Royal Caribbean's second Icon Class cruise ship will take a little bit longer to arrive.
On Tuesday, guests booked on the inaugural sailing of Star of the Seas received notification today by the cruise line that the sailing is cancelled.
The 7,600 passenger vessel was scheduled to debut on August 17, 2025 from Port Canaveral.
According to the email Royal Caribbean sent out, the ship will not be ready in time for that sailing, "after a review of the work that remains to be done, we’re unfortunately forced to delay the ship’s delivery date."
"As a result, we must cancel our inaugural 7-Night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day August 17th, 2025 sailing."
The new inaugural sailing of Star of the Seas is scheduled for August 31st, 2025.
They went on to apologize for the change in plans, "We’re truly sorry for the impact that this delay has had on your vacation plans."
Royal Caribbean did not specify exactly the reason for the delay in the new ship's delivery, but the fall out will affect those booked on the inaugural. However, it's not unheard of for a new cruise ship to be delayed because it won't be ready on time.
The cruise industry shutdown of 2020-2021 delayed the delivery of Odyssey of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, and Icon of the Seas. Other cruise lines have delayed starts too from time to time with their new ships.
Guests booked on the cancelled August 17th sailing have the choice to be automatically moved to the new Star of the Seas inaugural sailing on August 31. If selected, guests will be moved to a like-for-like stateroom onboard Star of the Seas. This excludes taxes, fees, gratuities (where applicable), and other non-cruise fare items.
Alternatively, guests can move to the Wonder of the Seas sailing departing on August 17th or the Icon of the Seas departing on August 16th. Guests' original stateroom category price will either be protected at their original cruise fare rate or reduced to the current cruise fare rate (whichever is lower). This excludes taxes, fees, gratuities, and other non-cruise fare items.
If that's not satisfactory, guests can be moved to re-book any other Royal Caribbean International sailing, but they'll be responsible for any difference in pricing for your cruise fare, taxes, fees, gratuities, and other non-cruise fare items.
The final option is to cancel and get a full refund.
Guests must decide by March 12th, 2024 which choice they want, or they'll be automatically moved to the new Star of the Seas inaugural sailing.
Star of the Seas follows up on the tremendously positive reception the public has had for Icon of the Seas, which is the first ship in the Icon Class.
When Star does arrive, she will feature the same neighborhoods that offer lots for passengers to enjoy, including Thrill Island, Chill Island, AquaDome, and the open-air Central Park.
You can expect more than 40 ways to dine and drink, cutting-edge entertainment across the ship’s four signature stages – air, ice, water and theater – and a lineup of activities for adults, kids, teens and the whole family.
Without a doubt, Star of the Seas will have other features that will distinguish her from Icon. Royal Caribbean typically tweaks a few venues and changes up offerings to make new ships stand out from others in the class.
At 250,800 gross tons, Star won't be bigger than Icon. Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider talked on the inaugural voyage about what to expect with Star, and the Icon Class will not follow the Oasis Class trend of subsequently increasing the size of each new ship just enough to make it the biggest in the world.
Read more: Royal Caribbean ship classes ultimate guide
"That isn't the case on Icon. Star will not be a foot bigger. It will be 1198ft long. The third ship in the icon class, yet to be named publicly, will also be 1198ft long."
According to Mr. Schneider, there's no point in continuing that pattern, "We don't feel a need to do that right now. Maybe we'll change our mind. Never say never. But that isn't the design intent."
Under construction in Finland
Star of the Seas is being built at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, which is where Icon of the Seas was built, along with other ships such as Oasis and Allure of the Seas.
Star should be right around the same dimensions as Icon of the Seas, so it should be about 250,800 gross tons and carry approximately 5,610 passengers at double occupancy or up to 7,600 passengers at maximum occupancy.
When you add crew members, that brings the theoretical maximum amount of people onboard up to 10,000.
The Icon Class is a deliberate effort on Royal Caribbean's part to appeal to the family vacation market, including as many attractions as they've ever thought of in one ship.
There's still one more Icon Class cruise ship on order, due in 2026. No details have been revealed yet about Icon 3.