“Love Boat” Captain Gavin MacLeod is joined by a court of young “princesses” who welcomed Royal Princess to Ft. Lauderdale for the first time.Royal Princess arrived at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale today, marking her North American debut and launching her inaugural season of Caribbean cruises. Princess Cruises ambassador Gavin MacLeod was on hand to welcome the ship as it arrived at the Florida port, where he was joined by a court of young girls who he proclaimed “royal princesses for the day.”

The actor, best known as Captain Stubing from the iconic “Love Boat” TV show, will join the ship for a two-day preview cruise for travel agents where he will participate in a special presentation and book signing for his just-released autobiography, “This is Your Captain Speaking.”

The ship’s North American season starts with a five-day maiden Caribbean cruise on October 29, followed by a program of seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailings to Princess Cays, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

Royal Princess debuted this past June with a christening ceremony watched around the world as The Duchess of Cambridge officially named the ship in her last public appearance before giving birth to her first child. The ship has been sailing in the Mediterranean throughout the summer.

“We’re delighted that Royal Princess has been so enthusiastically received by passengers during her first Mediterranean season,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And now Caribbean cruisers will be able to experience this stunning new vessel too.”

Royal Princess will sail from Ft. Lauderdale through April 20, 2014. The ship then will cross the Atlantic to offer a summer season of Scandinavia and Russia cruises.