Have you had Proof that it really is a "small world" after all?

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1,178 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Not cruise related but when I retired I moved from the DC area to Delaware. I met a new neighbor and mentioned my hometown, and turns out she grew up in same small town, and had been a close friend of my brother, even called him by an old nickname from elementary school days. She and my brother are in their 70s now and hadn't seen each other in about 50 years.
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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

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2017 Celebrity Solstice - New Zealand/Australia
2018 Silver Galapagos
San Diego County
2,432 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Just thought of another one - not really cruise related, but very strange, maybe more 'Twilight Zone' than "Small World". A number of years ago, we visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. DH had been in the Army and had lost track of a close buddy after he had gone to Vietnam, hadn't heard from him in over 30 years. He looked up his friend's name on the wall and was very relieved to NOT find his name there.

About a week later after returning home, the phone rang - it was the Army friend. He explained that for some reason he had been thinking about their Army days and had taken the time to research and track down my husband online. The small cruise connection - he and his wife were then living in Astoria, OR, so the following year we were able to meet them and spend a day together when we did a cruise that stopped there.
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Cruising since 1977.
11,924 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
The proof for us is where we can fly, often for as little as $500 -$700 USD. Just about anywhere in Europe, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, China, even Australia.

Amazing. Could imagine affordable travel like this 20 years ago. This, and the Internet is what has made our world seem much smaller.
Long Island, N.Y
820 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
We have had several "small world" experiences but two really stand out. In 2006, on a TA cruise we went to the M&G for our roll call. My husband and I started to mingle but eventually separated and went in different directions. A few minutes after going our own ways I hear some very loud singing and realize that one of the singers was my husband who had just run into someone from his HS, Brooklyn Tech, and they were singing the their school song. Now the weird part, after my husband introduces me to his new friend the new friend introduces me to his wife who turned out to be a girl I went to school with in the Bronx!
Our other interesting experience was in Barcelona. We were wandering around on some of the side streets when we heard someone calling my husband's name. It was his co-worker who was also on a TA but on another ship. What was funny was that the two of them had left work together a few days earlier, walked to Penn Station to catch the RR, wished each other a great vacation than headed to their separate trains to go home and in all that time they never talked specifics about their pending vacations so neither knew that the other was going on a cruise!?
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6,549 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
We were on a Hawaiian cruise and stopped into a Harley Davidson shop for DH to buy a t-shirt. The sales clerk asks where we're from. We answer Nevada. She asks where in Nevada. We answer a small town in central Nevada. She asks which town, so we tell her. She tells us she used to live there about 25 years ago, and it turns out she briefly dated the guy that DH had bought his motorcycle from! She really enjoyed hearing about our town, what had changed and what was still the same.
Northern Californa - SF Bay Area
945 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
When we went on the Coral Princess through the Panama Canal we met this very nice couple; but never exchanged emails so did not stay in touch with them. About 18 months later we were on another Princess ship (forgot which one) and was cruising to Mexico. We were on the elevator going up to the Lido Deck when the elevator stopped (before it reached the Lido Deck) and waiting to get on the elevator is this couple from the Panama Canal. We both shouted out!
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Northern California
Campbell, California
vacation = cruising


W Caribbean - Oct 29, 2017 - Liberty of the Seas
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1,517 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
A number of years ago, I was doing a TA out of Southampton and on the flight over I noticed a couple sitting across the aisle from me, that I thought I knew from somewhere. After deplaning at Gatwick I went through customs and was waiting for the transfer to the port. The same couple joined the group waiting for the ships transfer. I went up the couple and said, forgive me for asking but you two look familiar to me, do you mind if I ask where you are from. They named the city and it was about 20 miles from where I live. I still could not remember where I had seen them so I asked them what they did for a living. The husband said he was retired but the wife said she worked as an interior director for businesses that were being remodeled.

That is when I remembered where I knew her from. Several years before that the bank I work at was remodeled and she was the one in charge of the remodeling. She was in the bank for several weeks in the design process and then also in the remodeling process. They were on the same TA as I was so we kept running into each other all throughout the cruise. At the end of the cruise on the flight back to MSP, low and behold they were again seated across from me on the plane. We all had a good laugh over it.
606 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
I have one that's not cruise related. On my way back from Punta Cana I had a long layover in Baltimore so decided to grab dinner at one of the bars. Struck up a conversation w/ some people and during it another man sat at the seat next to me. In the conversation I was having I talked about my niece being spoiled as she'd never flown commercial but on a private plane to FL for her volleyball tournaments due to a team member being part of one of the wealthiest families in town. He heard and made a comment as he was from the same city. He then asked if I could plug in his phone charger (outlet was by my leg) and when I turned I realized he was the husband of a HS classmate. We had never met but I've seen pictures of him on her FB.

Second one is somewhat cruise related. I was planning on booking a cruise w/ friends that I'd met on a previous cruise. I normally book directly w/ the line but she said I should call her TA and see what deal I can get. Called and left her a message. When she called back she said you are in MI correct? She recognized the area code. Then asked what part of west Michigan I was from as she used to live in Lansing. Once I told her she said she lived there when she went to college. That college is about 2 miles from where I live.
Mountain Home, Arkansas
4,021 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
On our first cruise I met a couple who knew a fellow electrician in my hometown. In fact the men had been best man at each others wedding. When he asked if I knew him I had to admit that I had talked to him that very week at the electrical supply house.

Third cruise we were seated with strangers in formal dining and I kept thinking that I should know one couple. Found out that they were from Branson, Mo and had the Kettle Corn concession at the local theme park Silver Dollar City . They had sold us Kettle Corn that summer.

On another cruise I met a couple who had worked with my closest friend in Saudi Arabia. The world is definitely getting smaller.
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Near Tampa, Florida
3,361 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
This happened to our friends....

They were entering the cruise ship on embarkation day and started chatting with another couple. Shared that they all lived in Florida. They chatted some more and found out that they all lived in the same community (755 homes). They spent lots of times together on the cruise and thereafter as well.
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UsuallyOnTheRoad in the DMV
189 Posts
Joined Aug 2014

2005 or 06...I was sitting in the Buffet area on the RC Enchantment of the Seas (Carib itin) early one morning, and an elderly lady was sitting a couple tables away. A waiter walked by, I noticed he was from the Philippines, and since I grew up there in the 60's and 70's...I surprised him by greeting him with a few words in Tagalog.

After the waiter left, the lady said Good Morning, and asked if I had just spoken Tagalog...(perhaps un-common for a pasty white, Irish American looking guy like me). I told her that yes, I had grown up in the Philippines. She asked where I had lived, and I told her my family lived in Davao for a couple years, and then Manila for almost 2 decades. I should note that Davao in the early 60's was home to just a couple foreign families. When I mentioned Davao, she got a very intrigued look on her face, and asked when exactly I lived there...when I gave her the exact dates...she said, "Oh My Goodness...are you one of the sons of James *** (my Dad)" ? Turns out she had been the secretary of my Dad in '66 and '67...40 years earlier !! Who wudda thunk !

Isn't travel, and cruising great...you never know who you might meet from the past...or who will become cherished friends in the future !

Enjoy !
Yorkshire, UK
6,992 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
We've had a few weeks of these, these are the ones I can remember

2009 on a ship in the med, I said 'there's a woman over there could easily come from the a particular family' my husband said who/what. I explained that my mums sister married a guy and all the family look alike. 2 days later she happened to be stood next to me watching the sail in and she said 'hi Jan I've not seen you since you were 12'. The following week I started a new job and she worked in the same office, we ended up working together for 3 years.

We were sat having a drink at the sunset bar on celebrity and shared a table as it was busy, conversation happened and it turned out she worked with my next door neighbour.

Last Christmas we were at the martini bar on celebrity and a teen was getting a drink, we were in the Caribbean. I recognised the accent and started talking, she was travelling with her friends family, they came over and they lived on the next street to us. The teens word were 'how does that happen'.

We were in Poland and there was a football match on tv, a group of guys were cheering on the team that is from 50 miles away from us. The guys lived 2 streets away from us and went to the same school as my son.

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Seattle, WA
49 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Originally posted by Crew News
I was on a photo safari in Juneau Alaska with eleven other cruisers when the guide asked where everyone lived. The couple behind me lived two blocks from my house here in Albuquerque.
I was on a cruise around Iceland with my mom last week. She ran into a couple on the ship who live at the other end of her small barrier island on the Gulf coast of Florida (single street almost a mile long). The husband said "Of course I know your building, I ride my bike past it every day!"
4,926 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
My best friend and I decided to do a cruise on the same ship we'd traveled on the year prior, doing the alternating itinerary. We were sitting by the pool and overheard a group of guys talking about locations in Rhode Island, where my friend and I were from. We introduced ourselves and joined the conversation. Turns out, these guys were with a large group traveling together and that same group had been on the ship a year prior - the exact same week WE were on the ship. We'd cruised together the year before without knowing it. What's more, we learned that a couple of the guys were in the cabin my friend and I had been in the prior year. (We knew because we had JUST removed our old luggage tags when embarking on the current cruise.) They generously invited us to join in some of their group activities while on the ship, and we've stayed friends over the years.
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77 days at sea...and counting!
2003 - Carnival Sensation
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12,167 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
A number of years ago, on a HAL cruise to Bermuda, I was walking along Front Street in Hamilton when someone coming out of Trimmingham's (sadly, no longer there) bumped into me- she was my next door neighbor on a golf vacation with her husband - neither of us had known of the other's plans.
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Six US Navy ships,
25+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (12), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1) - (1996-2017).
Coming up: Royal Caribbean, January 2018
12,167 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Geezer Cruiser
I was on a cruise around Iceland with my mom last week. She ran into a couple on the ship who live at the other end of her small barrier island on the Gulf coast of Florida (single street almost a mile long). The husband said "Of course I know your building, I ride my bike past it every day!"
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Six US Navy ships,
25+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (12), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1) - (1996-2017).
Coming up: Royal Caribbean, January 2018
Central Ohio
3,109 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Capriva has side streets and is more than a mile long.
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Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
22,605 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
On our first HAL cruise I met my beer teacher. We had taken his class several months before. The chances of that were incredibly small as the Amsterdam had less than 200 pax onboard for that particular cruise.

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524 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
In 1995 we sailed on the Seawind that sailed out of Aruba. We had a dining room waiter won was awesome. Fast forward 3 years later we sailed on one of the Big Red Boat ship's. After we checked in, we were on the lido deck rationing and I went to get something, and who did I see? The waiter from the Seawind. He was now a supervisor. We hugged and chatted a bit. When I got back top the table my bofriend at that time asked me why was I hugging a c.f. member and I just boarded the ship. My parents and I explained to him he was a waiter that we had a few years ago and he helped the family out when we sailed on an European ship with direct current.