For those of us of a certain age, cruising entered our lives through Saturday night TV when Pacific Princess – aka “The Love Boat” – set sail on ABC with its lovable cast of characters (and special guest stars).
Capt. Merrill Stubing, played by actor Gavin MacLeod, presided over the onboard antics of the ship’s passengers and crew with paternal fondness, appearing ever charming in his spotless dress whites. Between 1977 and 1986, MacLeod appeared in every episode of the 10-season series, which ranked among the most popular shows on television during that time.
Turns out things weren’t so pleasant behind the scenes for MacLeod; his recently released memoir, “This is Your Captain Speaking: My Fantastic Voyage Through Hollywood, Faith & Life,” explores health problems, multiple marriages and struggles with alcohol and depression. He also became active in the Pentecostal movement, and has since remarried his first wife.
Now 82, the actor continues to serve as an ambassador for Princess (he is currently in Fort Lauderdale, sailing on a Royal Princess preview cruise). Before he left, he recorded this video just for Cruise Critic. Watch to find out about his favorite Love Boat situations, the places that are still on his bucket list and why you should always pack lots of clean underwear.
Want to win a copy of MacLeod’s book? We have several signed copies to give away. To enter, please leave a comment with your favorite Love Boat memory.
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