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August 21
1961 - CalArts grad (MFA '92) and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob SquarePants, born in Oklahoma; developed prototype for Spongebob while studying at CalArts in 1989. Estimated net worth in 2012: $90 million [story]


It all began on this day 50 years ago with a cruise to Mexico on a single cruise ship, Princess Patricia. Today, Princess Cruises celebrated its 50th anniversary aboard Pacific Princess in the Port of Los Angeles with a special appearance by the original “Love Boat” cast before setting sail on a throwback cruise, recreating the very first itinerary to the iconic Mexican Riviera.

Now 50 years later, Princess Cruises is the third largest cruise line in the world with a fleet of 18 cruise ships and a recognized leader in taking 1.7 million travelers each year to some of the most fascinating cruise destinations around the globe.

Princess Cruises celebrates their 50th Anniversary with the original cast of The Love Boat aboard Pacific Princess at the Port of Los Angeles on Thurs., Dec. 3, 2015, in San Pedro, Calif. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Princess Cruises/AP Images)

Princess Cruises celebrates their 50th Anniversary with the original cast of The Love Boat aboard Pacific Princess at the Port of Los Angeles on Thurs., Dec. 3, 2015, in San Pedro, Calif. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Princess Cruises/AP Images)

The original “Love Boat” cast – Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac, the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship’s doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director, Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki, the captain’s daughter) celebrated the role the show played in Princess Cruises’ five-decades-long history introducing the cruise line – and cruise vacations – to millions of people around the world.

The County of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Clarita, the hometown of Princess Cruises world headquarters, also marked the occasion by proclamation declaring December 3 “Princess Cruises Day”.

“We’ve had so much to celebrate this year – from our first-ever float in the iconic Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, to our exciting new partnerships with Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz, award-winning chef and restaurateur Curtis Stone and the introduction of our Discovery at Sea program,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Today, it’s fitting that ‘The Love Boat’ cast is here with us to celebrate our 50th anniversary since they played a key role in the success of our company.”

The pilot episode of “The Love Boat” was shot aboard the 730-passenger Sun Princess, with Pacific Princess and Island Princess then becoming the primary floating stars of the show. Later episodes and specials were filmed aboard many other Princess cruise ships in destinations around the globe. The show, which aired from 1977 to 1986, went on to become one of the highest-rated and longest-running and beloved shows on television, introducing viewers to modern day cruising and, in the process, making Princess Cruises and its ships synonymous with vacations at sea.

Jan Swartz, Gavin MacLeod and Bob Kellar, City of Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem, celebrate Princess Cruises' 50th anniversary, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Clarita, hometown of Princess Cruises world headquarters, declared Dec 3 "Princess Cruises Day" on Thurs., Dec. 3, 2015, in San Pedro, Calif. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Princess Cruises/AP Images)

Jan Swartz, Gavin MacLeod and Bob Kellar, City of Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem, celebrate Princess Cruises’ 50th anniversary, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Clarita, hometown of Princess Cruises world headquarters, declared Dec 3 “Princess Cruises Day” on Thurs., Dec. 3, 2015, in San Pedro, Calif. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Princess Cruises/AP Images)

“People always ask us why ‘The Love Boat’ was so popular and I always say it’s because it gave people something to dream about,” said Gavin MacLeod. They could dream about being out on the open seas on a cruise and discovering the worlds’ greatest destinations, dreaming about love and of course happy endings since the shows always ended on a high note. I’m proud to have played a role in the growth of the cruise industry – to see where these ships have come from the days we filmed aboard the original Pacific Princess to now experiencing the 18 magnificent ships in the fleet.”

Today more than 30,000 employees both ashore and at sea continue to offer guests enriching vacation experiences by connecting them with each other, different cultures and nature in a brand new way.

“We celebrate our successes over the last 50 years and I know our future is bright as we chart a course for the next 50 years,” added Swartz.

Princess Cruises has been celebrating its 50th anniversary all year long with an incredible lineup of new dining, shopping and entertainment aboard its ships. The festivities will continue through April 2016.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel consultant, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

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20 Comments

  1. Just home from cruise on Star Princess watched Love Boat before bed… Had a wonderful time in Cabo❤️

  2. Cant wait to see this. Renee Renée Roqué-White not sure how you know the captain but i am sure you will want to see this too;)

  3. Dixie Castallo Suma Spina Jan is in this article :-) Laurie Rendall

  4. Elsa Galindo Elsa Galindo says:

    A flash back i rememred all their names

  5. Is this you Rob? Didn’t see any credit?

  6. I wanted to be Cruise Director Julie when I grew up. Still kinda do.

  7. Debbie Ortiz Debbie Ortiz says:

    How amazing they all look…that would have been an awesome cruise to be on!! Ryan Ortiz

  8. Cam Morgan Cam Morgan says:

    This might sound corny….nothing was better than at home on a Saturday night and watching Love Boat. I mean it. Today, there is nothing on. These actors are funny and serious… taking us around the world with trips that many of us couldn’t afford.

  9. Now I really would take the cruise with the cast. I think that’s an awesome idea. Like going to these trek conventions to see cast members of star trek.

  10. Love exciting and new come aboard we are waiting for you….

  11. Margi Harris Margi Harris says:

    ❤ ️the Love Boat. My father in law was the Art Director. My husband and I were able to be on set to see a taping. What a great cast and crew… Happy 50th Anniversary to all. ❤️

  12. Joseph Robet Cowles says:

    Amazon offers a couple of enjoyable books about Jeraldine Saunders, the gorgeous “Love Boat Lady” who created the TV series based on her exciting life experiences. The most recent, an “authorized biography,” was published about three years ago. Perhaps somewhat pricey for a softcover book, but there are plenty of color photos of Saunders, cast members, and Hollywood stars. It’s a good read and you’re sure to fall in love with the lovely lady who started it all.

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