Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

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Romig1
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Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Romig1 » 20 Jan 2013, 21:27

Our take on the Adonia naming Ceremony…

Having cut short our holiday in Portugal by two days, we overnighted in Banbury prior to the day of the ceremony. The Holiday Inn Express is located just off the M40, and I would recommend it for those travelling from further north, or Scotland.
On the morning of the big day we woke full of excitement, and managed to hold back our departure until 10.30. The journey was fairly good, with just a small delay on the M40 due to a smash which had recently happened.
We arrived at Mayflower park at around 12 o’clock, and ate a sandwich whilst looking at Adonia’s stern. She looked tiny, in comparison to Celeb. Eclispe, which was berthed at City. Having eaten, we read the papers to kill time, awaiting the opening of the car-park at 1.30pm (or so we believed). Needless to say we were at the Mayflower terminal car-park bang on the allotted time and noted with surprise the number of vehicles already there. “Don’t worry” said I…”they will be for the people on the morning ship’s visit”, which was probably true.
Never having sailed from Mayflower before, we were interested to compare the facilities with Ocean, and were surprised at the red-carpet treatment we received. We had no need to queue to check-in, so I was confident that we were one of the first. After going through security, we entered the departure lounge and to our dismay were given a boarding card lettered “B”. My mood darkened further within seconds as I saw Debbie W and her husband, who took great delight in comparing their “A” card with our second-class one! Apparently they had been there ages, while we were sat in the car at Mayflower Park! David63 and his wife also spotted us and came over to join us, so we had a good few minutes to chat and discover that we all had balcony cabins, midships.

Eventually, boarding was announced for those with “A” cards, so you can imagine the stick I got at this point. Fortunately, just at that moment we also saw and introduced to Onelife, Manoverboard and Stephen (and partners of course). Unfortunately they too had “A” cards, so we were left on our lonesomes. Until I spied Billy6 (or so I thought). I approached him warily, as there was no distinguishing pink feather hat, and didn’t want to make a bigger fool of myself than usual, by approaching the wrong person. Anyway, he recognised me straight away, so we chatted briefly to him and his lovely niece until our letter was called. I suspect at this point my manners left me completely, as I turned rapidly, and almost ran to the door in eagerness to get to the free booze.

Once onboard, we were shown to the forward lifts, and got an early glimpse of Adonia’s interior styling – which is refined and elegant. I was surprised at the feeling of space achieved on such a comparatively small ship. The cabin too, was comfortable, but was small in comparison to others, though not compared to Oceana I thought. The bathroom was tiny (even smaller than on Oceana as the shower cubicle was also small), as was the balcony, but there was space for a decent sofa. Wardrobe space was restricted, and I thought it odd that prime cupboard space in this area was taken up by the fridge, which may have been better located by the dressing table, (space allowing of course).

We only had time for a quick change, before we were due to meet some of the Admin team from this site, prior to the naming ceremony. These ladies were charming hosts, and the quick meet allowed us to make introductions to those we hadn’t already met. Then it was up on deck for the celebrations to begin! Debbie’s husband spotted a space right at the front of the stage, next to where Dame Shirley would press the button, and we basked in the warm sun (there was hardly a cloud in the sky), whilst drinking a very agreeable English pink fizz. Canapes of many types, including sweet offerings were doing the rounds, and the waiters were topping up fairly attentively too.

The naming ceremony itself went well, with words from Hugh Boneville and Carol Marlow, before some singing and dancing to precede the main event… the entrance of Dame Shirley Bassey. She looked beautiful, and gave a fine naming speech – referring to “her ship” a few times, which showed how proud she was to have been asked to be Godmother. Then she pressed the button, and a large bottle of the bubbly sailed down a rope before smashing on a diamond (which was an ongoing theme). I did remark that it was a bit of a waste of good fizz, and that they perhaps ought to have substituted it with a bottle of cheap Cava.

After the formalities, there were photo opportunities for the members of the press to get their snaps of Dame Shirley, as well as the few celebrities who had been invited. We then had a chance to look around the ship further, and my initial impressions were confirmed. All the public rooms were tastefully furnished and lit, and I particularly liked the bright airy feeling in Sorrento Italian restaurant. The stairwells too, had an elegance to them, with much wrought-iron and plush carpeting. There were several show cabins to view, and I thought that there was a good overall standard in all grades shown.

We then went back to the cabin, where it was another quick change into our finest glad-rags before the evening schedule. I say evening, but our cocktail party arranged by the Admin ladies commenced at 5.45pm! Wina and I were the first to arrive (more free pink fizz had been promised after all), and the group were complete by around 6pm. We had a great time chatting, and spared a thought for those forum members who had not been as fortunate as we had been to have been invited. At 6.15pm, other guests started arriving in the Crow’s Nest, and we were glad to have our corner to ourselves. Carol Marlow came over to talk to us, and she seemed effortlessly at ease talking to our motley crew, spending time in her busy schedule to speak to all of us. We also got chance to speak to both Olly Smith and Atul Kolchar, who were both charming and happy to pose for photos… but MPW (who was on board) was not in attendance. Perhaps he’d read of the Gary Rhodes vs MPW thread and was sulking! We also spoke to the head of marketing at P&O, who’s remit includes the website, and we were very restrained (except Billy) in our comments on the website’s performance!

Our group were dining in Sorrento (which is very nice as mentioned above). We were seated on a mixture of tables of 2’s and 4’s, and Onelife and his wife drew the short straw, being saddled with myself all dinner. The menu looked very appetising, although there was some confusion as to whether we were expected to choose between starter or soup, despite the menu clearly reading that both would be served. I suspect that this was down to a lack of training; the wine waiter also seemed surprised that we should like white wine with our lobster starter, but red wine with the beef fillet. The food was good, but slightly below usual P&O standards in my opinion, but I certainly wasn’t complaining. We were offered a choice of dessert or cheese, although I do know of a forum member who managed to get both. I won’t mention names, as that would be impolite – but I wasn’t aware that Smurfs ate cheese! Commendably, P&O had chosen local cheeses, but I wasn’t overly impressed with their offering, which weren’t to my taste.

After dinner, we went back on deck, and bagged the same spot right next to the podium where Dame Shirley stood. As she entered, Diamonds are Forever was playing, and as it was faded she impromptually took up the mantle, continuing in her fine, rich voice. A real unexpected (for her too apparently) treat, which I will remember for a long time. The firework display which followed was fantastic, which we enjoyed whilst sipping brandies or ports. After the fireworks, Dame Shirley descended the stairs and somehow Debbie’s husband got her to come over to us (she was generally quite well chaperoned), and she posed happily for a photo. I can’t quite believe that I was stood right next to her, and can’t wait to get a copy of the photo. I’m not usually star-struck, yet she really is something else, and carries an aura about her.

The entertainment then moved indoors to the Curzon Lounge. The male group called The Overtones were fantastic, and did some great accapella numbers including Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time”. The entertainment from this point in this venue was clearly going to be ballroom dancing so we made our way to the Crow’s Nest at around midnight (after saying goodnight to some lightweights who were going to bed). The day was completed by a great hour or two in the Crow’s Nest where there was dancing to a DJ. I really must commend Stephen’s wife who actually managed to get me on the dance floor, which is usually a decadal event at most! Carol Marlow was still going strong at this point, and she had a quick dance with me- having obviously been drawn to my “moves”! We finally retired to bed at around 2.00am – remarkedly fairly sober considering the drinks were on P&O all day and night.

The alarm clock came far too soon at 7.45, and we had to hurry to depart the cabin by 8.30am, which left no time for brekkie, so I can’t comment on the quality and variety of that.

All-in-all, we had a fantastic time with a great group of people, on a good ship with great organisation by P&O. My heartfelt thanks go to P&O for the opportunity to witness the event, for which Wina and I feel truly honoured.

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Jaczs+
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Jaczs+ » 22 Jan 2013, 23:10

Oh it is nice to see you had kept this Romig sadly mine are all on the P&O site.

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Dennis The Menace
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Dennis The Menace » 23 Jan 2013, 03:06

That brought back a few memories Romig, cheers.

We had our own simultaneous naming ceremony on the forum as i recall. It was only imaginary obviously with us all just at home on our own in front of a keyboard but it meant we were there in spirit. HK still managed to get thrown out of our imaginary do though, she was a disgrace!

The highlights of the imaginary naming ceremony for me was sitting in the bath playing with my little inflatable Artemis while my Dad's Shirley Bassey album played in the background. And also recreating the fireworks by wrapping myself in bubble wrap and rolling down the stairs shouting "oh" and "eee".

Fond memories :)

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Kendhni
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Kendhni » 23 Jan 2013, 07:01

Thanks for posting that Romig, it was good to read it again and remember that night.

The highlight of the night had to be Billy doing his interpretive dance and impersonation of Dame Shirley :-)

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oldbluefox
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by oldbluefox » 23 Jan 2013, 08:57

DTM
If I remember correctly we had our own 'Dame Shirley'. Has anybody heard from her?

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Dennis The Menace
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Dennis The Menace » 23 Jan 2013, 09:01

No one seems to have her email address Foxy so hopefully P&O admin are helping us contact her.

Fingers crossed. I miss George especially ;-)

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oldbluefox
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by oldbluefox » 23 Jan 2013, 09:28

Should I ask David to provide a delete button for you for when she does arrive? :lol: :lol:

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Wina G
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Wina G » 23 Jan 2013, 10:26

Kendhni wrote: The highlight of the night had to be Billy doing his interpretive dance and impersonation of Dame Shirley :-)
I have never laughed so much, Billy was (& still is) a star :lol:

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Dancing Queen
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Dancing Queen » 23 Jan 2013, 10:38

Dennis The Menace wrote:That brought back a few memories Romig, cheers.

We had our own simultaneous naming ceremony on the forum as i recall. It was only imaginary obviously with us all just at home on our own in front of a keyboard but it meant we were there in spirit. HK still managed to get thrown out of our imaginary do though, she was a disgrace!

The highlights of the imaginary naming ceremony for me was sitting in the bath playing with my little inflatable Artemis while my Dad's Shirley Bassey album played in the background. And also recreating the fireworks by wrapping myself in bubble wrap and rolling down the stairs shouting "oh" and "eee".

Fond memories :)
And a great time we had menace, that is what forums are for fun, fun,fun and if we couldn't be there for real then we had the next best thing enjoying the day for those that were :D :D
Jo

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Dennis The Menace
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Dennis The Menace » 23 Jan 2013, 19:02

Totally agree DQ.

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Dennis The Menace
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Re: Adonia Naming Ceremony Review

Post by Dennis The Menace » 23 Jan 2013, 19:02

Yes please Foxy ;)

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