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Old July 4th, 2009, 08:04 AM
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Paul Motter Paul Motter is offline
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Splendida Day 2

So far, this is proving to be a very nice ship, however, we are just getting our first load of passengers right now. Last night was eerily quiet as another journalist and myself were the only people onboard.

Today all of the cruise line executives are here, and we just finished the “handover ceremony” as you saw in my previous pictures. The bottle of champagne was suspended literally right outside my balcony so I had a fantastic view of the entire ceremony. I have a video of the champagne breaking but I just have to figure out a way to get it uploaded for you. The Internet service onboard does not seem to like my main FTP program.

The shipyard was represented by several people all wearing hardhats. The marched to the tree flagpoles in front of the ship and took down the flag of the STX shipyard and the flag of France. Then removed the flags and folded them and then took out the flags of MSC cruises and the flag of (I believe) Panama, the official nation of flagging the vessel. Those flags were connected and raised.

A few speeches later (the entire ceremony was in Italian as this is an Italian cruise line) someone ascended the platform and “chopped” the rope holding the magnum of champagne into suspension by a long ribbon. That sent the champagne flying and breaking against the hull of the ship. With that, streamers and confetti were shot out of cannons on the dock and it filled the air. The music played.

I am uploading the video to YouTube right now since my FTP program wants to time out.

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