Champagne, Celebrities, and The Love Boat Experience

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The Love Boat. If you say those words to anyone over the age of 35, more than likely they’ll belt the tune from the hit TV show right back atcha. Of course, only one line. Does anyone really know the rest of the song?

Most of us grew up watching that show with our parents. Dreaming of finding love at sea. Wishing we were the captain’s daughter and could spend every day on a cruise ship! Isaac making everyone laugh as he mixes up their fru fru umbrella drink. Doc getting the girls. Julie over analyzing, trying to make things run smoothly. The Captain full of charm and wisdom. And good ole Gopher…just making us laugh. They were like family. We invited them into our homes every week and couldn’t wait to follow their next adventure.

Little did I know, one day MY adventure would be WITH them! Imagine how exciting it would be to actually hang out with the crew. Like for real. In person.

But wait there’s more.

I’m not talking about running into them in some Hollywood coffee shop by chance. But really truly mingling with them while they were wearing their sexy 70’s uniforms from the show. So.Not .Kidding. For Melanie and I, it was pretty much a dream come true.

Being a part of the Regal Princess‘ inaugural cruise was an incredible opportunity. But add to it the Love Boat cast as the ships godparents…and 25 of their celebrity friends who appeared on the show?! THIS was a once in a lifetime.

We shared images of the ship itself and our overall cruise adventure on the Regal Princess in Love, Friendship, and Travel: Girlfriend Getaway on the Regal Princess.

regal welcome champagne Princess Cruise_Girlgonetravel Princess Cruise_Girlgonetravel Princess Cruise_Girlgonetravel Princess Cruise_Girlgonetravel

But before I go on about this once in a lifetime experience for us, let me back up and tell you how it played out. Princess threw a major party in port to christen their new ship, the Regal Princess. Media was invited and the ship was packed. Melanie and I prepped for the event having no idea what to expect.

Fortunately for us we picked the right door on the right deck at the right entrance and ended up RIGHT were all the celebrities were being introduced. Trying to look as professional as possible we took our stance by the staircase. Melanie insisted I play “staff photographer” and with my less than impressive camera I squeezed my way to the very spot where each celebrity was being prepped for introduction.

There were a few tricks I quickly learned to keep my position. Stay out of the way. Smile and be friendly. And making small talk with the head of the production company would earn me bonus points and allow me to stay right where I was! SCORE!


Highlight? My hug and photo with Mrs. Cunningham. Fonzie has nothing on me! It was giddying to be in the presence of so many of my child hood favorites. Charro (who happened to love mine and Melanie’s hair by the way). Dick Van Patten. Florence Henderson. And the list goes on. I snapped away and tried to capture the magnitude of the moment.

Princess Cruise_Girlgonetravel Princess Cruise_Girlgonetravel

The true icing on the cake was when the actual Love Boat cast came out to christen the ship with a GINORMOUS champagne bottle. Sure it took a few bounces before it broke…but the mood was electrifying. And the after party, including fireworks and the cutest little shots in the cutest little shot glasses, was amazing.

Princess Cruise_Girlgonetravel
Princess Cruise_Girlgonetravel

But wait. There’s more.

The media left the ship as we got ready to set sail the next day. But an elite group of press was invited to cruise along and experience all the Regal Princess had to offer. That’s when the up close and personal time with the Love Boat cast GOT REAL!


We had a Q&A interview time with them as well as an opportunity for photos. This was awesome. What did we discover? The captain reminds me of my dad — such a sweet man. Doc is still a player, even in his 80’s — he certainly was happy to pose with Melanie and pull her in quite close! Vickie could totally be our best friend…we adored her! Gopher likes girls in glasses best. Julie still runs the show with grace. And Isaac is an author who insisted Melanie take HIS copy of a play he wrote for her to read. WHAT?

with the captain_girlgonetravel melanie and gopher_girlgonetravel melanie and isaac_girlgonetravel

I don’t think we can even begin explain how awesome all of this was — albeit a bit surreal. We WERE on the Love Boat. Sure a few decades had passed. But when you put those people together on a ship, the magic is the same. We all felt it.


Melanie and I will forever remember this opportunity to set sail on the high seas on the Love Boat. Reliving an episode that never made it to the big screen, but will forever live in our hearts.

Love, exciting and new
Come Aboard. We’re expecting you.
Love, life’s sweetest reward.
Let it flow, it floats back to you.

Love Boat soon will be making another run
The Love Boat promises something for everyone
Set a course for adventure,
Your mind on a new romance.

Love won’t hurt anymore
It’s an open smile on a friendly shore.

About the girls gone traveling:

Lisa Lehman

Lisa Lehman Artist by trade. Maker by birth. Dreamer. Addicted to chocolate. Lover of wine. Self proclaimed fashionista. “Ink” connoisseur. Captivated by nature. Spellbound by fire. Enchanted by the written word. Seeking authenticity. View and purchase her work at Studio Jewel. Follow her on Twitter @StudioJewel.

Melanie Nelson

Melanie Nelson has been blogging since 2004 (though she recently sold her site). She’s the author of Facebook All-In-One For Dummies (1st ed.) and is currently an editor at Social Media Examiner. Follow her on Twitter @Chilihead.

Disclosure: Girl Gone Travel writers were guests on the Regal Princess as part of this media event for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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6 Responses to Champagne, Celebrities, and The Love Boat Experience

  1. So fantastic!! I’m a little bit jealous. Okay, a LOT jealous. How fun! And, not to mention, I’ve only bee on one cruise that I hated, but this ship looks incredible. I might need to revisit my stance on no more cruises as vacations…

  2. imnotasupermom says:

    Loved reading this. I’ve never considered an ocean cruise for a vacation, but I love the thought of sailing on the Love Boat.
    Great post, you guys!

  3. Awwwww! So cute. And just how fabulous. I remember the Love Boat. Ahem! But I only really remember Toto. Where was he? How brilliant for you though. 🙂

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