An executive at a small-ship luxury cruise line once told me that his ships featured movies on deck long before the introduction of big-screen Movies Under The Stars (MUTS) on Princess Cruises ships. That may be so, but there is no denying the cachet of the Times Square-style screen versus one put up temporarily and the popularity of watching a film in the sea-going equivalent of a drive-in theater (without the cars).
Princess has taken the screenings one step further with their fleetwide Leonard Maltin Movie Club, which invites passengers to view a specially selected film onboard. Each month, a new movie is featured, with a special video introduction from the renowned film critic. Later, cruise staff members host a gathering for passengers featuring a group discussion of the film, guided by questions and trivia provided by Mr. Maltin. The one-hour club meeting is open to all passengers. For passengers who want to further enjoy films in their stateroom, the Leonard Maltin Movie Channel on the ship’s television system features a selection of contemporary, classic, and animated movies specially selected by Mr. Maltin.
And in an even bigger move, Maltin will be sailing aboard Coral Princess’ Dec 15 holiday voyage, to present his favorite films of 2010 throughout the cruise especially for Princess Cruises passengers. During this 15-day Panama Canal cruise, movie buffs will be able to view the four films Maltin has dubbed “Leonard’s Unsung Favorites of 2010,” which he will personally introduce to the audience. Maltin will also lead a discussion of some of the films, will challenge passengers to a film trivia contest and also present a talk focusing on Hollywood of yesteryear. Passengers will be able to view the films on Coral Princess’ giant poolside Movies Under the Stars screen or in the Princess Theater.
“Leonard Maltin’s wealth of knowledge about the world of film has made him one of the most recognizable movie experts today,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Passengers on this Coral Princess voyage are in for a special treat as he shares these hand-picked films with them.”
Leonard Maltin is one of the country's most recognized and respected film critics and historians. He may be best known as the resident film buff on the popular syndicated program “Entertainment Tonight,” where he has appeared since 1982. However, long before he became a familiar face on television, his annual paperback “Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide” established his reputation; he was 18 when the first edition was published. He has also published numerous other books and articles, and teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In addition, Mr. Maltin has created television specials and DVDs on film topics, currently hosts the weekly program “Secret’s Out” on ReelzChannel, and introduces movies on DirecTV.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at Princess.com.