Oprah Winfrey, host of the mega-popular daytime chat program "The Oprah Winfrey Show," is taking employees on an all-expenses-paid cruise to the Mediterranean. The news, which first appeared on the Chicago Sun Times' Oprah blog, noted that Winfrey and her staff will board their ship in Barcelona today. The trip, the blog reported, will cost about $5,400 per person and will cover "transportation, food, drinks and activities at port stops." Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Malta are on the itinerary.
The mystery surrounding the story, which intrigued fans of Oprah and cruising alike, involved which ship Oprah would choose for her getaway. After a fun debate on Twitter (and several nominations for MSC Cruises' new Fantasia and Splendida, which feature the line's unique ship-within-a-ship Yacht Club), a Barcelona-based newspaper revealed that the Winfrey staffers and their guests – for a total of 1,723 passengers -- would be sailing on a specially chartered voyage on NCL's Norwegian Gem. Norwegian Gem also has a ship-within-a-ship set-up.
NCL did not respond to a request this weekend for confirmation.
This is at least the second time that Winfrey has given staffers of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" a collegial vacation outing. Last year she took the group to Hawaii.
Tell us: has your boss ever taken staffers on a major outing to say thanks? Vote in our poll!
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief
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Would Your Boss Take You on a Cruise?
June 21, 2009