They say love finds you when you least expect it. And while we can't think of a more romantic setting than a cruise ship at sea, sometimes where you find that love onboard is surprising. Singles meet-ups and shipboard bars come to mind, but has anyone ever felt sparks fly during a port lecture or waiting in line at the purser's office?
We asked our members to share their stories about the places where they first met that special someone. Nobody admitted to locking eyes across a crowded tender, but they did find love in a variety of interesting venues. Clearly, when it comes to onboard romance, anything is possible. (Cue the "Love Boat" theme song.)
Check out our slideshow to reveal the spaces and the stories.
In the Disco
Member Sandy Sails: "I went on a Caribbean cruise in 2006 with another gal from work. It was my third cruise, and I was tired of dancing with other gals; there never seemed to be any single guys onboard. But this time I was determined. I subtly made it known that I was looking for single guys to dance with. A couple from Curacao was at the pool bar and said that there's a single guy who hangs out in the disco each night, and asked if I liked men with mustaches. I just laughed and walked away. The next night, the gal from Curacao found me in the 5th-deck entertainment lounge at midnight when the show was over and practically dragged me up to the disco on the top deck…. And introduced me to my future husband."
Member HeartCruzs: "I was onboard Radiance of the Seas in October 2010. Originally poolside at the sail-away party, I decided to move up one deck. I saw a gentleman standing casually by the rail, speaking to an older man. When the older guy left, I walked over to the younger one, extended my arm and introduced myself. That night, we talked for hours over drinks and dinner. We spent time together for the duration of the cruise and decided to exchange phone numbers at the end. (He lived in Rochester, New York, and I was in Boston, Massachusetts.) We courted for less than 1.5 years when he moved to Boston to be closer to me. And in December 2012, we were married!"
Photo: Carlos Gauna/Shutterstock.com
In the Fitness Center
Member BobPeg: "I met my 'Fair Princess' while cruising on [Sitmar Cruises'] Fair Princess, in May of 1989. I had lost my wife of 28 years in 1987. While taking a Mexico Riviera cruise from Los Angeles, I had decided to join the morning exercise classes. It was there that I first met my present wife, Peggy, and we immediately started chatting about our lives. She too had lost her husband after 29 years of marriage, and as both of our mates had passed away because of cancer, we found many interesting … stories to tell each other. We soon fell in love and were married in May of 1990. We continue to cruise as much as possible, although age and various ailments prevent us from taking the high-impact aerobics classes. So we stick with the low-impact classes and then enjoy a leisurely breakfast afterwards."
Photo: Uber Images/Shutterstock.com
Member MilliesMom: "I met the love of my life on the Pacific Princess (the original Love Boat) back in 1986 on a cruise to Alaska. We met the first morning at breakfast. The cruise was a week long. Hal went back to California and I went back to Washington state. We got engaged three weeks later over the phone, and married three months later. We've been married 27 years this month."
Member jig: "I met the love of my life on the Prinsendam in 2003. I was traveling from Auckland, and she was getting on in Singapore. She was seated at the table I was at. After a not so nice introduction, we hit it off. And 18 days later, we were making plans to meet up in Hawaii, halfway between Sydney and New York. Now almost 11 years later we are still together, very much in love…. Still go on lots of cruises, but now as a couple."
Photo: Lucky Business/Shutterstock.com
Member steeners81: "I met my now husband on the Liberty of the Seas in November 2009. I was playing Harry Potter trivia with my family, and he joined us. He then invited me to go to the sexiest leg competition with him, where he was a contestant and somehow I ended up being a judge (I will never do that again.) We spent the next seven days with each other and spent the next three years flying back and forth to see each other (he lived in Florida and I in New Jersey). January 2012, he proposed while we were in Disney World, and we were married this past November."
Through a Cruise Critic Roll Call
Facebook fan Tina Gurley: "Met on a Cruise Critic roll call and onboard the Carnival Sensation November 15, 2004. We spent the last day onboard together on deck by the pool, had water slide races, then had our first dinner together that night. We talked every day after, got engaged August 2005, married April 2006. We're living happily ever after, cruising as often as we can, both of us platinum cruisers now."
We've all been there: almost getting your Romanian spouse forcibly debarked -- and expatriated; sprinting through the St. Thomas jungle to catch your departing ship; eating three of Guy Fieri's 1,000-calorie burgers in one sitting. Perhaps not, but as Bram Stoker wrote in Dracula, "We learn from failure, not from success!" What has failure taught Cruise Critic's editors and contributors when it comes to cruising? Do your homework on visa requirements, and triple check that you know how to get where you're embarking. Be careful what you eat and what you book. Read our seven mini-stories of supreme stupidity, have a laugh at our expense, and vow never to make the same mistakes.