“Love, exciting and new, come aboard, we’re expecting you….”
So began the theme song to “The Love Boat,” which ran from 1977 to 1986.
Each week, guest stars would board the Pacific Princess and, for the most part, either find themselves in the boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl scenario, or couples rekindled those old home fires. (Who says you can’t cram a bunch of clichés into one sentence?)
The cast: Gavin MacLeod (AKA “Murray” from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) as Capt. Merrill Stubing; Ted Lange as Isaac Washington, ship’s bartender; Bernie Kopell as the ship’s amorous doctor, Dr. Adam Bricker; Fred Grandy as purser Berl “Gopher” Smith, Lauren Tewes (pronounced “tweeze”) as the ship’s cruise director, Julie McCoy. In later seasons, Jill Whelan joined the cast as Capt. Stubing’s daughter, Vicki; and Ted McGinley came aboard as ship photographer Ashley Covington Evans (or “Ace”) and Pat Klous stepped into the cruise director position as Judy McCoy.
Notable guest appearances: Charo, as the guitar playing April, made several trips on The Love Boat, and Ethel Merman portrayed Gopher’s mom in several episodes.
What they don’t show: I can only recall an maybe and instance or two of a passenger trying to find their cabin. Were all the passengers equipped with homing devices upon embarking the ship? I’ve been on two cruises, and I spent the majority of the time looking at the ships’ maps and trying to find my way around.
Maybe it’s just me. Probably is.
If you want to check out the opening theme to “The Love Boat” on YouTube.com, go to
For more cast/guest star information, go to