Godmother Breakaway from Tradition

Long known for its ability to change the culture of cruising, Norwegian Cruise Line is now leading the change in the culture of cruise ship godmothers, who until now have been largely celebrities, dignitaries and famous women willing to serve as figureheads…or all of the above. Their responsibilities begin with smashing bottles of bubbly against the bows of "their" ships and saying all the right things to all the right people.

Oh yes, and almost without exception, they are singular. One Godmother per ship.

Norwegian is changing that.

The new ship Breakaway, which arrives next spring, has been shaped into being New York's ship. The Godmother of the Breakaway, or Godmothers, are the Rockettes and the culture of the cruise ship Godmother is now part of marketing the business.

At both ends.

This is not a case of just honoring a famous woman by inviting her to be a ship Godmother. It's opening another lane of marketing. Rockettes will sail on the Breakaway with regularity. An 11-foot replica of the ship will sit in Radio City Music Hall, home of the Rockettes. The new Godmothers do meet-and-greets with cruise passengers but do you really think at some point that they won't be performing, too? Meanwhile, back at the Music Hall, customers will have an opportunity to win a Christmas cruise for four.

And so on.

Prior to yesterday's announcement, people interested in these things were guessing who the new Godmother would be for the largest ship ever to home-port in New York. Mariah Carey? Barbra Streisand? Liza Minelli? After all, NYC is the entertainment capital of the world and Norwegian is the cruise line that's synonymous with entertainment…and so it stood to reason that the Godmother would be an entertainer, from New York, of course.

Nobody saw the Rockettes coming.

They're not individually famous — can you name one? — but they're collectively a group of interchangeable stars. And they have longevity. They've been around for 87 years and when one leaves the show, another one takes her place.

In this era of political correctness and gender equality, and now that Augusta has admitted women to golf's most prestigious boys club, how long will it be until there's a male Godmother in cruising?

Or Godfather.

Holland America Prinsendam
29 nights
October 17, 2012
Rome, Stromboli, Dubrovnik, Split, Ravenna, Venice, Gallipoli, Valletta, Sorrento, Rome, Alicanti, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Horta, Fort Lauderdale
Inside: $1,899
Cost per day: $65

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