Princess Debuts "Department of Romance"

What better way to toast Valentine’s Day than by introducing our new Department of Romance, dedicated to inspiring love onboard and ashore. We've enlisted a dream team of experts to join us and share their insights, including dating guru Trish McDermott, renowned couples therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, seasoned wedding planner Alba Carreras and America’s favorite Love Boat Captain, Gavin MacLeod. ( read the press release )

And this inaugural Princess Romance Report is your personal resource for tips, trends and other matters of the heart — you’ll be well-versed in the language of love in no time!

So enjoy our bi-annual Romance Report and celebrate romance with Princess.

Presented by Cruise Traveler Magazine

Inside this issue:

Sweet Nothings

The Look Ahead on Love

The Dish from Trish

Feature Article:
How to...pop the question in an unusual way

“Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
— Robert Frost


85% of women say the marriage proposal they received was far less romantic than they had anticipated. (The RoMANtic’s Guide to Popping the Question)
Nearly 10% of all marriage proposals are given by women. (The RoMANtic’s Guide to Popping the Question)
More than 50% of all marriages are the result of a friend or family member providing the initial introduction. (
Men take 15 minutes to decide whether or not a girl is worth a second date.
Women take 60 minutes. (msn/match)
Nearly 50% of dating breakups happen over email. (msn/match)
More than 40 million people are currently dating online. (
81% of all currently married couples have celebrated at least their fifth anniversary, 53% have been married at least 15 years, and 33% have reached their 25th anniversary. Reaching the golden 50th anniversary is a milestone only achieved by 6% of married couples. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Green is the new red…

Eco-conscious couples are incorporating their lifestyle into their wedding plans, spending time and money to use recycled paper and minimizing the amount of paper used for invitations, place cards and programs, creating centerpieces with pesticide-free flowers and potted plants and serving organic and vegetarian menus.

A new “moon” rising…

The latest trend in honeymoons is emerging thanks to the phenomenon of increasingly shrinking durations for “regular” vacations. “Adventuremoons” are on the rise, as more and more couples take the “excuse” of a honeymoon to experience dream adventure trips that they wouldn’t normally be able to squeeze into a standard 3- to 5-day vacation, a duration which is increasingly becoming the norm. Hiking through the ruins of Machu Picchu, rafting in the Grand Canyon and strolling along the Great Wall of China are some of the top activities for adventurous honeymooners.

Stop the insanity (if only for a weekend)…

With wedding planning becoming more elaborate, more frenetic, and more overwhelming, an increasing number of couples are taking a mid-engagement “escape” from the drama. Mini-moons are a quick getaway favored by harried betrotheds, enabling them to have a 48-hour “freeze” on making any decisions, dealing with pushy in-laws, and coordinating any details.

Vegas here we come…

It’s no longer the guys who hit the road to toast their best buddy’s walk down the aisle. Destination showers and bachelorette bashes are all the rage, giving the girlfriend getaway a whole new meaning.

Wilder and wackier wedding receptions…

The bride and groom are still doing their first dance, but now it may be to karaoke or a live rock band. In 2007, the cocktail reception will take center stage, lasting longer and becoming more elaborate. Highlights will include signature and oversized cocktails, elaborate display tables and themed music.

Information compiled from theknot and msn.

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Trish McDermott, former VP of Romance for and co-developer of, has years of experience counseling singles on dating and romance. Today she is seeing that love, marriage, commitment and romance are all back in. Call it RetroRomance, but people are looking for special ways to reconnect and everyone from the local restaurant to five-star resorts are stepping in to help them.

Handwritten, and from the heart…

Nothing says “I love you” more than a handwritten love note or card. Email is quick, easy, and convenient. But to take the time to put pen to paper, buy a stamp, and mail the note demonstrates a commitment of conscious thought and deliberate caring. Here are some ideas on how/when to surprise your sweetie with a special love note.

When they’ve had a bad day. Nothing will cheer them up more than a surprise note from their sweetie.

On the anniversary of the day you first met. They’ll be touched that you remembered… and that you took the time to pen a note.

On your child’s birthday – their day is just as much yours.

No reason at all – the best time of all is for no reason at all!

A kiss is worth a thousand emails...

Technology-free romance nights are the best way to disconnect from hectic lives and focus only on each other. Nothing destroys the mood quicker than a ring from your cell phone.

Schmoozing for smooches…

Families, friends and co-workers are the best networking tool for finding your perfect mate. Here are a few tips on how to use this network wisely. DO look toward those whose advice you respect. DON’T be insulted if a loved one’s fix-up is a mix-up. DO collaborate on matchmaking –- take a trip as a group of singles and help each other in the search for love. Offer advice and insight about a potential date’s strengths and listen when that advice is given to you.

Romance night:

A non-cancellable meeting…how to set – and keep – a regular “date night” with your partner. With most parents working and involved in countless activities, there isn’t much time for romance. Investing in your romance is the most important thing you can do to keep your love alive. Line up a sitter, set up a weekly date night and make time to reconnect with your spouse. A few times a year, leave the kids at home and take off for a romantic getaway.

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When running back Ian Johnson proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend after Boise State’s 43-42 overtime victory in the Fiesta Bowl, romantics everywhere sighed. But you don’t need to be a professional athlete or movie star to make the proposal magical and ensure that your girlfriend is not one of the 85% of women let down on her big day. Some tips for proposing outside the norm:

Go public

For some, a public display of affection is the ultimate gesture. See if the local movie theater will let you spell out your proposal on their marquee. Pop the question on the protron screen in your favorite team’s sports stadium. Princess Cruises offers the chance to get “engaged under the stars” on its newest ships. Purchase a special package and you can tape your proposal in privacy, then share it with your loved one (and all the cruise passengers) on a giant LED screen on the top deck. Skywriting, or hiring a plane to fly a banner with your proposal, is always a bold – and public way -- to propose, as is taking out a full-page ad in your local paper.

A private proposal

For the many who find a public display of affection uncomfortable, look for a more intimate locale. Find an empty beach, pop some champagne, and get down on one knee in the sand. Rent out a special room in a restaurant – just the two of you – and profess your love. Cook a special meal, surprise your special someone with breakfast (and a ring) in bed, or meet at the spot where you first kissed.

It’s all in the food

Everyone has a friend who found their ring in the ice cream parfait or chocolate cake, but there are other ways to use food to set the perfect mood to pop the question. Spell out “Will you marry me?” in M&Ms, Hershey Kisses or jelly beans. Have the waiter spell it out in chocolate on the dessert plate. Create a romantic food basket with chocolates, wine, cheeses – and a ring.

Be daring

If you have no greater fear than your honey’s response, then take a daring approach to proposing. Hit the skies in a private rented plane or helicopter and offer a “proposal on Cloud Nine.” For the divers, propose underwater, on a scuba dive or snorkeling trip. All you need is an underwater writing board. Or head to an aquarium. Several have special packages where a diver can swim into the big tank and hold up a “Will you marry me?” sign.

Go far and wide

As destination proposals grow in popularity, there is no shortage of places and ways to propose. Take a moonlight stroll on the beach, rent a sailboat and propose on the high seas, watch the sunset from an intimate café and propose over a bottle of wine, check into an intimate B&B or inn and scatter rose petals around the room. Make like Tom Cruise and propose on top of a tourist attraction. For those in a long distance romance, propose at the airport or train station, as your loved one is departing.

Make it a family affair

Some people need a little help from their friends to pop the question. Enlist your family, closest friends or your betrothed-to-be’s co-workers to get them to a unique location, set up a special setting or create a banner with “Will you marry me?” Even their pet can get into the act. Hide the ring on the dog’s collar; when your loved one goes to pet it, they’ll find a big surprise!

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Princess Debuts "Department of Romance"
Noted Relationship Experts Tapped as "Over-Sea-ers" of New Romantic Programs On Board and Online

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - Long known as a leader in romance, Princess Cruises is stepping up its commitment to love. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the hit TV series The Love Boat, famously set aboard a Princess ship, the company is debuting a new Department of Romance made up of a "dream team" of romance experts, and is launching a number of new "romantic pursuits" on its ships and on its web site.

Princess has tapped noted relationship experts to serve in its new Department of Romance - prominent dating and romance guru Trish McDermott, everyone's favorite couples therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, seasoned wedding planner Alba Carreras, and America's favorite Love Boat captain, Gavin MacLeod. Together, these authorities will guide and inspire the line's passengers to rediscover romance, and incorporate it into their everyday lives.

"I don't think there's any better company to be an expert in romance than Princess Cruises," says MacLeod, former Captain Stubing of The Love Boat. "Ever since our show launched - which is 30 years ago this year - I have been amazed by the number of passengers who come up to me and share their romantic stories, for instance that they met their future spouse onboard, or that a moment on the cruise brought them closer together. Princess is synonymous with love on the high seas, and I'm delighted to play a role in helping couples embrace this important aspect of our lives."

"We consider the art of romance so integral to our passenger experience that it makes sense for us to dedicate an entire department to the cause," says Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president.

The department has planned a busy year, with a variety of romantic pursuits scheduled to launch throughout the year:

Romance by Room Service - Couples who want to snuggle up in their stateroom can create the perfect atmosphere by ordering Princess' new "Romance by Room Service" package which includes a special presentation of champagne and chocolate, scattered fresh rose petals and flameless scented candles, all set to a background of romantic music. Adding the line's "Ultimate Balcony" dinner provides all the ideal ingredients for a romantic evening.

"Become a Certified Romantic" Scholarship@Sea Course - For couples seeking to rekindle the romantic side of their relationship, Princess will be introducing an entertaining new class for its popular ScholarShip@Sea learning program - Become a Certified Romantic. The course will offer tools on how couples can rediscover romance, as well as tips for sustaining romance long after passengers return home from their cruise.

Romance TV - The romantic cabin ambience will be enhanced with the introduction of in-stateroom Romance TV programming featuring timeless romance movies such as "An Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle."

Daily Romance Advice - Passengers aboard Princess ships will receive daily reminders on how to celebrate and strengthen their relationships, as the daily Princess Patter activities program will feature a romantic tip or quotation to inspire affection.

Virtual Romance - A new section of the Princess website will be devoted exclusively to the subject of romance, with tips, Q&As, resource information for romantic travelers, articles from the department experts and more.

Romance Report - A semi-annual Princess Romance Report will debut on February 14th, in which the company's romance experts sound off on the "state of love" with facts, stats and forecasted trends.

These programs, to be launched with the debut of Emerald Princess this coming April, will join Princess' already existing line up of amenities and services for travelers with romance on their minds. Princess was the first - and is still currently the only - major North American cruise line on which passengers can be wed at sea by the ship's captain (with the "Tie the Knot" Wedding Program). And in 2006, Princess launched a unique "Engagement Under the Stars" program for passengers who want to "pop the question" with a surprise video-taped proposal on the ship's 300-square-foot LED Movies Under the Stars screen.

"As our lives get busier and more complex, romance easily drops to the bottom of our 'to-do' lists," says Swartz. "We want to remind our passengers that it's important to rediscover those connections that brought them together in the first place."

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About the Department of Romance Members:

Gavin MacLeod, Love and Romance Expert
Gavin MacLeod is perhaps best known for his ten-year role as Captain Merrill Stubing in the popular television series, The Love Boat. MacLeod has remained an enthusiastic supporter of cruising and currently serves as the spokesperson for Princess Cruises, a role he has held since 1986.

MacLeod's career spans television, theater and film. He spent seven years in the award-winning television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Murray Slaughter, the acid-tongued newswriter. His other well-known television roles have included Happy on McHale's Navy and Big Chicken on Hawaii Five-O, in addition to appearances on numerous other shows.

MacLeod has received numerous awards for his charitable and humanitarian work. He was nominated three times by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as Best Actor in a Comedy Series and in 1980 was voted one of the Ten Most Watchable Men In the World.

Today, MacLeod is a frequent fixture in regional theater. He and his wife, Patti, also appear weekly on Trinity Broadcasting Network in their series, Back On Course, a five-time Religion in Media award winner.

Trish McDermott, Romance and Dating Expert
Trish McDermott is a 16-year veteran of the dating industry and a world-recognized authority on singles, matchmaking, dating, romance and love. McDermott helped launch the world's largest online dating site,, in 1995 and served as the site's "Vice President of Romance," and Vice President of Communications, introducing online dating and offering romantic advice to singles in 31 countries around the world. In 2005, Trish left to help found She also helped create the first trade association for the dating service industry, where she developed an industry code of ethics and consumer guidelines.

McDermott has been featured as a dating expert in many national news outlets including 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, The Today Show, CNN, US News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, People, US Weekly, Glamour, Cosmo and many others. She lectures about singles and online dating at sites around the country, teaches dating classes, hosts dating chats and writes regular online columns about dating.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Psychosexual Expert
"Dr. Ruth" is synonymous to many as the ultimate expert on intimacy. A psychosexual therapist, she pioneered the field of media psychology with her radio program, Sexually Speaking, which debuted in September of 1980. Since then, she has hosted many TV and radio shows including The Dr. Ruth Show, which was syndicated nationally and internationally, and On the Air with Dr. Ruth, her popular call-in radio show. She has written 31 books and recently re-released Sex for Dummies. Her column, "Ask Dr. Ruth," is syndicated around the world by King Features and her website, receives thousands of hits each week.

Dr. Ruth was honored as "Mother of the Year" by the National Mother's Day Committee, was named one of the "Most Intriguing People of the Century," by People magazine and has received countless awards and honors for her work in human sexuality. Currently, Dr. Westheimer is an adjunct professor at N.Y.U. and an associate fellow of Calhoun College at Yale University, where she will begin teaching a course on the American family in the spring of 2007, and a Fellow of Butler College at Princeton University, where in the spring of 2007, she will teach a course on the Jewish family.

Alba Carreras, Cruise Wedding Expert
Alba Carreras has been planning weddings for the past five years, with her expertise specifically coordinating weddings on cruise ships. She began her career working with The Wedding Experience, a leading destination wedding company, and while working there planned and executed hundreds of weddings onboard Princess ships and in ports around the world.

With weddings-at-sea growing dramatically as a popular nuptials option, Carreras quickly became an expert in these specialized, combination ceremonies/ receptions/honeymoons. One of the most high-profile shipboard weddings she coordinated was the marriage of actor Jill Whelan, who played "Vicki," Captain Stubing's daughter on The Love Boat, when she got married onboard and served as the godmother for Caribbean Princess, all in the same day.

Recently, Carreras turned her talents to creating shore based celebrations, and currently works as an independent events consultant.








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