A Rewind on Cruise Ship Godmothers

By: Sarah Phillips Kristin1

Last week, Her Royal Highness, Princess Kate christened Royal Princess in a ceremony in historic Southampton, England.

I’ve been sailing for years, but haven’t ever given too much thought to the practice of a ship’s godmother. The tradition of naming a Godmother pretty much dates back to the beginning of shipbuilding. Ships have been christened in one way or another and for quite some time, that tradition has included naming a ship’s godmother who officially christens and blesses a new ship.

All of this got me to thinking – who else has been a ship’s godmother? I did some research and found some interesting names through the years.  Here are some of my favorite godmothers from different cruise lines:

Princess Kate isn’t the only member of the Royal Family to christen a ship. Princess Diana christened the original Royal Princess in 1984. Other godmothers for Princess liners include Margaret Thatcher, Audrey Hepburn and Ryan and Trista Sutter from The Bachelorette.

Disney Cruise Lines brings the stars to the role of godmother; Mariah Carey christened the Disney Fantasy; Jennifer Hudson welcomed the Disney Dream; Tinkerbell christened the Disney Wonder with pixie dust and champagne.

Crystal Cruise Lines has featured two of my favorite actors as godmothers; Julie Andrews christened the Crystal Serenity in 2003 and Angela Lansbury the Crystal Symphony in 1995.

Norwegian Cruise Line recently had the entire Rockettes as godmother to their new ship, Norwegian Breakaway.

Cunard, a line with a pretty posh history, can boast Queen Elizabeth II as a two-time godmother of the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary 2.

Royal Caribbean, owner of the world’s largest cruise ships, has supersized the number of godmothers too. For the launch of the Oasis of the Seas, the ship had 7 different women share the role: Shawn Johnson, Daisy Fuentes, Gloria Estefan, Michelle Kwan, Jane Seymour, Dara Torres and Keisha Knight Pulliam.  The line also paid tribute to New York City after 9/11 by having members of the FDNY and NYPD christen Adventure of the Seas.

Holland America’s featured some pretty powerful actresses as godmothers through the years: Debbie Reynolds, Marlee Martin and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Carnival has featured celebrities in the past, but switched it up more in recent years. In the past, the line’s featured Kathie Lee Gifford, Sally Ride and Marcia Gay Harden. One of their more recent ships, the Carnival Magic, boasted a St. Jude’s survivor and now employee as godmother, Lindsey Wilkerson.

What about you? Who are some of your favorite godmother choices? Who do you think would be a good godmother for some upcoming ships?

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