Southampton, England – Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship – Celebrity Equinox – was officially named in a ceremony held in the ship’s theater.
After buglers and a bagpipe and drum corps opened the ceremony, followed by a piano rendition of the Beatles’ classic “Here Comes the Sun,” Richard D. Fain, chairman of Celebrity Cruises and chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises, delivered the ceremony address. Fain praised the ship’s Godmother Nina Barough, CBE (Commander of the British Empire), and founder of the breast cancer charity “Walk the Walk.”
“Her story, her outspoken devotion to breast cancer causes, and her day-to-day life is a compelling example of the need to take our health and well-being seriously,” said Fain. “And all this paints a lovely picture of why we are so honored to have her as our Godmother.”
Celebrity selected Barough in recognition of her fervent devotion to raising awareness of breast cancer and her tremendous success in raising funds for the cause – $85-million to-date – through her organization’s “SunWalks” and “MoonWalks.” The four annual marathon walks in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Newcastle attract thousands of people typically clad in decorated bras – the signature apparel for most participants. After forming her organization, Barough was diagnosed with, and recovered from breast cancer also.
At today’s naming ceremony on Celebrity Equinox, in what is believed to be an industry first, Celebrity invited sister ship Celebrity Solstice’s Godmother Sharon Smith to participate. Smith took the stage by surprise to Barough, and both joined Fain to cut the ribbon – symbolically, pink, in recognition of breast cancer causes. The ribbon threaded through the ship, ultimately releasing a large bottle of champagne that crashed against the stack atop the ship, signifying the official naming of the vessel.
The bottle, too, was symbolic, as it was created by The Corning Museum of Glass, with whom Celebrity struck an alliance in 2008 to create the industry’s first glassblowing show and demonstration at sea.
Celebrity Equinox now joins Celebrity Solstice in presenting the typically standing-room-only Hot Glass Show onboard.