Malala Yousafzai Christens Celebrity Edge at Port Everglades

The Celebrity Edge was officially christened during a Tuesday ceremony pierside in Port Everglades by godmother Malala Yousafzai.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Yousafzai was joined by all on board to “bless this ship and all those who sail upon her.”

The naming event brought together more than 3,000 guests, employees, crew members and students to commemorate the debut of Celebrity’s first new ship in six years and first new ship series in more than a decade.

“We are honoured that Malala agreed to be the godmother of this ship, a role that reflects centuries of maritime traditions,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Celebrity’s parent company. “We are especially proud because Malala’s example of relentless persistence and achievement is an inspiration to our crew, who have all worked so hard and made real sacrifices to build better lives for themselves and their families.”

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, added: “I am so very proud to have Malala Yousafzai as the godmother of Celebrity Edge. Malala embodies our commitment to opening the world through education and gender equality. Seeing her aboard our ship sends a powerful message to our crew who represent over 70 diverse nationalities, and our guests who we sail all over the world. The ceremony today was both touching and symbolic of what Celebrity Cruises stands for. I am grateful to Malala, her family and Malala Fund for embracing today’s events and look forward to continuing our work together around the world.”

“I’m fighting to ensure millions of girls stuck in situations of poverty or war that they didn’t create can learn what they need to choose a future for themselves. But to continue making progress for girls’ education, we need support from leaders in every sector. I am so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for their generous support and investment in the potential of girls everywhere,” said Malala Yousafzai, co-founder of Malala Fund.

Photo: From left: Richard D. Fain, Malala Yousafzai, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Capt. Costas Nestoroudis, christen Celebrity Edge at the ship’s Naming Ceremony.

In an intricate spectacle, Harmony of the Seas christened

From left, Harmony of the Seas captain Gus Andersson, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley and ship godmother Brittany Affolter.

FORT LAUDERDALE — Royal Caribbean International turned the Harmony of the Seas naming ceremony into a technology demonstration, using its robotic bartenders as part of the process.

The ship was christened at Port Everglades by Brittany Affolter, a 23-year-old Teach for America educator in Miami who won a contest for teachers that drew over 1,000 nominees.

Far from a typical christening, Royal Caribbean cooked up a Rube Goldberg-style procedure that started with Affolter and Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain on stage in the ship’s open-air Aqua Theater.

An aerialist descended from above on guide wires with a button to activate the process. When Affolter pressed the button, it sent a signal to the robot, which did a spin and punched a second button, which then released a bottle of champagne rigged to the ship’s zipline.

A 3-foot bottle of champagne smashes into the Harmony of the Seas.
A 3-foot bottle of champagne smashes into the Harmony of the Seas. 

The bottle, a 3-foot tall sovereign custom-made for Royal Caribbean by Veuve Clicquot, then whizzed down the zipline course and crashed into a steel nameplate above the ship’s pool deck.

Back at the Aqua Theater, a blizzard of blue confetti was unleashed and singer Jon Secada, who once performed on Royal Caribbean ships, gave a concert.

Witnessing all of the festivities via a giant TV screen in the ship’s Studio B ice skating arena were 500 travel agents from Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld conference, who were invited to participate in a launch viewing party onboard.

The Harmony entered service last May and spent its first few months sailing in Europe. It arrived in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month, and will sail seven-night Caribbean voyages from the port.

The finishing touches

We’ve put the finishing touches to the brand new livery on the newest ship in our fleet; Britannia. She’s the largest ship built for Britain and will be officially named in her glittering naming ceremony in Southampton in March 2015.

The bold new look on the bow features the world’s largest contemporary version of the Union Flag, which required huge volumes of paint! In total, we needed 280 litres of red paint , 40 litres red for the shadow, 80 litres of blue, 20 litres of blue for the shadow and 160 litres for the big logo of P&O Cruises on the front of the bow.

Britannia will also have two distinctive blue funnels carrying an illuminated rising sun motif, which depicts the Oriental part of the Peninsular and Oriental (P&O) name on our coat of arms.

When working to full capacity, Britannia’s four engines will generate 62.4 Megawatts or 84,000 horsepower which is equivalent to the power generated by 168 supercars, allowing the 141,000 ton ship to cruise at a speed of 22 knots.