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Princess Cruises Pietro Corsi

If you remember the early days of Princess Cruises, then you will surely remember Pietro Corsi who was VP Hotel services for Princess Cruises /P&O Inc in Los Angeles. Right back at the launch of Island and Pacific Princess he spent a lot of time on the ships. A few minutes after arrival in San Pedro, port to Los Angeles he would stroll on board like a strutting peacock with his leather attaché case. Bearing in mind that he was only knee high to a grasshopper.

His early career was spent in Rome when he worked in radio, but during a trip to Canada in 1959 he was offered a job by the Italian weekly newspaper “Il Cittadino Canadese”. During that time, he wrote his first work of fiction (La Giobba, Enne; in English Winter in Montreal.

In 1965 he moved to California and took up his position with Princess Cruises, founded by Stanley B. McDonald who first chartered Princess Patricia, thus Princess Cruises was formed.

In 1974 P&O aquired Princess Cruises and took over the ship Island Venture that became Island Princess, soon after this followed Sea Venture that became Pacific Princess. I was lucky to be crew purser for the take-over of both these ships and worked alongside Pietro Corsi.

Pietro’s writing skills came to the fore and he produced this small booklet for cabin stewards. By this time cabins had become “Staterooms”.

Along with lots of useful advice for the Stateroom Stewards the book was filled with cute drawings by Jack Manning.

At the time Island Princess had just started Mexican Cruising and one of the ports under investigation as a possible port of call was Puerto Vallarta. It is hard to imagine Puerto Vallarta back in the mid seventies, I think at the time there was only two or three hotels in the town and a small scattering of neighbourhood restaurants.

The original Island Princess Purser's team. Dickie Harries Purser (center front) Yours truly (left back). Dickie Harries was responsible for getting Pietro and myself legless in Puerto Vallarta.

The trip I remember was our first visit and Pietro Corsi was onboard to check out the new destination. We were due to stay overnight and as there was not much to do for the passengers at night, we arranged a big beach party that I attended with Purser Dickie Harries and Pietro Corsi. Well talk about Tequila Sunset we all had rather a skin full and I have images of Pietro being carried back up the gangway. I know for sure I kept out of Dickie Harries way the following morning. Heads were very thick.

Pietro Corsi stayed with Princess P&O until 1992, when he retired to resume his writing career. In retirement he lived between California, Mexico and Italy, “Following the sun” as he liked to say.

He passed away in 2017.


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Michael Chaffey
Michael Chaffey
Jan 29, 2021

Pietro ! whom Sue and I owe a great deal. Feel so fortunate to have worked with all the old salty dogs on Princess though the "Real Love Boat Years" the real characters where the ones on P&O and Princess payroll !

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