more on the love boat...
After 27 years of service, Princess Cruises is saying goodbye to Pacific Princess, the original "Love Boat," which departed October 27th on its final voyage, a trans-Atlantic cruise from New York to Rome. The 640-passenger ship provided the spectacular setting for the popular Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ70s and Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ80s television series, helping to introduce cruising to the mainstream vacationer with its weekly installment of fun and romance on the high seas.
"After years of service and many wonderful memories for passengers and crew alike, it's time to say goodbye to the ship that made Princess such a recognizable name," said Phil Kleweno, president of Princess Cruises. "Every week when the show aired, millions of people were introduced through television to the then new idea of vacation cruising. I think most in our business would agree that Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Love Boat' was responsible for beginning the modern-day growth of the cruise industry.
Pacific Princess History
Princess Cruises acquired the German built ship in 1975 from Norwegian cruise company Flagship Cruise Lines and christened her the Pacific Princess, deploying her on the Mexico and Alaska routes. That same year, television producer Aarron Spelling approached Princess Cruises about filming a new TV show aboard the ship. Although the ship was sailing at near capacity, the company felt that participating in the series would be an ideal way to increase awareness of cruises in general, and generate interest in the then new Pacific Princess. After nine lively seasons, making it one of the longest-running shows on television, "The Love Boat" and its regular star Pacific Princess continue to attract fans today with its subsequent airings of re-runs around the world in more than 90 countries.
Pacific Princess on "The Love Boat"
From 1977 to 1986, more than 1,000 celebrities "sailed" aboard the Pacific Princess (on "The Love Boat" series) including Tom Hanks, Mickey Rooney, Heather Locklear, John Ritter, Billy Crystal, Jamie Lee Curtis, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Hulk Hogan, Carol Channing, Charo, Marion Ross, Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers. When not on camera, the stars enjoyed dining in the ship's Coral dining room, swimming in the famous Crystal pool, strolling the lido deck and descending down the well-recognized lobby staircase. Star-struck passengers booked cruises long in advance to watch the shows being filmed onboard, and to perhaps even be invited on screen as extras. During the run of the show, the ship and the show's main cast -- Gavin MacLeod, as Captain Merrill Stubing; Lauren Tewes as Cruise Director Julie McCoy; Fred Grandy as Yoeman Purser Burl "Gopher" Smith; Bernie Kopell as Dr. Adam Bricker; Ted Lange as bartender Isaac Washington; and Jill Whelan as Vicki Stubing -- visited exotic ports around the globe such as Acapulco, Barcelona, Stockholm, Mazatlan, London, Los Angeles, Helsinki, Paris and Sydney.
"The popularity of Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Love Boat' television show turned the Pacific Princess, the show's cast and cruising into household names overnight," said Gavin MacLeod, the actor who portrayed Captain Stubing on the show. "What I enjoyed most about Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Love Boat' was interacting with the variety of guest stars we had on the show each week. The producers did a fantastic job of appealing to a wide audience range by combining legendary stars like Lana Turner, Cesar Romero and Ethel Merman, with current celebrities of the day like Andy Warhol, Melissa Gilbert and Michael J. Fox, as well as future stars Vanessa Williams and Kirstie Alley in each episode."
And a lot of the interior shots were done on a sound studio stage. It was an amzing show for the cruise industry, but boy, did it reinforce some stereotypes - all cabins are at least 2000 sq ft with enormous living rooms and balconies and everyone on the ship dines with the captain at every meal, the doctor is never in his office, there is no nurse, the doctor is American, Big name entertainers go on every cruise, all single people WILL meet the love of their life on any cruise. etc...
But it was enough to get me interested, and now hooked!!
Yup - I remember there was the special episode on the Island Princess to Alaska, there was another on the "new" Royal Princess - and there was another special episode which the Pacific Princess and the old Sun Princess followed one another around and the passengers competed w/ one another at games, etc.
On that episode, there was one vignette where a newlywed couple had gotten separated somehow at the pier - he boarded the Pacific Princess, she got on the Sun Princess - (how could you mistake the two?!?) - they kept switching ships but not coordinating who was going where, the both switched repeatedly to the other's ship and they were apart for their entire honeymoon!
Hucc and CruiseDiva are correct, I watched a Travel Channel special about the show some time ago. It also talked about one sailing it had (while cast and crew were aboard) where the water was so rough, it blew out some of the porthole windows. There were a lot of sick folks on that one.
The old Sea Princess (ex-Kungsholm) also appeared in a couple episodes filmed in Australia. One of my very favorite shows; it seems to get better with age. Except for the Todd(?) McGinley episodes after Lauren Tewes left, those will always be awful.
Soooo....was that spiral-type stair case they always showed near the desk a studio set or is that the Pacific Princess herself? What parts were studio sets and what were real ship? I know the specials...the more exotic ports were usually real ships? That clover shaped pool had to be a set, right?