Regally Golden Subterfuge

Read Real-Life Princess Romantic Love Stories!

A big 'thank you' goes to everyone who entered our search to find the most romantic love story from onboard a Princess ship. We received some wonderful, heart-warming romantic tales which made us smile, laugh and even cry, as we read through them. We truly appreciate your time and effort.

Voting is now over; the winner will be announced on September 28, 2009.
Now its time for you, our members, to vote for the best story. Voting closes on Sunday, September 6.

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6,412 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Regally Golden Subterfuge

This love story began over 50 years ago, when my father, George, met my mother, Gloria, at a party and proceeded to “corner” her, guarding her from anyone else’s potential approach so he could talk to her alone for the entire evening. She found him a bit obnoxious, but nonetheless charming. They dated as he completed his undergraduate education, and married the April before he began medical school. Finances were tight, but they managed and somewhere in there I came along. During his internship my brother came along.

Life proceeded – they raised two adorable kids, Dad had a nice family practice in our little community, Mom worked as his receptionist part-time, and worked hard in the home to make things lovely, loving and welcoming. The kids went away to school, got married, and Mom and Dad continued their lives, Dad working and playing golf and sailing, and Mom cooking, cleaning, honing her already excellent “Mommy radar” skills, playing golf and reluctantly sailing. A few grandchildren came along and they were delighted.

All through this love story, our hero was loyal and true blue, so was our heroine, but the hero was never really a romantic fellow. If flowers arrived (very rarely) we wondered who died or got sick. Cars, jewelry, other little luxuries were never surprises, but consultative purchases. Still, they loved each other very much. So much so that they could joke about who would get the family lawyer in the divorce – neither wanted him as I recall.

When they celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary, Mom told Dad she would really like to renew their vows to celebrate their 50th. Dad replied, “Glowie, I said “I do” once, I still do, and we just don’t need to do that.” Very romantic, huh? Gloria dropped the subject. Ah hah!

In December, George announced they were taking another cruise (their first was with my husband and I when we were married on the Grand Princess in 2004) - on the Regal Princess from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. We decided to join them, as it was their 50th wedding anniversary, and we never need encouragement to take a cruise. I don’t recall Gloria being totally enthusiastic, but quite willing to go along on what she termed “Dad’s cruise”.

In very early January, just before they left for a few months in Florida, Dad phoned and said he would like to surprise Mom with another wedding on board the ship. Not just a renewal of vows, but another wedding. Could I please handle the details? Yes, sir, right away sir! One phone call to Princess Weddings, and things were set in motion. The first challenge: communication with Dad without making Mom’s radar going off. The second challenge: would Dad know where the wedding certificate was without having to ask Mom, keeper of important records? Whew! Success on both fronts. The copy of the wedding certificate arrived promptly in my mailbox, and within 24 hours Dad phoned back with a list of music/songs he would like. That list was so long I got writer’s cramp taking notes. So within a week, all the details with Princess were covered.

Then came the other details, the most important being should we tell Mom so she can be wearing the outfit in which she would want to be photographed? The simple answer to that was a resounding “NO!” from Dad. This was to be a surprise, as complete as possible. What about the ring? What are you going to do about the ring, Dad?

So, more subterfuge became necessary. Suddenly I took a great deal of interest in what Mom was packing for the cruise and what she was going to wear the evening of their actual anniversary. Do you think that I could coax her into a lovely pastel outfit for her anniversary? Do you think I tried? Abject failure!!! (Call Princess and change the flower selections again….) The final attempt was having an outfit Fed Exed to her, and Dad telling her it was an anniversary present. She sent it back!!!! It was going to be the lovely, lapis blue three piece knit outfit she had worn at my recent wedding – beautiful no doubt – but not what she might have chosen had she known what was afoot. Still, she didn’t catch on, but did catch my heightened interest in her attire: “Georgie, have I been dressing inappropriately lately? Gingie is so interested in my choice of outfits for the cruise.” Dad: “No, Glowie, you look lovely all the time, as always.” Remember this is Dad’s cruise?! Thank goodness!!!!

I said Dad was loyal and true blue, I never said he wasn’t sneaky. (Thank goodness I inherited that from him.) He watched what Mom was wearing as right hand rings, nabbed one from the jewelry box and took it to the jeweler to make sure the sizing was correct, for the right hand eternity band he was getting her for an anniversary present. Turns out, the jeweler already knew her right hand ring size. He also got his wedding band, hardly worn, as he spent his life washing his hands innumerable times almost every day, resized and polished up nicely.

We flew into San Diego the day before the cruise and had a lovely dinner with four of my husband’s friends. They knew what was afoot, and were happy to toast to the 50th wedding anniversary, without letting on a thing about the upcoming surprise. During dinner, Dad found a moment to find out if Mom would marry him all over again. I think the answer was “Yes”, but I was in the middle of another conversation at the time.

Embarkation went smoothly, we were on the same deck, but at opposite ends of the ship, and on different sides. Princess was perfect – all communications came to my stateroom. An anniversary package with special photograph, champagne breakfast, etc., was waiting for Mom and Dad. Her conclusion: Oh, the kids did that, how nice of them. Bye-bye Mommy radar! I met with the purser who was serving as wedding coordinator and worked out the details, supplying the sheet music for the processional and finalizing the time and location for Mom and Dad to be taken to the Captain’s lounge. (There was not a wedding chapel, so the Captain’s lounge, which is in the crew area, was to be used.)

Our first day at sea was their actual anniversary and the day of the ceremony. I called Mom in the morning and told her I had just heard from the photographer and Mom and Dad were to meet him at 3:30 at the landing of the forward stairs on Aloha Deck, dressed and ready for their anniversary portrait. That went well, and everything was fine for a few hours. Then she called me back, and asked why they had to be in formal attire so early, the ship’s photographers were going to start formal portraits at 5, and couldn’t they just wait and have it done then? I used a creative variation on the truth and told her that this is a special photo, not the usual formal portraits. Well, it was the truth, kinda. It worked. Whew!!!! For the umpteenth time.

Wes and I put on our formal wear, and headed for the captain’s lounge. Mom and Dad apparently managed to get themselves put together and at the appointed place at the appointed time. There are etched glass double doors at the entry to the Captain’s Lounge. They were shut, and the lovely wedding coordinator proceeded to hand Mom a bouquet and pin a boutonnière on Dad. Having handled the “flowering”, the doors to the Captain’s Lounge were opened. The white pedestals formed an aisle; the Captain was in front of a podium, flanked by my husband and me. It was then that Mom figured out something was up, and looked at Wes and I and teared up a bit. She was walked down the aisle in a fog by Dad. She managed to repeat the vows, but I had to hand her Dad’s ring three times, before she actually took it. She was still pretty teary. She looked lovely in the lapis outfit, and Dad looked handsome, with a huge a smile on his face.

The ship’s photographer then took some really fantastic photos of the “newlyweds” with the Captain, toasting each other, at various locations onboard. While the wedding package includes a limited number of photos and an album, my parent’s bought all the pictures. They were outstanding.

At dinner that evening we really celebrated. Mom said she had no idea about this until the door opened, and then she wasn’t even really sure what was happening. High fives across the table between Dad and me! Yes!!! We asked her if she knew what music was played, and had to tell it was the Hawaiian Wedding Song and Love Me Tender. And over our entrees she finally realized that she was wearing a new ring….Dad said if she didn’t like it the jeweler would make one to her liking. She said she loved it and would keep it.

This year, we are cruising with them to Hawaii to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary. I am so blessed to have parents who are very much in love, and are here to celebrate with.

Princess and weddings just seem to go together for our family!
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"Kindness is the highest form of intelligence." W. Teasdale
cruising.calm ggprincess 2004
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Western Pa
670 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Now that was a tear jerker and I want to say Congrats to the newlyweds even if it isn't recent..Not only is that a romantic and wonderful story I want to say thank you for helping to make their day a special one even tho sneaky..(The best kind)..
All the stories have been wonderful to read and I think they all warrant a free cruise..
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Ottawa Canada
2,481 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Great tale Ginger! Bring them on the February 18 Ruby!!!
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Princess Panama Canal 2001
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5,278 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Fabulous retelling Ginger! I could just picture your parents and that romantic day. What an absolutely loving family you have and what an amazing Golden anniversary Princess helped you and your Dad create for your Mom & Dad!!
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130 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Ginger, loved the story, would love to see a picture of the bride and groom!

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Tampa area
15,426 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
That was great! I shed a tear.
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Thousand Oaks, California
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Joined Mar 2005
I just found all of these "love stories" and they are great. How truly fortunate you are to have such great parents and to have participated in their 50th with them and now their 55th.

Congratulations to you and your family!
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