There’s nothing quite like sailing on a new cruise ship. Especially when you’re sailing on its inaugural, and you have a performance by Leona Lewis to look forward to.

Celebrity Beyond set sail from Fort Lauderdale this past week to kick off its inaugural Caribbean season. Before leaving port, its Godmother Simone Biles officially named the newest Edge Class ship. Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group’s latest CEO, presented the seven-time Olympic medalist with a christening button Biles would be all too familiar with.

Customized naming ceremony button for Godmother Simone Biles
Customized Olympic Medal button made for Godmother Simone Biles

Celebrity Beyond's Godmother Simone Biles at naming ceremony

“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. 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.”

– Simone Biles

Barrier-breaking women indeed! Captain Kate McCue helms Celebrity Beyond, the first and still only woman to be named captain of a “Mega” cruise ship. I had the pleasure of chatting with Captain Kate while sailing on the inaugural and can tell you she is one in a million but hopes her position will empower more women to take the helm of these majestic vessels.

Captain Kate, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (CEO, Celebrity Cruises), Simone Biles (Celebrity Beyond Godmother), and Jason Liberty (CEO, Royal Caribbean Group)
Captain Kate McCue, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (CEO, Celebrity Cruises), Simone Biles (Celebrity Beyond Godmother), and Jason Liberty (CEO, Royal Caribbean Group)

“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. 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.”

– Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises President and CEO

Leona Lewis performs at Celebrity Beyond naming ceremony in Fort Lauderdale
Leona Lewis performing at Celebrity Beyond naming ceremony

I was sad to be put in an overflow room with other media since the audio wasn’t working on the TV, and I couldn’t hear Leona Lewis’s performance. Nevertheless, the entire ceremony was beautiful and worthy of a celebratory cocktail at the Martini Bar afterward. At least that’s how I celebrated!

Celebrity Beyond’s Godmother Simone Biles Was Obvious

Assuming you have caught at least one of the last few Olympics, you know Simone Biles’s name. She is more than just a household name; she’s the G.O.A.T. Simone Biles follows Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who previously inaugurated Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Edge, respectively. Both women are renowned for advocating for women everywhere, inspiring them to soar above their limits.

The highly decorated American gymnast has 32 medals from the World Championships and seven from the Olympics. If that weren’t enough, Biles is the first American woman to win seven national all-around titles and the first female gymnast to earn three consecutive World All-Around titles. As well as her more than inspiring gymnastic accomplishments, she has been included in important lists such as TIME’S 100 Most Influential, Forbes 30 Under 30, and Ebony Power 100, amongst many others, placing herself firmly as a role model for women everywhere.

Watch Celebrity Beyond’s Naming Ceremony

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Photo and video credit: Celebrity Cruises