A new “Love Boat” kicks off with a party at the dock of the Original – Orange County Register

The love boat will soon make another voyage.

And this time it’s sailing as a reality show.

According to a CBS press release, “’The Real Love Boat’ brings singles together to cruise the Mediterranean in search of love. Destination dates, challenges and surprising singles will test couples’ compatibility and chemistry.”

After watching the first episode, I think the new show strives to honor the original’s universal nostalgia and cleverly utilizes the best parts of the reality competition shows. The kickoff party for The Real Love Boat took place at the Los Angeles World Cruise Terminal – where the opening footage of the original show was filmed. Cruising, dating and television have certainly changed over the last 45 years.

The original series first aired in 1977. Many of the onboard scenes were filmed aboard the Sun, Pacific and Island Princesses. Ships left Los Angeles Harbor and I was a teenager at the time leading tours aboard the Queen Mary.

Back then, four guides would often share a cabin for a weekend cruise, and it would cost us less than a hundred dollars each for an all-inclusive passage. Today, a five-day cruise is just $350 per person, with the third and fourth paying $149.

The three original ships were all around 500 feet long and each carried between 600 and 700 passengers. The new “Real Love Boat” was filmed on the 1,083-foot Regal Princess, which carried 3,560 passengers, giving her twice the length, twice the decks and six times the passengers of previous ships.

The original show focused on five crew members – the captain, the cruise director, the bartender, the purser and the ship’s doctor. There were also guest stars like Charo, Don Most, Christopher Kight and Joan Van Ark.

Gavin MacLeod, who played Captain Merrill Stubing, died in 2021.

Fred Grandy’s role was that of the purser “Gopher”. Harvard-educated Iowan later served in the House of Representatives and now hosts a morning drive-time talk show. Nowadays, pursers have been replaced by guest services employees.

Ted Lange, who played bartender Isacc, has embarked on a successful filming, writing and directing career in his favorite role, King Lear’s Gloucester. Charo, the singer and flamenco guitarist, seemed to be the only performer who didn’t age.

Bernie Kopell played the role of a gynecologist for 250 episodes – he is now 88 years old.

The relationships between onboard staff and passengers may represent the biggest change.

dr Richard Reubin, a retired doctor living in Watford, UK, about 15 miles north west of London, was the ship’s doctor on the Island Princess in 1977 when I met him. Last week he sent me a copy of the ship’s officers’ regulations.

“The regulations (from the line’s parent company) were printed in 1966 but were in force at Princess Cruises almost unchanged when I worked at the company,” Reubin explained in an email.

He described how ship life has changed over the past four decades.

“Until modern times, ship officers were encouraged, and sometimes instructed, to help entertain passengers by socializing, dancing, and buying rounds of drinks. I got an entertainment fee and never saw my bar bill. I remember one of the captains telling me that when he was first hired on a passenger ship he was sent to a ballroom dancing teacher so he was socially equipped!

“We also had to host a table in the restaurant and were assigned to a group of passengers for the duration of a trip. Back then, everything was table service.”

Those times are long gone.

“I have been told that officers and crew are now prohibited from fraternizing with passengers or entering passenger compartments except as part of their duties,” he added.

The new series is great fun – too bad they missed the boat to film the realities of the 1970s. As long as Charo remains ageless and the bartender quotes Shakespeare, I can’t foxtrot with the captain.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/14/on-the-water-a-new-love-boat-launches-with-a-party-at-the-originals-dock/ A new “Love Boat” kicks off with a party at the dock of the Original – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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