Who better to kick off the 50-year-anniversary celebration of Princess Cruises than the cast and guests of the iconic television show, “The Love Boat?” Six godparents from the cast christened Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and simultaneously kicked off the celebration of 50 years of history for the cruise line.
Fifty bottles crashed against the ship’s hull at the hands of former cast members who made both cruising and Princess into household words. The ship’s horn blasted out “The Love Boat” theme song, and the company offered a moving tribute to founder Stanley McDonald, who turned a shortage of hotel rooms in Seattle for the 1962 World’s Fair into a major cruise line.
As agents, journalists from several countries, past guests and investors joined the Princess family, fans posed with their favorite cast members and guest stars; danced; and watched clips from the series, which was on air from 1977 to 1987 in nearly 100 countries.
Godparents were Gavin Macleod (Capt. Merrill Stubing), Lauren Tewes (cruise director Julie McCoy), Bernie Kopell (Dr. Adam Bricker), Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing), Ted Lange (bartender Izaak Washington) and Fred Grandy (purser Gopher Smith).
A host of guest stars from Florence Henderson to Frank Sinatra, Jr., Lori Anderson, Pam Griere, Lee Meriwether and Charo recalled their guest roles and discussed events behind the scenes.
The 3,560-passenger Regal Princess, sister ship of Royal Princess, is sailing seven-night cruises in the Eastern Caribbean, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, calling in Princess Cays, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.