Carnival Legend Dench soaked

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Morning all,

Did anyone see the news yesterday of the official naming ceremony of the Carnival Legend in Harwich, England? In the tradition of smashing a champagne bottle off the side, it broke only on the 3rd attempt and plastered Carnival Legend Godmother Dame Judi Dench. She just laughed it off though.

Is there a record of ships where the champagne bottle failed to break and the ship then met with some unlucky event?


Probably zillions, since most ships get the champagne treatment, including those lost in war.

Personally, I thought it was a fool thing to do. Dame Judy or the officer could have received nasty injuries. It's a good idea to attack the bottle with a glass cutter to make sure it breaks first time. Then let it swing and stand well clear.
A word to the wise--don't try knicking the glass of a champagne bottle when you go to christen a ship. Sometimes, the bottle explodes with disasterous results. That's why the dirty little secret to us a special bottle filled with foaming water. These are available commercially. They are thin-wall bottles wrapped in a nylon mesh to catch any flying glass. The effect is that of a champagne christening, but you don't take any chances on blinding the sponsor.

The "bad luck" business is if the bottle NEVER breaks. That's why at most launchings there is a strong armed man posted to slam the bottle back against the ship if the sponsor fails. I read of one case where somebody chased the ship down the ways to get that job done, although I believe this to have been a sea story.

On the subject of ship christening sea stories--it is said that the sponsor for a new Liberty Ship arrived at a Kaiser shipyard during World War II. Those were the days when ships were being constructed in record time. The sponsor was ushered to a christening platform, but there was no ship in front of it. "What am I to do," the lady asked. "Just start swinging the bottle," the yard foreman explained. "We'll have a ship built there in time."

It may be bad luck for the bottle not to break, but it is disasterous luck for a ship to stick on the ways. Need proof--Great Eastern.

-- David G. Brown

Erik Wood

Bottle never breaks doesn't break the first time. Whatever, I still wouldn't want to sail the ship. It is a floating hunk of....ship parts.
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