THE horn sounds and a stern and powerful voice comes over the speaker: “All ashore who's going ashore!”
Passionate, lingering kisses are shared by lovers soon to be separated by oceans.
Tears roll down faces and arms wave furiously as family and friends move slowly down the gangplank, craning their necks to keep eye contact with “the lucky buggers” staying onboard.
The bon voyage ceremony always signalled the start of the big adventure – with spirits soaring, passengers could take on the world.
For a child of the Love Boat era, this is what dreams were made of.
But the modern world killed the continuation of the bon voyage ceremony and all its glamour and spectacle.
Security measures against terrorism, environmental concerns about streamer litter, and the sheer logistics of moving perhaps thousands of well-wishers on and off the ship conspired against this much-loved cruising tradition.
But now Princess Cruises is bringing its innovative Bon Voyage program to Australia in a move that will revive the tradition of onboard farewells.
The new program will give passengers in Sydney and Melbourne the opportunity to invite their friends and family aboard their ship on embarkation day to wish them “bon voyage” and get a taste of the onboard experience.
The ability to reserve this program, called the “Bon Voyage ExperienceSM”, will launch on July 1 for sailings departing this October. The program will also be available on Sea Princess when she arrives in Australia in late 2011.
Passengers can now invite their friends to join them, spending about four hours together on the ship before it sets sail – plus enjoy a four-course dining room lunch, a ship tour and even a souvenir photo to take home.