What does Queen Latifa and Queen Elizabeth have in common?
....cruise ship “Godparents” are usually women, even animated ones like Tinkerbell who was named Godmother to Disney Cruise Line’s Wonder—although rapper Pitbull was selected as Godfather of Norwegian Escape. The notion of a ship godmother had its origins hundreds of years ago where ceremonial launching of seagoing vessels took place in various forms, either celebratory or religious, depending on local custom, but generally to bestow the ship and crew with well-wishes and safe travels.
Often cruise lines select celebrities for the role of christening a new ship. In addition to the aforementioned, Godmothers have included Helen Mirren, Dame Judi Dench, Sophia Loren, Whoopi Goldberg, Reba McEntire, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey and many more that are well-known to most of us. Sometimes the choice of a Godmother is associated with a cause that the cruise line chooses to support. In 2001 following the terrorism of September 11, as a tribute to New York City first responders, Royal Caribbean selected four representatives of the New York Fire and Police Departments as Godparents of Adventure of the Seas. In 2012 Celebrity Cruises
named four employees, all of whom were either survivors of breast cancer or whose mothers had breast cancer, as the Godmothers of Celebrity Reflection....
....Elizabeth heard again from Royal Caribbean. The list of potential Independence Godmothers was down to four, and Elizabeth was asked to come to the airport with her passport and a ballroom gown in a couple of days. Then the four potential godmothers were flown in a private jet in the company of Richard Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean to the Aker ship yard in Turku, Finland where the finishing touches were being applied to the dry-docked Independence. Elizabeth had flown before—though certainly not in a Lear jet—and in any event she is not a happy flier. The Godmother finalists toured the massive structure; already in a state of awe—the last several days since hearing from Royal Caribbean had been a whirlwind and she had just gotten off a Lear jet—Elizabeth was amazed taking in the sights of the massive, gorgeous structure, unlike anything she had ever seen before. After the tour the finalists then went to their suites to change into their formal outfits to attend the Independence “hand over ball,” where the Finnish shipbuilders formally convey the ship to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The ceremony was in the Independence main dining room, where the potential Godmothers and dignitaries dined at an enormous table in the center beneath a grand chandelier. After speeches and congratulatory applause, celebrations continued with music, dancing, and lots of champagbne. The following day the finalists returned to the UK and were interviewed by a panel lead by Sir Steve Redgrave....
Read the complete modern day fairytale of The Godmother:Elizabeth Hill in Chapter 4, The Joy of Cruising. Available now....