SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Regal Princess reached a significant construction milestone today when the Princess Cruises vessel was “floated out” at its building dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. A traditional ceremony marked the occasion as the ship met the ocean for the first time.
Following the Italian shipyard’s custom, the float out of a ship begins when a “madrina,” or godmother, cuts the cord that begins the flow of water into the ship’s building dock. Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of the popular online community Cruise Critic, served in this role to begin the two-day process of setting the ship afloat.
“To mark this important milestone we selected a woman who lives and breathes the cruise industry,” said Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises. “Carolyn has been the editor-in-chief for Cruise Critic for 10 years and not only is she a champion of cruising, she’s helped to build an avid community of cruisers. Her passion for cruising made her the perfect choice to serve as madrina for our new Regal Princess.”
A video of the float-out ceremony is available on YouTube.
Once afloat, the ship will be moved to the outfitting dock where final construction and interior outfitting will take place. Regal Princess, a sister ship to the soon-to-debut Royal Princess, will debut in June 2014 with a season of Mediterranean cruises.
Regal Princess and Royal Princess are new-generation ships for Princess Cruises. Among the special features found on board the 3,600-passenger vessels will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; the new Princess Live! television studio; a pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.