Those who tuned into last night’s MISS UNIVERSE contest got to see a very special moment as Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy presented Miss Dominican Republic Kimberly Jiménez with the “Spirit of Carnival” award for embodying the company’s values of fun, friendship, diversity and inclusion. Miss Jiménez was also bestowed with the honor of godmother to the cruise line’s brand new ship Mardi Gras which will debut later this year.
Jiménez, as well as the winner of the MISS UNIVERSE 2021 contest Miss Mexico Andrea Meza, will be among the first to sail on Mardi Gras when the ship begins sailing the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral.
Christine Duffy served on the selection committee for the competition, one of eight members of the all-female panel and gave the award to Miss Jiménez in front of an estimated audience of 500 million viewers. Duffy likened the women representing 74 nations in the contest to being on board a Carnival ship, with a fleetwide team representing 120 countries from across the globe.
“Kimberly is a role model for female empowerment and has a passion for so many worthwhile causes, particularly those that assist women, children and families. It is such an honor to present Kimberly with the ‘Spirit of Carnival’ award and an even bigger thrill to announce that she’s going to be the godmother of our newest ship, Mardi Gras,” Duffy said. “Kimberly joins a group of esteemed women who have served in this time-honored role for Carnival.”
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jiménez is a champion for at-risk youth and an advocate for adoption, volunteering for the past three years at Los Niños de Cristo orphanage, a non-profit foundation that serves abused and abandoned girls, as well as serving as a founding member of the Dominican Republic Women’s Club, dedicated to providing services to indigent women suffering from breast cancer. Jimenez and her family were left homeless due to the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017, underscoring her incredible perseverance and a positive, can-do attitude.
Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and the first to feature an onboard roller coaster. As godmother, Jiménez will preside over the Mardi Gras’ official naming ceremony, continuing a long-standing maritime tradition.
If you’re booked on one of the first Mardi Gras sailings, let us know in the comments!