Princess Cruises and “The Love Boat” Connection
Originally, in searching out a location for the movie pilot of what was to become his Love Boat television series, Cramer found the ideal setting on a Princess Cruises ship.
After the 1977 pilot show, which was shot aboard the line's original Sun Princess in Mexico, Cramer teamed up with top television producer Aaron Spelling and The Love Boat went on to enjoy phenomenal success, continuing for 10 seasons until 1987 as one of the highest-rated prime-time television shows in the country. Princess soon became a household name as the star of the popular series, and continues to be known as the "Love Boat" line today. With Pacific Princess and Island Princess the original floating stars of the show, The Love Boat was filmed aboard many of Princess' ships in destinations around the globe. Occasional Love Boat television specials have been filmed since the show stopped production, and "Captain Stubing" (actor Gavin MacLeod) and “Vicki” (actor Jill Whelan) serve as the company spokespeople.
In 1997, all six original Love Boat cast members - Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher), Ted Lange (Isaac), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Lauren Tewes (Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki) - reunited for the first time in more than a decade to christen Dawn Princess in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The reunited again in 2014 to kick off the 50th anniversary of Princess Cruises by christening Regal Princess in a star-studded event also featuring 25 guest stars from the show, including Charo, Florence Henderson, Marion Ross, Doris Roberts, Diane Ladd and Jamie Farr, to name a few.
In 1998 the Love Boat popularity was revived with a new version of the show introduced by Spelling Television. Love Boat: The Next Wave, which ran for two seasons on the UPN network, was also set aboard a Princess ship, the line's new Sun Princess. A new cast of characters served as the Sun Princess staff - including Robert Urich as Captain Jim Kennedy - and following the original show's format, a series of guest stars joined the cast each week as guests.
The original Love Boat series is currently in worldwide syndication, having been translated into more than 29 different languages, and is viewed by millions of fans in more than 93 countries.