Laugh a minute on Silhouette

//Laugh a minute on Silhouette

sbw_SL_ham1625.jpgA few more words about the Celebrity Silhouette launch before we move on . . .
Ship launches can quite often be fairly sober affairs – at least until the Champagne bottle smashes, acting as a signal for glasses to be poured for all the guests. And while Celebrity’s tradition of inviting breast cancer survivors to be godmothers is admirable, and always guarantees a moving ceremony, it doesn’t follow that it’s going to produce a laugh a minute.
But there were smiles and humour in abundance this weekend, with Royal Caribbean chairman Richard Fain quipping that he had saved a fortune in entertainers’ fees by getting Captain Dimitrios Kafetzisand (left) and his senior officers to sing the Greek national anthem.
The song which opened the naming ceremony in Silhouette’s theatre was another money-saving exercise, according to Fain. Bryan Adams’ On A Day Like Today was performed by a scratch band composed of hotel director Simon Weir on piano, food and beverage boss Scott Steenrod on acoustic guitar and entertainment director Eric Bohus on vocals; they were joined for a searing guitar solo by Simon’s brother Nick, who is cruise director.
Fain had another opportunity to talk about keeping costs down when he brought the three godmothers of Solstice, Equinox and Eclipse on stage to pass on the ceremonial ribbon-cutting scissors to Silhouette’s Michelle Morgan, quipping about how much he had saved by not having to buy new scissors – while conveniently forgetting to mention the cost of three sets of air fares.
The star of the show came in the unlikely form of Rabbi Dr Walter Rothschild. Called upon to bless the ship, he arrived on stage in an extravagant tallit, or prayer shawl, and proceeded to explain to the audience how Noah’s Ark was the world’s first cruise ship, and God – who ordered its construction and design, was therefore the first naval architect.
Like Pastor Frank Engelbrecht, of Hamburg’s Lutheran St Catherine’s Church, he turned the event into a blessing of the people who would use the ship – its crew, its entertainers and its passengers – rather than the ship itself, which seemed to bring the event even closer to the people in the theatre.
Next day, as Silhouette rocked about in the German Bight area of the North Sea, with winds gusting to gale force, the Captain had some unlikely words of comfort in his midday broadcast for any passengers who might have been feeling a bit queasy.
He couldn’t offer a cure for seasickness, but he recommended that anyone who was a bit under the weather should try holding an olive in their belly-button for the next 17 hours – until the ship arrived back in Hamburg, in other words.
Probably not, in truth, what anyone who was going green around the gills wanted to hear, but I thought it was funny.
birds.jpgThere are jokes around the ship as well – the giant Adirondack chairs which you have already seen dwarfing me and Richard Fain spring to mind – and there’s an amusing art installation featuring caged birds (above).
And there were more laughs when we took a tour of Hamburg on our final morning in the city. Sabena, our guide, had eyebrows that were etched unto her forehead, and her blonde coiffure was suffering from a suspicious case of male pattern baldness. But the former schoolteacher had clearly missed her vocation – she was the funniest guide ever.
Explaining that the Alster Lake in the middle of the city was only very shallow, she told us the only people who drowned in it were too lazy to stand up.
riviere.jpgDriving past Maillol’s statue La Riviere (above), she explained that the substantial woman in an uncomfortable pose was preparing for a proctological examination, and on passing through the St Georges district she said that this was the third best red light district in the city, or what she called “the Aldi of prostitution.”
She was exceedingly patient while explaining the meaning of the German word “fahrt” to an Irish member of our contingent, but what she had to say about drivers from Hamburg and the surrounding area was simply unrepeatable.
If Richard Fain ever names another ship in Hamburg, he should make sure Sabena is part of the entertainment.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:04+00:00 26 July 2011|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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