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Today's Travel News


Ruby Princess: Romantic Royalty


By Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia is the former travel editor of the Detroit News and a past president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She specializes in writing about cruising.

Fireboats welcomed the Ruby Princess with ruby sprays on her arrival in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

First, the Christening Ceremony

A number of cruise ships have been christened over the past few years and usually the ceremony consists of much pomp and circumstance and an abundance of speeches.

Princess Cruise Line decided to change that model when it named the Ruby Princess last month in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Because Princess likes to promote itself as the "Most Romantic Cruise Line," it decided to make the christening of this lovely new ship a themed event.

Ruby red roses adorned the rails and table. Guests at the black tie gala were arrayed in all shades of crimson. Lots of fellows sported red bow ties with their tuxes, while the ladies bedecked themselves with lavish amount of red lace, crepe, and satin.

Of course, there was a speech or two. Actor Gavin MacLeod, of "Love Boat" fame, made his traditional cheery appearance. And there were all the usual cruise line executives and city officials.

However, instead of royalty or movie stars getting the honor of breaking the bottle of champagne, Princess invited Trista and Ryan Sutter, of "The Bachelorette" television fame, to name the ship as they celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary.

That was plenty fun, but the most memorable part of the naming ceremony was an actual wedding that took place. The couple from Mt. Dunsmuir, Ca., won a contest run by Princess and USA Today magazine. Gavin MacLeod gave away the bride and Trista and Ryan served as the attendants. It was such fun to see them around the ship the next couple of days as they enjoyed their new-found fame.



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