I recieved the following question from one of my passengers and thought hey, I bet alot of people would appreacaite this story!
On 2014-09-29 13:42, Grann wrote:
Thanks for the terrific tour and pictures.
Question – what is the reason for receiving the roses or flag pins (?) for men when we disembarked from the Gradeur of the Seas in Saint John. Couldn't remember the story and am putting together an album about the cruise.
Ann T. Thompson (the crab bag lady with Goetz's candy from Baltimore!!!)
On Sep 29, 2014, at 8:47 PM, Dave <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dave here, glad you enjoyed the tour and very happy you are using the pics!
15 years ago, the first cruise ship came into port seeking safe harbour from a massive hurricane called Floyd coming up the Atlantic Seaboard. Saint John was given only 12 hours to plan the welcome of the ship before its arrival. All hands were on deck working through the night to prepare for its arrival. Special busses were arranged by Saint John City Transit, the Taxi companies called in extra drivers and every rose in the city as well as a hoard of pins from City Hall was gathered together to be given out as small tokens of welcome and gratitude for the opportunity to host the ship and her passengers. Volunteer greeters we assembled and briefed to help the arriving passengers find their way on tours and answer questions. All through that night the welcome mat was woven readied to go as the ship sailed in. Locals were informed of the ships arrival on the morning airwaves and asked to be especially friendly and helpful to our surprise guests that would be carrying roses and sporting pins on their lapels’.
This welcome wagon was so successful, we have grown from that first ship, to approx. 80 ships each year, from those 3300 passengers to over 220,000 passengers annually.
Today, the tradition of giving the Roses & Pins continues, to welcome our cruise guests, remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have this beautiful city to share and of course, they still identify our guests to the locals, so everyone gets a warm welcome!
Thanks for asking~
UPDATE: After 26 years there has been a new development with this long tradition. The Roses & Loyalist Pins have been replaced by a "Three Sisters Lamp" Pin instead. They are limited in number and each year a different Landmark will be reproduced and given to cruise passengers as the come ashore to play! Great Idea!