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Trip March 13th, 2008 01:37 PM

Godmothers of Ships
Since there has been a couple posts about Godmother of cruise ships lately, thought I would take a google, to see who they were. Here is some interesting info. Some choices, to me at least are, "are you kidding me?"

New-ship 'christenings' and naming ceremonies epitomize the glamour of cruising
Monarchs and heads of state have had the honor, as have legendary actresses of the stage and screen, world-class athletes, comedians, astronauts and even an animated film character. Traditionally, ships were "christened" - or named - by "godmothers" who launched the ships from their building blocks into the sea for the very first time. To mark these occasions, bottles of champagne or sparkling wine were broken against the ship's hull.

These ceremonies were - and are - meant to bring good luck to the ship and those who sail on it.

Royal Caribbean International, through a partnership with NBC's Today show, launched a national search for the godmother of its new Freedom of the Seas. The winner, Katherine Calder of Oregon, has served as a foster mother to over 400 children. Other godmothers have included Queen Sonja of Norway, Lauren Bacall, Whoopi Goldberg, Gloria Estefan and former first lady, Rosalynn Carter.

Holland America Line has capitalized on its Dutch heritage with Princess Margriet of The Netherlands christening three of its ships. Tennis great Chris Evert has served as godmother, as has broadcaster Joan Lunden. Famous actress godmothers have included June Allyson, Debbie Reynolds, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and actress Marlee Matlin, who did the honor for Noordam in February 2006.

It took British actress Dame Judi Dench three attempts to smash a bottle of champagne against the hull of Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Legend. In her last attempt, she soaked herself, earning the nickname Dame Judi Drench. Actress Mira Sorvino, Newswomen Paula Zahn and Katie Couric, retired Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch and astronauts Tamara Jernigan and Sally Ride have been godmothers.

Patricia Barrett Carpenter, wife of astronaut Scott Carpenter, christened Celebrity Cruises' aptly named Mercury. Robyn Roux, wife of the line's Michelin-starred culinary consultant, master chef Michel Roux, christened Millennium. Godmothers have also included Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen and Jean Marie Arneberg, wives of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., board members, of which Celebrity is a unit. They are named Summit and Constellation, respectively.

Melania Trump, wife of Donald Trump; actress Kim Cattrall of "Sex in the City;" Brooke Burke of E! Entertainment Network; and 2002 Miss America Angela Baraquio have named NCL ships. Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Labor, christened Pride of America and Margaret Inouye, wife of Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye, named Pride of Aloha, both of which sail for NCL America.

The godmother of Disney Cruise Line's first ship, Disney Magic, was Patty Disney, wife of Roy Disney, who is the nephew of Walt Disney. Tinker Bell christened Disney Wonder, marking the first time an animated character was named as a godmother. She not only released the bottle of champagne against the hull but also sprinkled pixie dust on the ship.

Godmothers for Seabourn Cruise Line's fleet of ultra-luxury yachts include none other than "America's Sweetheart," child star Shirley Temple Black, who christened Seabourn Pride. Seabourn Spirit was christened by Aagot Brynestad, mother of Seabourn's founder, Atle Brynestad. Sister ship Seabourn Legend, which briefly sailed as both the Royal Viking Queen and Queen Odyssey, was renamed by Atle Brynestad's wife Linn.

For its part, Crystal Cruises chose legendary actresses as godmothers. Acclaimed singer and actress Dame Julie Andrews served as Crystal Serenity's godmother at a Southampton, England, ceremony in 2004. Angela Lansbury had the honor of christening Crystal Symphony in 1995. In 1990, Mary Tyler Moore named the line's Crystal Harmony, which has since been transferred to parent company NYK Line.

Cunard Line's QE2 and Queen Mary 2 were named by Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty used the same pair of gold scissors at QE2's christening as her mother and grandmother used for Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Cunard traditionally used sparking wine, but for Queen Mary 2 used Veuve Clicquot Champagne to celebrate a partnership with the venerable wine maker.


Legendary Italian film star Sophia Loren christened MSC Musica in Venice. Ms. Loren, who personifies Italian beauty, elegance and style, also is godmother of MSC Lirica and MSC Opera and acts as an official spokeswoman for MSC Cruises worldwide, reflecting the cruise line's identity as "Beautiful. Passionate. Italian."

Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Voyager was christened in Monaco, with His Royal Highness Prince Albert in attendance. Barbara Carlson Gage of Carlson Companies, which owns the line, was godmother. Maria Gauguin, great granddaughter of the famous painter, was on hand for Paul Gauguin christening ceremonies, while Carole Poylo, a relative of the ship's owner, Jean-Marc Poylo, christened the ship.



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