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Certain moments did stand out,
highlighting where I was. I was the only
man among at least 500 women at the
buffet for lunch. I enjoyed a similar ratio
on the ferry to our stop in the Bahamas
during the three-day cruise.
Most of the cruise ship restrooms
usually designated for men were converted,
of course, which had me and a few of my
fellow male cruise mates walking in circles
looking for a loo. Now I know how it feels
to be a woman, having to wait so long.
At one point, a crew member saw me in
a long line of women and exclaimed “A
boy!” That drew a roar of laughter from
everyone and a bit of ribbing about how my
wife had ‘tricked’ me into this cruise.
Even Oprah took note of the men who
had made the voyage during each of her
four at-capacity A Conversation with
Oprah sessions in the ship’s main theatre.
She asked the men to stand for a little
applause and recognition, and she assured
us we should be able to cash in on this
goodwill until at least October.
Oprah was seen occasionally around the
ship, and a few lucky passengers had a
chance to interact with her informally.
One woman chatted to her on an adjacent
treadmill at the gym during her early-
morning workout. Another group I talked
to said the highlight of their cruise was
singing happy birthday to Oprah (she
turned 65 during the cruise) when she
stopped by their table in a restaurant.
She also had a photo-op session, and
I was able to meet her quickly and get a
Cruise activities included morning yoga
sessions, intense workouts, chats with
editors of O, The Oprah Magazine, a pyjama
party (where Oprah served tequila shots!)
and plenty of good food and music. We
joined a fun excursion on Half Moon Cay
where I was the only dude riding horses
with dozens of women.
Each night, the Music Walk area would
fill up. Cruisers enjoyed hearing classics
at the Lincoln Center Stage (performed
by a quintet of women), rocking out to
the house band at the Rolling Stone Rock
Room, dancing the night away at B.B.
King’s Blues Club or singing along to
duelling pianos at Billboard Onboard.
Oprah wowed attendees during her
in-depth talk on the power of positivity
and self-belief. She wove tales of her own
life lessons into her talk and had the crowd
enthralled for more than 90 minutes. It is
now a little clearer to me why women
regard her with such high esteem.
I have never been around a more diverse
group of people – in terms of age and
background, if not gender – who were so
friendly and positive toward one another.
It’s hard to imagine a ship full of 2,400 men
and 60 women putting out the same vibe.
Iknew I would be in the minority when
I agreed to go with my wife on Oprah’s
Girls’ Getaway Cruise, but after boarding
Nieuw Statendam, I learned I was one of
just 57 men sailing with more than 2,400
women. And it was an amazing (and
This cruise celebrated the importance of
friendship, especially among women, and
female empowerment, and the positivity
started with Oprah.
The wildly famous media icon is
godmother to Nieuw Statendam; her Girls’
Getaway Cruise was capped with a naming
ceremony in Fort Lauderdale.
Some cruisers wore special T-shirts
identifying them as groups from Texas or
as particular fans of Oprah. The most
charming ones stated “I’m Her Gayle and
She’s My Oprah”, referring to Gayle King,
Oprah’s best friend of more than 40 years,
who was also onboard.
Mothers cruised with daughters and
grand-daughters. We saw sisters. Best
friends. And, yes, even husbands.
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CRUISE WITH CONFIDENCE
John Roberts finds a cruise with the talk-show
queen a humbling and educational experience.
My Cruise with Oprah
This drew a roar of laughter and a bit of ribbing
about how my wife had ‘tricked’ me into this cruise.”
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