(5:30 p.m. EDT) -- Amid a crowd of journalists, photographers and members of the military, Carnival Vista, Carnival Cruise Line's newest and largest ship, was christened today at Manhattan's Pier 88 in New York City.
During the ceremony, which kicked off with a prayer, Godmother Deshauna Barber, the first member of the military to be crowned Miss USA, spilled a bottle of Champagne over a bell bearing the ship's name. Simultaneously, a bottle of Champagne was smashed against the ship's hull.
Launched in mid-2016, the 3,936-passenger ship -- which boasts its own microbrewery, an aerial bicycle-style ride and the first IMAX theater at sea -- spent nearly six months sailing Mediterranean itineraries before making a pit-stop in New York, where it docked for two nights for the christening.
As part of today's festivities, Carnival also hosted hundreds of members of the armed forces and their families, who enjoyed an onboard concert by pop-country recording artist Carrie Underwood via a partnership with Operation Homefront, an organization that raises money for military families.
"As a mother, I know how precious those [family] moments are," Underwood said during a press event earlier in the day. "When you're on vacation, it's all about making memories."
"The sacrifices that soldiers make, there's no way to put that into words," Barber said, thanking Carnival -- a line with which she has cruised in the past -- for bringing military families together and noting that her father, mother, brother and sister are also in the military. "There were a lot of missed Christmases and missed birthdays."
Barber's speech left the crowd misty-eyed and then in stitches when she stumbled over the second line of the ship's naming.
"I've been memorizing this all day," Barber said. "Let us pay tribute to this centuries-old maritime tradition .... I totally forgot the next line."
She quickly grabbed her script and returned to the microphone with poise to continue: "Let us pay tribute to this centuries-long maritime tradition that is intended to ensure this vessel's good fortune and safe operation. May she always have fair seas and following winds. May God bless and protect all who sail on her. I officially name this ship Carnival Vista."
Beginning on November 5, Carnival Vista will sail a pair of Carnival Journeys voyages from New York before relocating to its new Miami homeport. From there, it will offer a variety of year-round Caribbean itineraries beginning on November 27.
--By Ashley Kosciolek, Editor