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Brightline train in Orlando International Airport (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Princess Cruises' Love Boat branding adorns Brightline's cars (Photo: Princess Cruises)

Princess Cruises News: Princess Unveils "Rail & Sail" Partnership with Brightline Train in Florida

Brightline train in Orlando International Airport (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Princess Cruises' Love Boat branding adorns Brightline's cars (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Senior Editor, News and Features
Aaron Saunders
Jorge Oliver

Last updated
Apr 5, 2024

Read time
6 min read

(April 5, 2024) -- Princess Cruises has become the first cruise line to partner with intercity train company Brightline to offer passengers access to ships departing from Port Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale.

The "Rail and Sail" Program, announced today at Brightline's Orlando International Airport station, gives Princess passengers access to the full schedule of daily train departures, with 16 round trip transits between South Florida and Central Florida. Princess will also provide guests with complimentary motorcoach service between Brightline’s Orlando and Fort Lauderdale stations and their embarkation terminal.

As part of the partnership, Princess passengers will also have the option to check their bags at the Brightline station and have them delivered directly to their staterooms aboard the ship. This service has a cost of $35 per bag and is initially available on Orlando to Fort Lauderdale trains. The cruise line announced that the baggage service will soon be expanded to Fort Lauderdale to Orlando trains in time for Caribbean Princess' arrival and homeport at Port Canaveral in November.

“A Princess cruise is already the best value in travel and this new partnership with Brightline makes it even easier and more enjoyable to sail with us from the top-rated ports in South and Central Florida,” said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. “Our guests can just sit back, relax, and let us do the rest, including delivering their luggage directly to their stateroom.”

The announcement also featured the debut of a Brightline train with four custom-designed cars fitted with Princess Cruises' Love Boat branding, including the seawitch logo and depictions of popular ports of call.

“Brightline has been connecting travelers to South Florida ports since we began operations in 2018 and cruisers from the beginning have found our train to be the easiest way to start their vacation,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Today’s partnership with Princess Cruises and this train wrap with the iconic Love Boat branding is yet another example of the connection between cruisers and Brightline.”

The partnership also offers other perks for Brightline passengers. For instance, by entering the code PRINCESS15, travelers can enjoy a 15% discount when booking through Brightline’s website.

Additionally, passengers who book a Princess cruise through May 5 will get a Brightline credit of up to $150 per person for the train's Smart and Premium class service. The value of the credit is based on the cabin type booked: Interior and oceanview staterooms are eligible for a $50 per person Brightline credit; balcony and deluxe staterooms get a $100 per person credit; and passengers who book a mini-suite or suite get the full $150 per person Brightline credit.

Brightline Smart fares start at $69 per person for the full Miami to Orlando route and as low as $114 per person for the Premium class. The train company uses dynamic pricing, so rates can vary depending on the time of day and day of the week, with the more on-demand dates and times commanding higher prices.

The company serves the South Florida and Central Florida regions, with stations in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Orlando. Brightline has also announced future stops in Stuart and Cocoa in Florida's Space Coast.

Love Boat Themed Princess Cruise to Set Sail with Original Cast

Enchanted Princess at Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale (Photo/Chris Gray Faust)
Enchanted Princess at Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale (Photo/Chris Gray Faust)

(February 7, 2024) -- The Love Boat soon will be making another run.

Princess Cruises announced today that a Love Boat themed cruise will take place this summer, featuring the members of the original show’s cast. This will be the second time that the cruise line offers a Love Boat-inspired voyage, following the inaugural theme cruise held in 2022.

The voyage will take place aboard Enchanted Princess from Aug. 31 to Sep. 7, 2024. The seven-night roundtrip trek from New York City will travel to Canada and New England, visiting ports like Newport, Rhode Island; Boston; Rockland, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan, who played the role of Vicki Stubing in the show, will be joined by fellow castmembers Bernie Kopell (Doc), Fred Grandy (Gopher) and Ted Lange (Isaac). Ezra Freeman, who plays the bartender on the recently-aired The Real Love Boat on CBS reality dating series, will also join the themed cruise. Other surprise guests will be announced at a later date.

“We had such a blast connecting with fans on our theme cruise in 2022, so bringing it back in 2024 feels like it was meant to be, especially with the addition of some surprise guests,” said Jill Whelan, Celebrations Ambassador for Princess Cruises. “Sailing with our fans brings us so much joy and this cruise will undoubtedly be a special reunion, taking us back to where it all began – on a Princess Cruise.”

Activities onboard the 2024 Love Boat themed cruise featuring the stars of the tv show will include a sailaway party introducing the cast, meet-and-greet photo and signing opportunities and Love Boat cast Q&As, as well as a cocktail demonstration hosted by Ezra Freeman and Ted Lange, and symbolic renewal of vows ceremony officiated by the cast.

Other events and special features include The Love Boat-inspired activities with prizes; episodes of the show airing on Movies Under the Stars and in staterooms; The Love Boat trivia with the cruise director; menus and specialty cocktails inspired by the show; and themed décor, photo backdrops and merchandise.

The original Love Boat tv show aired on ABC from Sep. 24, 1977 to May 24, 1986. The series was set aboard Pacific Princess, a 626-passenger ship operated by Princess Cruises from 1975 to 2002. In 2023, a reimagined version of the series was launched as The Real Love Boat on CBS, a reality dating show hosted by Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell and set onboard Regal Princess.

--Jorge Oliver, Editor

Princess Adds New Boston Homeport Cruises

Piazza on Emerald Princess (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Piazza on Emerald Princess (Photo: Cruise Critic)

(January 22, 2024) -- Princess Cruises is shaking things up on the U.S. East Coast this year, offering new Canada & New England departures from Boston for the first time.

A new homeport for Princess, Emerald Princess will sail roundtrip from Boston on weeklong cruises to the Canadian Maritime ports of Halifax, Sydney and Charlottetown, along with calls on Bar Harbor or Portland, Maine.

Princess will also offer longer 10-day voyages on Emerald Princess that sail between Boston and Quebec City or reverse, with additional calls on Saint John, New Brunswick and an overnight stay in Quebec City.

Princess is even offering a 17-day voyage to Greenland roundtrip from Boston this year that also includes calls on several East Coast ports of call.

It's a new move for Princess, which has historically always based its ships from Brooklyn's Red Hook Cruise Terminal for its Canada and New England cruises. Princess will continue to offer additional departures to the U.S. and Canadian Maritimes from Brooklyn aboard Enchanted Princess throughout much of the summer and fall of 2024.

Emerald Princess will be based in Boston from July 14 to October 7, 2024.

-- Aaron Saunders, Senior News and Features Editor

Publish date March 10, 2023
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