On Friday night, experienced and inexperienced cruisers alike were given a unique insight into the inner workings of one of the world’s largest passenger ships, the Royal Princess. Makers of the ITV documentary The Cruise Ship were welcomed on board the ship during a cruise from the US to the Caribbean, filming all the drama along the way.
With 3,500 passengers aboard the ship and a small army of staff, the documentary-makers have no shortage of action or antics to film and follow. The first of the four-part documentary aired last Friday night on ITV and followed passengers and crew as they readied themselves for the launch of the cruise and one of the biggest events of the holiday: Formal Night.
Embarking on her first cruise and leaving home for the first time, Kelly the stylist found the first few days the most traumatic. Missing her home, the 21-year-old struggled to resist the temptation to phone her mum every night.
Brent the Executive Sous Chef faced a different problem, harangued by outspoken passenger Mandy for a lack of mushrooms on the opening buffet, then deflecting her flirty advances. Mandy has previous with cruise ship crew, having admitted to becoming embroiled in a food fight with the captain during a previous cruise holiday.
On their 15th cruise, Mandy and husband Gordon offered viewers a few tips on how to make the most of Formal Night and how to best position themselves for the free champagne and cocktails being handed out.
The couple will be hoping to soon qualify to become part of the elite group of passengers who have had 150 days at sea and are automatically entitled to free room upgrades, free laundry and a free mini-bar. The documentary introduced us to a few of these regular cruisers, including the couple who averaged 10 cruises a year and Honey the guide dog for the deaf, on her 11th cruise.
Keeping everything ticking over on the Royal Princess is fastidious Hotel Manager Dirk, who became embroiled in the great laundry backlog of 2013. With record numbers of dress, shirts and suits sent to launder before Formal Night in the Piazza, a crack squad was called in to work 24 hours a day to cope with the load.
Away from the stresses of laundering thousands of garments; ship entertainer, George, kicked off the successful Formal Night and his 5th year singing in the Caribbean.
Next week’s teaser promised mutiny on the ship and an ice sculpting competition with sous chef extraordinaire, Brent.
If you missed the first episode, it will be available on ITV Player until 10 August 2014.
Or if you did catch the documentary and have been inspired to take a cruise, see our fantastic range of Princess Cruises deals, here.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Lyn Gateley, Barry Skeates, Heather Cowper