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Why the Icon of the Seas cruise ship is dividing the Internet

Why the Icon of the Seas cruise ship is dividing the Internet

(CNN) – The largest cruise ship in the world has not yet taken a single passenger on board, but it is already causing a stir on the Internet.

Icon of the Seas, which has just completed its first series of sea trials to prepare for its maiden voyage in January 2024, has some impressive credentials: 365 meters long (96 more than the Titanic), 48 meters wide, 20 total shells and a maximum capacity of nearly 10,000 person between the passengers and the flight crew.

But when you picture her back section went viral In July, opinion polarized, drawing emotional responses from all sides. The artist’s impression showed the fully loaded ship in vibrant colours, highlighting its massive water park with record-breaking slides, conveying the ship’s extraordinary size and density.

Not everyone found it an enchanting vision of fun and relaxation on the high seas. It has been described as “brutality”And “a pile of decay” And one user suggested it would be better to name it Disease symbol. They shot him “intricately corny and corny” And compare them with “Falling into Wal-Mart’s Floating Cart” also “Barely balanced stack of full-food plates: chaotic, chaotic, and possibly unstable”.

Many have compared it to visions of hell, and one commentator, A parallel with Hieronymus Bosch, Dutch Renaissance artist known for his intricate scenes. Another offered a more modern cultural reference, saying the ship is like a Candy Crush version of the dystopian underworld of “silo”a TV show in which humanity survives the apocalypse by retreating into an underground city hundreds of levels deep.

But what is it that causes such strong feelings in the picture?

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Perspective trick?

“I, too, found the depiction oddly unusual,” Tom Davis, a professor of psychology at the University of Alabama, told CNN. “On closer look, I think the haunting nature is an interesting mix of perspective. Selected art and post-pandemic training for personal space.” And the dimension that was instilled in all of us.”

Davis claims that the fact that it is a charade rather than an actual photo plays an important role. “It almost gives the impression of a short, overstacked ship sailing over rough seas, but it may actually be a trick of perspective, as the actual ship appears to be three or four times as long as I have an idea looking down on the rendering.” Pictures I saw on file The profile gives a more reasonable idea, I think, of height in context with overall length.”

Davis adds that the reaction can be due to many variables, including personal anxiety and phobias, as well as personal experiences with resorts and cruise ships. “For some, a ship of this size with so much on board means non-stop fun and activity and without boredom. For others, they may have never been on a cruise before and think it’s hard to take them all in at once,” he says.

“The choice will depend on the individual’s experience and personality: Is fear of social situations, open water or confined spaces a problem? Then this image will evoke memories of all kinds, from virus news to movies like Jaws, The Poseidon Adventure and Titanic”.

“For others, their experiences with cruise ships and many successful trips provide healing information that leads them to see things differently.”

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According to Adam Cox, psychologist and phobia expert, the popular description of the icon of the seas as “five times bigger” than the Titanic might suggest the idea of ​​a potential major disaster. Even after the recent submarine tragedy [de exploración] Titanic. This arouses the desire for protection to avoid a similar tragedy.”

The levels of the ship also create a sense of claustrophobia for some people, he continues, because they will see the ship as a place where thousands of people are stuck, rather than enjoying a sea vacation. “For others,” he adds, “the loud colors make the ship look like a toy, creating safety concerns that wouldn’t exist if the ship had more neutral colors.”

The ship will house the world’s largest water park at sea. Credit: Royal Caribbean International

Money machine

Jonathan Abramovitz, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thinks the picture is overwhelming and confusing: “Maybe it’s the idea of ​​so many things happening at once and the fact that it’s all going overboard, with nowhere to go if there’s some kind of emergency.”

But Ross Klein, a sociologist at Memorial University of Newfoundland and expert on cruise ships, says the ship’s design is a natural evolution for Royal Caribbean, the Miami-based shipping company that owns the ship. “It’s a bit comical, something of a mystical feel. But it’s an extension of where they’ve gone in the last 25 years with their ship design.”

He believes the reactions are mostly based on past cruise experience. “I think Royal Caribbean fans are going to look at it and say, ‘Wow, something new! This is so exciting, I can’t wait to get out there and see what’s going on in there! “

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“But people who don’t sail, or people who maybe like a different style of sailing, like smaller ships, super-luxury ships, or even something in between, will see this as an eyesore and say, ‘Why would you want that?'”.

Cruise expert Stewart Chiron agrees. “Images of Royal Caribbean ships have often elicited strong reactions. The negative responses to Icon of the Sea clearly came from guests who are not on cruises. The current image is very colorful and shows a ship with many options. The positive responses far outweigh the others.”, ” It is to explain.

Contacted by CNN, a Royal Caribbean spokesperson would not comment on the reaction to this specific photo, but said that since the reveal of the icon of the seas in October 2022, there has been an “incredible reaction,” which led to the week of the highest-volume bookings in history. The company when opening sales.

With some sails already selling out and prices starting at around $2,000 per person for a seven-day cruise, the ship is likely to become a money machine, according to Ross Klein. “Royal Caribbean is known for going over 100% capacity on their ships. Part of that is they give people something they want to board, and spend a lot of money once they get there. This ship will raise $10 million a week.”