Talk about a surprise. About two weeks ago, Dave and I were talking and he nonchalantly started asking questions about having a passport. I explained to him that although I’ve always thought of getting one, I never did. As travel requirements are getting stricter as months go by, with new Enhanced Drivers Licenses in New York State possibly no longer being just an option, I have been thinking about applying for my US Passport.
“Well do you have your original birth certificate? ” He probed.
“Yes, dear I do, I just have to find it.”
A few days went by and he asked again about the birth certificate. I told him I did find it, and I would and should probably apply for my passport. He had been talking about taking a trip sometime next year, so I figured this was his little way of pushing me to get one. So I went to the local post office, after sending out a Secret Santa gift and picked up a US Passport application.
He called later that day like he usually does and asked again about the birth certificate. “So does your birth certificate have a raised seal on it? Because you need one like that to file the application.” “Yes, it’s the original, its a little flattened since it’s 40 years old but its there” I said with a laugh. Later that night when we were sitting down to dinner discussing the Hanukkah plans for that weekend, it was the Friday night before Hanukkah began, he told me that he booked us a cruise.
Talk about shock and dismay. “What, what do you mean you booked a cruise? How? Why? You’re crazy.” All followed by big hugs and kisses from moi 🙂 and a slew of more questions. “Where to? Where do we leave from?” and the biggest one of all…”When do we leave.”
“A week from today!” Whoa, did he forget I don’t have the passport yet. How the heck am I getting one that quick. “Don’t worry” he said. “It’s a cruise to nowhere. You don’t need your passport because it’s a closed ended cruise. There is no foreign port of call, we never get off the ship. It leaves from NY and goes down to Maryland then loops back to NY. Your birth certificate is all you need , plus a drivers license.”
Before I could air my concerns about food, he told me he contacted the cruise ship to prearrange my meals for me, or at least to put in a request for gluten free meals. They were accommodating, although they said a 30 day advanced notice was required, they would still be able to do it. He took care of everything. He thought of it all. In a weeks time he made sure everything was squared away. 🙂
We found out that this was the last cruise to nowhere that Norwegian would be taking. Something to do with an act passed more than a century ago, that foreign flagged ships cannot operate roundtrip voyages from a United States port without at least one stop in a foreign port. It also has to do with staff on the cruise that have foreign visas, and those D-1 visas are not intended for crew members on cruises-to-nowhere that don’t visit foreign ports, because they are essentially viewed as domestic operations.
So we got on the last cruise to nowhere, which in reality did have a destination, at least metaphorically in our eyes. A destination of relaxation, alone time away from interruptions, disconnecting from electronics, (except for the few photos we did take) and being able to just enjoy the moments and really appreciate them and each other. Two nights at sea, fantastic and safe food for me to eat, laughs, entertainment and the best of all was the quality time we spent together enjoying each others company.
It honestly was the best present ever. Not because of the money spent on it, because anyone who truly knows me knows I could care less about that. It really was the thought and the care he put into it all. In all the months we’ve been dating, I’ve never told him I wanted to do a cruise this year. I kind of put it off because I’ve been enjoying life with him. That’s not a complaint either, it’s just a fact. I’ve been preoccupied with life together, that my idea of going on a solo cruise for my 40th birthday year, kind of dwindled off my radar. Somehow he picked up on it, and I’m so glad he did.
It was the most romantic, relaxing, time well spent weekend I could have ever imagined and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it with anyone besides him.