FORT LAUDERDALE --
After a six month search, Royal Caribbean International named
Donnalea Madeley, a Toronto-based travel agent, godmother of its
newest ship, the Liberty of the Seas, at the Cruise Lines
International Association's Cruise3Sixty conference here.
revealed that Madeley was chosen out of three finalists by 15,000
people who voted at Royalcaribbean.com from March 1 to 15.
Madeley, of Marlin
Travel, was chosen from among 2,500 nominations of travel agent
women that "demonstrated dedication to philanthropy and service in
their communities," according to Royal Caribbean.
"I'm just stunned,"
said a teary Madeley. "I'm just a mom. I work in my basement. I
keep thinking, is this real?"
home-based agent, along with her husband, founded an organization
Across the Nations; and has raised money and provided training
for other projects, as well as constructed facilities in Mali and
The couple has
three children, ages 12, 18 and 21.
presented Madeley with a check for
$25,000 to Hands Across the Nations, which Madeley said will not only pay for a new medical
clinic in Mali, but will allow the organization to add many other
facilities to it.
Madeley will participate in the Liberty's naming
ceremony on May 18.
"Through her, we
are demonstrating our ultimate appreciation to the travel agent
community, and recognizing the important role they play in the
success of the cruise industry, and acknowledging their service and
contributions to make the world a better place," said Lisa Bauer,
Royal Caribbean International's senior vice president,
also presented the two other finalists, Marie Brouard of American
Express Centurion Travel Services in Miramar, Fla., and Carole
Weishaar of Carefree Travel in Scottsdale, Ariz., with $5,000
donations to a charity of their choice.
contact reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].