Lucille and Shaquille O'Neal will both attend the christening ceremony in Long Beach, California, this December
Author and philanthropist Dr. Lucille O’Neal has been chosen as godmother for Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Radiance, which will debut in December after a $200 million bow-to-stern transformation.
O’Neal, who is the mother of basketball player and Carnival Cruise Line’s chief fun officer Shaquille O’Neal, works with multiple charitable organisations and established the Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity on the campus of Bethune Cookman University in honour of her late mother. She focuses on health disparities, social determinants of health, and social justice.
“Lucille’s long-standing commitment to caring for others is a reflection of what we look for in a godmother and as the mother of our amazing chief fun officer Shaquille O’Neal, we also know she’s got some fun in her DNA so she’s the perfect choice for godmother of this beautiful ship,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
In her role as godmother, O’Neal will be responsible for blessing Carnival Radiance during the invitation-only christening ceremony, which will be held in Long Beach, California, before the ship’s inaugural cruise on 13 December. O’Neal will also join her son to officially open his Big Chicken restaurant onboard the ship. It will be his second restaurant at sea and will serve dishes based on his family’s recipes.
“When Shaquille was named chief fun officer a couple of years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be named godmother of a cruise ship,” said O’Neal. “To think that my name will be forever associated with Carnival Radiance and that I’m joining other esteemed women who have served as a Carnival godmother is truly an honour.”
Carnival Radiance, which formerly sailed as Carnival Victory, was completely overhauled during her renovation and now features multiple new onboard offerings. They include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by TV chef Guy Fieri, the Heroes Tribute Bar, Italian restaurant Cucina del Capitano, Bonsai Sushi restaurant, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub and the new Liquid Lounge, which will showcase Carnival’s Playlist Productions shows. The vessel’s public spaces have all been reimagined too.
The vessel will homeport at Long Beach and sail three-day itineraries to Ensenada, Mexico, and four-day voyages to Ensenada and Catalina Island.
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