To honor the saint’s day of all things amorous, we sat down to coffee — and sushi from the Amish market — with Vicki Stubing of “The Love Boat,” a.k.a. Jill Whelan. Whelan played Captain Stubing’s daughter on the Aaron Spelling TV series from 1978 to 1987. She now runs an acting studio in Yardley, Pennsylvania, recently returned from Toronto where she was onstage for 12 weeks, and is writing a book with the working title “If Only I’d Been a Scientologist I’d Have Had a Bigger Career.”
What did you love most about “The Love Boat?”
Besides the people, the travel. We spent six weeks a year traveling all over the world. We were so lucky; we got to see the world. It was an incredible opportunity.
So you actually did film on ships that represented Pacific Princess?
We filmed on Stella Maris, Pearl of Scandinavia and others. Usually on the Princess, though.
Some of your favorite places?
China was amazing. Egypt was just incredible. Ephesus in Turkey was fantastic. Obviously, I love the Mediterranean.
Did you ever have a crush on any of your co-stars?
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. He was older, of course, and so elegant. Oh, then there was Robert Wagner, oh, and Rex Smith [who guest-starred in a 1980 episode "Vicki's First Love"].
Your marriage to Michael Chaykowsky took place onboard Caribbean Princess in 2004, on its inaugural voyage. What attracted you to getting married on a cruise ship? Was it what you expected?
We weren’t thinking about it, but Princess Cruises called me about another opportunity that was about being single. I said that wouldn’t be the case much longer. They got excited and told me when he [Chaykowsky] proposed to give them a call. They offered to do the wedding. I said, oh, okay. Princess knows how to throw a party. It was spectacular. The cake was pale green with edible cherry blossoms. It was this high [she motions about 4 feet from the floor]. My husband’s [late] mother loved swans, she even had them etched on her shower. We didn’t tell them this, but the cake had spun-sugar swans on top. It was amazing. They housed all of our friends for the night. About 30 to 40 booked the cruise with us, but they put up the rest of the guests for the night.
Would you recommend a wedding onboard a cruise ship to others?
Without a doubt. But, I’d also recommend taking all your friends on your honeymoon with you. That was fun.
Your newest film is “Six Degrees of Hell.” Ever play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?
Ha! Let’s see. I did “Babies Having Babies” [a 1986 CBS Schoolbreak Special installment] with Martin Sheen, so I know Charlie [Sheen] and Emilio [Estevez]. And Charlie and Emilio are close friends with Sean Penn, and he starred in “Mystic River” with Kevin Bacon. There you go.
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