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No (April Fool’s) joke: Cruise line gives ship name Boaty McBoatface a thumbs-up

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For April Fool’s Day, here’s a wonderfully silly story that happens to be real, though the photos on this post are not.

There’s been a funny flap in Britain over the naming of its newest polar research vessel. People were asked to make suggestions in a name-our-ship crowd-sourced poll, and soon names were put forth, like the Endeavour, the Shackleton and the David Attenborough.

There were silly ones too, but then came Boaty McBoatface, an instant hit that blew everything else out of the water. It received more than 27,000 votes before it crashed the website, according to media reports. (Voting is supposed to continue through April 16.)

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Enter Royal Caribbean International, a line that thinks Boaty McBoatface’s creator, one James Hand, may have a real knack for names.

The cruise line tried the name on for size -- Boaty McBoatface of the Seas -- in these doctored photos of one of its ships. No, the company isn’t planning to steal the moniker that the Guardian says “sounds like it was christened by a 5-year-old who has drunk three cartons of Capri-Sun.”

Royal Caribbean has invited Hand, a former BBC TV presenter, to sail on the new Harmony of the Seas when it launches from Southampton in May and to consult on names for its upcoming five cruise ships.

So will it be RSS (for royal research ship) Boaty McBoatface? Well, the Natural Environment Research Council, which ran the poll, asked for “suggestions” from the public. Ultimately a panel will make the final decision later this year, the BBC reports. Whew!

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