Special thanks to Noordam’s Future Cruise Consultants Megan and Matt Caplinger for this post and photos.
We wanted to do something to celebrate 2012’s World’s Largest Cruise Sale that had never been done before. Something that would be talked about by guests and crew for years to come. And with the incredible help of the Noordam staff and crew, we succeeded. At 3:00 p.m., on the first sea day of the Transatlantic crossing, the Noordam went quiet except for the roars of excitement in the Vista Lounge, which was fully packed with no seats left empty. Incorporating our Dutch heritage with a tasty treat, the WORLD’S FIRST BITTERBALLEN EATING CONTEST AT SEA happened!
A panel of six brave eating contestants rose from the stage’s pit, along with a special appearance from Captain Arno Jutten. A warm welcome from Captain started the show and the Bitterballen Eating contest began. The eating panel had two minutes to consume as many Bitterballen as they could, with the traditional mustard sauce to help wash it down. No doubt it was the longest two minutes of the contestants’ lives and when the clock reached zero, the results were astounding.
The number of Bitterballen each contestant ate ranged from 13 to 19, but the winner of the World’s First Bitterballen Contest at Sea went to the 6 foot 7 ClubHAL Youth Staff Martien, hailing from the Netherlands, who consumed 20 Bitterballen in two minutes. That’s one Bitterball every 16 seconds, for a whopping total of approximately 800 calories. A proud winner, Martien celebrated his victory by accepting a giant four-pound Bitterballen trophy, and eating only a salad for dinner.
The event continued with a parade of the Noordam Chefs and Dining Room attendants, who passed out plated appetizers from around the world. Guests were also treated to tasty beverages including sangria, mimosas, wine and fruit punch. A panel of guest speakers took time out of their busy schedules to detail their favorite places to sail around the world. Speakers included Hotel Director Jessica Schumann, Executive Chef Thomas Schumann, Cruise Director Shane Michaels and Travel Guide Nancy Leach.
A Future Cruise presentation was made and at the conclusion of all presentations, hundreds of dollars in prizes were handed out for some lucky guests in the audience. The event was an epic success, with guests still chatting about the World’s First Bitterballen Contest at Sea. We would like to thank everyone who assisted in making the event a memorable moment for guests on the Noordam’s Transatlantic Crossing.