Dr. Lucille O’Neal Named Carnival Radiance Godmother

Dr. Lucille O'Neal (left)

Dr. Lucille O’Neal, author, philanthropist and mother of Carnival Cruise Line’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal, has been named godmother of the transformed Carnival Radiance, set to debut in December following a $200 million drydock in Spain, according to a press release.

Dr. O’Neal will preside over the ship’s invitation-only naming ceremony taking place in Long Beach, Calif. prior to its inaugural cruise Dec. 13.

During the festivities, Lucille and Shaquille will cut the ribbon to officially open Big Chicken, the second seagoing restaurant created by Shaquille, featuring dishes based on his family’s recipes.

Lucille is an accomplished speaker who donates her time and talent to a wide range of charitable organizations, including serving on the board of the Orlando Ovarian Center Alliance, and president and co-founder of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players, Carnival said, in a press release. 

She also established the Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity on the campus of Bethune Cookman University (BCU) in honor of her late mother, Odessa Chambliss, and focuses on health disparities, social determinants of health, and social justice.

The author of the inspirational biography, “Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go,” Lucille O’Neal is a shining example of the importance of education, resuming her studies after raising her children to graduate cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from BCU and completing a graduate program from the University of Phoenix. For these efforts, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from BCU.

“When Shaquille was named Chief Fun Officer a couple of years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be named godmother of a cruise ship!” said Lucille. “To think that my name will be forever associated with Carnival Radiance and that I’m joining other esteemed women who have served as a Carnival godmother is truly an honor.”

“Lucille’s longstanding commitment to caring for others is a reflection of what we look for in a Godmother and as the mother of our amazing Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O’Neal, we also know she’s got some fun in her DNA so she’s the perfect choice for godmother of this beautiful ship,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

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