It's hard to imagine what the Queen of England, Whoopi Goldberg, a foster mom, Martha Stewart and Tinkerbell have in common -- until you realize that they are all godmothers of cruise ships. Her Royal Highness, a felon and a fairy. Who would have guessed?
The rituals surrounding the launch of a new ship date back to ancient times, when sacrificial human blood was used to bless a ship, and the rites were performed by pagan priests. In modern times, female royalty was selected to do the honors, and the christening liquid of choice became Champagne. In today's age of 24-hour news, instant celebrity and paparazzi, actresses, models, businesswomen, philanthropists, astronauts, politicians, athletes and newswomen have been chosen for the role.
Beyond bottle smashing duties, the requisite photo ops and attending the launch festivities, godmothers don't really take much of a role with their godships. You're not likely to cruise on Holland America's Zaandam with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen anytime soon, nor will you see Michelle Kwan starring in Oasis of the Seas' next ice skating show. The high-profile picks seem to be more of a publicity stunt, for both the celebs and the cruise line, than anything else.
And yet we still love guessing who each line will pick for its newest ship, debating whether the ship's leading lady fits its personality, and watching the star-studded send-off for each new vessel. In that spirit, Cruise Critic's editorial staff has each volunteered his or her personal favorite godmother...and a few we could do without.