We go through life making decisions on a daily basis, “what should I wear to work?’, “what should I have for lunch”. We make endless decisions without really giving them too much thought.
The bigger the decision, however, the more thought we (should) give to it. We never know when that one decision could change the course of our lives forever.
I credit my dad and stepmom for my love of cruising. They took me on a cruise in the late 80’s on The SS Oceanic (a ship that belonged to the now defunct Premier Cruise Lines) and I was hooked. I was, and still am, inexplicably drawn to the ocean.
When I got home from that cruise, I volunteered and basically bugged a cruise travel agent until they finally hired me. The pay sucked but the benefits were GREAT. I don’t mean medical and dental. As I recall, those benefits sucked too. The benefit of travel was awesome. I got to cruise on numerous ships for free and all that was required of me was that I write a report about the ship’s service, ports of call, food, etc!
I found that I was still partial to Premier Cruise Lines. They were then a Disney affiliate before Disney got wise and acquired their own cruise line. I sent many of my clients on PCL ships. They always loved it. One family, in particular, decided to inquire about working onboard the ships. That client gave me a name and number to call, knowing I secretly wanted to do the same.
The timing was not right for me. I had family issues that had to be #1 in my life. So I passed the name and number along to my cousin/BFF and her roommate in California. They both got hired and joined the crew immediately. Four months later, I did the same. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew that I loved it. I decided I would do it for a year and then move on. One year blurred into three years. It was the hardest job I have ever had. But we worked hard and played harder. This trio of ships was my home and their crew were my family.
During my time there, I met and fell in love with my now ex-husband (don’t feel bad for me, trust me, it was for the best).We had an amazing son who is now 18 years old and is the center of my universe. My cousin/BFF also met someone and married. They have a beautiful 9-year-old daughter now. This happened with many, many other people. Many of whom had children and over 20 years later they are still together. How do I know? Because, as I said earlier, we are family. Facebook doesn’t hurt either.
Fast forward 20 years later to 2010 and through the magic of FB, my friends and I arranged a crew reunion which grew from 6 people to over 50! Considering a large majority of crew are not from the US, that was a pretty amazing turnout! One of my friends from back in the day was a diver onboard. We knew each other but not well. I remembered he was a great guy back then. That had not changed.
We talked and laughed and talked and laughed some more. From that point, we carried on a long distance relationship for the next 3 years. We finally married in April of this year. He is the man of my dreams and he adores me. My son loves him too. They are so alike that sometimes it’s really freaky. My husband loves my son as his own and my son finally has the father he has always deserved.
My wedding party consisted of my “forever friends”, the family that became mine twenty years ago on ships. We are all still the very best of friends. And I mean, any of us would give a kidney to the other in a heartbeat, friends. They live all over the world and I cannot imagine my life without them in it. We had such a fun time at my wedding. We all tried on wedding dresses together (see photo below). These beautiful ladies that I have known and loved my entire life were together once again.
That one decision. That one fantastic, thank God I made it, decision changed my life forever. Without it, I would not have my forever friends, I would not have my amazing son and I would not have the most wonderful husband in the world.
We now cruise for fun and reminisce about the good ole days. My son has developed a love of cruising. I wonder, when the time comes, if he will make the same life changing decision I did.
Life is a journey, not a destination. If you find yourself in the position of going on an adventure, GO FOR IT!