Tuesday Dedication Day

The weather-beautiful, about 74 and just a few clouds. All of Rotterdam seems at least peripherally involved in the Eurodam Christening. The stands are up,

the orchestra has finished their rehearsal, and evidence of last minute scurry is ubiquitous.

Last night we had a wonderful dinner in the Rembrandt Dining Room. All of our dinners so far have been set menus and prepared especially for the media, travel agents, and VIP’s. Last night’s “amuse” (whatever that is, it comes first) was a caviar and egg combination.

First of course, one must open the egg.

Then Fois Gras (spelling?) arrived. We had quite a discussion about this inflated goose liver. Some were against the way it is produced; some did not know what it was; all ate it. The fanned Duck Breast was tender and flavorful, and the dessert was yummy, but so pretty,

it was difficult to destroy.

Oh, and last night was formal too! How did I get this so wrong?

What I also got wrong was my hat. The word had been passed around that the women might well wear hats. The suggestion was to wear the Dutch national color orange. Well, I didn’t want the sun burning my head and I had an orange hat. I thought why not?

I realized how out of place my hat was after about five minutes. So I sat on it. At an appropriate moment we all had to stand up, so I lost it. I will make it a point to watch televised Dutch soccer matches. Someone will be wearing it. Or maybe not.

As we passed into the stadium small “acts” made it fun.


After being seated, our wait for the Queen was eased by The London Quartet, four guys who sang great and were very droll (British, of course).

The setup of the stage offered big screens so those who didn’t have a good view, did.

This gave even the “cheap seats” a view.

The first order of business, after the obligatory speeches was the Bell Christening. The Captain, a member of the Royal Family and some guy in a suit, (suits were everywhere) were poured glasses of Champagne and then emptied them over the bell.

The Dutch and the US National anthems were performed.

Next the Queen was brought on stage. As Godmother of the ship she named Eurodam. The Champagne bottle smashed as hoped against the bow. Apparently, there are worries about whether the bottle will break, and back up measures are always in place. Some years ago Chris Evert was a Godmother and the bottle bounced. The Captain handed her another and she backhanded it….boom and break….applause, applause.

After the ceremonies, Micky Arison, the extreme head of Carnival Corporation who had arrived in his yacht;

his wife, the Queen and dignitaries posed for photos.

The outfit I cobbled together to pass for formal, might sneak by if I were a slightly senile star of the past treading the Oscar Red Carpet. Here it would only call attention to a dumb American media guy with NO fashion sense. I dressed casually and went to dinner at the NY Hotel

(it was meant to be) with Paul Lasley (ontravelradio.com) and a couple of friends. Good food! Where else could I find deep fried sardines?

Back to the ship, I was determined to stay awake for the fireworks. On the way to my cabin I stopped by the show highly touted by the VP of Entertainment as the “next step” in ship shows. I watched for a bit, but I think I’ll wait another step.

Back to my cabin, into my robe, out on my balcony waiting for, as Stein Kruse CEO of Holland America promised, the city of Rotterdam to light up. I was fortunate as my verandah faced the city.

The ship’s whistle blew, then boom, bang, rumble, roar; the city lit up in lightning like reflections. Reflections???? The fireworks were on the other side of Eurodam! I was in my robe! I’ll try to do better in Hamburg.

Eurodam is now “official” and takes revenue passengers on board tomorrow.

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