Brisbane played host to The Love Boat star Lauren Tewes who reminisces about the iconic TV show with Laura Brodnik.

“Love, exciting and new……come aboard we’re expecting you.”We all remember the iconic Love Boat theme!

No matter how old you are or what your entertainment preferences may be, there are very few people who can say they’ve never heard these iconic opening lines drifting from their TV . They belong, of course, to The Love Boat. A never-ending tale of romance set aboard a cruise ship that ran from 1977 to 1986 and, despite the fact that it ended more than 27 years ago, has a fan base that remains as strong as ever.

Today Brisbane The Love Boat fans had all their dreams come true when Lauren Tewes, who played cruise director Julie McCoy, celebrated her 60th birthday in style on the top deck of the Sea Princess along with 60 die-hard fans who won the chance to join the celebrations after their names were plucked from thousands of entrants. The Sea Princess was decked out in balloons and Tewes was treated to a special birthday video message from Gavin MacLeod (Captain Merrill Stubing) before sharing her ship shaped cake with guests.

“I’ve never had a birthday party like this, I’ve never had a big party before!” an excited Tewes says. “I’m very lucky because it’s been 35 years since the show started and people remember us with such love and fondness. They think of us as family and that’s a pretty magical thing. I haven’t been to Australia since 1981 and I never thought I’d get to come back.”

Tewes, who was in Brisbane to launch the Princess Cruises season, said she sees her old cast mates at least once a year and after a rocky start to the series she never imagined it would be so successful.

“I had a very short audition process, I was in the third of three pilots for the show,” she says. “I was actually cast just the day before the show started filming. I just knew I was going on an audition that morning. At 9pm that night my agent called me and said ‘ok, they’ve hired you. You need to be on the set at 6.30am tomorrow morning’. I then had to borrow money to get a tyre for my car; otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the location.”

During the day Tewes posed with fans, signed the memorabilia they’ve held onto for more than 30 years and reminisced about the shows golden days as the spirit of The Love Boat came alive for an encore performance.