Four-time Olympic Gold medalist Simone Biles has received an extremely rare honor.
The “Dancing With the Stars” semi-finalist, who finished the competition fourth during season 24, has been named the godmother of a new cruise ship — Celebrity Beyond. The ship is the latest addition to Celebrity Cruise Lines’ Edge Series and entered service in April 2022.
“Simone is truly the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) inside and outside of the gym, and I’m humbled and thrilled to welcome her as godmother of Celebrity Beyond. While I’ve marveled at her abilities and historic accomplishments as a gymnast, it’s Simone’s courage to speak out and her ability to help others be better in sport and in life that has impressed me the most. She has risen to the occasion and overcome challenges time and time again. She is an inspiration,” President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said in a statement.
Biles is scheduled to formally accept the honor during a ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on November 4, 2022. As the ship’s godmother, Biles will be on hand to bless the ship during its naming ceremony. Her presence symbolically protects the vessel in its future sailings.
Here’s what you need to know:
Biles Said She’s ‘Honored’ to Be a Part of the Celebrity Cruise Line Family
Celebrity Cruise Lines has built a reputation for luxurious vacations on the open seas, but also for the inclusion of women in a ground breaking way. In 2020, the Celebrity Edge had an all-female crew in honor of International Women’s Day, making it the first-ever ship in maritime history to do so, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
Captain Kate McCue is the captain on the Celebrity Beyond — and she is the first American female cruise ship captain, according to Cruise Industry News.
“I have a lot of great memories of cruising with my parents while growing up, so I am beyond excited to serve as godmother of Celebrity Beyond. I am honored to join such a distinguished group of game-changing women and appreciate the important message this designation holds in recognizing our accomplishments, and hopefully inspiring the next generation of women,” Biles said in a statement.
A Handful of High-Profile Women Hold the Cruise Ship Godmother Title
Biles joins a small group of women who have been previously given the title of cruise ship godmother.
In March 2022, for example, entertainer Katy Perry was named the godmother of one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ships, the Prima. Perry is slated to hold a concert in Reykjavík, Iceland, in August 2022, where she will bless the ship.
“All of the best trips my family has taken have been on a boat. Nothing compares [to it]. I think it’s the best way to see the world,” Perry said in a press release, according to Rolling Stone.
“My most favorite way to vacation with my family is on the water. Every morning that you wake up, you get to experience an incredible new view. I love that I get to christen her with my good vibrations, and I’m so excited for this new, beautiful, high-end, high-tech ship to take the seas, and provide once-in-a-lifetime vacations for so many families,” Perry continued.
Other cruise godmothers include Kelly Clarkson, Julie Andrews, and Sophia Loren.