50 Years of “The Love Boat”
Princess Cruises marked its upcoming 50th anniversary in 2015 by using the theme of the old television series The Love Boat during the christening ceremony of its newest ship, The Regal Princess, while the ship docked in Port Everglades prior to embarking on her maiden season to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale.
With cruising being such a popular way to vacation now a days, it’s hard to visualize that cruising has been around for five decades. I am willing to bet that The Love Boat series played a big part in some vacationers’ plans back then. I recall watching the series as a child and dreaming of sailing onboard a cruise ship. Little did I realize then, that I would be making a living today, selling cruises on the Love Boat.
The Regal Princess christening ceremony festivities included all six of the original Love Boat cast members – Gavin MacLeod as Captain Stubing; Fred Grandy as Gopher, the chief purser; my favorite, Ted Lange as Isaac the bartender; Bernie Kopell as Doc, the ship’s doctor; Lauren Tewer as Julie the cruise director and Jill Whelan as Vicki, the captain’s daughter. To add to the nostalgia of the event, frequent show guest-stars were also in attendance, including Florence Henderson who served as the Master of Ceremonies; Loni Anderson, Joyce DeWitt, Jamie Farr, Doris Roberts, Marion Ross, Dick Van Patten, to name a few. And to top off the days events, the guest star with the most appearances on the show…you guessed it, Charo entertained with a classical guitar number, along with Jack Jones singing the original theme of The Love Boat. The series aired from 1977 to 1986, and later became a long running series in syndication.
The pilot episode of The Love Boat was shot on board the 730 passenger Sun Princess, with the original Pacific Princess and Island Princess being used as future backdrops. In stark contrast, today’s new Regal Princess is a state-of-the-art floating resort carrying 3,560 passengers. Just a few features of the new Regal Princess include an astounding multi-level atrium, located mid-ship, which serves as the ship’s social hub; an over-the-water SeaWalk, a glass-bottom top deck extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; an array of dining options; and the Princess Watercolor Fantasy, a fountain and music show. What’s more, all the outside staterooms have private balconies. How nice is that…no more port holes!
I can’t wait to sail on this newest ship in the Princess fleet. Somehow the Love Boat theme continues to resonate in my head…”The Love Boat…Come Aboard…We’re Expecting You”.
For more information, go to www.princess.com
Photos: courtesy Princess Cruises