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Romantic Sailing Aboard the Golden Princess
by Eleanor S. Morris

There's a lovely wedding chapel aboard the Golden Princess, star of the Princess Cruise Lines, that's always ready for nuptials, or for renewing your vows, while sailing the high seas and visiting adventurous ports of call. Stained glass panels grace the walls, candles and white ribbons line the aisle between the seats, and there are two tall stands holding bouquets of white flowers and a white grand piano on the dais.

Even though there's only one day at sea, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the luxurious ship. The Library is stocked with current books, the Lotus Spa will pamper you or give you a workout, and there are simulated links aboard for you golfers, as well as a nine-hole putting green. The two of you can take classes in Line Dancing and Ballroom Dancing, Arts and Crafts and Painting Ceramics, Digital Photography and Wine Tasting, among others.

The Golden Princess offers a choice of restaurants and bars, as well as afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, scones, pastries and music. Room service is available any time of the day or night. Also offered is a new dining experience in cruising--personal choice dining. Two options are available, the usual Traditional Fixed Dining where you arrive at the same time for dinner each night with the same dinner partners and waiters throughout the cruise, and Anytime Dining. With Anytime Dining you can choose when and with whom you wish to dine.

The shore excursion choices are many. On one of the Golden Princess itineraries the ship leaves New York harbor heading for Canada and the U.S. east coast, making Halifax, Nova Scotia the first port of call. The second Canadian port is Saint John, New Brunswick, before the shop turns south toward the U.S. ports of Bar Harbor, Maine, Boston, Massachusetts, and Newport, Rhode Island.


The British established Halifax as a naval base in the mid-18th century. Now the city's finely preserved old waterfront offers chic shops and restaurants. The hilltop fortress, the Citadel, built in 1828, is a National Historic Site. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has a Titanic Exhibit; the Public Gardens, landscaped in 1753, are the oldest on the continent; Grand Pre commemorates the expulsion of the French, first settlers of Nova Scotia, by the British; and the lighthouse down at Peggy's Cove is one of the province's most popular attractions.


The Old City Market, Canada's oldest continuing market, was built by shipbuilders, with a roof in the shape of a Ship's hull. Carleton Martello Tower, another National Historic Site, was one of 16 such towers built by the British during the War of 1812 to protect the coast from American raids. A sight to be seen are the Reversing River Rapids, where the fierce tides of the Bay of Fundy actually force the longest river in Canada to reverse direction and flow upstream.


Here you can work off some of that fabulous food aboard ship by taking a bicycle tour of Acadia National Park, sea kayaking in the park, going on a walking tour of Victorian Bar Harbor to see Victorian mansions or on an Ocean Trail Walk, even a walk in Acadia to Cadillac Mountain. There are also opportunities to take a whale-watching cruise or go on a lobster-and-seal watch. And lobster lunches are included in most of these excursions.


Beautiful Boston boasts the Boston Common, the oldest public park in America; Freedom Trail, connecting the city's principal historic sites; Faneuil Hall, the "Cradle of Liberty"; the Old North Church where Paul Revere hung two lanterns in the tower; Beacon Hill, upscale living; Lexington Green where the Minutemen faced the British; and nearby Salem, home of the infamous witch trials.


Here's the place to get your fill of fabulous mansions of the robber barons, Vanderbilts, Astors and Morgans. Various tours take you to Vanderbilt's Marble House, Doris Duke's Mansion, the Astor's Beechwood and many others, all very impressive.

Tie the Knot

Whether you're having your wedding on this romantic journey, or renewing your vows, your ceremony can take place in the charming wedding chapel at sea, or in an exotic port. The ship's expert wedding consultants attend to every detail-- while the Princess provides the ultimate "something blue."

Four options may make a choice difficult. AT SEA you can be married by the Captain while the ship is in international waters; HARBORSIDE, your family and friends can join the festivities aboard ship before it departs the home port; AT SHORE, the Princess Line offers 80 unique itineraries on various ships to more than 200 exciting world ports; and with the LUXURY UPGRADE OPTIONS you can personalize your ceremony and reception with several choice options.

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