We’re finally getting to the good part. Thanks for hanging in there with me. These are the photos taken by Mr. R. as the former Love Boat guest stars made their way along the gold carpet at Wednesday’s Princess Cruises 50th Anniversary and Christening Celebration. We were on board the brand new Regal Princess docked at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale.
Everyone, without exception, was incredibly nice, pausing to answer questions, give mini-interviews, and posing for pictures. Mr. R. and I were jammed between two large television cameras and he stood behind me, shooting over my shoulder. I had prepared a couple of questions, but confession: As the celebrities began moving toward us I became completely tongue-tied. This is so far removed from what I do on a daily basis. I totally glommed on to the reporter next to us, writing down little tidbits to use for this report.
Mr. R., on the other hand, has interviewed many politicians and celebrities, but he busied himself with the camera for the most part. There was that moment, however, when he joked around with Rich Little for a bit, then took a selfie of the two of them with his phone.
I did manage to tell Lee Merriwether that she was stunning, which she was. The photos don’t do her justice. She smiled and thanked me graciously.
So for my notes…I started out so organized, but then, well, it was a little overwhelming. I resorted to writing the names of the people that I saw and occasionally made further notes if I saw or heard anything useful. I’ll try to make it make sense.
First up was Loni Anderson. I’ve actually seen her before. Once upon a time she was married to Burt Reynolds who, once upon a time, had a house in Jupiter. I was eating at Ruby Tuesday at the mall one day and the buzz in the restaurant was that she was there, but wanted her privacy. I made an excuse to leave my table and went looking for her. She wasn’t hard to find–hers was the only table to have a four-foot spray of tulips in a vase on the table. I figured, hey, if you really don’t want to be noticed…But I digress. She was so cute in her little nautical outfit, including the Swarovski crystal dolphin purse. She was also very nice.
Next there was Charo. She is exactly the same as she always was, and as she chatted up the reporter next to us she uttered this gem: “Wheeen theee sheeep heeet the fan, jyou yust throw a party!” Say it a couple of times, you’ll get it. She was absolutely adorable and she happily posed for Mr. R. By the way, remember her signature “cuchi-cuchi”? Today they call it ‘twerking’. I don’t know what diva claims that move, but it goes all the way back to Charo.
Jamie Farr stopped to chat with my new buddy, Next Door Reporter. He was funny and gracious. He told us that on his episode of Love Boat, he gave Heather Locklear her first on-screen kiss. Well now! Joyce DeWitt chatted about her LB appearance, outlining the plot of the episode.
I was thrilled to see Florence Henderson and Chris Knight. Who among us hasn’t at least once wished that they were a Brady? Jack Jones stopped by and was persuaded to sing a bit of the iconic LB theme (he later performed the whole thing during the ceremony). Pam Grier mentioned that she lives on a ranch in Colorado and that she has a new biopic coming out soon.
Diane Ladd revealed the fact that before her LB appearance, she had done a touring show with Gavin MacLeod. Lorenzo Lamas chatted briefly about Falcon Crest and expressed his appreciation that his LB episode was an actual cruise to Greece. Most episodes were shot on a Hollywood set.
Rich Little came down the carpet stopping along the way to do his thing, spot on impressions of various celebrities. He was super nice and very funny. Lee Merriwether was dressed in winter white slacks, a matching turtle neck, with a navy blazer, and she looked fabulous. Remember her apricot curls during her Barnaby Jones days? They’ve been replaced by a sleek short gray style that’s stunning. We also saw Tracy Nelson, Kristy McNichol (I wanted to be her when I was a kid), Don Most, Doris Roberts, and Mackenzie Phillips. There were other celebrity guests who did not make the gold carpet but they attended the later festivities.
Slightly disappointing was the fact that the original cast did not appear on the gold carpet. They were not introduced until much later. There’s still a lot more to tell. Stay tuned…