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  • kenpasternak


Have you noticed that some words in the English language have become devalued? A British comedian for example, recalls a friend being called a ‘legend’ because he volunteered to make a beer re-supply run during an exciting football match on television. Or how about the word, ‘awesome,’ applied to things, situations or even ideas. Very often it refers to something less than truly awe inspiring. Well, last evening, I was privileged to an awe-inspiring, and I mean that in the most eye-popping way, experience. I joined Alexandra Pasternak-Jackson CEO of Amcham Finland at an event celebrating the delivery of the “Icon of the Seas” cruise ship to Royal Caribbean International by its builder, the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, where ships have been built since 1737. It was a lavish affair with a cocktail reception, tour of the ship, and a three-course, sit-down dinner. Speakers included the CEO’s of Meyer Turku and Royal Caribbean, the Mayor of Turku, and the Finnish Minister of Employment. More than 1000 Finnish companies have been involved in building the world’s largest cruise liner. Here are some figures: -First ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology, expected to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 30% and sulfur emissions by nearly 100% -Capacity for 7600 passengers and crew of 2350 (more than 60 different nationalities) -Nearly 1200 feet (365 meters) long, the equivalent of more than three football fields or nearly four Statues of Liberty, pedestals included. -20 decks, 18 of which are for use by guests -7 pools, including a swim-up bar, suspended infinity pool and what Royal Caribbean describes as the “largest pool at sea.” -The biggest water park on the water -More than 40 places to eat and drink, including 15 bars and nightlife experiences and more than 20 dining options If you want a further glimpse, here’s an animated preview of the ship. Next week, the Icon of the Seas leaves Finland, sailing to its home Port of Miami, where final preparations will be made before its maiden cruise at the end of January. TRULY AWESOME!

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