I was very fortunate to be invited to the UK launch of Holland America’s “Eurodam” It was quite a grand event and a great honour to be on board. These events tend to follow a set pattern which consists of a welcoming message in the main ballroom or theatre, a casual walk around the ship admiring the public rooms and cabins along with the creative architecture combined with obligatory stops at various bars to refresh your tipple of the day. Lunch tends to interrupt these leisurely wanderings and then you carry on. At some point in the early evening it’s time to get ready for a fabulous evening meal followed by a Gala Ball and then when it’s the wee small hours you might be just about ready for bed!
Eurodam in this respect was magnificent and I can recall it was an especially enjoyable day. Of course nothing is ever perfect particularly when it involves me and a copious amount Drambuie! What happened was…….
Strolling through the ship as you do I happened to see a presentation by some senior Holland America executive which involved the use of a very lovely scale model of “Prinsendam” and I immediately decided I wanted to know where I could get one of these models for my self. This thought stayed in my head until later in the afternoon when I recognised one of the executive from the presentation walking towards me. I approached him and asked if he knew where I could get a copy of the ship’s model he had been demonstrating earlier.
The reply was not what I expected! He looked at me as if I had just told him I was a stowaway and said in a rather terse tone that he had absolutely no idea where I might get such an item and then he walked on. I had just bumped into Stein Kruse, President and CEO of Holland America. The best way to describe this moment would be to compare it to asking the CEO of Texaco where the nearest petrol station was located.
I wonder if that story is still doing the rounds in the Holland America boardroom?