To continue from Part 1, Mr. R. and I accepted the invitation to attend the event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Princess Cruises and the christening of their new ship, the Regal Princess in Ft. Lauderdale. The powers that be for that event needed a great deal of information, including our driver’s license information.
Believe it or not, we kicked around the idea of not going. After all, it meant having to get off early from work, not always easy to do. Then we imagined sitting on the sofa on Wednesday night, looking at each other, and saying, “We really should have gone.” Don’t they say, “You never regret the things you do, only the things you don’t.”?
And so it was that we headed down to Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday afternoon. Media check in at the ship was at 3:00. We followed the directions to Port Everglades where we had to present our identification to security before we parked in the area literally beside the ship that was reserved for media. We entered the building and again presented our IDs, this time to the cruise employees. They exchanged them for media passes and explained that they would hold our until we left. We were also required to fill out customs forms that asked whether we’d traveled to west Africa recently and if we were currently sick.
A pleasant man from the public relations firm escorted us onto the Regal Princess, stopping at the top of the gangway for us to have our pictures taken by security agent at the entryway. We then proceeded through the amazing multi-storied atrium all done in white and gold with its twin spiral staircases, to the elevators that took us to the 16th deck where the pool is located. He explained to us that we were to continue on the the next deck via a stairway to where the media section was prepared.
We discovered a small group of media already set up along a gold carpet runway next to the eastern rail of the ship. Each media outlet had its own designated area and we quickly found ours near the end of the carpet runway. We saw crews from Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood in addition to local news crews. Cameras were already placed on tripods along the gold carpet so we squeezed in between two other news crews. Mr. R. brought a DSLR camera from the station and I had my handy-dandy reporter’s notebook ready.
According to the PR representatives, in addition to the original Love Boat cast, who were being named the ‘godparents’ of the new ship, there were twenty-nine Love Boat guest stars in attendance at this event. We were handed a packet listing the stars in alphabetical order from Loni Anderson to Adrian Zmed, along with recent photos (the better to identify those not easily recognizable). These celebrities would soon be making their way along the gold carpet and would be happy to answer questions and pose for pictures.
Following the gold carpet, there were to be celebrity interviews on the lower deck beside the pool. The media had a designated place from which to observe these. Later, there would be a ceremony for the christening of the ship. Finally, there would be a photo opportunity wherein all of the celebrities would pose for group pictures.
All I could think was, Are you shitting me?!
*Note: These photos were taken with my phone. The next post will feature the photos by Mr. R. Stay tuned…