Voting for Godmother of Cruise Line’s Newest Ship Begins March 1 on RoyalCaribbean.com
Royal Caribbean International moved closer today to finding a deserving godmother for its newest ship, Liberty of the Seas, when she debuts in May 2007, by announcing the three finalists in its search. In the ultimate demonstration of the cruise line’s appreciation of the travel agent community, the three candidates were selected from more than 2,500 nominations in a search for exceptional women travel agents who have shown exemplary inspiration, courage, determination and dedication to philanthropy and service in their communities.
From March 1 to 15, the public will have the opportunity to help select Liberty’s godmother by learning about each finalist’s story and casting their vote on www.RoyalCaribbean.com. The winner will be announced on March 30 at the Cruise Lines International Association’s Cruise3Sixty conference.
“We honor the three finalists for the phenomenal contributions they have made in their communities and beyond,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Sales. “It was extremely difficult for our panel of judges to select these three outstanding women from the list of nominees and all of the candidates deserve to be recognized for their efforts. Our search for the godmother for Liberty of the Seas has helped acknowledge the good work of so many travel agents who are committed to serving their communities and embody Royal Caribbean’s dedication to the travel industry and our guests around the world.”
The three godmother finalists of Liberty of the Seas are:
Marie Brouard, American Express Centurion Travel Services – Miramar, FL: Marie is team leader of American Express’ Centurion Travel Services and co-leads its committee for diversity and inclusion. Seeing the intimate link between travel and community, she created the Infinite Way, Inc., an organization which aims to provide humanitarian, educational, health and technical assistance in Africa, Caribbean, and Central and South America. Marie’s efforts have been recognized by UNICEF and she is the recipient of the American Express Global Volunteer Action Fund Award for three consecutive years since 2003. She has also received a personal letter of commendation from the Vatican.
Donnalea Madeley, Marlin Travel, Ontario: Donnalea has developed an international service organization called Hands Across the Nation with her husband. The organization launched in 1994, but the local youth group program can trace its roots back to as early as 1985. Her organization raises funds, provides training and develops essential facilities in forgotten communities such as Mali, Bolivia and countries in Western Africa. Current projects include constructing, furnishing and staffing homes for children of incarcerated parents; school dorms for women; and medical and community centers. While keeping pace with the full-time demand of their charitable efforts, Donnalea, who is a 25-year veteran of the travel industry, and her husband also maintain their full-time jobs to support their family of three children.
Carole Weishaar, Carefree Travel – Scottsdale, AZ: Carole has worked in the travel business for 16 years. As a cancer survivor, she is an active community leader in the fight for a cure against the disease. She currently serves as the Founder and Community Outreach Liaison for the Desert Cancer Foundation of Arizona and liaison to the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Carole is also an active advocate for the American Cancer Society’s agenda for uninsured women in Arizona and for the Domestic Violence Safety Plan in Arizona through her work in an anti-domestic violence taskforce. Concurrently, she is working to secure funding for mammogram screening for low-income and uninsured women in three different regional hospitals.
The three finalists were selected by a panel of 19 members, which included media representatives, cruise industry executives and Royal Caribbean travel partners, who reviewed more than 2,500 nominations of exceptional women travel agents. In the spirit of maritime tradition, the godmother will participate in Liberty of the Seas’ naming ceremony on May 18, 2007. At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Liberty will share the title of largest cruise ship with Freedom of the Seas. Among new programs and onboard programs, Liberty will include the same popular innovations already found on Freedom, including the FlowRider® surf simulator; the H20 Zone aqua park; cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean; an ice-skating rink; a boxing ring and the 1,215-square-foot Presidential Family Suite, which sleeps up to 14.
Liberty of the Seas will sail alternating seven-night Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries from Miami. Both itineraries will call on Royal Caribbean’s private destination, Labadee, Haiti. The Western Caribbean itinerary will include the ports of Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; while the Eastern Caribbean itinerary will call on San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.