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Royal Caribbean Announces Godmother Finalists
Nbc's "Today" And Royal Caribbean International Select Three Finalists In 'Today Sets Sail' Search For Godmother Of Freedom Of The Seas
 
New York - January 16, 2006 - Royal Caribbean International and NBC's "TODAY" are one step closer to selecting the winner of 'Today Sets Sail,' a national search for the Godmother of the world's largest and most innovative cruise ship, Freedom Of The Seas. Three finalists were selected from thousands of entries, and their inspirational stories were profiled on "TODAY" earlier this morning. The Web-based viewer vote is now officially open, and the winner will be announced live from the Torino Winter Olympics in February.

A new twist on a long-standing maritime tradition, the Godmother search seeks to honor an everyday person who has demonstrated exceptional courage, determination, inspiration and dedication, just as the following three finalists have (listed in no particular order):
  • Katherine Louise Calder of Portland, Oregon, has been a foster parent to over 400 children in the last twenty-seven years, acting as a "level three" special needs foster care provider and adoption advocate in her area.
  • Ieta Kimbrough of Indianapolis, Indiana, overcame homelessness and domestic violence as a young mother and eventually founded The House of Refuge in 2001, a support system for victims of domestic violence in Indiana.
  • Robyn Raphael of Roseville, California, founded the Keaton Raphael Memorial, in memory of her five year-old son who died of neuroblastoma in 1998, to assist children and their families in their fight against pediatric cancer.
Viewers are encouraged to go to www.today.msnbc.com and vote for their favorite finalist. All votes must be submitted by 9:00 P.M. EST on Friday, January 20, 2006.

The winner selected to be Freedom Of The Seas' Godmother will preside over the most exciting and innovative ship at sea and will be allowed to cruise for life on any Royal Caribbean cruise once a year for free with the guest of their choice. Freedom will feature the first-ever surfing simulator at sea, an interactive water park, two cantilevered whirlpools that extend 12 feet out from the sides of the ship and a pool deck with dedicated sports pool that transforms into an open-air nightclub each night.

At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Freedom Of The Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in May 2006. The first in Royal Caribbean's new Freedom class, she will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola.

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