Princess Moves Emerald, Royal Naming Ceremonies

April 17, 2007

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Santorini won't be the backdrop for the christening of Emerald Princess and Royal Princess after all. Out of respect for Louis Cruise Lines' Sea Diamond, which sank off the coast of Santorini earlier this month, Princess Cruises has announced it will move the ceremonies to different ports -- and dates.

"Given the great shock and sadness this incident has caused, and out of the respect for those affected, we have decided that it would not be appropriate to continue with the celebrations we had planned in Santorini," President Alan Buckelew is quoted as saying in a statement. "Our thoughts are with all those affected, especially the family of the two missing French passengers."

The cruise line had originally planned to launch both ships in a rare dual ceremony on May 12. Emerald Princess will now be christened in Athens on May 13; a new date and location for Royal Princess' naming will be announced shortly (so stay tuned to Cruise Critic!).

The previously announced Mother's Day themed celebration is still a go, though. Florence Henderson, who played Carol Brady on television's long-running "The Brady Bunch," and Marion Ross, the beloved Mrs. Cunningham from the even longer-running "Happy Days," will serve as godmothers of Emerald Princess.

The actors who played their fictional daughters -- Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady, and Erin Moran, better known as Joanie Cunningham -- will also be aboard Emerald Princess in Athens as joint godmothers. They were originally tapped to be the godmothers of Royal Princess; a spokeswoman for the line tells us they won't be now due to the change in plans, and that a replacement will be announced along with the new date and location for that ship's christening.

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--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor