Nick DeSantis woke up at 4:00 a.m. yesterday morning. “I tossed and turned all night, and so finally I just decided to get up. I was so excited for Marina’s arrival I couldn’t sleep!”
Nick, Manager of Loyalty Marketing for Oceania Cruises, arrived at the office early yesterday morning, as did many other Oceania Cruises team members who were eager to greet Marina as she arrived in Miami. A bus departed the Miami offices at 8:00 a.m. to transport a group to Smith and Wollensky restaurant on Miami Beach where they joined other staff ready to welcome Marina’s arrival. Over 100 team members rose in the wee hours of the morning so they could be at the port for this momentous occasion.
The signs were everywhere – on tshirts, on flags, and in the letters spelled out on huge cards in sports fan fashion – and they all said the same thing: Welcome Marina. She sailed into port just as the sun crested the horizon.
Senior VP of Marketing James Rodriguez admitted to tearing up a bit as Marina sailed into the harbor. “Marina is the culmination of years of hard work. It’s a bit overwhelming to see her come to life with even more grace and beauty than we could have imagined.”
James wasn’t the only one with tears in his eyes. One imagines there are few if any other cruise lines whose employees would come out at sunrise to welcome their new ship in such an emotional and heartfelt celebration. It was certainly a morning to remember.
Marina’s arrival in the port of Miami was just the first of many grand events that will take place over the next few days. Last night all of the Oceania Cruises team members were welcomed onboard for a party to celebrate Marina’s success. The atmosphere was jubilant as everyone enjoyed the beautiful ship, and every team member in attendance had a hand in making the vision of Marina a reality.
One of the most special moments of the evening was the announcement of the Employee of the Year Awards for Oceania Cruises, her sister line Regent Seven Seas cruises, and their parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings.
Oceania Cruises’ Employee of the Year Dayami Lazo and Regent Seven Seas’ Dawn Argo receive their congratulations.
David William Kelly has recruited Prestige Employee of the Year Vicki Diez to work in Vessel Operations.
The festivities continue today, as Marina will be christened this afternoon by her godmother, Mary Hart, with all the proper fanfare one would expect of such a momentous occasion. Ms. Hart was onboard this afternoon filming a segment for Entertainment Tonight.
The Christening Ceremony promises to be a grand occasion, to be followed by a sail away party as Marina departs for Nassau on her three-day Christening Cruise. There will be a gala dinner this evening and continued celebration throughout the night. Be sure to check the blog for more news and photos of all the exciting events.