The ceremony featured Dr Lucille O’Neal pouring champagne over the traditional ship’s bell
Carnival Cruise Line christened its newest ship, Carnival Radiance, on 12 December 2021 in Long Beach, California, USA. Philanthropist and author Dr Lucille O’Neal was present as godmother and was joined by her son Shaquille O’Neal, the chief fun officer at Carnival.
The naming ceremony began with a “We are family” video that showcased crew members preparing Carnival Radiance for her guests. Then, Lucille and Shaquille poured champagne over the traditional ship’s bell and watched a gospel rendition of “We are family”, performed by the City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir from Gardena, California.
Carnival Radiance, previously known as Carnival Victory, underwent a $200 million renovation to improve onboard experience facilities including new restaurants and bars, a water park, youth facilities, retail shops, a spa and production shows.
“Carnival Radiance features all of Carnival’s fan favourites and more, so we are beyond excited to finally welcome her to the West Coast and to our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “And having Shaq’s mom, Lucille, an accomplished speaker who donates her time and talent to a wide range of charitable organisations as the ship’s godmother has made it even more special.”
Duffy presented Lucille with a $25,000 donation to the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund , which provides financial support to students seeking careers in nursing and education. The donation also honoured the lifetime accomplishments of Lucille’s mother who worked as a medical nurse.
“What a special evening it was to celebrate the debut of Carnival Radiance with my son by my side in what truly felt like a “We Are Family” event,” said Lucille. “It has been such a pleasure to be included in these exciting festivities, so I can only imagine how incredible it will be for guests to sail aboard this spectacular ship – they’re going to love it.”
Carnival Radiance left the Port of Long Beach for her inaugural four-day cruise on 13 December 2021. Joining Carnival Panorama and Carnival Miracle on the US West Coast, she will make year-round trips to destinations such as Ensenada, Mexico, and Santa Catalina Island, California.