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A Royal Princess and Her Ship


If we didn't know better, we'd say Princess Cruises makes up this stuff…

The story starts with the fact that the cruise line's long-time spokesman is Gavin MacLeod of The Love Boat TV show. Princess finds one of its officers in training, on the way to  being a captain, is named Gavin MacLeod.

Now comes the new iteration of the Royal Princess. It was floated out of the Fincantieri Shipyard after a cord-cutting ceremony that starts the flow of water into the ship's dock. The cord is cut by the "madrina" (or godmother), a young woman who was christened on the old Royal Princess, which was under the command of her father, Captain Nick.

President & CEO Alan Buckelew presided at the ceremony.

"We wanted to bring the spirit of that much-loved ship, also a prototype design, to the new Royal Princess,” he said. “And who better to do that than Victoria, who has grown up into a beautiful young lady who will now have a special connection with both vessels.”

The story gets better because when she was christened on the Royal Princess in 1996, Victoria Nash's name was engraved on the inside of the old ship's bell, which was given to her family when the Royal Princess was re-assigned to P&O and re-named the Artemis in 2005. Now the family has given the bell back so it can be placed on the new ship when it is launched in the spring of 2013.

And when that happens, who do you think will be smashing the traditional bottle of bubbly on the bow of the Royal Princess?

The "Royal Princess," of course, which must surely be the first time the "christened" did the "christening."

Carnival Imagination
4 nights
September 17, 2012
Miami (return): Key West, Cozumel
Inside:  $199
Cost per day: $49

Magic Show Preview for Carnival

One of our nephews celebrated his drinking-age birthday this weekend, and it was agreed he would make his first visit to a pub. First official one, of course. The interesting thing is that, unlike most young adults on their drinking-age birthday, he wanted to go to the pub for food…not liquid.

The kid loves to eat more than drink, and what’s wrong with that? He must have some of our genes. All of this is a roundabout way of saying that when we heard about the RedFrog Pub that’s opening on the Carnival Magic, we thought about him.

Great idea…for the food.

The RedFrog is one of the Magic’s innovations, all of which will be on display on May 1, the day the big new ship is launched, in Venice. Last week, the Magic stuck its toe in the water off the coast of Italy, and the water and the ship both seemed to like each other.

Translation: Magic passed its sea trial.

Now it’s back in dry-dock, at a place called Fincantieri, getting all spruced up inside. Its new Italian restaurant is called Cucina del Capitano — who knew Captain Cook was Italian? — and it will feature dishes that celebrate the cruise line’s heritage. They had us at “Italian.”

Like the RedFrog, Cucina del Capitano is unique to the Magic, which will spend its first summer sailing cruises of 7 to 12 dates in Europe before heading to its American home, Galveston, in the fall.

Unlike our nephew, the Texans can hardly wait to toast the Magic.

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