October 20, 2019

Selfie earns woman trip of a lifetime on megaliner

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By Annemarie Quill From Bay of Plenty Times

A chance selfie snapped halfway up Mount Maunganui has nailed a Tauranga woman the trip of a lifetime on mega cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas.

Hannah Smith-Frank, 22, took the “spur of the moment” photo on as the ship left Tauranga port after its inaugural visit, when she joined thousands of locals who lined the harbour and Mauao to farewell the 169,000-tonne Ovation, the fourth-largest cruise ship in the world.

Ms Smith-Frank, who now works as a marketing manager in Auckland, was in Tauranga, where she had grown up, visiting her parents for Christmas.

“We knew it was going to be busy so on the day we parked my parents’ motorhome in Pilot Bay, then had dinner in the Mount and then climbed up the Mount to see the ship leave. I was amazed at how many people were there…it was spectacular…I am always taking selfies so I grabbed a quick shot.”

Ms Smith-Frank entered her photo into a completion, “You, Me and Ovation of the Seas”, run by Ovation’s owners, , to mark the ship’s first visit to . Today she was delighted to learn she had won.

“I wasn’t even going to upload it, but I thought, heck, you never know. They said they liked my photo as it showed not only the ship but the excitement of the crowds in the Mount…I think the ship attracted so much attention in all of New Zealand but particularly so in Tauranga…there was just such a sense of excitement and I hope the photo captures that.”

The ship’s captain Henrik Loy remarked on the “passion of the locals” telling the Bay of Plenty Times on Boxing Day that he had never seen so many people turn out to see the ship.

Ovation of the Seas is longer than three rugby fields, weighs 168,660 gross registered tonnes and carries 4762 passengers, and 1600 crew.

The farewell from thousands in their boats and on shore made such an impression, one cruise ship passenger wrote in to the Bay of Plenty Times to relay their appreciation.

Mark Kinchley of Royal Caribbean said the selfie competition had been a novel way to capture the excitement live on the day, and had attracted strong interest.

“There was a really good response, not just from New Zealand, but even from , from people who had taken photos after she was launched in Europe.”

Ms Smith-Frank has won an eight night South Pacific cruise for two, departing from Auckland on January 19, 2018. She told the Bay of Plenty Times that she would take her partner.

“I phoned him today after I found out but because we were both at work I couldn’t speak a lot, so I just said, I have to be quick, but we are going on a cruise.”

She said she was looking forward to having cocktails on board at the Bionic Bar, where robotic bartenders.

“And just everything really, it is my first cruise, and to go on this huge ship, I am so excited.”

She told her Tauranga family on Facebook that she had won.

“They all entered too, so it was funny, but they are really happy for me.”

The competition
In the You, Me and Ovation of the Seas competition, Royal Caribbean offered a whirlwind, eight-day cruise for those who spotted the ship in any New Zealand port and took a selfie with it.

Ovation of the Seas
Tonnage, GRT: 169,000
Length: 348m
Width: 41m
Cruising speed: 22 knots
Decks: 18
Guest elevators: 16
Passengers: 4905 (maximum).Crew: 1500
Cost: US$1 billion ($1.45b)
Has a stand-up surfing pool, sky-diving simulator, rock-climbing wall, dodgem cars, a circus school and an observation gondola on a hydraulic arm rising 90 metres above the ship.
Built at Papenberg, Germany

IMAGE: Tauranga woman Hannah Smith-Frank’s selfie taken from the Mount, which captured the departure of Ovation of the Seas, has won her a eight-night Pacific cruise for two on the megaliner.
Tauranga woman Hannah Smith-Frank’s selfie taken from the Mount, which captured the departure of Ovation of the Seas, has won her a eight-night Pacific cruise for two on the megaliner.

For more on this story go to: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11786061

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