This is the story.
We met in college in 2005 and eventually were officially dating at the end of 2006. Call
me my parents crazy, but Bret & I went on a cruise together after less than 1 month of officially dating. That's history now because we have been on 5 throughout our time together. All fun, and all in the Caribbean. Cruising has been a way to keep us together and focused on fun times together, actually. For two separate periods of our relationship we lived in different cities, and having a vacation to plan and look forward too (and a whole week or two together) kept my spirits up through lonely evenings or weekends.
Our last cruise was on the Carnival Magic from Galveston at the end of last January. Bret had been in Houston for over 1/2 a year by then. I had been desperately looking for a job in the area, trying to finally move there. Needless to say, I was looking forward to the cruise and the time together a lot!
We had briefly looked for an engagement ring the summer before with very little luck. I think I was a little overwhelmed with the options and the mall setting that first time. It wasn't until the next January we seriously looked at rings again. That time I was much more relaxed and ready. It also helped that we were not in a mall setting and had an extremely nice, patient consultant working with us and letting me try on any and everything. I found a few I would be more than happy to wear, but just assumed we would keep looking during future visits (to Houston).
So, later that month, the week before the cruise, I had my first in-person job interview in Houston. I was so excited and nervous and anxious, and I just so badly wanted to get it. Of course, I did not expect to hear back about the interview before the cruise that I had a hard time thinking about much else during our down times.
It was our second sea day on the boat. I can't remember the specifics, but I think we played some bean bag toss, did some trivia, sat in the hot tub. Thanks to a previous cruise on Carnival as a teenager (with the family), we had received an invite to a "previous guest" show that afternoon. We almost didn't go, but it was awesome. They were passing out free drinks left and right with hors d'oeuvres. For those of you not familiar with cruises, that never happens, so it really was a pleasant surprise. It made for an extra fun and relaxing day.
The evening continued into a formal night so I put on one of my new dresses and prettified myself for dinner and pictures. I'm sure dinner was good. It was my 4th or 5th night having their chocolate molten lava cake for dessert. Soooo good! After dinner we hoped around the different entertainment venues dancing for a bit and watching some comedian until Bret suggested we go outside on deck to look out.
That maybe should have been a sign to me, but it's something we do a few times every cruise and had not done on this cruise yet. We get out to the very front of the ship and were enjoying the peaceful sea breeze and cloudy night ski when Bret started to get very sentimental. Explaining how he loves me so much more now than on our first cruise together and so on. At this point I was still clueless and just fighting to hold back tears from sadness about the cruise ending and nervousness about finding my way to be with him (and not living across the country!)
On the verge of these sad tears, Bret gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him. All of my tears vanished in my surprise and happiness. Of course I said yes! I knew the rest of the details would work out eventually, we were all that mattered in that moment.
Shortly after, we went off to all of the cruise ship photo booth to get pictures taken and finished out the night swing dancing and clubbing.