Last updated: 02:11 PM ET, Thu April 02 2015

British Travel Agent to Christen Anthem of the Seas

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Royal Caribbean International | Theresa Norton | April 02, 2015

British Travel Agent to Christen Anthem of the Seas

PHOTO: The new Anthem of the Seas is a virtually identical sister to Quantum of the Seas, above. (Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

A British travel agent will christen Royal Caribbean International’s new Anthem of the Seas on April 20 in Southampton, England.

The ship’s godmother is 27-year-old Emma Wilby, 27, from Sunderland, U.K., a travel agent for Thomson and a military wife and budding singer. She 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, Craig Yates, team captain from British choir group Only Boys Aloud, will be Wilby’s vocal coach, and Royal Caribbean is treating her to a full makeover.

“I still can’t believe I won,” Wilby said. “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 send-off possible.”

Wilby will officially christen the 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas and perform for more than 1,300 invited guests and dignitaries at the ship’s inaugural ceremony.

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.

“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 parent company 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.”

The 168,600-ton Anthem of the Seas will sail its inaugural season from Southampton before it repositions to its permanent homeport at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., in November. Like its sister ship, Quantum of the Seas, the Anthem of the Seas will have a sky-dive simulator, bumper cars, virtual balconies, and the North Star, a glass gondola thrill ride that carries guests 300 feet above the sea.


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