Princess Cruises is an American-British cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation. It was founded in 1965, is incorporated in Bermuda, and is headquartered in Santa Clarita, California. As of 2018, it is the 2nd-largest cruise line by net revenue. Previously a subsidiary of P&O (“Peninsular & Oriental”) Princess Cruises, it is currently under the Holland America Group within the Carnival Corporation. The company was made famous by the American TV series The Love Boat (1977-1986), in which its ship Pacific Princess was prominently featured, and it currently operates 14 ships cruising global itineraries.
Among the company’s cruise ship christeners include several real life princesses, including Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge (2013, Royal Princess 2) and Diana, Princess of Wales (1984, Royal Princess 1). Other notable “godmothers” who were selected to bring good luck and protection to the Princess vessels include: Florence Henderson, Marion Ross, Erin Moran, and Susan Olsen from the casts of “The Brady Bunch” and “Happy Days” (2007, Emerald Princess), Olivia de Havilland (1998, Grand Princess), Margaret Thatcher (1991, Regal Princess 1), Sophia Loren (1990, Crown Princess), and Audrey Hepburn (1989, Star Princess). The entire original cast of The Love Boat (including Gavin McLeod, Fred Grandy, Bernie Kopell, Ted Lange, Cynthia Lauren Tewes, and Jill Whelan) also jointly christened the Regal Princess 2 (2014) and the Dawn Princess 2 (1997) in Fort Lauderdale.
In November 2021, Princess Cruises announced a Love Boat-themed cruise, which “soon will be making another run” in February 2022, hosted by Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan, with appearances by the cast and featuring a special tribute to Gavin MacLeod, the actor who played Capt. Stubing on the show and who recently passed away in May 2021 at the age of 90. It will also feature a birthday celebration honoring MacLeod (who would’ve turned 91 on the voyage), a renewal of vows ceremony, Love Boat trivia with the Cruise Director, photo opportunities with the cast, and Love Boat-themed menus, specialty cocktails, décor, photo backdrops, and merchandise.
- Cruised: Dec 2021 – Regal Princess (from Fort Lauderdale to the “ABC Islands” — Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao)