Pipers, drums, and French horns played rousing music to start the ceremony. This was followed by a marvelous presentation of U2's "A Beautiful Day", which was sung by Antonio Sol and accompanied by violinist Lucia Micarelli. As the music soared through the theater, an aerialist dressed all in white performed a graceful ballet while swinging over the stage.
Next came the playing of the national anthems and the introduction of the Celebrity Solstice godmother. This honor was handled by Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity's parent company.
The godmother, marine scientist and Professor Sharon Smith, seemed at first to be a rather unusual selection, but after hearing her remarkable story, she is an excellent choice and certainly worthy of the honor.
The final part of the ceremony was the actual naming of the Celebrity Solstice. We all intently watched a screen with a live view of a champagne bottle attached to a red ribbon on the top deck. An aerialist soared into the theater's balcony, retrieving the other end of the ribbon and pulling it back over the audience to the stage. As Professor Smith cut the ribbon and named the ship, the champagne bottle on the top deck smashed against the funnel. Blue streamers burst across the crowd, and we all cheered. It was quite magical and appropriate for the innovative new ship.
The Celebrity Solstice is the first of five 2,850-passenger ships in the "Solstice" class. She will spend her first season in the Eastern Caribbean, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale.