It’s an indication of the commercial importance of the collaboration between cruise line Royal Caribbean and Hollywood movie giant DreamWorks Animation that a fictional film character was chosen as the godmother for Allure of the Seas.
It took seven godmothers to name sister ship Oasis of the Seas 12 months ago; from Gloria Estefan to Olympic athletes to uber-cool British Bond-girl actress Jane Seymour.
Celebrity Cruises, a branch of RCCL, has established a tradition of inviting worthy champions of charitable causes to perform the naming ceremony on their ships – the godmothers of their last three Solstice-class vessels have all been involved in fund-raising for the fight against breast cancer.
So it must have come as a shock to some last night when at the last moment in proceedings in Allure’s Amber Theatre, Princess Fiona was called forward to do the honours, activating the smashing of a Champagne bottle with a swift karate chop.
In another nod to a commercial tie-up, the label of the bottle was designed by pop artist Romero Britto, whose creations are on sale in a gallery in the ship’s Central Park area.
The ceremony included a bagpipe-and-drums procession, the U.S. national anthem performed by international recording artist MiG Ayesa (no, me neither), and a scene from Allure’s spectacular Blue Planet show before guests in the 1,400-seat theatre donned 3D glasses to watch Fiona.
DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who sailed on Allure last week, said the decision to collaborate with Royal Caribbean – and the characters will soon be seen on ships other than Allure – was an opportunity to offer passengers something they have never experienced before.
Little did the guests at the naming ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida realise that meant Princess Fiona, from the animated film Shrek and voiced by Cameron Diaz, would be taking the central role.
Picture shows Princess Fiona with, from left, Royal Caribbean’s Adam Goldstein and Richard Fain, and Allure of the Seas’ captain, Hernan Zini