The team at Princess Cruises is mourning the passing of actor Gavin MacLeod, who achieved stardom playing Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat from 1977 to 1986.
MacLeod died Saturday (May 29) at his home in Palm Desert, California. He was 90.
The iconic actor was a global ambassador, friend and treasured member of the Princess Cruises family for more than 35 years.
From his 10 seasons on The Love Boat, and for more than three decades following the show’s final season, MacLeod enthusiastically shared his passion about the joys and adventures of exploring the world while cruising.
“He always reminded us that - like the popular TV series, ‘cruising gives people something to dream about,’” said Princess Cruises in a statement.
MacLeod became Princess Cruises’ global ambassador in 1986, appearing in a vast array of advertising campaigns and countless public and media appearances for the company.
His three-and-a-half decades with Princess Cruises made him the longest-serving brand spokesperson in history.
For 10 years in a row he was a special guest aboard a Valentine’s Day cruise where he and his wife presided over the renewal of vows of hundreds of couples.
Years later, in 2020, MacLeod, joined by his Love Boat TV daughter Jill Whelan, served as officiant and matron of honor (respectively) in support of Princess Cruises breaking a Guinness World Records title for the “largest multi-location vow renewal” where 1,443 couples reaffirmed their love for one another during simultaneous ceremonies onboard three Princess ships.
MacLeod, along The Love Boat ensemble cast members, were bestowed the honour of christening and officially naming two ships: Dawn Princess (1997) and Regal Princess (2014), which served as a precursor for the 50th Golden Anniversary Celebration Year for Princess Cruises (2015).
To mark his 20th anniversary serving as Princess Cruises brand ambassador, MacLeod was honoured by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) as an inductee in the “Hall of Fame” in 2006.
“It will come as no surprise that MacLeod’s favourite way to vacation was by cruise ship, embarking on many memorable voyages with his family and friends,” said Princess. “His favourite cruise destination was Tahiti and he loved any Italian dish the culinary team lovingly prepared for him, especially Fettuccini Alfredo, a Princess dining room specialty.”
Besides his wife, MacLeod’s survivors include his children, three stepchildren, 10 grandchildren and his first great-grandchild, who arrived in December.
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