Wedding Bells to Ring During Naming Festivities for Ruby Princess

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 28, 2008) – What better way for “the most romantic cruise line” to celebrate the launch of its new Ruby Princess than by incorporating an actual wedding in the naming ceremony? In a first, a California couple will be married during the ship’s christening festivities on November 6. Ruby Princess godparents, romantic television celebrities Trista and Ryan Sutter, will serve as attendants and former Love Boat captain, Gavin MacLeod, will give away the bride.

The couple, Danielle Vurpillat and Kip Hickman from Dunsmuir, Calif., were invited to share their nuptials with guests onboard after entering the Princess Cruises and USA TODAY “Romance on the Ruby” contest. In their submission they shared that it would be their dream to create their own romantic milestone by getting married onboard the new Ruby Princess – and in true Love Boat fashion, Princess is making their dream come true. In addition to the celebrity attendants, a member of the line’s Department of Romance, Phil Roberts, a minister, will perform the ceremony.

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. 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 continues the line’s tradition of romance as Trista and Ryan, who met and married on the television hit The Bachelorette, will christen the ship.

“A ship’s naming is an exciting event in itself, so including an actual wedding in the ceremony will certainly make this a one-of-a-kind celebration,” said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. “We aim to make this a fantastic romantic milestone for Danielle and Kip as they begin their life together as husband and wife.”

The wedding will take place during the ship’s naming ceremony on Thursday, November 6 at 5:00 p.m. while Ruby Princess is berthed in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The couple will then enjoy the festivities during the subsequent two-night inaugural preview cruise for VIPs.

“Since we met and married on national television five years ago, we feel very well suited to be Danielle and Kip’s attendants as they wed in front of more than 2,500 people onboard Ruby Princess,” said Trista Sutter. “We can coach them on making sure this milestone is special and intimate for them, even though it will be viewed by many thousands of people.”

The wedding and entire Ruby Princess naming ceremony will be available for viewing on line at 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