Odyssey of the Seas was named in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, just a few months after she commenced her inaugural cruise season of roundtrip cruises to the Bahamas, Mexico, and Coco Cay.
Erin Brown, the first Bahamian paratriathlete to compete in the Paralympic Games qualifiers, presided as the ship’s godmother and bestowed a blessing of safekeeping on the ship and all those who sail on her.
Brown was joined for the ceremony by outgoing Royal Caribbean Group Chairman & CEO Richard Fain and Royal Caribbean International President & CEO Michael Bayley.
The occasion was also significant as after several decades of cruising to the Bahamas, where two of the cruise line’s private islands are located, Brown is Royal Caribbean’s first Bahamian Godmother.
The naming ceremony was particularly special for Fain as he will step down as Chairman & CEO of the group on January 3rd, making Odyssey of the Seas the last ship he will welcome to the fleet, after 33 years in the industry.
“Today, we get to show the world what imagination and determination look like when they come together,” said Fain. “All of what our teams have done over the past 20 months has led us to this moment when we can finally show the innovation and beauty of Odyssey of the Seas.”
“It’s our honor to welcome Erin as our first Bahamian Godmother,” added Bayley. “She is an incredible individual who pushes to change the status quo, making her the perfect choice for a ship as innovative as Odyssey of the Seas.”
“It’s also fitting because The Bahamas has been our great partner and neighbor since Royal Caribbean first set sail to the islands more than 50 years ago,” he added.
Erin Brown – Odyssey’s Godmother:
A 17-year change agent for those living with disabilities in The Bahamas, Brown is a mother and cancer survivor. The life-long athlete was diagnosed with stage 4 osteosarcoma – bone cancer – in 2004.
It was more than a year later, after receiving treatment, when Brown made the decision to amputate her leg above the knee. Having watched her own mother battle lupus linked to cancer for five years, Odyssey’s Godmother was determined to come back stronger than ever for herself, her family and others who could be inspired to fight.
Brown went on to become the first Bahamian paratriathlete to train in the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and compete in a Paralympic Games qualifier.
In addition to her athletic achievements, Brown is a longtime advocate for those living with disabilities and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor championing the increase of access and opportunities for students living with disabilities.
Odyssey of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s second Quantum-Ultra class cruise ship, after Spectrum of the Seas. She’s closely based on the Quantum-class, but is slightly larger at 168,800-gross tons, carrying 5,498 passengers at full capacity.
The ship is packed with amenities and attractions, from the Flowrider surf simulator, Seaplex acitivty center with dodgem cars, Ripcord sky-dive simulator and SkyPad bungee trampoline, to her immense theatre, casino, Music Hall, North Star Observation pod and Virtual Adventure Zone.
After all that, there are still 12 restaurants, and 10 cafes and bars, including three lounges (the innovative Two70, the live entertainment venue Music Hall, and the laid-back Crown & Compass).
Odyssey of the Seas will cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean on 6, 7 and 8-night itineraries until the end of April when she’ll reposition to Civitavecchia (Rome) to cruise the Mediterranean.