Dr. Lucille O’Neal Named Godmother of Carnival Radiance

She spent years watching her son Shaquille dominate the basketball court, now Dr. Lucille O’Neal has a new responsibility in her life; Godmother of the recently transformed Carnival Radiance coming this December following a $200 million drydock refurbishment and renaming from the original Carnival Victory

Carnival Radiance

Dr. Lucille O’Neal and her son Shaq | Photo provided courtesy of Epson America, Inc.

Dr. O’Neal will preside over the ship’s invitation-only naming ceremony taking place in Long Beach, California prior to its inaugural cruise on December 13 and she and Shaquille will cut the ribbon to officially open Big Chicken, the second at-sea restaurant created by Shaquille, featuring dishes based on his family’s recipes. 

“When Shaquille was named Chief Fun Officer a couple of years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be named godmother of a cruise ship!” said Lucille. “To think that my name will be forever associated with Carnival Radiance and that I’m joining other esteemed women who have served as a Carnival godmother is truly an honor.”


Carnival has long been the “fun ships”, so it made sense when they hired Shaq as their Chief Fun Officer and began their popular campaign with the big personality. 

“Lucille’s longstanding commitment to caring for others is a reflection of what we look for in a Godmother and as the mother of our amazing Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O’Neal, we also know she’s got some fun in her DNA so she’s the perfect choice for godmother of this beautiful ship,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. 

About Dr. Lucille O’Neal

The author of the inspirational biography, “Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go,” Lucille O’Neal is a great example of the importance of education. She made sure to resume her studies after raising her children and went on to graduate cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Bethune Cookman University and completing a graduate program from the University of Phoenix. For these efforts, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from BCU.

Dr. O’Neal is an accomplished speaker who donates her time and talent to a wide range of charitable organizations, including serving on the board of the Orlando Ovarian Center Alliance, and president and co-founder of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players.

She also established the Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity on the campus of Bethune Cookman University in honor of her late mother, Odessa Chambliss, and focuses on health disparities, social determinants of health, and social justice.

Congrats to Lucille and the entire O’Neal family!