Did "Love Boat" Start The Cruise Craze?



I first got the cruise "bug" when I was about 5. I remember attending a Bon Voyage party for some relatives who were taking an around the world cruise. It sounded so exotic, sailing to so many countries. My first "cruise" was on the Channel ferry between England and France when I was 13. Loved every minute of it, even though many others were too busy being ill to enjoy it - I didn't realise the motion of the water was meant to make me feel ill !! After that, I wanted to take a real cruise although I had to wait until 1977, 7 LONG years.

I enjoyed the Love Boat. To me it was a way to experience some of the joys of cruising when I couldn't actually be on a cruise myself - somewhat like this board!!


It did for us, first cruise on the Carnivale,1984. The last was over this Monday past, Mercury through the canal.


The Love Boat series certainly made me fantasize about cruising, but I thought such an adventure would be totally above my financial means. In 1978, a family friend who loved cruising offerred to send us on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas and of course we couldn't refuse. We boarded the NCL Sunward II on a Monday (Sept. 4 as I recall) and set sail for Nassau. It was a wonderful experience and for many years I yearned to go again. After many years of raising children and going thru the grief associated with losing a wife to cancer, I had remarried and suddenly found the means to go on another cruise. My new wife and I boarded the Sovereign of the Seas in late Sept. of 1998 and sailed almost the same itinerary that I experienced in 1978. The Sovereign at 78,000 gross tons, dwarfed the Sunward II at only about 17000. I was stunned at the beauty of the main atrium as we boarded. Before that cruise ended, I was hopelessly hooked on cruising. We are sailing this month on the Maasdam which will be #9, and we have booked a Nov. cruise on the Inspiration. And yes, I am shopping for next spring and leaning toward the new Carnival Pride to Belize.