November 7, 2002
The Princess Cruises public relations machine may be gearing up to welcome two new ships in the next month -- the 88,000-ton Coral Princess, representing the line's newest evolution in design, and 30,200-ton Tahitian Princess, formerly known as Renaissance Cruise's R4 -- but the company is also in the process of saying "adios" to two other vessels. With a big splash, the venerable Pacific Princess -- of "Love Boat" fame -- set off from New York last week on its final journey under the Princess banner. Former "Love Boat" captain Merrill Stubing, also known as actor Gavin McLeod, was on hand for the festivities. The ship, sailing a transatlantic itinerary, will arrive in Rome on November 13 where it will be officially decommissioned. The ship has been sold to a group of Italian investors. Also leaving the fleet is a relatively new vessel -- the 77,000-ton Ocean Princess. With much less fanfare, the ship, part of the Sun-Dawn-Sea design class, has been transferred over to sister company P&O Cruises. It made its debut as P&O's Oceana last week, sailing from Ft. Lauderdale; the ship will spend the winter in the Caribbean. Interestingly, P&O Cruises will also acquire Sea Princess next spring; the ship, whose new name will be Adonia, will be an adults-only vessel.