Over the next several months, our relationship continued to grow and I was beginning to think that perhaps she could very well be “the one”. For Christmas that year, I surprised her with an Eastern Caribbean cruise for us aboard the Golden Princess. Since Brenda had never been on a cruise, I wanted to ensure that everything would be perfect for her first voyage. I joined the Cruise Critic Roll Call for our voyage, and began communicating with people that would be on the same cruise with us. I got Brenda involved and she loved interacting with everyone, especially for all of the wonderful tips she was getting for her first cruise.
About a month before our cruise I decided that I was going to ask Brenda to marry me. Around that same time, my parents were preparing to leave on a Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Sun Princess. As luck would have it, one of their ports of call was St Thomas, home of my family’s favorite jewelry store. I decided to let my parents in on my secret plan and asked them to check out the diamond selection while they were there. I was on pins and needles waiting for their call that morning. When they finally called with the specifics on what was available, I could hardly contain myself. I spoke with the store owner, agreed on a price, and he promised to overnight the ring to me. When the ring arrived the next day, I was so excited…it was perfect! I was very pleased my secret plan was falling into place.
The weekend before the cruise, everyone, including Brenda, was starting to become suspicious of my intentions. My coworkers were constantly ribbing me, and Brenda’s brother even asked me if I was up to something. When I asked him why he would think that, he explained that Brenda couldn’t understand why I suggested she get a manicure before we left.
I needed to throw Brenda off and decided to privately enlist the help of my Cruise Critic Roll Call friends. We devised a plan to have Bob, one of the fellow Roll Call posters, post a “complaint” about his wife spending so much money on getting her nails done before the cruise. Soon, the other women piled on with their postings. For the next few days leading up to the cruise, formal night, specifically dresses, hairdos, and of course nails, dominated the Roll Call postings. I truly felt that my ruse has worked.
The day of the cruise finally arrived. I could hardly contain my excitement for what was ahead of us. As we boarded the ship, the look on Brenda’s face was priceless. She never dreamed the Golden Princess would be so beautiful. My heart was pounding. My plan was to tour the ship, then go back to our stateroom in hopes that our luggage would be there. I would have Brenda start unpacking, and then tell her I had to go and check on our dinner reservations. I was going to ask the Maître’D to have a small cake made with “Will you marry me” on it.
Much to my dismay, the plan got a bit crazy when we entered our stateroom. We were greeted with bottles of wine, chocolate covered strawberries, and a note of congratulations from my parents. It turns out that the pranksters in my office thought it would be funny if they sent engagement gifts and made it seem like they were from my family. Fortunately, I was able to grab the notes before Brenda saw them, and decided to make a quick change to my plan. I suspected she was becoming very suspicious, so I excused myself to use the restroom. I gathered my thoughts and decided that no time was better than the present.
When I came out she was reading the Princess Patter. I approached her and got down on my knee, and said “Brenda will you marry me?” When she saw me with the ring, she immediately jumped up and said “of course I will!”
After the Muster Drill, we went up on deck to meet the people from our roll call in person for the first time. We met Bob, the co- conspirator of the manicure postings, and showed him the ring. He then told everyone about our elaborate ruse to throw Brenda off the trail of my intentions to propose. Needless to say we had a fabulous cruise and made many new friends. When we got home, I showed Brenda the emails that I exchanged with Bob and how our Roll Call thread changed that day. We laughed for hours that night looking through all the postings leading up to the cruise.
Brenda and I were married the following January. Our honeymoon cruise was also a Princess Cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess, and you can bet we were on the Cruise Critic roll call leading up to it. That cruise was equally as wonderful, but our engagement cruise on the Golden Princess, and the time leading up to it on the Cruise Critic roll calls will never be forgotten.
Royal Princess Eastern Caribbean (2/18)
Regal Princess Canada/NE (10/18)
M/S Boheme, Emerald Seas, Amerikanis, Festivale, Norway (2), Grandeur of the Seas, Mercury (2), Century, Crown Princess (original), Sun Princess, Sea Princess, Grand Princess (2), Golden Princess, Caribbean Princess (4), Crown Princess (3), Ruby Princess (4), Royal Princess, Regal Princess (2), Emerald Princess (2)