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Love Boat Captain shares tips for romance before he sails

As the countdown to Valentine’s Day gets underway, one of the best known Captains of Romance, the Love Boat’s Captain Merrill Stubing, is dusting off his famous uniform to bring his unique brand of love Down Under.

In a cheeky YouTube video that combines the spirit of the iconic 70s show with sage 21st century advice, Captain Stubing - aka actor Gavin MacLeod - can be seen sporting a rose between his teeth for a romantic selfie as he shares his personal tips to help couples of all ages chart their way through the sea of love. View the video.

The launch of the video coincides with the announcement that the 82-year-old Love Boat Captain will be making a special visit to Australia on February 7-8 to oversee a romantic vow renewal ceremony on a Princess Cruises’ Love Boat, Sun Princess, before setting sail to New Zealand to preside over another ceremony in Auckland on February 12.

Gavin, a veteran actor who will tomorrow receive the Golden Palm Star at The Palm Springs Walk of Stars, has starred with scores of beautiful Hollywood women during his career.

But according to Gavin, the most beautiful woman he’s ever come across is his wife Patti: “She’s so beautiful I married her twice!” he says.

While Gavin concedes there are many different views on love today, he offers advice from someone who’s “been there - and done that” with tips to keep the love alive in 2014 and beyond, including:

• the power of a man in uniform (preferably a Captain’s uniform)
• the risk that mobile phones present to romance
• the lure of a good dance move to shimmy your way into someone’s heart
• the charm of a man who’s manly enough to embrace “Chick Lit”
• the magnetism of a man who can handle a beater to whip up some cookies sprinkled with love.

Regarded as a catalyst for the cruising boom, The Love Boat TV series cruised through 10 seasons from 1977 to 1986 and is still in syndication in 92 countries worldwide including Australia.

The show’s stories centred on the ship’s crew, led by the charming Captain, with celebrities playing guest roles and Princess Cruises’ passengers cast as extras. The scores of stars who appeared on the show include Joan Collins, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Michael J Fox, Joan Rivers and The Village People.

Gavin’s visit Down Under will only be his second visit to Australia and New Zealand since the Love Boat recorded a special two-hour episode in Sydney in 1981.

Princess Cruises’ fleet now consists of 17 ships, including three which are based in Australia - Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess.

Love Boat fans can follow news of Gavin’s visit Down Under via Princess Facebook page and on Twitter @princesscruises using the hashtag #loveboatdownunder. Gavin’s video can be found at


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