Talk about bringing a cast back together. Princess Cruises will be reuniting the original troupe from the long-running TV series “The Love Boat”, which launched a major explosion in cruise popularity nearly 40 years ago now. The ensemble will be gathering to celebrate the Santa Clarita, California’s 50th anniversary year and the christening of the Regal Princess. All six actors will serve as godparents for the ship--Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing) Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship’s doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the captain’s daughter).
The christening ceremony will take place November 5, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale. “We can think of no more suitable godparents for our newest ship than the cast of the show that put Princess Cruises on the map,” said Jan Swartz, the line’s president. “The show has been such a visible part of our company’s history, it made sense to kick off our anniversary celebrations with this special tribute.”
“Love Boat” backstory
The pilot episode of The Love Boat, shot aboard Princess’ 730-passenger original Sun Princess in 1977, began the relationship between Princess Cruises and the show, which for ten seasons eventually became one of the highest rated and longest-running shows on television. The Pacific Princess and Island Princess were the primary floating stars of the show, while later episodes and specials were filmed aboard many of Princess’ other cruise ships in destinations around the globe.
“I’m absolutely thrilled that my former cast mates and I will be part of Regal Princess’ U.S. debut,” said Gavin MacLeod, who has been Princess Cruises’ ambassador since the show ended in 1986. “The fact that The Love Boat continues to air in international syndication around the globe is a testament to the show’s longevity and the world’s fascination with romance on the high seas.”
The 3,560-guest Regal Princess took her bow last May and will begin her maiden Caribbean season following the christening in November. The sterling ship features lots of bells and whistles such as a dramatic multi-story atrium that serves as social hub, a selection of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, and a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light. It also offers balconies on all outside staterooms.
“The ship’s naming ceremony is just the beginning of the celebrations that will mark our company’s golden anniversary,” said Swartz. She added that beyond the Regal Princess festivities, guests sailing on any of the line’s fleet of 18 cruise ships during 2015 will enjoy a wide range of anniversary experiences.
Learn more about Regal Princess’ fun-packed inaugural Caribbean season by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at http://www.princess.com.
Watch to video to see just why "The Love Boat" was such a success, it's fun.