I may not be quite done shoving this picture in your face quite yet! I’m just still so excited that I had an opportunity to meet this incredible woman.
I just got back from an experience like none other. Truthfully. I’ve participated in a lot of events in my day, but this one takes the cake as the most unique, most taxing, and most unforgettable of them all.
As the Cruise Ship Startup queen that I’m aspiring to be, I was once again pulled to lend a hand to the team managing the events surrounding the Inaugural Ceremony for the Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line’s newest beautiful ship.
This one was a different beast altogether, especially with the Godmother being the One and Only Oprah Winfrey. From the beginning, I saw this as equal parts exciting and terrifying. Having worked with high profile clients in the past, I know whats comes with this. The expectation is infinitely higher, and margin for error is below zero. But excitement overtook terror when I realize (till this day) that this was a once in a lifetime kind of thing.
In combination with the Dedication Ceremony, we were handling a 3-day Caribbean cruise in which Oprah herself would be onboard, along with the fabulous Gayle King, and their family and friends. This was also open for sale to the public (although it sold out in less than a day), dubbed as the “Girlfriend’s Getaway Cruise”. Check out her invitation to join her here.
The cruise included a stop in the mesmerizing Half Moon Cay, a private Island owned by the cruise line’s corporation. And as the country froze over in a mad winter storm, we were here, soaking up the warm sun and watching a couple of thousand of friends have a blast on the beach.
The picture below shows about 1,000 ladies doing a yoga session on the white sand beach. Just Breathe was a massive success!
That same day, Ms. Oprah Winfrey graciously offered to do her show onboard for the guests, “A Conversation with Oprah”. It was such a memorable, personal experience to feel her talking directly to you. Such inspiration! She spoke of how we all have the drive and opportunity to be anything we want to be. That may have been exactly what I needed to hear that day. Here are some photos from the Show, couldn’t beat the front row seats, and probably the first and only time I sat down on this contract 🙂
It was an ever-changing, all-consuming environment. Catering to different crowds all at the same time was the juggling show of the decade. But somehow we all managed!
I always say that my job is to create the Illusion of Perfection; events are never perfect, I’ve never seen an event go through with no hiccups or issues. The important thing is to make sure the smile is still on your face, and no one realizes that anything is off script. As one of the team leaders suggested, “If you roll your eyes, make sure your eyes are closed.” This is the first event that I’ve ever almost lost my smile. But a challenge like this taught me so much!
If you check out Oprah’s Instagram, you’ll see her during the Pajama Party we organized onboard, as she handed out Tequila Shots to the gang! It was quite a sight to see.
I’ll write more about the Dedication Ceremony later, as it’s a completely different experience for me, and should have it’s own post! Stay tuned.
Oh and hey, here’s that picture of me again with Oprah. 🙂