Multi-talented classical musician, singer and presenter Myleene Klass had a spectacular bottle-breaking “assist” from Royal Navy divers when she performed her first-ever Ship’s Godmother duties today by officially naming the 113,000 tonne Carnival Splendor - the biggest passenger ship to sail from Dover Cruise Port.
Ultra-fit Petty Officer Christian Rumming, 39, assisted by a Royal Navy dive team led by Lt Ian Richardson, 34, was underwater near the bow of the Carnival Splendor when he heard a unique radio signal from Myleene Klass, playing live, Rod Stewart’s I am Sailing on the ship’s top Lido deck. PO Rumming let out some compressed air from his diving tanks and then personally climbed, in wet suit, safety harness and flippers, a 60ft black marlin ascent rope to reach the Carnival Splendor’s name on the top of her bow.
PO Rumming then broke with tradition, for instead of French champagne, he undertook Myleene’s command and smashed against the hull a bottle of the highly acclaimed 1994 vintage Nyetimber English sparkling wine, chosen by Carnival to emphasise their selection of Britain to launch their largest and latest superliner.
Myleene Klass said, “I was really excited about launching my first-ever ship with the Carnival Splendor, and also working with the Royal Navy men who seemed to be under my command - if only for a couple of minutes! I gave PO Chris Rumming the start signal by playing I am Sailing on Carnival Splendor’s baby grand piano.”
Lt Ian Richardson of the Royal Navy Fleet Diving Squadron said, “This has to be a rather unusual assignment for my men, who are trained in deep sea marine diving and underwater bomb and mine disposal to protect our fleet, but I was always confident they would pull it off.”
Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill said, “Myleene Klass and the Royal Navy are a unique combination, and we are very honoured that they are joined forces to successfully name the Carnival Splendor.”
Carnival Splendor offers a comprehensive selection of restaurants, show-stopping entertainment, four swimming pools, a 5,500 sq ft children’s play area and Carnival’s largest ever floating spa featuring a thalassotherapy pool, thermal suite and 17 treatment rooms.
Immediately after its Naming Ceremony tonight, Carnival Splendor sets sail for a three day preview cruise to Amsterdam, returning to Dover on July 13, when it will depart on the same day for its official inaugural 12-day cruise to the Baltic countries, visiting Copenhagen; Warnemunde (for Berlin); Helsinki; St Petersburg; Tallinn and Amsterdam.