After a week of rumors over who'd be the godmother of Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas -- names ranged from Catherine Zeta-Jones (who appeared in the film "Chicago," which is being performed onstage onboard) to Oprah Winfrey (who chose Allure as one of her "favorite things") -- the honor went to Princess Fiona, an animated 3D character from the "Shrek" films.
Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain (pictured with RCI president and CEO Adam Goldstein, far left, and Allure Captain Hernan Zini) explained the selection in a video interview: "Everything about this ship is so different and it is so much fun to have Princess Fiona act as a godmother. It symbolizes the fact that this ship is so wild and wonderful. Why not?"
Perhaps, but it's also a convenient tie-in to the cruise line's partnership with DreamWorks, which includes parades with the characters (Shrek, Fiona, Kung Fu Panda, etc.), a "How to Train Your Dragon" ice show and the screening of 3D movies.
Cruise Critic members, many of whom were glued to the hour-plus webcast of the naming ceremony, were largely unimpressed -- and told us so on Facebook. Cindy Wright, for example, called it a "disappointing waste of time," a sentiment echoed by others. "I'm disappointed that they went with a marketing gimmick instead of someone that would have been an inspiration to others," posted Karen Bartel. Meanwhile, Amy Giomi-Bingenheimer had her own suggestion: "Would have been better going with Adam Sandler!" (Sandler is currently onboard filming "Jack & Jill," in which he plays both Jack and twin sister Jill.)
Fans included Brenda Daugherty Crabtree, who said, "I'm glad Royal named a Royal! More power to Princess Fiona! I hope to curtsy to her later this week!" And Sharktums chimed in on the CC boards: "I think it's a really cute idea that fits the ship and line perfectly."
The presentation was held Sunday the in 225,282-ton, 5,400-passenger ship's Amber Theater, and beamed throughout the ship (and into cyberspace). Following the traditional ceremony and blessings, Richard Fain asked passengers to don their 3D glasses for the big reveal. Enter Princess Fiona on the big screen, who said, "I name this ship Allure of the Seas. God bless her and all who sail on her."
With a karate chop and a "hi-ya!" Fiona hit a button to smash a bottle on the ship's hull.
Since the reveal, RCI is making a big fuss over the fact that Fiona is the "first 3D animated character" to be a godmother at sea. The operative word: 3D. Back in 1999, Disney Cruise Line was the first to give an animated character the honor when Tinkerbell named Disney Wonder.
--by Kelly Ranson, UK Editor