Legendary cultural icon Andy Warhol took the 60s by storm, becoming a symbol of the pop art movement. Undoubtedly, Warhol was one of the most famous, and weirdest, guest stars to appear on “The Love Boat.”
Known for loving campy styles, colorful patterns, and things that might have been deemed temporary pop cultural junk, Warhol loved light and bubbly TV shows like “The Love Boat.” In fact, he was one of the show’s biggest fans, so he was over the moon when he was asked to appear in the ninth season episode “Hidden Treasure/Picture from the Past/Ace’s Salary.” The episode was ranked among the 100 best TV episodes of all time.
The Boat’s Trip to China Was a Disaster
In June of 1983, the cast and crew of “The Love Boat” sailed on the Pearl of Scandinavia on a two-week trip to China, Japan, and Hong Kong to film the three first episodes of season seven. According to future interviews with “People Magazine,” the trip was an economic disaster. The whole endeavor cost over $12 million, which for 1983 was an unheard-of sum of money.
Not only did the trip take months to plan and cost a big chunk of the show’s budget, but it somehow sent the cast members into a fighting frenzy. According to one of the producers, Doug Cramer, the cast was incredibly hostile throughout the entire trip, getting into loud arguments about the tiniest detail. What’s worse, they made the actual passengers who had paid money for their Easter Asian cruise voyage have a terrible time!
A Celebration of Old Movie Stars
Aaron Spelling was known for using a unique formula for his TV shows, mainly consisting of having a small, regular cast that would serve as the base of the series while featuring different guest stars on every episode. It was a winning formula that had found massive success on Spelling’s other show, “Fantasy Island.”
Spelling wanted to celebrate Hollywood’s Golden Age, which he was a devoted fan of, and so cast legendary actresses like Ginger Roberts, Lana Turner, and Olivia de Havilland in “The Love Boat.” In his memoir, Spelling explained his decisions - "The studios weren't banging their doors down with offers, but these actors and actresses still had lots of talent, and I was happy to provide an outlet.”
The Important “Love Boat” Connection
Even though the last episode of “The Love Boat” aired in 1987, the show’s influence is still felt in the Princess Cruises company and cruising vacations in general. Princess Cruises had a contract with the show’s production company throughout the entirety of the series, which required “The Love Boat” to be filmed on three of its star ships – the Pacific Princess, the Island Princess, and the Sun Princess.
These ships were by far the company’s most sought-after cruises for decades after the show ended. The company even retained Gavin MacLeod, who played Captain Stubing, as a spokesperson. And when the company had to christen a new ship, the Dawn Princess, they staged a reunion of all six original members of “The Love Boat” in 1997.
A “Love Boat” Tradition
Nearly three decades after the end of “The Love Boat” in 1987, the Vice President of Princess Cruises, Rai Caluori, announced in an interview with USA Today that one of its star ships would have a new tradition. The Royal Princess, a colossal 3,560-passenger cruise ship, would feature a special horn that would sound out the first two notes of the beloved theme song of “The Love Boat.”
The sound would be heard whenever the ship left certain ports, which was a tradition that some of Princess’s other cruise ships had been adopting for years. However, it was the Royal Princess that actually made it a company policy.