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Oh What a Time it Was…It Was — I have a photograph!

Our stellar 14-day sailing on the Royal Clipper out of Rome, Italy culminated in the last night’s farewell cocktail party. At the farewell party, it’s traditional to auction off the Captain’s sea chart that he used to record the nautical part of our journey together from Rome to Venice.  All money raised for these chart auctions goes to the Crew’s Emergency Fund, providing travel money in the event that a crew member needs to go home unexpectedly to tend to a family emergency.

The live auction went pretty quickly as it became obvious there was one passenger who wanted the chart as a souvenir of his trip.  Counter bidding slacked off and the sea chart sold for 1500 euros to the guest obviously bent on having it.  But the bidding didn’t stop there!  Without any prodding, our guests who did not ‘win’ the auction began coming forward with donations of their own.  “I pledge 500 euros to the staff emergency fund” came from behind the crowd.

What happened next was so beautiful, so indicative of how much our guests care about the staff on board, and so surprising that even the cruise director was caught off guard without her usual pen and clipboard at her side.  She began busily writing down the donations on a cocktail napkin!

 

 
Cabin 002 –  another 500 euros,” came from the crowd.  Another guest pledged an additional 100 euros.  Then came another…and another.  This went on for about 10 minutes as the cocktail party was coming to a close.  In the end, the napkin showed that our guests donated over 6,000 euros to the fund — 1,500 euros for the winning bidder of the sea chart and the rest from guests merely wanting to show their appreciation to the staff with their own donations.  It was an incredibly moving moment. Guests, staff, and crew were hugging and tearing up.  It made me SO proud to be a part of such a philanthropic group of guests.
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