The night had all the ingredients to be a memorable one, but there was one thing still missing. After a delicious meal followed by a walk through Caribbean Princess to the Piazza atrium, I sat close to my husband Mick and listened to the pianist play a series of romantic waltzes as a small group of couples danced gracefully in front of us. It was the last night of our 40th anniversary cruise, an event we had planned to celebrate by dancing. And now I wondered, would Mick ever ask me?
It should be said, I love to dance, so much that one of my favorite movies is “Shall We Dance?” where Richard Gere’s character is transformed by ballroom-dancing lessons. As for Mick, he won’t dance unless he feels the camouflage of LOTS of couples on the floor. The funny thing is, he’s an outgoing man in every way and teaches physical education for a living. He just feels self-conscious dancing.
This is not a new thing. You can imagine Mick’s reluctance to take the first dance at our wedding four decades ago, but he still did, for me. I give him credit because years later, he’s still trying. To prepare for this very cruise, we took ballroom-dancing classes together. Mick had loved practicing with me at home. I just knew we’d dance on this cruise.
But every night, there was something. Mick didn’t like the music; there weren’t enough people on the floor; we’d take a walk instead. So then there we were, on the last night of our cruise vacation, and still no dance for me. I had resigned myself to it and was not surprised when Mick took my hand and said, “Let’s get out of here.”
We took the elevator up a few decks, overlooking the Piazza and strolled to a corner alcove. No one was there and the lights were off. The delightful waltz music lofted upward from three decks below. We looked down upon the other couples dancing.
My husband smiled and opened his arms and tenderly said, “Shall we dance?” Alone, in the dark, oblivious to the hundreds of other cruisers, we enjoyed a secret anniversary dance. We had found our private place, a secluded spot on the beautiful Caribbean Princess to call our own. I got to dance with my husband and received a treasured memory that always makes me smile.
Susan resides in Annapolis, Maryland, and she and Mick have enjoyed three Princess cruises.