But it was ‘Wonder Mom’ — godmother Marie McCrea — who added the heart.
McCrea’s indomitable spirit, as told by her daughter Allie, came out in a surprise video of how she’d cared for a severely disabled husband while also battling cancer and still managing to joyously raise three kids. Oh, and to take cruises — first on Royal Caribbean’s Song of America.
This brought tears to to McCrea and others present.
Philadelphian McCrea was chosen from more than 16,000 nominations in a #WonderMom TikTok contest, nominated by her daughter Allie, who joined her on stage with Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International; Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group, and Wonder of the Seas Capt. Henrik Loy.
Longest serving crew member
Bayley also acknowledged Alex, a member of Royal Caribbean’s housekeeping staff since 1982, and the longest serving crew member on this ship carrying 3,200 crew.
‘He’s old, but not as old as me,’ quipped Bayley, himself a former crew member, adding he’d calculated Alex had served 1.4m guests in his time at sea.
Richard Fain in the house
And Liberty acknowleged ‘our renowned chairman, my mentor’ Richard Fain in the audience.
‘If you look at every inch of this ship, you will see his fingerprints on it,’ Liberty said of Fain.
Salmanazar of Champagne
Two burly ship’s officers carried out a Salmanazar of Champagne — equivalent to 12 standard bottles — to show what was a fitting size to use for ushering in the world’s largest cruise ship.
McCrea pushed a button, triggering the actual naming bottle, which duly smashed on the hull and showers of white confetti rained down on the AquaTheater crowd.