Regal Princess and Costa Diadema are officially named.


The cast of the Love Boat names Regal Princess (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The cast of the Love Boat names Regal Princess (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

It has been a good week for the cruise industry.

On Wednesday, Princess Cruises officially named its new ship Regal Princess. The ship has been in service in Europe for a couple of months now but Princess held off on the official naming ceremony until she came to the United States to begin her season in the Caribbean. The line wanted to use the event to kick off the celebration of its 50th anniversary in business.

For this event, Princess assembled the cast of the original Love Boat television series to act as the god parents of Regal Princess. That show is credited with kindling the general public’s appetite for cruising. Princess Cruises had the foresight to let the television producers use its ships and its name in the series. (In the show, the ship was always called the Pacific Princess but both the original Pacific Princess and the original Island Princess were used in the filming). Thus, Princess has the right to bask in the glory and popularity of the series.

The ship itself is the sister to Royal Princess, which entered service last year. She is a big ship at 141,000 gross tons and along with her sister, the biggest cruise ships in the Carnival Corporation fleet. (Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is bigger but she is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship). More of an evolution than a revolution, the Royal Princess class ships give the line more space to present the cruise experience that it has developed so well on its smaller ships.

On Friday, Costa Cruises officially named its new ship, the Costa Diadema in Genoa, Italy. The line’s headquarters are in Genoa and it celebrated with fire works and a light show.

For some time now, Costa and Carnival Cruise Lines have been using the same designs and the same shipyards for their ships. This ship is based on the same design as Carnival’s popular Dream-class ships and like the Carnival ships, Diadema was built in Italy by Fincantierri. At 132,000 gross tons she is just a touch bigger than her Carnival sisters.

Interestingly, the interior of Diadema was designed by Joe Farcus who for many years designed the fantasy-land interiors of the Carnival ships. Carnival switched to a German firm for the more contemporary designs of Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine. Thus, you now have a situation where the interiors of ships that are primarily intended for the European market are designed by an American and ships that primarily serve the American market are designed by Europeans. It has truly become an international industry.

I was glad to learn that Costa had this celebration for Costa Diadema. Costa is a venerable name in the cruise industry. Its reputation, of course, was injured by the Costa Concordia tragedy even though, from all that I have read, the accident appears to have been due to human error. Hopefully, the celebration this week also marks a new beginning for Costa.

Meanwhile, the widely-anticipated Quantum of the Seas embarked on her maiden transatlantic crossing from Southampton to the port of New York/New Jersey.

Thus, this week saw important milestones in the lives of three new cruise ships.

On Beyondships this week, we have a new section on the mansions that are the most popular attraction in cruise destination Newport Rhode Island.—mansions.html This includes an in-depth review of a shore excursion to Rough Point, the mansion of heiress Doris Duke.—rough-point.html In addition, we have a new photo and video feature on Holland America Line’s Eurodam.

Costa Diadema arriving in Genoa.  (Photo courtesy of Costa Cruises)

Costa Diadema arriving in Genoa. (Photo courtesy of Costa Cruises)


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