Norwegian Cruise Line Christens New York's new "It" Girl, Norwegian Gem, on Dec. 18. (Video: Business Wire)

Cindy Cardella of Fairfield, N.J. Named Godmother of Norwegian Gem and Winner of NCL's Search for the Latitudes "It" Girl Contest


Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) named Cindy Cardella of Fairfield, N.J., the Godmother of its new "It" Girl, Norwegian Gem, during the ship's Christening ceremony held today in New York. Cindy was chosen by NCL and the public among five finalists vying for the Godmother crown following an online video contest hosted on In addition to being named Norwegian Gem's Godmother, a position steeped in maritime tradition, she will receive a seven-day cruise in the ultra-luxurious 5,000-square-foot Garden Villa for her and five of her entourage.

"With this contest, we sought to reward our past guests with a once in a lifetime opportunity. Cindy received close to 10,000 votes from the public and was selected based on her ability to show how she embodies the attributes of NCL's hottest, hippest new ship, as well as the free spirit of NCL's Freestyle Cruising," said Colin Veitch, NCL Corporation's president and CEO.

The hour-long Christening ceremony held on board Norwegian Gem featured performances by Dem Boyz Step Team and the New York-based Luminescence Choir. In addition to comments from Star Cruises Chairman Tan Sri KT Lim, NCL Corporation President and CEO Colin Veitch, all five finalist video entries were shown, along with the premiere of Norwegian Gem's movie-sode, "License to Thrill." Cindy was also given the honor of officially naming the ship and pulling the lever that released the bottle of champagne to christen the ship. The ceremony and movie-sode can be viewed online at

In her video, entitled "Cindy will let you in on a secret," Cindy, 31, explains how she has cruised on NCL since childhood and highlights all of the places she has visited. Cindy has sailed with NCL on more than 30 cruises and is a stay at home mom in Fairfield, N.J., with three boys, ages five, three and five months. Her husband, David, joined her at the Christening ceremony.

"Freestyle Cruising on Norwegian Cruise Line is the only way to cruise and I am honored NCL and the public chose me as Godmother for this stunning new ship," said Cindy. "As Godmother of Norwegian Gem, I will continue living the 'It' Girl lifestyle of sophistication, independence, confidence, eagerness to explore new destinations and learn new things, glamour, style, and culture."

The contest, which began on Oct. 4, was an international search open to female residents of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada (void in the Province of Quebec), 18 years of age or older who have taken a cruise on NCL. On Dec. 16, NCL judges narrowed the search to five finalists, at which time the contest opened for public voting through Dec. 7. Along with Cindy, the other finalists were Lauren Kampf, 22, from Oakland, N.J.; Shannon Maxey, 29, from Virginia Beach, Va.; Louise Strong, 44, from South Hero, Vt., and Mary O'Dea, 75, from Milford, Pa.

She's So "It"

The hippest ship to hit the seas, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem boasts luxurious accommodations, decadent dining at 10 restaurants, and exciting entertainment and activity options that even the most discriminating "It" Girl will adore.

A "ship within a ship" Villa complex positioned high atop the vessel offers two posh Garden Villas with their own private gardens and sundecks; 10 expansive Courtyard Villas sharing a private courtyard, pool and sundeck; and two fabulous top-of-the-ship Deluxe Owner's Suites.

One of several entertainment options on board, the Bliss Ultra Lounge and Nightclub, gives the "It" Girl a hot spot to party like a star. The 24-hour, high-energy entertainment and nightlife complex boasts the second four-lane, ten-pin bowling alley at sea, an NCL exclusive first offered on Norwegian Pearl.

Guests looking for a physical challenge will find a 30-foot rock climbing wall with five different climbing routes, each with varying degrees of difficulty. Norwegian Gem also features the red-hot Wii(TM) video game system by Nintendo. Wii tournaments are held in Norwegian Gem's atrium on a two-story LED screen allowing guests to gather and play against each other.

Norwegian Gem will sail seven-, 10- and 11-day itineraries from her home port of New York to the Bahamas, Florida and the Caribbean from December 2007 until April 2008. In April 2008, she repositions to Europe where she will pick up her series of 28 seven-day Western Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Barcelona. Norwegian Gem will return to the Big Apple in November and December 2008 to sail seven-day Bahamas and Florida itineraries.

Norwegian Gem is the eighth vessel purpose-built for NCL's signature Freestyle Cruising -- an approach to cruising unlike any other offered in the industry. Freestyle Cruising leaves regimented schedules behind, and is characterized by having no fixed dining times, no formal dress codes, relaxed disembarkation and dozens of on-board entertainment and activity options.

NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America and Orient Lines.

NCL plans to build two new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.

For high resolution, downloadable images, please log onto NCL's Web site at For further information on NCL Corporation, contact a travel agent or NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (866) 234-0292.

Source: Norwegian Cruise Line