Yesterday a piece of cruising history was put to rest, the Pacific Princess. Most of us know this ship as the one featured in the television series, The Love Boat. This show was a key influencer in raising awareness for the cruise industry and exactly what a cruise vacation was. We had the privilege of meeting Gavin MacLeod who played the Captain of the Love Boat. It was fun to hear the stories about their travels aboard this ship and see how his enthusiasm for cruising has lasted all these years. (He is still an ambassador for Princess Cruise Lines) Did you know they actually filmed on real cruises? Not just a “boat set”? Pretty cool.
With new ships coming out every year, the older ships start to get phased out. Most people today probably wouldn’t even want to cruise on the Pacific Princess when given the option for a new ship. It just doesn’t have the same amenities and features of today’s fleets. We have cruised on an older ship from another line the season before it was sold and we definitely would not have recommended that cruise ship to anyone. It was soooo old and showed its age.
What usually happens to the older ships is that they are sold by the cruise line. Just like you sell an old car. Someone is interested in buying it an using it for their purpose. In the case of the Pacific Princess, she was originally built for Flagship Cruises in 1971 and was named Sea Venture. In 1975, Princess Cruise lines took her over and she sailed as the Pacific Princess from 1975 to 2002. Princess Cruise Lines sold it and it was renamed the M.S. Pacific and was jointly owned by Brazilian CVC and Spanish Quail Cruises. In 2008, she was decommissioned — basically the repairs to keep her running were more expensive than the return. Then in it’s 42nd year, it was time to completely retire her and will be scrapped at a Turkish ship-recycling yard. Luckily she has been immortalized in television.
Each ship has some fun piece of history from the people who have sailed on her, her godmother, how she was made and so one. It will be interesting to watch the impact of more and more mass market, large passenger ships have on the smaller, older ships.
What ship have you been on that you would recommend they retire? Comment below.