When Odyssey of the Seas sets sail on her naming ceremony cruise this weekend, a very special guest will be in attendance. Erin Brown, a Para-Triathlete from the Bahamas, has been named the Godmother of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship thanks to her story of courage and determination.
While in college, Brown lost her leg to a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams and competing at the international level as well as being a mother of two.
“From the moment we heard Erin’s story, how her courage and determination inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a natural choice for Godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “A Godmother serves as the guiding spirit of the ship and brings good luck and safe travels to its guests and crew who sail on board for years to come.”
Her determination was evident through the phrase she kept repeating to herself through a year of chemotherapy; “mind over matter”.
“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before – you still have them,” said Brown who has gone on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for those living with physical disabilities.
Her first event post-surgery was the 100-mile cycling Ride for Hope in the Bahamas where she led a group of adaptive athletes who conquered the challenging terrain.
“Having Erin as our Godmother is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to The Bahamas as well,” said Bayley. “Royal Caribbean’s very first international destination was The Bahamas more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call, and our private island destination – Perfect Day at CocoCay – remains a top pick for our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honoring our longtime partners as well as the newest Bahamian-flagged ship in our fleet.”
Brown will be honored at the Odyssey of the Seas naming ceremony this Saturday the 13th where she will formally bless the new ship. As Godmother, Ms. Brown will serve as the ship’s guiding spirit and bestow good luck and safe travels for all who sail.