Christie Brinkley attends a National Geographic documentary screening at AMC...

Christie Brinkley attends a National Geographic documentary screening at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on Feb. 3, 2020, in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images for National Geographic / Astrid Stawiarz

Christie Brinkley has been named the godmother of a cruise ship in Miami, at a ship-naming ceremony in which Catholic and Jewish clergy led the audience in including her in prayer.

"God bless this fine assemblage of friends and dignitaries, artists, musicians, staff, clergy — and Christie Brinkley," Rabbi Marc Labowitz of nearby Broward County said to audience laughter Friday inside the Regent Seven Seas Splendor at PortMiami. In a recorded livestream of the ceremony at Regent's YouTube channel, he added jocularly, "Mrs. [sic] Brinkley, I have to tell you I nearly got kicked out of religious seminary for putting your poster on the wall."

Following audience cheers and hoots, he said, to more laughter, "My wife was nervous about bringing me here tonight. … I'm just teasing, I'm teasing!"

Labowitz and Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski presided at the invocation, at which Bridgehampton supermodel Brinkley, 65, was named "godmother" of the ocean liner.

"A lot of what I said was just to tease," Labowitz, 52, told Newsday Monday. "I remember her from my younger days — I was probably a big fan of hers when I was 16, maybe 15, probably, or earlier, maybe 13 or 14. And she was always just a beautiful person. I do my best to see below the skin of people, and as a rabbi, I admire beauty in all forms, but mostly inner beauty."

He did not go up to her to say hello afterward, however. "My wife was there, as was my daughter," he explained. "I declared my childhood affection for her — that was enough."

Labowitz did speak afterward with singer Seal, who performed at the event. "I actually got to spend some time with him after his concert." What did the rabbi say to him? "I gave him a blessing."

In an Instagram post Friday under a paid partnership with the cruise line, Brinkley wrote, "Today is THE day! I’m thrilled to have finally arrived in Miami to christen @RegentCruises’ newest luxury cruise ship and I am especially honored to serve as the Godmother of #SevenSeasSplendor. Join me in celebrating her arrival!," she added, inviting fans to a livestream of the christening ceremony.

Regent Cruises wrote on Instagram Saturday, "We are so thrilled to announce that #SevenSeasSplendor has officially been christened by her Godmother, @ChristieBrinkley. Joyous cheer erupted throughout the audience as the bottle magnificently broke against her bow" — presumably referring to the ship.

The christening held historical importance as well, with Captain Serena Melani becoming the first woman to captain a new ocean cruise ship at launch, according to industry trade sites.  Brinkley said in a statemen to Newsday: "As a woman who strives to inspire other females to achieve their career and personal aspirations, I'm especially proud to be godmother of the first new ocean cruise ship in maritime history to be captained by a female. Captain Melani, you are truly a trailblazer and an inspiring role model."


 

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