The legendary Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 on the Hudson River in New York City, October 16, 2008, as she departs for the final time.

09 March, 2012

Love Boat Final Episode

The former Pacific Princess, made famous as the cruise ship featured in the TV series "Love Boat" has been reported sold to a Turkish company specializing in shipbreaking.  The ship has been tied up in Genoa, Italy since 2009, when it was seized by the Italian Coast Guard for non-payment of a shipyard bill.  Previous attempts to sell the ship were unsuccessful and now it looks like she's been sold for scrap;  a sad end to the ship that without a doubt, was instrumental in the rapid expansion of the cruise industry in the 80's.  More information on the ship's history can be found here.  She was built in 1971, almost as old as QE2 and she served Princess well for most of her time in service.

While I cannot credit the TV show for sparking my interests in ship, I watched "Love Boat" as a teenager religiously.  There was something about seeing the ship in the opening credits, with the bow shots of the Pacific Princess slicing through the water, and then from above, with the ship at speed with smoke from her funnel that always intrigued me.  Sure, now that I see some of the clips, the show was a bit cheesy, but I recall they would cast a wide variety of the current stars as passengers so it was always fun to watch, and  for that matter, also dream of taking a cruise one day.  For instance, the clip above shows that one of the "Brady Bunch" girls was "onboard" for that cruise....err episode.  And then there was the Marcia episode.....I'm sure I watched that one.  Yeah, I watched the "Brady Bunch" alot, and it had nothing to do with the dad, Mike Brady, being an Architect.  Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.

Check out this website that lists each and every episode and the guest cast. 
Admittedly, I also had a thing for Julie, your ever cheerful cruise director.  She had that Dorothy Hamill (USA Olympic gold medal figure skater from my childhood)  hair style going on for a while that was all the rage.  Funny thing, I've never had a cruise director on any of our cruises even remotely resembling her. They've all been men.  Well, Max, on the Costa Magica was along with his wife, who was also on the cruise staff  played the Julie part well, so that is as close as it gets for me.  Cunard's had a fine staff of cruise directors in our experience.  I believe we've had Ray Rouse both on QE2 and most recently on QM2, but the "Julie" type remains elusive.

Now the show ran for a long time, ten years, maybe too long.  My interest in the show was clearly waning, though, by the time they tried to spice things up by introducing captain's daughter to the plot line.  They also had trouble with the real Julie and had to replace her.  The show was never the same.

Back to the captain, Captain Merrill Stubing, played by Gavin MacLeod of  "Mary Tyler Moore" TV sitcom fame.  I have to admit, it was pretty cool to see our last name, by no means a popular name, on the TV screen.  Hey, maybe I would be a ship's captain one day....It was only recently that I learned that he isn't really a true MacLeod of Scottish heritage at all, but American Indian! Indians go bald? Oh the humanity!  He thought it would make a cool stage name.

Now my interest in ships, Clydebuilt ships actually, goes back farther in time, to that Irwin Allen blockbuster "Poseidon Adventure."  I'll never forget seeing the opening credits and recognizing her instantly as the Queen Mary, probably since I had spent many hours at the kitchen table recently painting and gluing up the Revell model of her.  That insane childhood obsession with Queen Mary is another blogworthy topic that continues to this day.  Recently, we played the "Poseidon Adventure " DVD, on New Year's Eve actually, to coincide with a friend's overnight stay onboard her in Long Beach that very night.  Happy to report....she did not sink that night.


  1. Ken
    Funny in that at Midnight on New years Eve onboard Queen Mary l had The Poseidon Adventure very much on my mind as well. Had QM made any signs of movement, l would have been first outside !
    As it was we only had thick thick fog to contend with, and that was spooky enough for me.

    For what its worth, lm sad to see Pacific Princess being sold for scrap as well.

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  3. This show was my all time favorite then and now .Hearing the theme to this show just made me feel (how do I say it) HAPPY! My dream to always go on a cruise on the love boat or Pacific Princess. I still watch the dvd's today. Thanks for making my life better with your show and dreaming of sailing away on THE LOVE BOAT love you guys