Who Needs Match.com When You Can Cruise?

October 12, 2011 | By | No Comments

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After covering worthy if controversial topics such as boorish balcony behavior, buffet table hogs, and port shopping mishaps, we got a letter in our Sea-Mail mailbag that made us pause. “Why don’t you have a positive thread or two or three?” writes Joseph J. Coppola. “Just once.”
No question, fiery subjects, to which we’ll add cruise line crisis control, kids with bratty parents, and credit card horror stories, do tend to get us riled up. But when you come to think of it, isn’t the “good stuff” what most of us take away from cruising?

Onboard Oceania Cruises‘ new Marina last week, I was struck by the fact that not only were most of the passengers couples — and seemingly happy ones — so were many of the crew I met. In conversation with a Serbian sommelier who was dating a Jamaican bartender, it occurred to me that who needs Match.com when you can cruise?
Since my Oceania trip I’ve been wondering: How many marriages, and subsequently families, have been created as a result of people who have met on cruises, whether crewmembers or passengers (or in some cases a mixture of the two)?
Over on Cruise Critic’s Facebook page, we’ve been talking about what transforms a memorable cruise into a momentous one, and this probably won’t surprise you: The best cruises have to do with making matches, romantic or platonic. “We met a wonderful couple from Ontario on a cruise,” writes Paula Byrne, who notes that not only have they cruised together since, they’ve visited each other in their respective homes.
“It is a wonderful friendship that would not have been possible if we hadn’t been assigned a table in the dining room that turned out to have just the four of us for dinner each night,” she adds.
There are so many moving posts on Facebook about the matches made on cruises, from the role that Cruise Critic’s Roll Calls (once you’ve booked your cruise there’s a dedicated thread in Community for all who are on a particular sailing) has played to a dispatch from a Holland America crewmember about his own cruise romance. “We were crewmembers on Holland America Line,” writes Gustav Malkov, “and we met there in our first contract. We fell in love and married two years later. And now after one year, we’re having our first baby.”
This one moved me most of all.
Writes Franca Morgan, “I meet my husband on Vision Of the Seas in 1998, got married in 1999, met many friends and our current travel agent. So many crewmembers call me Mama, because I do ‘adopt’ them (I’ll be going to one of my girls’ weddings in February, and I’ll be her witness).”
“Cruising,” she adds, “changed my life forever.”
Spice up your next sailing with these 10 romantic ideas.
For tips on planning at-sea weddings, honeymoons and vow renewals, peruse our guide to romance cruises.
What should we talk about next in Sea-Mail? Tell us what’s on your mind at lido@cruisecritic.com.
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