ATHENS, Greece (May 13, 2007) – This morning Princess Cruises officially christened its newest ship, Emerald Princess. In celebration of Mother’s Day, Princess united some of television’s most famous mothers and daughters to serve as the christeners and chose Greece, the birthplace of Mother’s Day, as the site for the naming festivities.
The ship’s godmothers are Florence Henderson, best known as “Carol Brady” on The Brady Bunch, and her TV daughter, Susan Olsen, aka “Cindy Brady,” as well as Marion Ross, the beloved “Marion Cunningham” from the international hit, Happy Days, and her TV daughter, Erin Moran, aka “Joanie Cunningham.”
The christeners were joined by Gavin MacLeod, former captain of The Love Boat and Princess spokesperson, who emceed the naming ceremony, as well as Princess Cruises and Greek officials. Traditional Greek dancers performed as part of the festivities.
“What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day and the launch of our beautiful new ship than to have this pair of iconic television mothers and daughters as christeners,” said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. “We’re thrilled to have them as godmothers. It’s also quite fitting to be hosting the naming ceremony in Athens, the birthplace of Mother’s Day.”
Florence Henderson is known worldwide as America’s favorite mom, “Carol Brady.” The Brady Bunch aired for five seasons, from 1969-1974, has never been off the air in the U.S., and currently airs in 122 countries around the world. Ms. Henderson recreated her popular role in several Brady-related shows including the recent VH1 reality show, My Fair Brady, which starred her TV son, Peter Knight. She is one of the most respected and beloved performers of our time and The Wall Street Journal rated her number five out of 10 top television endorsers, based on consumer appeal and a career built on trust and talent.
Marion Ross, the “best known matriarch on television” has played a variety of motherly roles over the years. She portrayed Mrs. Cunningham, on the classic television show Happy Days, for 11 seasons, from 1974-1984. According to TV Land, if there was a “Sitcom Hall of Fame,” Happy Days would have a cherished spot. The show was a regular in the Nielsen top-10 while airing and has been called one of America’s favorite family shows. Marion Ross was called “a classic mom” by About.com. In addition to her role on Happy Days, she played a mother on The Drew Carey Show, That ’70s Show, The Gilmore Girls, Brooklyn Bridge, and most recently, as Sally Fields’ mother on ABC’s hit, Brothers & Sisters.
Susan Olsen started her acting career while still in kindergarten. She reprised her famous role in several Brady Bunch reunion movies and the short-lived series, The Bradys. Expanding her role as one of the best-known daughters and little sisters ever on television, she also created and was the executive producer for Brady Bunch Home Movies, a CBS prime-time special, and is currently working on a book, which offers a humorous look at The Brady Bunch Variety Show. She is also serving as one of the editors on an upcoming Travel Channel special, The Bradys Back in Hawaii.
Erin Moran also started her acting career at the young age of five, appearing in several television commercials and then feature films before landing her most famous role as Joanie “Shortcakes” Cunningham on Happy Days, at the age of 12. In the show’s tenth season, America’s then-favorite daughter left the show to star in a series spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi.
Florence Henderson, Marion Ross and Erin Moran also share the distinction of guest-starring in episodes of The Love Boat, which was set on Princess Cruises’ original Pacific Princess.
The 113,000-ton Emerald Princess, a sister ship to the Crown Princess, is currently sailing to the most sought-after ports in the Mediterranean and Greek Isles, featuring the region’s most popular and historic destinations. Emerald Princess was line’s first ship to begin its life cruising from Rome’s seaport, the town of Civitavecchia on April 11. The ship will continue cruising in Europe throughout the summer before repositioning to Ft. Lauderdale for Caribbean sailings in the fall.
The new vessel includes many of the enthusiastically received design elements and amenities that debuted last year on sister ship Crown Princess, including a dramatic piazza-style atrium, a multitude of casual dining venues and an adults-only retreat called The Sanctuary.
Additional information about Emerald Princess and Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.