Curtis Nelson, President and COO, Carlson Companies, and Mark Conroy, President and CEO, Radisson (now Regent) Seven Seas Cruises, escorted the Crown Prince to the stage. The national anthems of the United States and Monaco were played by the ship's orchestra, followed by welcoming remarks and speeches. The actual christening ceremony started with the traditional blessing of the ship by Père Jean Susini of the Archevêché de Monaco, who spoke in French. Suddenly the big moment arrived. Barbara Carlson Gage, Co-Owner and Director of Carlson Companies, and the daughter of the founders of the company, rose to name the ship. I had spoken with Barbara earlier in the week on the ship, and she had indicated that she was very nervous about the entire ceremony. However, her nervousness was not evident earlier in the program when she had spoken, and it did not show at the key moment. She raised her
, named the ship the Seven Seas Voyager, and cut the cord holding the champagne bottle. The bottle swung towards the ship, and miraculously
broke on cue
. Everyone on the stage and in the audience cheered with joy for the owners, the cruise line, and the lucky passengers who would sail on the ship in the years to come.
After the naming ceremony, we all boarded the ship for the christening lunch. What a feast it was! Many of the journalists and dignitaries toured the ship after lunch, and the day concluded with dinner, followed by a fireworks display over the harbor honoring the ship.
May every day on the Seven Seas Voyager be as magical as her christening day!