Princess Cruises has begun marking its half-century by appearing in the 126th Rose Parade.
This is the first time the company has contributed a float to the iconic event, with the landmark anniversary giving it a perfect opportunity to reflect on its past while keeping an eye firmly on the future.
One of the main highlights of the parade was the inclusion of six members of the cast of hit TV show The Love Boat.
The programme certainly helped to cement Princess Cruises in the public consciousness as one of the most famous cruise lines in the world, so the presence of the likes of Gavin MacLeod and Fred Grandy, who played Captain Stubing and Chief Purser Gopher respectively, were entirely appropriate.
Bernie Kopell, who played Doc, also appeared on the float, along with Lauren Tewes (cruise director Julie) and Jill Whelan, better known as Captain’s daughter Vicki.
Princess Cruises made sure it wasn’t just presenting itself in a nostalgic light by ensuring the Rose Parade float depicted the Regal Princess – its newest vessel.
The cruise ship was seen sailing through many of the locations that Princess’s customers have travelled to over the past 50 years, with landmarks such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House giving a flavour of the types of holidays on offer.
Spectators of the float will also have spotted the Golden Gate Bridge, a traditional Japanese pagoda and waterfalls and tropical flowers representing exotic locations such as Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean.
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, commented: “Since the theme of this year’s Rose Parade was ‘Inspiring Stories’, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to launch our 50th anniversary year celebrations.
“For the last five decades our guests have been sailing with us to amazing places and they’ve returned with inspiring memories that have lasted a lifetime – and we want to celebrate this throughout our golden anniversary year.”
More than 24,000 flowers, including roses, carnations, tulips and orchids, were featured on the float, which was 60 ft long and 24 ft high.
Another interesting aspect of the float was the inclusion of flower vials that had been signed by 16,000 of its employees. This was featured in order to acknowledge the important role its workers have played over the last 50 years and will keep playing in the coming years.
Princess Cruises described the vials as a “tribute” to its crew members and workers across the globe, as they have delivered “incredible cruise vacations to their guests”.
Passengers were also asked to get involved, with the cruise line organising a contest for those who have been on previous trips and asking them to share an inspiring story that happened during their trip.
The winner was 91-year-old Nathan Keith Abbott, who was given the opportunity to ride on the float and take a cruise to the South Pacific, the region he served in during World War Two.// END - About the Author ?>