Lovers of the Caribbean

A cruise ship romance turned into 10 years of marriage.

Cruise ship romances are a dime a dozen, especially between members of the crew. Far less common, however, is one that goes the distance.

That’s exactly what happened with this week’s Meet Cutes Love Letter couple. Camila and Andrea grew up nearly 7,000 miles apart — him in Sicily and her in Buenos Aires — but a job on a cruise ship brought them together.

They fell for each other quickly and kept in touch when their contracts on the ship ended. When the couple decided they wanted to live together, the answer was simple: marriage would allow Camila to join Andrea in Europe.

Ten years later, the pair are living happily in Barcelona. They spoke to Meet Cutes about finding love in the Caribbean.

Here’s their story.

How did you two meet?

Camila: We met a over 10 years ago on a cruise ship. We were working for a cruise line and we met during the crew party. Andrea embarked a couple of days before the party. He was working with a friend of mine and my friend told me “You need to meet my new colleague, because he is very nice and he's handsome.” And I was like, “No, I'm done with men. I don't care.” I had very bad experiences already on that ship. But then I met him. He has blue eyes and I got immediately starstruck by that.

Do you remember your first impression of each other?

Camila: I thought he was funny and sweet. And he’s Italian, and I already spoke Italian before meeting him. I liked his accent so much.

Andrea: I remember her face, her smile, her curly hair. She was smiling to her friends and I asked my colleague “Who is this girl?”

Did you hit it off right away?

Camila: It was a very special environment because we were on a cruise ship. It’s a very close community. We were 1,000 crew members, so that’s like a very small town. Time goes by differently onboard a ship. We actually started going out very fast after we met, we used to go out with some friends to the beach. I was over men, but he was so sweet. He listened to every story I had to tell! He won me over right away.

What was your first date?

Camila: One day he told me “We should go out alone, without the other crew members.” And I said “Okay, what did you have in mind?”

We were in Antigua. It’s kind of easy to fall in love in the Caribbean. We rented a small sailboat and sailed for a couple of hours. And then we went to eat some lobster. It was very romantic and very fun. That was our official first date.

How did things grow from there?

Camila: Things grew organically, we didn’t talk about it too much. We were on the same ship, and then I went home and he continued his contract. After he was done, he visited me in Buenos Aires and then invited me to visit him in Sicily.

And then we actually were long distance for six months because we were on different ships. And then we said “Okay, we need to make a decision on what we want to do,” because after traveling together and being apart, we really wanted to be together for real.

After a couple of months of trying to figure it out, he actually proposed to me over the phone. We got married in Sicily three months after he proposed. We got married in December of 2015 and we met in February of 2014.

Why’d you propose over the phone?

Andrea: It’s not the typical proposal. We were trying to figure out how to live together. Because she was in Argentina and I was in Italy, it was complicated for her to come here to Europe without a Visa. There were very few options, and one of them was to marry each other.

We probably would’ve done it a few years later, but we were very brave to jump in. I talked with my parents as well and they were very excited about it, and then I proposed.

Camila: When he called me to propose, I was walking in Buenos Aires holding two Starbucks cups. I told him “I need to sit because I’m holding my phone between my shoulder and my ear and two cups of coffee and you’re proposing.” So I sat down and I was like Is this really happening? And I was like “Yes, I want to marry you.” I want to start from the middle of the story. People wait a long time to get engaged, and engagements last for a year or two and then they get married. And it was like Yeah, let’s start from the middle and see how it goes.

What did you learn from your Meet Cute?

Camila: I learned that you never know. I had said I’m done with dating. I’m ready to be an old lady with a lot of cats and plants, and I’m going to have fun, but on my own. But I think that attitude made me available for a surprise, because I wasn’t actually looking for anything. I wasn’t the type of person who dreamed about a big wedding or a big dress.

My advice would be to relax and let life surprise you. He was born in Sicily and I was born in Argentina and we met on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean.

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📊 Last Week We Asked…

  • [poll] “Would you date a close friend?”

    • 58% said “Yes, good friends make the best partners”

    • 32% said “Maybe, I have to feel it out”

    • 10% said “No, I don’t mix friendship and romance”

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Interviewed and transcribed by Nicolas Vega. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.