The ultimate guest experience is back on television with Princess Cruises returning to the stage as The Real Love Boat. It brings back one of entertainment history’s most prominent product placements.
The new series is a reality dating competition set on Princess Cruises Regal Princess® as it sails through the Mediterranean. It is a modern version of The Love Boat that aired from 1977 to 1987 on ABC. The setting for the original was Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess, a name synonymous with cruise ships for decades.
Starring the Real Crew
The Real Love Boat stars married actors Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn as hosts. In addition, the three principal cast members are current or former Princess Cruises employees. They are Matt Mitcham (Cruise Director), Ezra Freeman (Bartender), and Paolo Arrigo (Captain).
Mitcham is a retired cruise director for Carnival Cruise Line® for 14 years. He served on the Carnival Vista, Breeze, and Mardi Gras. Through social media and more than 40,000 Instagram followers, he is a celebrity known for his hosting skills, social media posts, and photos.
Arrigo originally served in the Italian Coast Guard and joined Princess in 1996. He served in numerous roles and is still a ship captain. Ezra Freeman, originally from the nation of Georgia, has been with Princess for three years as a guest entertainer. She also includes TikTok Content Creator on her resume.
The Real Love Boat Is All About Matchmaking
Arrigo, Freeman, and Mitcham play vital roles in helping the twelve contestants develop relationships or watch them fall apart. Contestants do their best to appeal to each other and the audience. Consequently, one winner takes home a cash prize.
Regal Princess® will sail through the Mediterranean, including ports of call in Athens, Barcelona, Marseille, and Rome, as part of the show. The ship and the scenery provide a premier showcase for Princess Cruises, the crew, and the destinations.
The show supports other marketing opportunities for Princess, including The Love Boat sales for guests, coinciding with the airing of the series through the end of this year.
Not the Only Show This Season
In addition to The Real Love Boat, Princess announced the debut of its YouTube series, Ocean Treks Conservation Connections, earlier this year. It features short episodes about environmental management, conservation, and sustainability. Environmental Ambassador Jeff Corwin hosts with Princess President John Padgett. The 28-episode weekly series follows in the footsteps of Corwin’s award-winning YouTube series, Ocean Treks.
The original Love Boat starred TV veterans Gavin MacLeod and Bernie Kopell, among others. It was a ratings windfall for ABC and the cruise industry and became a vehicle for former TV and film stars to briefly step back into the spotlight.
The Real Love Boat debuts October 5 on CBS and Paramount +.