The godmother of the new Carnival Radiance has been revealed to be none other than author, philanthropist, and mother to Carnival Cruise Line‘s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal. Dr. Lucille O’Neal will preside over the ship’s invitation-only naming ceremony taking place in Long Beach, Calif. prior to its inaugural cruise on Dec. 13.

Dr. Lucille O'Neal with son Shaq

On the day of the naming ceremony, mother and son will cut the ribbon to open the second Big Chicken at sea, Shaquille’s very own chicken sandwich restaurant.

“When Shaquille was named Chief Fun Officer a couple of years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be named godmother of a cruise ship!. “To think that my name will be forever associated with Carnival Radiance and that I’m joining other esteemed women who have served as a Carnival godmother is truly an honor.”

– Dr. Lucille O’Neal

Lucille wasn’t chosen just because of who her son is. Cruise ships have sought out accomplished, inspirational women from around the world like Lucille to be their Godmother. Dr. O’Neal, among her many other accomplishments, is a speaker, philanthropist, and president and co-founder of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players.

Carnival Radiance Godmother - Dr. Lucille O'Neal

New offerings added to Carnival Radiance during its bow-to-stern makeover include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri; the Heroes Tribute Bar saluting those that serve in the Armed Forces; Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant; Bonsai Sushi; and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. All of the ship’s public spaces have been transformed – including the water park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival’s award-winning Playlist Productions shows.

Carnival Radiance’s Long Beach-based schedule includes three-day voyages to Ensenada and four-day sailings calling at Ensenada and Catalina Island. She joins Carnival Panorama operating week-long Mexican Riviera cruises and Carnival Miracle sailing four- and five-day Mexico voyages.