PORTOFINO, Italy (June 15, 2007) — Princess Cruises’ new Royal Princess was christened yesterday in the picturesque harbor of Portofino by the most-traveled cruise passenger, Lorraine Arzt, who has in total spent more than 11 years sailing aboard Princess ships. With the words, “I name this ship Royal Princess, may God bless her and all who sail in her,” Arzt released the lever which broke the champagne bottle over the ship, and became one of the select women to be honored with the title of ship godmother.
Having spent more than 4,100 days at sea, Arzt is undoubtedly the most traveled passenger in the entire cruise industry. At the ceremony which celebrated her loyalty to Princess, she was feted by Princess executives and the passengers and crew of Royal Princess, set to the backdrop of local Italian musicians and a traditional blessing by the Father of the local parish.
Last month when the ship entered service Arzt, who spends approximately 10 months cruising each year, moved onto her “home away from home,” a suite aboard Royal Princess. She plans to travel exclusively on the intimate 710-passenger vessel, when not at her shoreside residence in Beverly Hills.
“Watching Lorraine christen Ã¢â‚¬Ëœher’ vessel was a special treat for us at Princess,” said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. “She is so deserving of this special honor, which pays tribute to her loyalty to Princess over many years.” Bucklew added that by naming Arzt godmother, the line was also recognizing the importance of all Princess’ loyal past passengers.
Arzt has been a regular resident aboard various Princess ships over the years. She began cruising with her late husband, Joe, in the early 1970s aboard P&O’s Spirit of London — which later became the original Sun Princess. The Arzts, professional dancers who later became successful in the real estate business, discovered that their first voyage, to Mexico, sparked a life-long love of cruising. The couple, whose marriage Lorraine describes as “a 46-year romance,” spent 17 of those years as regular passengers aboard the original Royal Princess. Following the transfer of that ship to P&O, Arzt sailed regularly aboard Sea Princess until the recent debut of the new Royal Princess.
The Portofino ceremony marked a first for Princess in this picturesque Italian Riviera port.
“Portofino made a perfect scenic setting for the naming of Royal Princess, as it represents the many special places we take our passengers,” added Buckelew. Known for its enchanting views and a lovely waterfront, the quaint fishing village sports a dramatic natural harbor that has attracted sailing vessels for centuries. The christening voyage — a new 12-day “Mediterranean Collection” itinerary — began in Rome and also features calls at Monte Carlo, Corsica, Sorrento, Messina (Sicily), Valletta (Malta), and Corfu, in addition to the brand new Princess ports of Kotor (Montenegro), Split (Croatia) and Ravenna (Italy), before ending in Venice.
A sister ship to the line’s popular Tahitian Princess and Pacific Princess, the 30,200-ton Royal Princess offers passengers a boutique version of Princess’ acclaimed onboard options – including a variety of dining and entertainment choices and a large number of cabins with private balconies — all offered in intimate surroundings. The 710-passenger vessel and her sisters have become popular choices for vacationers looking for “off the beaten path” itineraries and a small-ship experience.
Additional information about 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.