by Donald Wood
Last updated: 2:20 PM ET, Mon November 7, 2022
Celebrity Cruises' newest ship, Celebrity Beyond, set sail on its inaugural United States sailing from Fort Lauderdale on Friday, kicking off its inaugural Caribbean season.
During the ship's official naming ceremony, 19-time World Champion and seven-time Olympic Medalist Simone Biles became the new vessel's godmother. Celebrity Beyond is also being helmed by the first and only woman to be named captain of a "Mega" cruise ship, Captain Kate McCue.
Joining Biles and McCue during the naming ceremony was Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty, Celebrity President Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, other executives and an estimated 2,500 guests and media. The event also featured a live performance from singer and songwriter, Leona Lewis.
"It is an honor to be selected as Beyond's Godmother and to join such a distinguished group of strong, barrier-breaking women who have been named as Celebrity's Godmothers before me," Biles said. "I appreciate the important message this designation holds in recognizing our accomplishments as empowering women, and I am honored to share the stage today with fellow brave, boundary-breaking leaders like Lisa-Lutoff Perlo and Captain Kate McCue."
Biles follows Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who previously inaugurated Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Edge, respectively.
As Celebrity's new vessel kicks off its inaugural season with rotating Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries, it is scheduled to visit popular destinations such as Grand Cayman and Puerta Plata.
"I've been waiting for this day to arrive for a long time and I am 'Beyond' excited to be able to share her with our guests," Lutoff-Perlo said. "She is the gold standard by which other ships are built and embodies the meaning of relaxed luxury."
"She is 'FULL' of wonder and excitement and our guests will undoubtedly feel reconnected to the world around them as they visit new destinations and immerse themselves in culinary experiences and wellness amenities not found anywhere else at sea," Lutoff-Perlo continued.
For the latest travel news, updates and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.
Topics From This Article to Explore