|In one of the most joyful and buoyant ceremonies in recent memory, Norwegian Cruise Line officially "named" Norwegian Jewel in Miami (the ship actually launched in July, and already has quite a few voyages under its hull). The ceremony, held pier-side just after sunset, was anything but reverent. With a backdrop framed by the ship's brightly painted hull, dancers spotlighted in life-sized picture frames, and musicians playing instruments ranging from a steel drum to a violin, attendees were spurred to dance in their seats and in the aisles. |
Naturally, the centerpiece of the festivities was the speeches by various honchos. Most spirited was a benediction by Baptist minister Kevin Johnson, who said in his introduction, "Seize the carpe diem moment, and bless the journeys of the vessel under mosaic skies and in the eternal depth of the sea."
NCL president Colin Veitch noted that "a house is not a home without people, and the same is true with a ship. The people make the difference, and an NCL ship is a home away from home, not only for our guests, but also for our colleagues and crew."
The ship's godmother Melania Trump, "The Donald's" new bride, approached the stage with the accompaniment of the theme song from "Dynasty." The traditional champagne smash went off without a hitch, and the hour-long festivities wound up with a mini fireworks display.
Norwegian Jewel, a ship whose design is similar to that of siblings Norwegian Star and Norwegian Dawn, features some evolutionary elements, including a set of courtyard villas with private access to their own pool area, a Bar Central conglomeration of various drinking holes, and a more sophisticated Blue Lagoon.
Based in Miami this winter, Jewel will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries before heading to Europe in the summer of 2006.