Confirming that romance knows no boundaries, the five finalists of Princess Cruises' "Are You The Greatest Romantic?" video contest include a grandmother married 40 years, a minister and father of five, couples married only a few years and a hopeless romantic just getting serious with his love. The finalists were selected by the line's Department of Romance, and the public can now vote for their favorite entry. The largest number of votes will determine who is crowned "The Greatest Romantic," which will be announced on April 15.
Nearly 100 videos were submitted in the contest, which began on Valentine's Day, and the entries were judged by Princess' Department of Romance members which include actor Gavin MacLeod, The Love Boat's "Captain Stubing;" Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the always-provocative couples therapist; Alex Michel, the first Bachelor on ABC's hit show; Trish McDermott, vice president of love at Engage.com; and Lisa Light, destination wedding expert and author. The panel selected the five videos they felt embodied romance, along with creativity and originality.
"We were so impressed by the wonderful, romantic videos people submitted," said Gavin MacLeod, who charted a course through 10 years of TV love stories. "I was particularly moved by the heartfelt emotion that went into the entries, and it's quite evident that the finalists give real meaning to incorporating romance into their everyday lives."
The public now has the chance to log onto www.princess.com/romance and vote for their favorite entry. The finalist with the most votes will join the Princess' Department of Romance for one year and be featured on the company's website offering their sage romantic advice through articles and a special podcast. The winning romantic will also receive a seven-day cruise for two to the Mexican Riviera or the Caribbean. Additionally, one lucky person will win a seven-day cruise just for voting for their favorite video.
"We're really excited about the enthusiastic reaction to our contest - we not only received some fantastic entries but thousands of people visited the site to view and rate their favorites," said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "And now we hope that in the final stages of our search, people will be just as excited to help choose the person that represents the ultimate in romance."
The five finalist videos include:
"The Greatest Romantic???" - Phil Roberts nominates himself with a creative and touching poem delivered by his 3-year-old daughter. The 37-year-old father and minister from Lexington, Ky., shares the ups-and-downs and joys of his nine-year marriage to his wife, and says that romance has always been the core of their relationship. Phil's wife, Lisa, always wanted to get engaged at the ocean, so he created a beach scene in his apartment in Ohio, complete with a thousand pounds of sand, stars in the sky and a fluorescent beach scene painted on the walls. Through a difficult delivery of quadruplets and the loss of a child, Phil has always put his love for Lisa before all others, making each day like a Princess cruise for her.
"Everyday the Greatest Romantic" - Brian Krall of Manchester, N.H., nominates his wife, Irene, who makes romance a part of their daily life, slipping notes into his lunch to remind him how much she loves him and making simple things like a game night into a romantic night with candles, soft music and a bottle of wine. Brian and Irene met on August 26, 2005 and married exactly two years later. Brian suffers from a spinal disorder and is confined to a wheelchair, but that doesn't stop Irene from planning special getaways or evenings out or making the most of every day together.
"40 Years of Romance" - Sixty-year-old Lydia Kimball Gibbons of Orem, Utah, nominates her husband Ted as "The Greatest Romantic." Lydia and Ted have been married nearly 40 years and have 12 children. Lydia proudly shares all the daily ways Ted romances her - he's written her love poems almost every day of their marriage and not only constantly tells her how much he loves and appreciates her, he also shows her by making her scrapbooks, daily planners and photo collages of their children and grandchildren.
"Our Story - Ashley and Kacey Evans" - Kacey Evans nominates himself, paying loving tribute to his wife, love and best friend, Ashley. In a vivid video display, Kacey shares the details of their courtship and love, and how every day is infused with romance - from trips, to evenings at home to gatherings with friends. The Ramsey, Minn., couple have been together for more than five years and married for two.
"Practice Makes Romance" - Hopeless romantic Justin D'Ambrosio's details his pursuit and preparation for true love. From rehearsing romantic dance moves, to preparing candlelit dinners, to writing love poems (all with his dog), Justin has made sure he's readied his romantic skills for his true love, Erin, whom he began dating two years ago. Although an aspiring comedian, the 23-year-old, who recently relocated from Ohio to Jersey City, N.J., takes romance very seriously. He pursued Erin for several months before his romantic wooing paid off and she finally agreed to a date.
All five finalists will receive prizes packages including decadent chocolates from Godiva Chocolatier, pampering products from Princess' exclusive Lotus Spa and flowers from Teleflora.