We are almost home and in the final hours of preparation for our arrival. Overall, we are in a really good place. After twelve days onboard, I thought it would be appropriate to have a nice casual dinner for the first time with my entire hotel operations leadership team, so I asked Frank Weber, our VP of Food & Beverage, if he could set something up for our VPs and Directors of both shipboard and shore side operations. There were a total of 15 of us, so I figured he would come up with something, and perhaps put a few tables together somewhere so we could have a nice teambuilding evening. (Frank doesn’t do anything half way, so everything was way over the top…)
We of course had to tie our teambuilding event into either a launch or a stress test, so it became both. We started the evening by trying our new enomatic wine machines on decks 4 and 5 in the dining room. These are self-service wine machines where you can taste 1, 3 or 5 ounces of various wines with various price ranges. The very novel part of this is you simply insert your seapass, and can sample a medley of either white or red wines. It was also interesting to spend time with Marco, who is actually the son of the owner and creator of Enomatic, and he told us how his father started the company in Italy in 2001 and how the idea of wine tasting and the ability to sample wines has become so popular.
As a surprise to the entire team, our dinner was the first execution of the Chef’s table in the Concierge lounge. The Chef’s table is in the upper level of the lounge, and the table is stunning. It features 14 seats, and at the head of the table is a presentation area where the chef can come out and explain how the courses are prepared, or demonstrate how to make something. Our Chef for the evening was our very own Keriann Von Raesfeld. from 150, so we were in for a real treat. Before sitting down to dinner, the idea is for our guests to have a cocktail party where they can meet and mingle with the other guests at the table. The table also has a very cool chandelier concept that Kelly Gonzalez and I found while walking around downtown Turku one night. The chef basically prepares the meal, and it is perfectly paired with a different wine for each course. The view of the boardwalk is amazing, and while we were having dinner, there was a demo of the fountain show at the Aquathreatre and the view was breathtaking. The Chef’s table will be offered once each night of the cruise, and will cost $75.00 per person. The dinner will include a happy hour, the meal, wine pairings with each course, a signed cookbook, and a chef’s apron. Pretty cool.
While the food and wine pairings were perfect, the best part of the evening was seeing the entire leadership team come together. The amount of teamwork and collaboration by this group is unprecedented. It’s very hard to describe the level of camaraderie this group has. After many toasts to thank everyone for their leadership of this project, we decided we needed to lighten up the evening and proceeded to play brainteasers. I finally introduced a game called the alphabet game, where the object is to go around the room and say things related to Oasis that start with each letter of the alphabet. A, and then B, and each person has to repeat and the idea is at the end to remember what each person said for their letter. So here goes…..A – Adventure Ocean, B – Boleros, C- Cannoli (from Giovanni’s Table), D – Dazzles, E – Echo (name of a fabulous stateroom attendant), F – Francois, our hotel director, G – Giovanni’s Table, H – Hot Rocks (featured in Izumi), I – Interior Balconies, J- Johnny Rockets, K- Kaleidoscope (art features onboard), L – loft suites, M – medical facility, N – Nests (possible issue on Central Park), O – Oasis, P – Privacy, Q – Quintessial Quacking Queens, (quacking due to the ducks in the ice show and queens as a card in the casino), R – Reidel, S – Savory (cookbook and name of a garden in Central Park), T – Tastings (that was Keriann’s idea), U – Unbelievable, V – Vintages, W – WOW, X – X-ray, Y – Youth Zone, Z – Zipline. I guess I remembered them all! What a team, and we all can’t wait to welcome everyone onboard very soon.