The Boys on the Boat – Semi-Formal Recap

This year, the Oratory Prep Semi-Formal dance took an interesting turn. After poor attendance from both Sophomores and Freshmen last year, the administration decided to take the semi in a different direction. After talking to students, meeting with each other, and brainstorming ideas, Mr. Martin and Mrs. Gribbin decided the best way to improve the semi-formal was to hold the event on a boat. This idea came after interviewing students about the dance and how it could be improved. One of the main complaints, Mr. Martin said, was that the semi was in the gym. Students wanted it somewhere, anywhere else, so that’s exactly what they did.

As a result of this, the semi-formal was a rousing success. Unlike last year, the semi did not have to be cancelled due to lack of attendance (though it was still held after complaints). Instead, there were many Freshmen and Sophomores, and their dates. Students arrived at Oratory at 4:30 PM where they met friends and dates, and the buses arrived soon after at 5:00 PM to transport students, their dates, and accompanying faculty members to the Spirit of New Jersey boat in Weehawken, New Jersey. After about an hour drive, the buses arrived in Weehawken and students boarded the boat for their dinner cruise around Manhattan.

Around 7:15 PM the boat launched and soon after the buffet was open. While there were three floors on the boat in total, the semi was restricted to the first floor only for most of the party. However, there was still an opportunity to go outside, feel the breeze, and see the city while it was still light. Soon after everyone ate, the DJ picked it up and the dancing began. Though slow at first, the dance floor was completely filled by the end of the night. About halfway through the cruise, the boat passed the Statue of Liberty, and right when doing so, the third floor was opened to both parties (the OP semi and the party on the second floor of the boat), though Oratory occupied the majority of the floor. This presented a great opportunity for pictures and absolutely stunning views. Soon after passing the Statue of Liberty, or the more accurate description, “the lady with the candle,” according to Mrs. Gribbin’s son via a FaceTime call, the students were able to see Manhattan all lit up, and were able to do so until the very end of the cruise.

Around 9:00 PM the cruise came to an end and everyone exited the boat to board the buses to return to Oratory. Returning around 10:15-10:30, students met their parents at OP, marking the end of an enjoyable, amusing, and exciting night.