Princess Cruises is out to corner the market in cruising love birds.
The line, which features The Love Boat as a marketing icon, says the average Aussie wedding costs $36,000.
But saying “I do” aboard Princess Cruises costs an average $9,689. That’s including all the trimmings, from a dedicated wedding specialist, fresh florals, photography, live music, freshly baked weddings cakes and more for up to 18 guests.
The line has seen a 127 per cent increase in wedding ceremony bookings and an 83% increase in the number of ceremonies performed from 2022 to 2023.
“I was lucky enough to star on The Love Boat onboard Pacific Princess from the age of 12, and grew up seeing some of the most amazing love stories play out on the show,” said Jill Whelan. “As the Celebrations Ambassador of Princess Cruises, I am excited to see so many Aussies continuing to experience romance and share the love onboard our cruise ships, just as I did all those years ago.”
According to a recent Moneysmart.gov.au survey, 82% of couples dipped into their savings to pay for their wedding, 60% of surveyed couples got a loan to pay for their nuptials and 18% used their credit card.
Princess offers ceremonies at sea
Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, UK & Europe for Princess Cruises, Mr Stuart Allison announced that the cruise line would be making a bee line for the romance market – weddings in particular, offering passengers the opportunity to cruise and celebrate their nuptials for a fraction of the cost of a traditional ‘land’ wedding.
Allison said that “whether it’s a couple getting engaged, getting married, renewing their vows or celebrating their anniversary, Princess is the destination”. He maintained:“with the increasing cost of shoreside weddings, it makes sense to celebrate love at sea with Princess.”
Princess Perfect Wedding packages range from $4,468 to $9,689 ,which is for up to 18 guests. While this doesn’t include the price of the cruise itself, couples can go on to save money on things like accommodation after the wedding and their honeymoon.
The Love Boat connection
Princess Cruises was the partner cruise line of 1970’s smash hit sitcom The Love Boat, a brand they’ve remained closely aligned with.
And, with the wedding ceremonies onboard officiated by the ship’s Captain, at sea, 12 nautical miles off the coast, they are recognised under Australian law. So, they’re romantic, affordable, and legal.
Since launching the wedding packages in June 2023, Princess says they’ve been mostly popular with Generation X (1970s), Millennials (1980s and 1990s) and Baby Boomers (1960s).
And Australians are one of the top four nationalities enquiring about Princess’ wedding packages, after the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
The top four ships with ceremonies booked for 2024 are Discovery Princess, Sky Princess, Enchanted Princess, and Sun Princess. And in addition to the wedding packages, love birds can also select a vow renewal package or a romantic proposal package.
And it’s not just the traditional wedding Chapel location you can choose from, onboard speciality restaurants are also available as venues, including Horizon Terrace, Sabatinis’ Italian Trattoria, as well as The Piazza, The Sanctuary, Vista Lounge or the Wheelhouse Bar.
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Meanwhile, the line has officially unveiled a second “Love Boat” themed cruise, with cast members from the original show. The first in 2022, was a big hit.
Fans can sail along with Doc, Gopher, Isaac and Vicki Stubing as they cruise round-trip from New York to New England and Canada onboard the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess, August 31-September 7, 2024.
Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan will join fellow “Love Boat” cast members, including Bernie Kopell (Doc), Fred Grandy (Gopher) and Ted Lange (Isaac). Ezra Freeman, the bartender from the recently aired “The Real Love Boat” on CBS reality dating series, will join the cast, along with other surprise guests to be announced.