A historic photo!
Jean-Paul Bernard, Head-teacher in 1988 of the Lycée Alexandre Dumas in Strasbourg, and Founding President of the AEHT, is pictured with his colleague Christiane Muylaert, currently occupying that same post in the same school. Her school, after a long absence, has returned to the great AEHT family. Historic, as I said.
The President at the front desk
We’ll have seen it all in the AEHT. In the embarkation hall in Savona, who was manning the counter set aside for the AEHT? It was none other than Klaus Enengl himself, answering questions from the future passengers and what is more greeting them personally. And with a big smile into the bargain.
It is customary for the captain to receive passengers for a welcome cocktail. Who are the fortunate few to be chosen? No-one knows. But still, the party takes place towards 11.00 in the Osiris theatre. Captain Orazio d’Aita greets each guest personally and the two are photographed before he introduces his team. During this time the waiters move up and down the rows of guests serving petit-fours and cocktails.
Grand Marnier ever present
As is his custom, Serge Sevaux, representing the Grand Marnier company, was very involved in this cruise. He was there early on during the cocktail competition where his products were on show, and then again during the prize-giving, rewarding the happy winners with his precious bottles. Not forgetting that at his table you could have a taste of Grand Marnier!
La Casadelladivisa too!
For many years Marco Esposto, the owner of la Casadelladivisa based in Senigallia, has been an eager sponsor of the AEHT. There is a good reason for this, since his business aims to provide clothing for hotel and tourism schools. Even on board the ship he installed a show-room in cabin 8215 where he displayed a part of his wares.
The ‘click click’ at the bar
All the passengers who drank in the bar on deck 2 admired the skills of the barmen, not only when they prepared the cocktails at lightning speed, but also when they recorded the drinks with each passenger’s individual card. The card went click click click click on the screen of the cash register. A real ballet of sound!
The 25th Anniversary Book
As well as the polo shirt, the tie, the silk square, the conference pins and the Villeroy et Boch plate, the participants at this 25th Anniversary found in their cabins a copy of the ‘25th Anniversary Book’. What an excellent idea this was, a good way of commemorating the events which have marked the history of the AEHT from 1988 to 2012. There will be another book for the 50th anniversary …!
No problem if the passengers want a souvenir of the cruise. Before they embark, everyone is photographed by a member of the crew in front of a ship’s rudder with the ship in the background. There is a photographic studio on board for those who want a more personal souvenir. And then, during the meals, photographers walk around shooting the guests ten to the dozen. And finally on the following day all these shots are displayed on deck 3 in the photo gallery, and you can even have your photo inserted onto the front page of an international magazine!
On board these giant cruise ships they have planned everything to occupy the passengers. Even a casino with one-armed bandits, gaming tables etc.
In the kitchens of the Costa Mediterranea
Thanks to Ingrid Happ we had the chance to have a short visit of the ship’s kitchens. It wasn’t yet the busiest time, but almost. To think that at least 6,000 meals per day leave this place! An achievement that verges on the impossible, all carried out without a hitch, just like well-adjusted clockwork. Hats off to these performers!
Publicity for Zillertal
Every year the Zell-am-Ziller school in Austria doesn’t miss an opportunity to publicise its valley. This year its director handed out armfuls of gadgets and, to crown it all, he had his team unfurl a large banner above the bar on deck 2, the most popular on board and a place where everyone went. The Zell-am-Ziller tourist office can be very pleased!
Obligatory lifeboat drill
Lifeboat drill means that when you hear seven short blasts and one long blast, everyone must go to the assembly point. This was an experience for the 730 AEHT delegates who lined up on deck 2 with the obligatory life jacket. Thanks to the red Drill card which had to be handed to a crew member, participation in the lifeboat drill was checked. One AEHT delegate who failed to attend this obligatory allocation of duties was invited that same evening to proceed to the captain’s cabin for a special briefing on the procedures to be observed in case of emergency. There is no joking with safety.
The Presidium and in particular the President had negotiated with Costa an all-inclusive formula which enabled the students and everyone else to savour the cocktails concocted with such skill at the ship’s four bars by the particularly lively bartenders.
No telephone on the high seas
As there are still no mobile phone transmitters on the high seas, mobile phone addicts were deprived of the use of their favourite object. But as soon as the coast came into view, the calls started again with a vengeance.
Rolling and pitching
Those who had never been on a boat before won’t forget the sequence of ‘rough sea’ warnings on the voyage between Savona and Barcelona. A 128 km/h wind reminded the delegates that life on board ship can be turbulent, and your sleep disturbed. The episode was quickly forgotten the following day when the sea became like a mill pond again and the sun shone once more between the two ports of call in Spain.
Those attending the AEHT conference were not in the majority on board the ship. Other passengers came on board in Savona and in Marseilles, and as an added extra to their cruise they were entitled to benefit from the exceptional international atmosphere of the AEHT. They thought of it as an unexpected and agreeable ‘value added’. Some had even attended the opening or closing ceremonies or the competitions. Those who had seized this opportunity were generous in their praise both for the behaviour of the students (impeccably dressed throughout five days of the cruise) and for the organisation of the Association – and we even saw two of them taking their hats off to the outgoing president whom they had identified as the conference organiser.
The AEHT has the word EUROPEAN in its acronym. Well quite often the European anthem, which is supposed to unite the citizens of all Europe’s countries, falls by the wayside. Shouldn’t it be an obligation on the organisers of all of the AEHT’s official ceremonies to remind the assembly of the purpose of the anthem? For example at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Annual Conference?
Jury and super Jury: volunteers are officially appointed!
The handful of volunteers in the ‘super-jury’ in charge of the competitions were kindly requested to ‘be candidates’ to help the team in Serbia in 2014. ‘It was perfect, many thanks for doing a repeat performance next year,’ said Klaus Enengl with a broad smile!