This series was based upon Jeraldine Saunders novel titled, "The Love Boats". She wrote the book from her personal observations while serving as a hostess on a cruise ship.
The former Pacific Princess was scrapped in 2013 at a Turkish ship recycling yard on the Aegean coast. She was forty-two years old, and was decommissioned in 2008. The Izmir Ship Recycling Company acquired the former cruise ship for 2.5 million euros (2.95 million dollars).
Two Princess cruise line ships regularly appeared as the Pacific Princess in the show. In addition to the real Pacific Princess, her sister ship, the Island Princess, stood in at times. Both ships changed ownership several times after the show ended, and were finally scrapped as of 2014-2015.
At the show's height, Bernie Kopell (Dr. Adam Bricker) earned thirty-nine thousand five hundred dollars per episode.
Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Bernie Kopell (Dr. Bricker) and Ted Lange (Isaac Washington) are the only actors to appear in every episode of the series.
After a highly publicized battle with cocaine addiction, Lauren Tewes (Julie McCoy) was fired from the show at the end of the seventh season.
Laugh tracks became very unpopular in the 1970s and 1980s, so much so, that shows like All in the Family (1971) and Cheers (1982) would announce that they were filmed before a live studio audience. This was the first show in several years that was not filmed in front of a studio audience, and still had a laugh track. When it was cancelled in 1987, it was the last show of its type to have a laugh track.
Aaron Spelling approached Dick Van Patten as his first choice to play Dr. Adam Bricker. He was already doing Eight Is Enough (1977), and was unavailable. The role was given to Bernie Kopell, a best friend of Van Patten's. Appearing as a guest star, Van Patten played several different characters over the course of the series.
One of only four television shows that was an hour long, and had a laugh track. The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957) was one, Love, American Style (1969) was another, and Eight is Enough (1977) was another. Coincidently, critics called this "Love, American Style" on a boat.
Most of the cast of Mary Tyler Moore (1970) reunited with fellow cast member Gavin MacLeod to appear on this show. Betty White, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, and Georgia Engel made appearances on this show. Fred Grandy (Gopher) appeared on an episode of Mary Tyler Moore (1970) as well. Ted Knight, who played Gavin MacLeod's colleague and nemesis on Mary Tyler Moore (1970), the pompous and arrogant Ted Baxter, also played his colleague and nemesis on this show as well, the humorless Gunner Norquist. Nancy Walker, Harold Gould, and John Amos, who all played recurring characters on Mary Tyler Moore (1970), appeared on this show too. David Ogden Stiers and Henry Winkler also made appearances on Mary Tyler Moore (1970) and this show as well.
Other ships used, especially for the two-hour episodes, were Stella Solaris, Pearl of Scandinavia, Royal Viking Sky, and Royal Princess.
Psycho (1960) stars Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, and John Gavin appeared on this show. Ted Knight, who made an appearance in Psycho (1960), as a police officer at the end, who brings Norman a blanket, appeared on this show as well.
Lauren Tewes claimed the rest of the cast shunned her, after her termination due to issues related to cocaine addiction. She also says the media continues to stigmatize her and label her a cocaine addict, even though she kicked the habit thirty-five years ago.
Ted Lange (Isaac, on this show) and Teddy Wilson (Isaac, The Love Boat (1976)) were in the series That's My Mama (1974).
The show ended due to slipping ratings in its previous seasons. It rated in the top 20 and it's highest ever rating was in the top 5. Things that could be attributed to the cancellation of the show, the budget blowing out, many of the cast leaving, and the expenses.
Dick Van Patten (Tom Bradford) and all eight kids (Grant Goodeve, Lani O'Grady, Laurie Walters, Susan Richards, Dianne Kay, Connie Needham, Willie Aames and Adam Rich) from "Eight Is Enough" appear in one episode or another.
After coming out of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970), Gavin MacLeod was Aaron Spelling's first choice for the lead role of Capt. Merrill Stubing. He accepted the role.
Long before the show started Gavin MacLeod knew Marion Ross, since they starred together in both the stage play and the film 'Operation Petticoat'. Ross would have a recurring role on the show as MacLeod's wife.