Royal Caribbean International today announced that travel agent Emma Wilby, 27, from Sunderland, U.K., is the Godmother for the Anthem of the Seas.
Upholding a timeless maritime tradition, Ms. Wilby will officially christen Anthem of the Seas and perform a special song for more than 1,300 invited special guests and dignitaries at the ship’s inaugural ceremony in Southampton, U.K., on April 20, 2015.
“We are delighted to welcome Emma Wilby into the Royal Caribbean family as Anthem of the Seas’ Godmother,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Emma is among many submissions from truly talented travel agents across the U.K. and the judging was very difficult. We thank all travel agents, who we value and are honoring by naming a fellow travel agent as the Godmother of our newest ship.”
In addition to being a travel agent for Thomson, Ms. Wilby is a military wife and budding singer who performs in the Military Wives Choir in Kinloss, Scotland, where she is based with her husband, a Royal Engineer for the British Army. To help her prepare for inaugural day, Craig Yates, Team Captain from British choir group Only Boys Aloud will be Ms. Wilby’s vocal coach, and Royal Caribbean is treating her to a full makeover.
“Emma’s inaugural song will herald in a ship that will be a new anthem for the cruise industry,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “I am very much looking forward to Emma’s performance and launching Anthem of the Seas with her. I know she will be simply spectacular.”
The Godmother role is a lifetime title bestowed upon an individual, who figuratively presides over the ship and imparts good luck and divine protection over the vessel and all that sail aboard. Traditionally, Godmothers have celebrity status or even royal connections, such as Royal Caribbean Godmothers Gloria Estefan, Jane Seymour, Whoopi Goldberg and Steffi Graf, to name a few.
“I still can’t believe I won,” said Ms. Wilby after being informed of her new title earlier this week. “I am really honored to have been chosen. I am hugely excited to be taking on the role of Godmother for Anthem of the Seas – it will be incredible to sing in front of all these people and a real honor to give the ship the best sendoff possible.”