“I’m the one that ensures that when you go on these cruises, you have fun,” is how Shaquille O’Neal describes his new role as the Chief Fun Officer (CFO) for Carnival Cruises. Shaq took a while to come around to the joys of seafaring, though — by his own admission he used to be a “hypocrite” when it came to the cruise ships.
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) June 18, 2019
Shaq says he used to look out at the giant cruise ships from his Miami mansion across from the Port of Miami and he’d yawn, thinking that big cruise lines were just for “old people.” Then one day he got a tour of one of the ships with billionaire Carnival Chairman and co-founder Micky Arison. (Arison also happens to own the NBA’s Miami Heat, where Shaq won his fourth championship — so the tour wasn’t hard to schedule.)
Interestingly all kinds of companies go after the genial Shaq to promote their goods and services — he’s just about the most effective pitchman in the business. But in this case, Shaq asked Arison for the job. He thought he could change the perception of “young people” like him, who also think cruises are just for seniors.
Shaq saw the water parks and restaurants on board ship and “it was a beautiful thing,” he says. “I was like ‘Micky, a lot of people my age they don’t know about this. Please let me do something with you. And he named me CFO.” Not only that — but Shaq’s Big Chicken restaurants are going onto 20 Carnival Cruise ships.