Sky Princess, the fourth Royal-class ship to join the Princess Cruises fleet, was officially christened today in Port Everglades, Florida. The special event’s theme was “Reach For The Sky” as the achievements of two very special women were spotlighted.
Reaching For The Sky
Generally speaking, cruise lines announce well in advance the name of a ship’s godmother. It is she (or, in the case of Regal Princess, they, as the cast of The Love Boat filled the position) who unofficially presides over the christening and naming ceremony. But heading into today’s ceremony, no name had yet been revealed.
Although some on the internet named second officer Kerry Ann Wright as the godmother, she was, in fact, the ship’s Madrina, personally chosen by Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. And while there are similarities between the two positions, they are not actually interchangeable.
Ultimately, it turned out that the ship would have co-godmothers in Poppy Northcutt, a NASA Engineer and civil rights attorney, and Captain Kay Hire, NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Aviator. “As we celebrate our newest, most technologically advanced ship — one whose spirit of adventure and discovery match the grandeur of her name, Sky Princess — we also applaud the groundbreaking women of the U.S. Space Program,” said Swartz. The godmothers, she added, “remind us all of what we can achieve when we reach for the sky.”
The christening had two hosts, with Jill Whelan (best remembered for playing Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki, on The Love Boat) and Sky Princess’ cruise director, Alexander Yepremian, serving as mistress and master of ceremonies, respectively.
The ceremony itself included, of course, the breaking of a bottle of champagne and the recitation of the traditional cruise ship blessing. Afterwards, there were musical numbers, including a performance of the stirring anthem This Is Me (from the movie The Greatest Showman), which will be featured in the new-to-Princess production, Rock On.
Where The Ship Will Sail
It’s been just under four years since the ship was ordered, and two years since it was announced that her name would be Sky Princess, in honor of the similarly-named vessel which had been a part of the Princess fleet from 1988 until 2000. (After being sold and sailing under several other names, the original Sky Princess was scrapped back in 2013.)
Sky Princess is the first vessel which was designed, from start to finish, as a Princess MedallionClass ship. (And if you’re thinking, “Wait, didn’t you say earlier this is a Royal Class ship, you’re not wrong. MedallionClass is a separate designation bestowed upon any ship in the fleet which is equipped with the ability to use the OceanMedallion technology.)
One of the must buzzed about features of the ship is the new Sky Suites, which feature the largest balconies at sea and their own personal “Suite Experience Manager,” whose job is, essentially, to cater to every whim of the guests lucky enough to book once of these amazing staterooms. The ship also features Take 5, which they’re billing as “the only jazz theater” at sea.
Back in October of this year, the ship had her inaugural sailing, a 7-day journey between Athens and Barcelona. After several Mediterranean voyages, she made her way to Port Everglades in order to be officially christened. Now, she’ll spend the winter sailing out of Fort Lauderdale.