Jeff and I began our cruise on Sunday, August 15th. We took a really early flight from DC to Fort Lauderdale, arriving at about 9:30am. The official cruise booklet says, "For your comfort and convenience we recommend you arrive at the pier no earlier than 1:30pm." So Jeff and I figured we'd have to figure out what to do in Fort Lauderdale for a few hours before heading to the port. However, when we asked the guy near baggage claim who had a sign for Celebrity Cruises, he said that we should head to the port right away (at about 10am). We did that, and were able to go through security and get checked in without waiting in any lines.
Waiting in the port after we were checked in wasn't too bad - especially because due to some glitch in the system they thought we were getting a suite, and so we got to sit in the fancy area of the waiting room.
We boarded before noon, and were greeted with a glass of champagne - definitely a nice way to start the cruise!
We dropped our bags off in our room and then went to the AquaSpa Cafe for 'healthy alternative lunch.' The meal selections in the cafe were really nice - lots of really appetizing little dishes. The AquaSpa Cafe was in one of our favorite rooms on the ship - the Solarium. It is a giant room with lots of deck chairs, a pool, hot tubs, and this little cafe. It's glass on the walls and ceiling, so you have a great view of the ocean. It's basically the same as the main pool deck, except that since it's covered, they can keep it slightly air conditioned, so it never gets too hot. It's the perfect place to lay out and relax. Which is exactly what we did after lunch.
There were these cute covered cabana chairs, big enough for two people, so we spent a lot of the afternoon relaxing and reading there.
Eventually we decided to get up and move around a bit - we changed into workout clothes and went to the fitness center.
After that, we went back to our room to get ready for dinner. Jeff had suggested that we have champagne on our balcony before heading off to dinner.
When I was finished getting ready, I met Jeff out on the balcony - he had the champagne and glasses out and ready. The view was of clear ocean as far as you could see, and it was just about sunset. He poured the glasses, and we toasted and had a sip of champagne. Then he got out of his chair, got down on one knee, and proposed.
During his proposal, he said some sweet things, though I can't recall exactly what they were - I was already tearing up. He took a ring out of his pocket. And he asked, "Will you marry me?" And I said yes. He put the ring on my finger, and then we kissed.
The ring he used to propose was one that belonged to his mother. Her parents had given her the ring (which has a diamond and a sapphire) when she'd graduated high school, and she had worn it for almost thirty years. Jeff and I plan to go shopping for an engagement and wedding rings of our own together. Doing it this way made it possible for Jeff to keep the engagement as a surprise and the ring to be special, but still give us the chance to shop for rings together - exactly what I had hoped for.
Then we both sat in our chairs, my eyes continued to leak, and it was a pretty surreal moment. We'd talked about marriage and were both ready for this step, but it's incredible how in just a few moments it goes from this mystical future thing that you've imagined and thought about to a real-life memory that's already past.
One minute, I was Jeff's girlfriend. Moments later, I was his fiance. We're engaged. Wow.
Following this major milestone of life, we finished our little bottle of champagne, called a few close family and friends to tell them the news, and then headed to dinner.
The food was good at dinner, and in the start of a trend, we ended up so full that when it was over, we mostly just wanted to lay around and relax. We headed back to the room and watched the first half of 'Get Smart' before falling asleep.
(Did I mention we're engaged, now? Eeeee!)