The Dedication Ceremony: Behind the Scenes

Let me just start by saying.. I WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN!

What a great month this has been! I finally feel that I am in the right place and I hope this feeling lasts cause it doesn’t happen too often. The ship is great, there is a lot of work since it is a new ship but not that bad as I was expecting it to be, the team is great and I hope to stay in this happy mood until April when I will finish my contract.

But enough about that, let me tell you about the Ceremony, about Oprah and how it felt to be on stage and talk in front of thousands of people.

It all started with a phone call, if I am interested to help to which I said “hell yeah!” Until they told me I have to talk and walk and walk and talk on stage in front of.. everyone. That was so far from my comfort zone but hey, I refuse to be a shoulda woulda coulda so I went for it.

In case you don’t know, a ship’s dedication ceremony, also known as naming ceremony or christening is when a ship gets her official name and the event is marked by breaking a bottle of champagne on the side of the hull by her godmother (Oprah in our case).

The whole preparation process was more demanding than I thought: late night rehearsals, meeting after lunch to go over my speech, practicing by myself in the cabin with a timer.. it wasn’t easy! Add the emotional stress and the overall stress that was floating in the air, after everything was finished I was so drained!!

I remember waiting back stage and everyone trying to encourage me and the other girl which makes it worse, walking on the stage and feeling my heart pounding through my chest, sitting in my spot and thinking is not that bad and then getting my pulse under control. I don’t remember much before and during the speech but I do remember being so happy I was done with my part and that nailed it, without making a fool out of myself, which was my biggest fear. Funny how us humans worry so much of how we might look in front of others..

The Ceremony was beautiful, everything was planned and organized. Everyone showed up to practice their part, including Oprah. We even had a large canvas down under where the champagne bottle was smashed so that all the glass pieces are caught and nothing reached the water. There were hundreds of white tulips everywhere and the room felt so warm and familiar.

As the days go by and I look back, it makes me feel even happier for having the chance to be there, on stage, a part of it. It makes all the extra work worth it and it makes me wonder when will I get to do that again..


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