Dr. Lucille O’Neal — Shaq’s Mom — Named Godmother of Carnival Radiance

When Carnival Radiance resumes sailing with passengers following a $200 million dry dock renovation, the ship will not only have a new name and new updates, but also a new godmother.

Carnival Radiance godmother, Dr. Lucille O'Neal
Dr. Lucille O’Neal — mother of Carnival “Chief Fun Officer” Shaquille O’Neal — has been named godmother of Carnival Radiance. Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line, via Epson America, Inc.

Previously known as the Carnival Victory, the newly-named Radiance will welcome Dr. Lucille O’Neal as godmother of the vessel. Dr. O’Neal is an author and philanthropist, including serving on the board of the Orlando Ovarian Center Alliance. She also established the Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity at Bethune Cookman University in honor of her late mother, Odessa Chambliss. The center focuses on health disparities, social determinants of health, and social justice.

Many will also recognize Dr. O’Neal as the mother of Shaquille O’Neal — one of the most famous basketball players in history and the current “Chief Fun Officer” for Carnival Cruise Line.

“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!” said Dr. O’Neal. “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.”

“Lucille’s longstanding commitment to caring for others is a reflection of what we look for in a Godmother and as the mother of our amazing Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O’Neal, we also know she’s got some fun in her DNA so she’s the perfect choice for godmother of this beautiful ship,” said Carnival Cruise Line President, Christine Duffy.

The ship’s naming ceremony is set for December 13 in Long Beach, before its inaugural cruise.

Newly Updated — and Named — Carnival Radiance

Carnival Radiance
Rendering of Carnival Radiance. Image courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line.

As Carnival Radiance sets to sail, she does so with new features, in addition to a new name and godmother. This includes Big Chicken — the casual chicken hotspot that’s relatively new to Carnival — Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que, Heroes Tribute Bar, Cucina del Capitano, and a RedFrog Pub. In addition, the $200 million makeover includes renovations to all the public spaces. This includes the water park, spa, shops, and kids areas.

Carnival Radiance will be homeported in Long Beach, where it will sail three and four-day cruises to Mexico, with stops in Ensenada. Notably, this will be the third Carnival ship based at the port, along with Panorama and Miracle.

The placement of three ships in Southern California marks a big push from the cruise line into this market. Before the pandemic, the cruise line placed Panorama there when it was the cruise line’s newest ship. Carnival also recently updated the Long Beach terminal, marking more investment into its California presence.

Not only does placing three ships within a short drive of millions of people mean anyone can fit their schedule to sail, but the trips are also very affordable. We found rates aboard Carnival Radiance starting for as little as $109 per person in 2022.

Popular: 39 Useful Things to Pack (17 You Wouldn't Think Of)

Read Next: Park & Cruise Hotels for Every Port in America

Popular: 107 Best Cruise Tips, Secrets, Tricks, and Freebies


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here