Remember her? For most of us, the goings-on aboard Pacific Princess introduced us to the world of “pleasure cruising” – an introduction that for many of us developed into a “love affair” (read: addiction) to the idea of being aboard on the open sea!
While browsing the internet the other day, Lorraine ran across a 1978 brochure promoting three night “party” cruises aboard – yep - “The Love Boat!” Our good old Pacific Princess – 651 feet stem to stern – 8 decks – a capacity of 850 guests and crew of 350 – offering “A Completely Different Weekend!” She was touted as “pure cruising luxury” boasting, night clubs, cocktail lounges, casino, showroom, gym, sauna, and such exciting activities as table tennis, trapshooting, bingo, bridge, movies, and dance/ exercise classes. She featured a retractable pool/sundeck roof and a two-story Carrera Marble lobby (fore-runner of today’s multi-storied atriums.)
Not to be missed was her “Continental Dining” with an extensive menu including caviar, Beef Wellington, and “flaming” Baked Alaska – noting the wine steward would be available to help you select the perfect wine for every course – but neglecting to note whether or not the wine was inclusive.
Her staterooms were described as first class, too, with each featuring a private bath, personal telephone, multi-channel music system and individually-controlled air conditioning.
Party cruises departed Los Angeles at 8p.m. Fridays with stops at Guadalupe Island (off the coast of Baja), and Ensenada before returning at 8a.m. Mondays.
And – the cost for all this luxury? Are you sitting down? How about from $273 per person (inside room/lowest deck) – to $618 per person for an outside “deluxe suite” (sitting room/sleeping area divided by a curtain) - keep in mind this was pre-veranda days!
Note also that these fares were quoted in 1978 dollars – a year in which the “average wage” in the U.S. was around $11,000. Figuring for inflation, $100 in 1978 was the equivalent of $378 today!
THAT WAS ‘SPENSIVE’ LUCY!!!