About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: The Love Boat (1980)


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #27 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July discussion is on the 1980 Christmas episode of The Love Boat. This fourth season episode sees the cruise ship's destination as Mexico (either Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta). 


l to r: Meeno Peluce,  Dirk Benedict, and Beth Scheffell.

The episode "The Captain’s Bird/That’s My Dad/Captive Audience" features three story lines (as usual). In “The Captain’s Bird,” Captain Stubing puts Gopher in charge of acquiring Vicky’s Christmas present--a talking parrot. Unfortunately, the bird repeats nasty insults. In “That’s My Dad,” a young abused boy named Scott stows away on the Pacific Princess and is befriended by a single man Jeff who the cruise staff mistakes for his father. 


l to r: Jack Jones with real-life father Allan Jones.


And, in “Captive Audience,” a father and son Richard and Bob Braddock reunite after years of not talking. In this story, Rich and Bob are both professional entertainers played by singers Allan Jones and Jack Jones who are real-life father and son. Jack Jones is also the performer who croons The Love Boat series theme song.

In this episode, Jack Jones takes the stage to sing the holiday standard “Winter Wonderland.”

Guest stares include Jack Jones as Bob Braddock, Allan Jones as Rich Braddock, Dorothy Lamour as Lil Braddock, Dirk Benedict as Jeff Dalton, and Meeno Peluce as young Scott.





This disco version of The Love Boat theme makes me want to watch the whole TV series all over again! Enjoy.

Our Christmas in July party discussions will continue all month long. Got another favorite tropical vacation Christmas program? There's more to come. Feel free to leave comments down below.


Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com





  1. I used to love The Love Boat, enjoyed seeing who would be on week to week. Now it would be like watching old friends. Should see if it is streaming somewhere.

    1. I agree. The guest stars are the best part. I selected this episode to be a part of the Christmas in July marathon solely by the guest cast. But all the Christmas episodes are fun. Thanks for commenting.