New Princess ship to toot the ‘Love Boat’ theme

MONFALCONE, Italy – The Royal Princess cruise ship, being readied here for a June debut, will play the first two bars of the theme from the 1970s television show “The Love Boat” on its horn.

The theme will be sounded when the ship departs and arrives in port, said Ray Calouri, Princess’ executive vice president of fleet operations. The Pacific Princess appeared on “The Love Boat,” an ABC series that ran from 1977 to 1986.

Calouri tripped a switch on the unfinished bridge of the Royal Princess to play the theme for the first time publicly on a media tour of the ship, which will be dedicated in Southampton, England, in a little over two months. 

“The Love Boat” will not be a part of the promotional campaign for Royal Princess, Calouri said. The horns were “a whimsical decision,” he said.

“We’re not using ‘The Love Boat’ consciously as a marketing theme,” he said.

In past focus groups, Princess has found that too many prospective passengers have never heard of the show.

“It either didn’t mean anything, or it had a negative connotation,” because it was considered too dated, Caluori said.

On some cruises, individual Princess cruise directors play the theme over the ship’s public address system on departure but there is no uniform policy, Caluori said.

The difference on Royal Princess is that the theme will actually be sounded on the ship’s horn, which has been custom designed by Swedish firm Klockum Sonics. The installation involves five individual horns that are activated by compressed air and sequenced by computer.

There are two other horns on the ship that can be sounded independently and used for emergency signals, fog warnings and other purposes.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.

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