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April 02, 2008

Princess and Cruise Critic Host Online Chat with Gavin MacLeod to Celebrate First Release of "The Love Boat" DVD

Hundreds of Questions Posed to "Captain Stubing"

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 31, 2008) - In conjunction with the first-time release of "The Love Boat" on DVD this month, Princess Cruises partnered with leading online cruise site Cruisecritic.com to offer cruise fans their own opportunity to interview their favorite "captain" - Gavin MacLeod, the series' "Captain Stubing."

MacLeod participated in an online question and answer session, in which Cruise Critic members could pose their queries about the show and his career. MacLeod answered many of the hundreds of questions posted, and then awarded his favorite 10 questions with copies of the newly released "The Love Boat" - Season One, Volume One on DVD.

"I never get tired of talking about 'The Love Boat' and the fun memories it has for people," said MacLeod. "I appreciate just what an impact the show had on the cruise industry, so it's fun sharing my insight, especially with the enthusiastic cruisers in the Cruise Critic community."

Gavin MacLeod's favorite questions were:

1. What are some of your favorite ports of call and why? Since you probably have several, please share a few and why they are your favorites.

I've been lucky enough to travel to many wonderful places in the world. But my favorite ports are New York, Sydney and Venice. I love New York because there is something electrifying about sailing into the "city that never sleeps." The Opera House stares out at you in Sydney and it doesn't get much better than that! And, Venice, come on! It's so romantic.

2. Which Princess ships have you sailed on? Have you been on a cruise with the new ships of Princess - for example, the Caribbean, Emerald or the Crown? Since your show was on the Pacific Princess I assumed you got to see her in person. I realize that the show was on a TV sound stage but I'm curious.

I have actually sailed on most of the Princess ships. I've been an ambassador for Princess since the show went off the air in 1986, and I've been to virtually all of the ship christenings since that year. Plus, I cruise several times a year as well.

3. What would be your favorite activity (that you can reveal here) onboard your dream cruise?

I love the theater. I very much enjoy watching the great production shows they put on. The performers are so talented!

4. I would like to know what your initial reactions and feeling were when you first read the script before taking the part? Did you feel it fit your personality and did you feel the viewing audience of that time would grasp the concept of taking a cruise?

I knew right away it would be a hit, and I did think the audience would love the idea, which was a big part of why I took the role.

5. With all the time you spent on the show at the helm of the Pacific Princess, did you ever have the opportunity to actually steer her or guide her in or out of a dock?

Yes I did! On the ship's very last voyage for Princess in 2002, I got to take her out of the slip in New York. Of course the Captain was on one side of me and the Staff Captain on the other in case I made a wrong move, but I did get to work the controls for a moment. It was very emotional, the end of an era.

6. If you could, would you do it again, and who would you select as your crew?

Well, today I'd play the head of the cruise line. Here's how I'd cast the show using today's actors:
Captain - Tom Hanks
Gopher - Patrick Dempsey
Doc - Tom Arnold
Julie McCoy - Beyonce
Isaac - Denzel Washington
Vicki - Dakota Fanning

7. What guest "passenger" had star quality? So many young and upcoming actors/actresses were "passengers" on the Love Boat. Is there any one (or two?) that caught your eye back then and had you thinking - "This young man/woman is going to be a star?" And they ARE????

That would have to be Tom Hanks. He came on when "Bosom Buddies" was just coming on the air. I'm told we were his television debut because our episode actually aired first. Regardless, he eclipsed everybody. He was very bright and a great communicator, which made him a wonderful actor. He gave more than what was demanded of him at the time.

8. If you could have a fantasy dinner on the Love Boat, as Captain, you can have six guests join you. They can be from past episodes, the world of movies and television, history, religion, sports, mythology, etc. .... Who would they be and why?

That's a great question!! I'd pick:
Frank Sinatra and his wife, Nancy
Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans
My wife, Patti
Captain Stubing's TV wife -- my dear friend Marion Ross
Dinah Shore
Pat and Shirley Boone
Alan Buckelew, the president and CEO of Princess Cruises, and his wife, Chris
I guess we'd need a bigger table than one for six!

9. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite episode. Do you have a favorite show or memory that stands out more than any other?

I actually have two favorite episodes. One was the "Love Boat Follies" where we got to sing and dance with some of the greats from musicals - Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Cab Calloway, Van Johnson and so many others. It was actor's heaven - these were some the biggest stars in musical theater.

But my very favorite episode was our last one where Captain Stubing got married to Emily, played by Marion Ross. I've known her since 1958, and this experience was a celebration of our friendship, which still continues. I got to see her last Mother's Day when she was one of the godmothers of Emerald Princess.

10. Compared to the smaller ships that the Love Boat original series was based on, what is your opinion of the larger ships of today? Do you find them better, worse, or just a lot different than the smaller more intimate ships shown on the Love Boat episodes?

I've sailed on both, and they're both great. There are so many more things you can do on the larger ships. But Princess does still have three ships that are about the same size as our original Pacific Princess (the new Pacific Princess, Tahitian Princess and the new Royal Princess) - and to be honest these are my favorites.

All of MacLeod's questions and answers can be read here.

The Cruise Critic online chat coincided with the first-time release of "The Love Boat" series on DVD from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment. "The Love Boat - Season One, Volume One" features the first 12 episodes from the inaugural season on three discs, offering fans of the classic anthology series the opportunity to revisit the high seas adventure and celebrity passengers who came aboard each week.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available by calling 1-800-738-8837.

Posted by Denise at April 2, 2008 08:37 AM

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