There was another christening ceremony on board the cruise ship Carnival Dream in New York yesterday morning. Nine-year-old Hailee Steberger, winner of Carnival’s Virtual Book of Dreams contest, took an inaugural plunge down the ship’s 303-ft long Twister waterslide – the longest at sea.
A few hardy souls gathered on deck 12 to watch the ceremony, hosted by cruise director John Heald and Captain Carlo Queirolo. Hailee, from New Jersey, just across the Hudson River, was wearing a wetsuit to protect against the November chill at eight o’clock, threw herself enthusiastically down the slide and emerged seconds later at the bottom, with a broad smile across her face.
She was not actually the first person to use the slide, as the ship has been cruising in Europe before arriving in New York for the inaugural celebrations. But she will probably be the only person to experience the thrill on this short voyage – it’s too cold, windy and rough for anyone to want to spend much time on the open decks.
Instead the 4,000 passengers are engaged in a hectic round of indoor activities, from the slot machines in the Jackpot Casino, to towel-folding lessons in Ocean Plaza; or just relaxing in the Cloud 9 Spa.
Tonight there’s another performance of the energetic and cleverly-chorographed Dancing In The Streets show which I watched in the Encore Theatre on Thursday evening, and there are comedy shows in the Burgundy club, and an outdoor laser show to the music of Pink Floyd out on the Lido deck.
Mostly, there will be lots of eating, drinking and dancing. These New Yorkers are here to party.