• Cheers to 25 years: Celebrate with Us!
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
Lindblad Christens New Expedition Cruise Ship, National Geographic Venture
First-Ever Cruise Ship Godfamily Christens Symphony of the Seas in Miami
Royal Caribbean Christens Symphony of the Seas (Photo: Gina Kramer/Cruise Critic)

First-Ever Cruise Ship Godfamily Christens Symphony of the Seas in Miami

First-Ever Cruise Ship Godfamily Christens Symphony of the Seas in Miami
Royal Caribbean Christens Symphony of the Seas (Photo: Gina Kramer/Cruise Critic)

November 16, 2018

Gina Kramer
Contributor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

(8:45 p.m. EST) -- With the smash of a Champagne bottle, TV and movie stars Carlos and Alexa PenaVega, alongside their 23-month old son, today christened Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas as the industry's first-ever godfamily.

The ceremony was held alongside the ship while it was docked in its new homeport of Miami, in front of an audience that included Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s chairman and CEO, Richard Fain; Royal Caribbean International's president and CEO, Michael Bayley; the ship's captain, Rob Hempstead; and a small group of media and travel agents. It was the first time in 19 years Royal Caribbean christened a ship in line with maritime tradition, by releasing the bottle against the ship's hull, as opposed to a venue onboard.

Alexa, who plays Carmen Cortez in the "Spy Kids" film series, and Carlos, best known for his roles in various Nickelodeon TV shows, are self-proclaimed Royal Caribbean cruisers who Bayley described as being a perfect fit for the ship. "I knew upon meeting the PenaVegas that they were not only typical of so many of our passionate and loyal guests, but they also have that special something just like Symphony of the Seas."

Before the PenaVegas christened the ship, host Nick Weir, Royal Caribbean's senior VP of entertainment, introduced a handful of special guests. Among them were the cast of Symphony of the Seas' "Hairspray" production show, who kicked off the ceremony with a cover of Clean Bandit's "Symphony," and Louise Marshall, piper to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, who treated the audience to a solo bagpipes performance before joining the Police Pipe and Drum Corps of Florida.

The entertainment followed with the "Hairspray" cast's rendition of the U.S. National Anthem, as well as blessings from Pastor Dan Bailey and Rabbi Jeremy Barras. But it wasn't over just yet. The local Miami Southridge Senior High school's marching band took the stage shortly after, putting on a show that eventually ended in a standing ovation.

Featured Videos

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour - Ship Exterior

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour - Ship Exterior

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises! (VIDEO)

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises! (VIDEO)

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Video: Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Video: Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Highlights

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Highlights

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour

Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas

Greased Lightnin'  Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Greased Lightnin' Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade

Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action

Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour   Main Dining Room

Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour Main Dining Room

Fain concluded the pre-christening series of events by highlighting what makes the ship stand out from its sisters Oasis, Allure and Harmony of the Seas, and praising the Royal Caribbean crew.

"Symphony of the Seas really does exemplify our mantra of continuous improvement in an outstanding way," said Fain. "Even though this is the fourth ship in the series, Michael and his team absolutely refused to build a carbon copy. They were determined to take something that was already pretty great and make it even more special."

Unique features found on Symphony of the Seas include a laser tag arena, new restaurants Hooked and El Loco Fresh, a sports bar and arcade, and improved fuel efficiency built into the ship's design.

"Before I leave the stage, I'd like to give a shout out to the very best part of the ship -- the very best part of any ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet -- the men and the woman of the crew that take the ship and turn it into something really special."

The ship was officially christened when the PenaVegas stood on stage and pushed a button, prompting the release of the Champagne bottle that soared over the audience before smashing into the ship's hull. Confetti poured from the sky as rain began to fall, after holding out until the very end of the ceremony, making for what Fain called a "perfect night."

Symphony of the Seas launched in April 2018 as one of the world's biggest cruise ships alongside Oasis, Allure and Harmony of the Seas. The 5,518-passenger (6,680 total) ship spent its inaugural season sailing in Europe before making its way to Miami, where it will offer year-round Bahamas and Caribbean cruises.

Cruisers booked on Symphony of the Seas will board the ship at its new terminal in PortMiami, which Royal Caribbean unveiled in early November.

Take a virtual tour of Symphony of the Seas.

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Busy Weekend For Cruise Restarts, As More Ships Leave U.S. Ports
5
Norwegian Cruise News: Norwegian Jade Sets Sail From Athens, Marking Line's Return; New Homeport Announced
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

We have updated the Cruise Critic Privacy and Cookie Statement effective on October 1, 2020. Please click here for more information.