SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (November 6, 2008) — In a “ruby red” themed ceremony celebrating romance, Princess Cruises today named its newest ship, Ruby Princess. America’s reigning reality couple, Trista and Ryan Sutter of The Bachelorette did the honors, breaking the traditional bottle of champagne to mark the ship’s launch, and their own fifth anniversary. The new godparents were surrounded by hundreds of guests decked out in ruby red-tie formal attire, and a ruby-haired singer serenaded the crowd. As befitting the most romantic cruise line, and an event celebrating “romantic moments and milestones,” the official naming was followed by the ultimate romantic milestone — a wedding in the midst of the festivities. The California couple joined in matrimony not only had Trista and Ryan as wedding attendants, but the Love Boat captain himself, Gavin MacLeod, gave away the bride.
Tonight the ship hosts a “Ruby Red Tie” gala and sets sail on a two-night cruise for hundreds of VIP guests who will enjoy a special preview of Princess’ newest vessel. During the mini sailing, the ship will host an array of romantic activities, including a massive renewal of vows for all couples tomorrow while the ship is at sea. Ruby Princess then returns to Port Everglades on November 8 for its inaugural seven-day sailing to the Western Caribbean.
“It’s only fitting that as the most romantic cruise line in the industry, we celebrate the naming of our newest ship with a tribute to ?romantic milestones,'” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises president and chief executive officer. “It was exciting to have Trista and Ryan Sutter serve as godparents of Ruby Princess and of course the wedding during the ceremony added an appropriate touch to the festivities.”
Princess Cruises has long been associated with romance on the high seas, dating back to its days as the setting for the now-iconic TV show The Love Boat. Cementing that connection, Princess was just named the “Best Cruise Line for Romance” and “Best Cruise Line for Weddings” in the 2008 Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards. The Ruby Princess naming ceremony continued the line’s tradition of romance with godparents Trista and Ryan, who were introduced to America in 2003 on the television hit The Bachelorette.
Trista and Ryan Sutter became America’s reigning romantic couple as millions of viewers followed their courtship and witnessed their nationally televised wedding. To this day they are the only couple from the Bachelor or The Bachelorette shows to actually get married. The ceremony fulfilled the dream of yet another couple as Kip Hickman and Danielle Vurpillat tied the knot as part of the ship’s naming ceremony. The couple, from Dunsmuir, Calif., met on a blind date and expressed their desire to be married onboard Ruby Princess during a recent contest held with national newspaper, USA Today. The minister who officiated the nuptials, Phil Roberts, is also a member of Princess Cruises’ Department of Romance.
The Ruby Princess naming ceremony will be available for viewing on line at www.princess.com beginning November 7.
The 3,080-passenger Ruby Princess includes a dramatic piazza-style atrium featuring small-bite eateries and an ever-changing line-up of street performers. Passengers will also enjoy Princess’ other array of dining venues including the signature Sabatini’s Italian restaurant and the Crown Grill steak house, plus a relaxing oasis just for adults called The Sanctuary. The new ship will also offer the many other innovations that define the Princess experience, including the popular Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, multiple entertainment venues, a relaxing Asian-style Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen’s center, and a wedding chapel.
During Ruby Princess’ inaugural season she will make seven-day weekly sailings from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean. Calls include Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and Princess Cays in the Bahamas. Next spring the ship will move to Europe for 12-day sailings in the Mediterranean and Greek Islands.
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.