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What’s it like to find love on a cruise ship

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  • Cruise ships can be so conducive to discovering romance.
  • When travelers are away from their daily routine, they may feel more relaxed and open to meeting someone, an expert says.
  • “The Real Love Boat,” a new reality show, will center on a group of singles looking for love as they sail on a Princess Cruises ship.

Crimson Thompson had given up looking for love when she found him in the middle of the ocean.

Before taking a Caribbean cruise in 2014, Thompson was tired of dating, she told USA TODAY, noting that online dating wasn’t working for her. “I was almost 40, I was done.”

But when JD Thompson, another passenger, chatted during a stand-up paddleboarding excursion in the Turks and Caicos Islands, something clicked.

“We consider this our first date,” said JD, a 37-year-old photographer and graphic designer. While they had met earlier in the trip, they spent most of this outing in the Turks and Caicos Islands together, after which “we were really kind of bonded for the rest of the cruise,” he said. -he declares. They then dined together, saw shows and spent evenings in the hot tub, staying so late that security asked them to leave so they could clean it.

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After the cruise, JD accompanied Crimson to his home in South Florida for a short visit, and the couple stayed in touch after returning to Texas. Three years later, after their chance meeting on vacation, they were married. “There’s no way we would have crossed paths without this cruise,” he said.

The couple are among a number of travelers who have found love on cruises and taken their holiday romances ashore.

“The True Love Boat”

Cruise ships can be so conducive to romance that a new reality show will center on a group of singles looking for love as they sail on a Princess Cruises ship.

“The Real Love Boat,” which airs Wednesday on CBS, is inspired by the beloved 1970s and 1980s show and features destination dates and challenges as the cast sails the Mediterranean for nearly a year. month. A couple will win a cash prize and a trip with Princess.

Executive producer Jay Bienstock said spending so much time navigating places like Marseille or Santorini changes your mindset.

“The problems in your life kind of go away, and the only reality you have is what’s in front of you, and what’s in front of you are other single people who are there for the same reason you are, and who looking for love,” he said.

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Whether you’re hanging out in the pool or watching the starboard sunset, or having a late-night drink at a bar, he said, “all of these types of environments speak the language of love”.

Just like in “The Love Boat”, the crew members play a key role in the reality series. “We guide couples or singles…to even better explore or better understand the opportunity they have with someone by maybe setting them up for dinner or maybe a date ashore,” said said Paolo Arrigo, a Princess captain who also serves as a captain on the show.

‘Easy access’

Paris Howard and now-husband Robert fixed their eyes on the top deck of their 2013 Bahamas cruise, formally meeting the next day in one of the lounges. They exchanged information, and he called her room to ask her for lunch, where her grandmother answered. “She’s like, ‘Who’s calling my granddaughter?’ ‘ Howard said with a laugh.

The Carnival Cruise Line trip took place during spring break during Howard’s senior year of college, and she said the setting and the timing played a role in the couple’s connection. “We were there to have fun, network, let go,” says the 29-year-old human resources consultant.

Robert and Paris Howard met on a Carnival cruise in 2013.

She said the ship also offered “easy access, if you will, gender-wise, we’re on the same boat together…we’re bound to see each other again.” “It’s not that hard to organize if we want to because we’re so close to each other.”

The couple lived an hour and a half apart in North Carolina at the time, but they stayed in touch. Howard returned to her hometown of Raleigh after college, and Robert joined her after graduating. Shortly before getting engaged, the couple went on another Carnival cruise, this time together.

“We were like, ‘It’s like when we first met,'” she said. “You know, it was kind of like reliving the romance all over again.”

Why passengers might find love on a cruise

Christene Lozano, a certified sex therapist, said that when travelers are away from their daily grind, they can feel more relaxed and open to meeting someone “because you don’t have stress, anxiety, of work, of school which only weigh you down.” Cruises, she noted, also bring passengers together in different ways, from the buffet line to onboard events, increasing the risk of meeting people multiple times.

Because of those factors and the fact that others are likely in a similar headspace, “you’re probably more likely to start talking to some of those people,” Lozano said.

The limited duration of a cruise can also motivate passengers to arrange multiple dates while sailing, allowing them to “really connect as they spend a lot of time together in a much shorter period of time than if they were back. “. residence.”

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However, Lozano noted, passengers may feel drawn to people traveling like a cruise than they normally would be. “You see a very specific part of someone when they’re on vacation mode, and that may or may not match how they look outside of vacation mode.”

Distance could pose another challenge, as passengers connecting on a trip may not live close to each other. It forces each person to think about the experience and what they want and communicate it, Lozano said.

“Because for some people, they might have a wonderful time on a cruise and have a lot of awesome memories and maybe have a lot of awesome sex,” she said. “And then they might say, ‘I’m not interested in a long-term thing, I’m not interested in anything long-range. But then, ideally, there would be a conversation around it so people would be on the same page.”

Lozano also said having an enjoyable shared experience and doing something unusual and new — like kayaking — can help travelers bond.

The Thompsons have bonded in part over their love of cruising and are embarking on their next voyage over Thanksgiving with MSC Cruises. And even if travelers don’t find love on a cruise, they can still have a memorable date.

“I would say without a doubt that going on a date on a stand-up paddle board, or going to a Broadway show on a cruise ship or one of the many other activities they have is much better than meeting someone online and say, ‘Hey, let’s have dinner and go to the movies,'” JD said.

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