lucrative market.

"The Icon product, along with Perfect Day, with the kind of experiences that we're offering, with the kind of new accommodations that we have on Icon and the experiences that we have for young families, older families and of course couples and singles and what have you, is really squarely standing shoulder to shoulder with Orlando and those kind of destinations," said Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley in 2022 call with investors.

Mr. Bayley sees the Royal Caribbean International brand being more "aggressive" with how it competes with the Orlando attractions, "And what we're beginning to see is us moving certainly the Royal brand into that space far more aggressively."

"We're really focusing on this target market, which is family and of course has many new neighborhoods, including a neighborhood called Surfside, which is absolutely focused on young families and those young families with children six and under travel all year round, because obviously parents can pull their kids out of pre-K."

A game changing ship

Icon of the Seas bow

Icon of the Seas hasn't started sailing yet, but the market has met it with eager anticipation.

Sales for Icon have blown past the cruise line's expectations, and it's selling faster than any new ship has in the past.

It's about 6% larger than the Oasis Class ships and has two more decks than them too.

Aquadome on Icon of the Seas

The vessel has a groundbreaking indoor AquaTheater beneath an expansive glass dome, a designated area specifically designed for young families, an increased selection of family-centric accommodations (including a unique three-story Ultimate Family Townhouse), a cantilevered infinity pool, and an onboard water park featuring six slides.

Additionally, passengers can enjoy a swim-up bar, an extended suite enclave, and a novel supper club, enhancing the overall experience on board.

It's likely Star of the Seas will have differences, given that Royal Caribbean usually enhances each new cruise ship with changes.  It could be new restaurants, different activities, and almost certainly different shows onboard.

Icon of the Seas aerial top

Construction of the new ship began in February 2023 when the keel was laid at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

Royal Caribbean has an order for a third Icon Class ship as well, which has a delivery date in 2026. All three of these ships were ordered and financed prior to 2020.


Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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