Royal Caribbean
April 02, 2016

In what may sound like an April Fool’s Day joke (but isn’t), Royal Caribbean has announced it is enlisting the creative genius of the British man who suggested the name Boaty McBoatface for a new research vessel to help the cruise line name one of its ships.

“Like the rest of the world, we fell in love with the name Boaty McBoatface when we heard it, and we knew immediately that Royal Caribbean could use James Hand’s talent to name our next ship,” Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley said in an April 1 announcement.

The company said they invited Hand to sail on its new ship, called Harmony of the Seas, which will debut in May. After, he will meet with the cruise’s ship naming team to come up with a name for an upcoming ship.

"I'm really excited Royal Caribbean has given me the opportunity to test out my boat-naming prowess on its fleet," he told USA TODAY in an email relayed through a third party. "The offer came as a massive surprise, as has all of the interest since I submitted the name Boaty McBoatface."

Hand, who became unexpectedly popular earlier this month after submitting his Boaty McBoatface name suggestion of an Antarctic survey vessel, admitted this will be his first cruising. "I'm flattered by the interest," he added. "Especially as I was starting to think my ship-naming days were behind me."

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