Not long ago, my husband and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary. From time to time throughout our 25 years of marriage, he has lovingly mocked me about renewing our vows. Little did he know that his years of cracking jokes would lead to a Guinness World Record (well, sort of).
Thanks to the long-running television show “The Love Boat,” Princess Cruises has a reputation for romance. On Feb. 11, 2020, the cruise line cemented its legacy of love when 1,443 couples onboard three ships simultaneously renewed their wedding vows, setting the Guinness World Records’ title for the largest multilocation vow renewal. (The previous record was 1,201 couples.)
The ceremonies took place on the Crown Princess and Regal Princess sailing in the Caribbean, and on the Royal Princess as it headed south along the Pacific Coast. Guinness World Records’ adjudicators were on each ship in order to officially verify the occasion.
Actor Gavin MacLeod, who portrayed the much-loved Captain Stubing on “The Love Boat” served as the celebrity officiant onboard the Regal Princess.
My husband and I were one of the more than 400 couples onboard the Royal Princess that renewed our vows that sailing. The partners came together around the sun-drenched Fountain Pool on Deck 16 wearing everything from flip-flops and board shorts, to cowboy hats and elaborate wedding gowns, in order to say “I do” all over again. There were roses, champagne and dancing; hundreds of onlookers cheered as the maritime marriage concluded and one groom took the plunge — into the pool.
Actor Gavin MacLeod, who portrayed the much-loved Captain Stubing on “The Love Boat” served as the celebrity officiant onboard the Regal Princess. Jill Whelan, who played his daughter on the iconic series, served as matron of honor.
The captains of both the Royal Princess and Crown Princess officiated the ceremonies on their respective ships.
“Officiating weddings and vow renewals is one of the pleasures of the job,” said Craig Street, captain of Royal Princess.
For clients interested in renewing their wedding vows, Princess offers three packages that include everything from the ceremony to breakfast in bed and spa treatments. The packages range in cost from $249 to $509, with the base offering encompassing ceremony perks such as a floral bouquet and boutonnieres; a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne in the stateroom; two engraved champagne glasses; chocolate-dipped strawberries; a framed formal portrait; and more.
Upgrading to the $349 offering adds on a 25-minute therapeutic massage or facial per person. The top package includes champagne breakfast in bed, Princess Cruises waffle robes to take home, canapes or petit fours delivered to the guests’ cabin and an invitation to visit the navigation bridge while in port. (Note: Travel advisor commissions are not paid on these packages.)
Princess’ sailings are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related international travel restrictions. All sailings in Asia, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, Antarctica, Japan, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, along the California Coast and through the Panama Canal are canceled until Dec. 15.
“We share in our guests’ disappointment in cancelling these cruises,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, in a press release. “We look forward to the days when we can return to travel and the happiness it brings to all who cruise.”