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The Love Boat Goes Down Under

In October 1975 Pacific Princess departed American shores and headed to the Australia and the South Pacific for the first time. At the time Princess Cruises were USA based and unknown to the Australian market. P & O Cruises were well known in Australia, so the Love Boat was rebranded for the trip down under.

The main difference externally was the funnel was branded in P&O colours and Logo.

Having sailed on her in Alaska as Crew Assistant Purser I was on leave when she set sail for the Southern Hemisphere. After my leave I was flown out to Auckland to join her. Having been crew purser on both the Island and Pacific Princess, this time was a change of direction for me being in charge of shore excursions.

Pacific Princess in Auckland.

The Italian restaurant crew were not used to Australians and were in for quite a shock when the ship left behind the high tipping Americans and embarked the Aussies.

Australians don't generally tip taxi drivers, hairdressers, hotel porters or bartenders. Historically, the reason for not tipping seems to be based on the theory that the minimum wage paid to workers in the Australian hospitality industry was more generous than in other countries. So, while Americans are accustomed to tipping in order to bump up the wages of their waiter or bartender, Aussies haven't felt the need to do so.

So, as you can imagine this created quite a few problems for Captain Crichton and the pursers dept. Luckily for me as I said earlier l had moved on from crew purser and was not at the sharp end on this occasion.

I believe most cruise ships working in Aussie waters charge Gratuity Inclusive fares to get over this problem, but back in the day caused quite a stir.

Entertainment Princess Style

Australian cruise passengers tended to slightly younger in those days and were always

up for a bit of fun as you can see here dancing Swan Lake with assistant cruise director David Collins.

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