Noted Relationship Experts Tapped as ‘Over-Sea-ers’ of New Romantic Programs on Board and Online

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 2007, 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” [email protected] Course — For couples seeking to rekindle the romantic side of their relationship, Princess will be introducing an entertaining new class for its popular [email protected] 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.”

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.