Between 1977 and 1986, “La Croisière s’amuse” became a veritable institution on the small screen, consecrated legend today. If you didn’t follow everything well or if your memory challenges you, we tell you the end of the series.
Warning, spoilers. The following article reveals key elements of the plot of “La Croisière s’amuse” as well as its ending.
Captain Stubing and his crew, bartender Isaac, Doctor Adam, cruise directors Julie and Gopher, welcome passengers on their luxury liner named the Pacific Princess every week for an exceptional cruise. Here is a synopsis that brings back good memories!
The one that started with a trio of TV movies in the 70s finally became a series on September 24, 1977. It was a little more than 8 years later, on May 24, 1986, that The Cruise has fun (The Love Boat in VO) has embarked on its last journey as a series. Several specials will subsequently be broadcast after the end of its weekly episodes, until 1990.
After 3 TV movies and 9 seasons, the last episode remained faithful to the show – produced by Aaron Spelling – adored: tenderness, jokes and absurd situations, the glamor of the 80s and, of course, 3 storylines and renowned guest stars – his trademark.
Over 245 episodes, this formula has declined through infinite variations and countless guests, from Tom Hanks at Michael J. FoxPassing by Tim Robbins and Billy Crystal or Rita Moreno, Gene Kelly, mickey rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Ella Fitzgeraldthe Village People, Andy Warhol…the eclectic list never ends! In this finale, we can even see a very young Teri Hatcher in the shoes of a dancer (mermaid) in a corps de ballet.
Entitled “Happily Ever After / Have I Got a Job for You / Mr. Smith Goes to Minikulu” or simply “Sacred day” with us, we tell you about episode 25 of season 9, the one that ended one of the television’s most iconic series. Immediate boarding !
A CEREMONY IS PREPARING
On deck, Captain Stubing (Gavin MacLeod) is waiting for Emily Haywood (Marion Ross) impatiently: if she doesn’t get on board in time, she will miss… their wedding! She finally arrives and rushes into his arms. Then she introduces him to Monica Douglas (Renee Taylorthe Sylvia Fine ofA nanny from hell), a celebrity wedding planner who promises Stubing that after this one, he’ll never get married again!
At the reception, Gopher (Fred Grandy) receives a video tape from a former client, Slade Collins (Clive Revill), a billionaire hotel magnate, to whom he had shared his ideas in the field. For his part, Spencer, he is exhausted by his new position of assistant cruise director and asks Ace (Ted McGinley) how he was doing: the latter offers him his valuable advice.
Preparations for the ceremony, which will of course take place aboard the Pacific Princess, are well underway. Monica proposes her ideas to the future spouses: Stubing begins to get nervous.
A WORK PROPOSAL
Gopher and Isaac watch the video sent by Slade Collins: he offers Gopher the position of manager of a resort on a Pacific island called Minikulu. The latter is intrigued and specifies that if he accepts, Isaac will come with him. A statement that leaves Isaac confused.
Later, Gopher announces to Isaac and Doc (Bernie Kopell) that he initially turned down the offer because he loves his job but when offered more money he eventually accepted – and added that Isaac would be on board. Isaac is still not thrilled.
In the evening, during a dinner, the captain takes him aside and warns him, but Gopher is determined… and even encourages Ace to apply for his position as purser! Now it’s Isaac’s turn to express himself: he has decided to stay on the liner and will not accompany his lifelong friend on this new adventure. Gopher is very disappointed.
DOUBTS AND HESITATIONS
Examined by Doc, Stubing explains that he was in his cabin trying to decide where the wedding would take place on the ship when he began to get out of breath: he thought he had a heart attack. But the doctor makes his diagnosis: it was just an anxiety attack… because of the wedding!
The next day, Ace submits his candidacy to Gopher but the latter announces to him that he finally thinks not to leave. Ace is furious to have spent the night writing his paper. Later, Gopher is visited by Slade Collins himself who tries to persuade him.
As Emily visits Vicky (Jill Whelan) to try to understand the recent strange behavior of the young woman’s father, at the reception, Doc finds Ace asleep. He tells her that he needs to pull himself together before Gopher’s farewell party which takes place the same evening as he is leaving the next day. Ace doesn’t understand anything anymore: at one moment he stays, at another he leaves and he has thrown away his candidacy which he then begins to search frantically in the trash can.
While Emily and Monica are still preparing for the wedding, Stubing continues to miss the call, too nervous to make any decisions about it. From then on, the organizer warns Emily that he may not be ready to take the plunge, which leaves Emily worried. Another member of the crew is nervous: Gopher questions his decision again and decides to stay again. Ace is about to explode.
CONFESSIONS AND DECISIONS
The commander and his future wife finally end up talking. The reason Stubing is so upset is because he hasn’t told Emily everything: he admits he never married Vicky’s mother. Emily is aware because Vicky told her everything and also knows that the latter’s mother ran away before telling her that she was pregnant. He confesses a second secret to her: he is a former alcoholic. Again, Emily replies that she figured it out on her own. He snores: she knows that too!
It’s Emily’s turn to tell him that she, too, had been nervous the week before that she doubted the wedding, but when she tried to imagine her life without him, she couldn’t and felt reassured. She offers Stubing to do the same thing: he tries but also can’t imagine a life without her. He wants to marry her. They are kissing.
Gopher’s farewell party takes place…without Gopher! Isaac finds him in his cabin, pensive. He does not think he is up to the job offered to him. Isaac reassures him but Gopher says he won’t do it alone and he needs him. The latter tries to persuade him: only cowards pass up such opportunities and his friend Gopher Smith is not a coward.
HAPPY EVER AFTER
Gopher finally shows up at his party and takes the stage to bid farewell to his job and his friends. The emotion is at its height when he thanks his colleagues one by one, taking the time to say a few memorable words – with tears in his eyes – to each of the people present.
D-Day has arrived. Emily gets ready, helped by Vicky and Judy (Pat Klous) while Doc, Gopher, Isaac, and Ace help Stubing. They then offer him cufflinks which the captain says he cannot accept but his friends tell him that everyone participated. Moved, he ends up accepting them and the group helps him put them on. This is a real declaration of love from the whole crew for their captain.
It’s finally time to say yes and it’s a simple and very moving wedding that closes the series: it’s brief but says it all. The newlyweds then descend the stairs cheered by a crowd that has come to celebrate them.
Emily then throws her bouquet and Vicky catches it: will the commander’s daughter be the next to get married? That we will never know. As rice is thrown at them, the couple go into raptures and the image freezes on their broad smiles: end of La Croisière s’amusière.