First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their comments. When I started this blog I was given all kinds of warnings about the feedback I would receive. All the advice was drivel. I’ve received much more support and encouragement than I would have ever imagined. I’m actually enjoying the chance to share some of my excitement with an informed audience.
Last week we had a unique event. CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) holds an annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale called Cruise3sixty. It gets a terrific attendance by travel agents from across the county and we used the opportunity to present a small example of what the AquaTheater is all about.
At the Ft. Lauderdale Swimming Hall of Fame, we did a practice show to give an idea of what the AquaTheater will eventually have. The Hall of Fame is very impressive and served as a great venue. About 1,400 travel agents, media and other dignitaries came. We had synchronized swimmers, people diving from the 3-meter board and the 10-meter platform, and even a trampoline artist. Obviously we didn’t have the opportunity to present all of our bells and whistles. No great costuming or choreography or even something as simple as a rehearsal, but the divers, swimmers and other artists were terrific and the crowd was very enthusiastic. If everyone reacted so positively to such an early teaser, I can’t imagine how the final show will be received!
We do these practice runs for two reasons. First of all, it gives us a chance to tantalize everyone about all that Oasis has to offer. The ship is so spectacular and has so many new features that there’s no way to communicate them all in one easy step. We need to really demonstrate all the components one at time. Since there is nothing like Oasis on land, we have to do it in pieces and in different locations. The second reason for doing it is so that we get a better impression of what’s going to happen. The theater cliché is, “It’ll be all right on the night,” but that only works if you prepare well in advance. And there is nothing like a real event in front of a live audience to make sure it is as good as it can be. 1,400 travel agents may be a more demanding audience than one would like for an early test, but it is a great test and really gives our entertainment people a good insight into what works well and what doesn’t. I came away feeling even better about the concept and I already felt good. More importantly, our audience seemed very enthusiastic about it even though it was such an early sampling.
I also learned a new factoid. The pool in the AquaTheater is so big and especially so deep that it contains more water than all the pools on Freedom of the Seas combined.