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:
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.
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!
Princess Debuts "Department
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
"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
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
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."
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
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, Match.com, 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 Match.com to help found Engage.com. She
also helped create the first trade association for the dating service
industry, where she developed an industry code of ethics and consumer
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
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, www.drruth.com 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.