So there really is something better than bagpipes at the naming ceremony. Bagpipes all the time!! It’s amazing to watch and hear our in-house bagpiper stroll the decks playing that beautiful, haunting music.
Today was our last day at sea before the real cruises begin. The weather was awesome. There are about 4,500 people onboard but I’m not sure where they are. People continue to struggle to find the words to compliment the ship.
We had our 5th and final Common Ground session with those travel agents who were interested to come to Studio B to do Q&A with our executives. All the sessions were positive, as they have been in recent years. There are always feedback points and we are fine with that. I actually liked today’s session in particular because all five of us on the panel (myself, Captain Bill, Lisa Bauer, emcee Vicky Freed and Doug Santoni) had multiple opportunities to answer questions. That means there were a wide variety of questions including strategic ones. Well done travel agents. I always have three goals for sessions such as these: make people feel good about asking questions in front of their peers, make sure they know where we stand even if our answer is not what they would like for it to be, and make the audience laugh once in a while. Besides that the agents love the ship, they must realize through sessions like this Common Ground that I have a world-class management team helping me lead Royal Caribbean International. The tireless dedication and good nature of my colleagues is inspiring.
Before the session I worked out really hard on the jogging track doing my fifth interval workout in 11 days. I’ve done something intense for 11 straight days. After the session, I played table tennis for nearly three hours straight. I actually played some of my best table tennis yet, but I had two bad games and lost them 11 – 9 and 11 -8. I took out my frustrations on some better players than the ones I lost to (sorry). I asked one of the guests I lost to if he would come back and play later and I won three out of four games. Not that I’m competitive or anything. After I stopped, I was watching some very good Danish players when I realized there was a third guy. So I asked them if they wanted to play doubles and we had an incredibly intense doubles match. Enough for one day.
When that was over I went back to my lovely loft suite and worked on the draft of my naming speech. I’m writing my blog while I listen to the bagpiper and wait for Richard’s feedback on the speech. Yesterday we got everyone together and went intensively over the minute by minute agenda for Monday’s naming day. Ever since the ship’s arrival on November 13th we have had the feeling that we have to get everything exactly perfect. The naming is way high on the list of desired perfection. At least we have some control over that. I can’t do anything about whether the Eagles will beat the Redskins tomorrow.