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Friday File: The Princess Celebration

Yesterday was the big day for Princess Cruises, which has had many big days over the last 50 years. Yesterday being December 3, it was the actual 50th anniversary of the first Princess cruise — Los Angeles to Mexico on the Princess Patricia. It was also the first day of the cruise to re-create that first itinerary, this time on the Pacific Princess. That was the name of The Love Boat that is credited with bringing cruising to the masses, but this is a more recent iteration, one that joined the fleet in 2002. The original Pacific Princess is long gone but her memories were ever-present yesterday at the 50th Anniversary bash in Southern California…

Princess Cruises celebrates their 50th Anniversary with the original cast of The Love Boat aboard Pacific Princess at the Port of Los Angeles on Thurs., Dec. 3, 2015, in San Pedro, Calif. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Princess Cruises/AP Images)

It’s been 29 years since The Love Boat’s nine-year reign ended on prime time television but six members of the cast were on hand yesterday: Bernie Kopell (Doc), Fred Frandy (Gopher), Ted Lange (Isaac), Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Lauren Tewes (Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing).

Princess Patricia

The ship that started it all, the Princess Patricia, which sailed the Mexican Riviera on the first week of December 1965.

Pacific Princess-1

It was the original Pacific Princess that became The Love Boat and made a TV show, a crew of actors and the cruise industry famous.

Royal Princess-Kate

Two years ago, Kate the Duchess of Cambridge christened the Royal Princess to join the family of Princess Godmothers — which includes Princess Diana.

2015 Princess Rose Parade Float Photo by Rob Comeau for Princess Cruises

The 50th anniversary celebrations kicked off 328 days ago, with a float in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

Capt. Ravera

Gavin MacLeod notwithstanding, Captain Stefano Ravera is our favorite Princess captain, from an Alaska cruise on the Star Princess.

Majestic Princess

To validate how far the cruise line has come since 1965, take a peek at the Majestic Princessdue to make its maiden voyage in 2017.

– Love Boat reunion photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Princess Cruises/AP Images) & Rose Parade Float photo by Rob Comeau

In the news…

• Carnival Live’s new performer: comedian Kathy Griffin, for two cruises in February
• MSC Armonia and Opera both to have Havana as home port next November

Today at portsandbows.comPrincess does it right for passengers 


Holland America Amsterdam
1 night
May 21, 2016
Vancouver, Seattle
Inside: $99
Cost per day: $99
www.hollandamerica.com

Princess Floats With Fun Idea

Ahoy, ye landlubbers! You’ve seen cruise ships sitting on the top of cliffs impersonating hotels. You’ve seen the innards of cruise ships outside a football stadium, attending tailgate parties.

How about “sailing” down Colorado Boulevard in Los Angeles?

That’s where the Regal Princess — or a reasonable facsimile of it — will be on New Year’s Day. The ship (it doesn’t arrive in North America until November 10) has been turned into a float in a parade. Now there’s a double entendre of sorts…the ship’s a-float, and the ship’s a float.

Rose Bowl floatThis will be the first time Princess has been in America’s best-known parade, which serves as a prelude to its best-known college football game. It will be just a little smaller than its matron — 60 feet long, 24 feet high — and it will be made of flowers, because that’s what floats are in the Rose Bowl Parade, when the six original cast members of The Love Boat will be riding on the “deck.”

This “Regal Princess” has already been christened, two weeks ahead of the one that doesn’t cruise down Colorado Boulevard. That means she already has a Godmother, Princess Vice-President of PR Julie Benson, who as she smashed a bottle of bubbly (or confetti) on the float’s bow declared: “I name this float Regal Princess. May God bless her and all who cruise down Colorado Boulevard on her.”

In addition to seizing a photo op that will be viewed by 80 million TV watchers on January 1, Princess is clearly having some fun with the concept.

Maybe the next step will be to have her on display on a Princess ship.

They can call it The Love Float.

Today at portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas
4 nights
November 17, 2014
Port Canaveral (return): CocoCay, Nassau
Inside: $149
Cost per day: $37
www.royalcaribbean.com

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