I have to admit that we’re not your typical “Love Story” type people.
We were getting ready to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, had 3 grown children and two grandchildren.
We were 18 and 19 when we married and we had the typical church wedding. Lots of bridesmaids (all in sherbet colored dresses), groomsmen, ring bearer and of course the social hall reception with cake and punch.
We began our life together working hard, buying a house, and raising our children. What most young couples don’t realize is that marriage is hard work. We faced our trials and tribulations. My husband was there for me when I lost my youngest brother to murder and I faced numerous health problems. And I was there for him as he took care of his aging parents with Alzheimer’s. Our vacations consisted of trips to theme parks or the family’s lake house with our children’s fun being the priority.
When 2007 rolled around and our 30th anniversary approached, my sweet husband asked me to marry him again. Big surprise—I said yes. Even bigger surprise—he wanted to renew our vows. We planned a ceremony that suited both of us. A beach themed cook-out in our back yard with our closest friends and family complete with bbq, tropical salads, and music provided by our youngest son.
A dear friend and Pastor officiated the ceremony. Our children were our bridesmaids and groomsmen. The grandchildren ran around enjoying our cupcake wedding cake. As we said our “I Do’s” our dear friends blew bubbles.
It was a wonderful wedding and we knew this was the start of a renewed love and life together.
But what’s a wedding without a honeymoon? We planned our first cruise. Neither of us had ever been on a ship before and I had never stepped foot on an airplane.
From the moment we stepped aboard the Caribbean Princess, I knew this was going to be the experience of a lifetime. And it was our first vacation ever without our children! We got to our cabin and stepped out on our balcony. Wow-We still couldn’t believe we were really doing this!
What I didn’t know was that my husband had a plan for us when we got to St. Thomas. I had worn my grandmother’s engagement ring since he’d proposed the first time. It wasn’t flashy but I loved it because she wanted me to have it. But my husband always felt bad that he hadn’t bought me one himself.
He told me he wanted to buy me an engagement ring when we got to St. Thomas. I said “we’ll see”. After years of providing for children and seeing that their needs came first, it was hard for me to spend money on myself.
I found a ring I absolutely loved! Not very traditional but unique and beautiful. But the cost was making me faint. I had to walk away and get some fresh air. The saleswoman offered me a beverage, well actually beer! I took it gratefully. Could I really spend that much money on myself? My husband was egging me on and saying he’d pay much more to get the ring I wanted.
The salespeople even dropped the price a bit the more reluctant I became. Finally, I relented and I’m so glad I did.
(By the way, my husband complimented me on my negotiating skills. I explained it wasn’t an act!)
We left to tour St. Thomas while the ring was being sized.
After a wonderful day on the island, we returned to pick up my ring. With tears in his eyes my husband placed the ring on my finger just as he’d done 30 years before. He was so proud of “his accomplishment” encouraging me to show it members of our tour group and folks on the ship. The rest of the trip was a dream come true and from that point on, we made each other a priority. Yes, our children are grown and will face their own trials and tribulations too, but a marriage (like a child) needs to be nurtured and cared for.
We have since taken another cruise on the Caribbean Princess. It will always be our special ship. We’re planning another trip next spring on the Emerald with some very dear friends.
I’m convinced that there is magic aboard Princess Ships and I am so very grateful to have experienced the Princess Magic!
July 2007-Caribbean Princess
June 4, 2008-Caribbean Princess
April 18, 2010-Emerald Princess
June 5, 2011-Carnival Pride
June 16, 2012-Carnival Liberty
May 26, 2013-Carnival Pride
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."