As it’s Valentine’s Day, we’re spreading the love and sharing fascinating stories from two couples who live and work together on board Marella Cruises‘ ships

Craig and Ped, Marella Cruises

Craig and Ped are Destinations Services Manager and Guest Relations Manager, currently based in the Caribbean

When and where did you meet? 

Craig: It was just after Christmas, 27 December 2013. I was part of the show team on Thomson Celebration now Marella Celebration having been on board for six months already when Ped joined I noticed him. I went over to welcome him to the ship. This all happened in the crew bar.

Ped: Yeah, I was only supposed to be on board for six weeks, so after we got together I told him, ‘It’s just a ship thing’. And here we are four years later.

What is it like to live and work on board a cruise ship together? 

Ped: As we’re in different roles and departments on the ship it’s pretty easy going, almost like a ‘normal’ land-based job. We get up and both head to our own offices to start.

Craig: We sometimes meet for lunch and pretty much always meet for dinner. We love meeting for a Thai curry at the onboard Asian fusion restaurant, Kora La. It’s nice to be on the other side and experience the amazing onboard service. We try to normalise it and give each other time to breathe. One of the big positives is you really get to know each other inside and out. Plus if either of us need a favour then it’s pretty easy finding the extra man power from both departments coming together.

How do you factor in having quality time together while working full time on the ship? 

Craig: OK, admittedly it’s not the easiest and you have to consciously make time for each other – like any relationship.

Ped: But the time you do spend together is unlike anything a nine-to-five, five days a week couple could imagine. Sometimes it’s coffee in Venice, shopping in Rome or eating tapas in Barcelona.

Craig: Some of the places we’ve seen together while at work are incredible and, with Ped being the Destination Services Manager, we often go off the beaten track and find the best places

What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you both on board? 

Craig: So this sounds totally weird but one day on board me and Ped were in the cabin and getting ready to go out. Then I decided while we wait for the others to come and knock for us, we’d practise some gymnastics. So there’s Ped on the bed and he was holding my knees with his hands and my hands were on his knees doing that thing that kids do – it’s like a really basic couples’ yoga pose.

Ped: Then everyone was waiting outside our cabin while we were making some suspicious noises – which were completely innocent!

Craig: Eventually after standing outside our cabin not really sure what to do and feeling extremely awkward they burst in to find us perfectly in a strange yoga pose.

Ped: It was pretty embarrassing because normally when couples do weird stuff no one needs to know but there we were.

Which destination would you say is perfect for couples who want to try a cruise for the first time? 

Ped: For a chilled-out relaxing time, heading to the Eastern Caribbean and cruising around the islands and enjoying the beaches is pretty cool. Our newest ship Marella Explorer will be sailing the Paradise Islands itinerary this winter which is a great way to see places like Antigua, the British Virgin Islands and St Kitts – all in eight days.

Craig: But don’t forget heading over to the Adriatic Sea and seeing the sail-in to Venice and Kotor in Montenegro is extremely romantic and unforgettable.

If you could plan a date night for a couple on board one of the ships, what would it be? 

Craig: The ship would be Marella Discovery 2. I’d start with a bottle of Champagne and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries being delivered to the cabin then sitting on your balcony watching the sunset.

Ped: Then heading to Bar Eleven for a ‘smokey cocktail’.

Craig: After that, I’d say a table for two at ‘Surf & Turf’ for some amazing food and wine – the service is incredible.

Ped: After after you’ve finished the Chocolate Soufflé – head to the Broadway Show Lounge to watch the main show.

Dani and Danielle, Marella Cruises

Danielle and Dani are Guest Relations Manager and Reception staff member, Marella Discovery 2

When and where did you meet? 

Danielle: We met on Marella Celebration in 2016 at a receptionist goodbye party, when Dani was a snack steward. Another crew member who fancied Dani invited her along to the party, but that love story never started and ours did.

What is it like to live and work on board a cruise ship together? 

Dani: Both of us love to travel so working on a cruise ship and having the opportunity to travel together is perfect. However, sometimes I drive Danielle insane!

How do you factor in having quality time together whilst working full time on the ship? 

Danielle: We make sure we always have time outside of work, whether it’s on our own as a couple or with our friends. We try to explore the ports as much as we can, visiting somewhere new every time we dock or jumping on an excursion.

Dani: The Caribbean for example has so much to offer when you jump off one of our cruises, from going on a catamaran in St Vincent to 4×4 adventures on the beach in Antigua.

How often do you see each other when working on different ships? 

Danielle: Over the two years we have only been separated for four months… it was a sad time.

Which destination would you say is perfect for couples who want to try a cruise for the first time? 

Dani: The Adriatic is one of our favourites – beautiful beaches, tasty food and plenty of adventures

Danielle: Don’t forget the Caribbean especially Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire is perfect for sunshine, rum punch and a bit of relaxation.

If you could plan a date night for a couple on board one of the ships, what would it be? 

Dani: We would have completely different nights but both agreed on the ship… Marella Discovery.

Danielle: I would plan a meal in one of the à la carte restaurants, such as the Surf and Turf steak house followed by a smoky cocktail in Bar 11 on board Marella Discovery.

Dani: I would plan an action-packed night of mini golf, scaling the climbing wall and then finish off the evening with a movie under the stars in our open-air cinema on board.

Danielle: Still don’t know how we work… chalk and cheese.

If you could both choose any cruise itinerary to go on together what would it be? 

Danielle: We would love to go on the new Asia itinerary; it’s an area we both haven’t explored so it all looks very exciting.

Dani: I’ve got my eyes on Marella Discovery’s Wonders of Asia itinerary – it stops off in Sri Lanka, Singapore AND Thailand.

If you didn’t work in the cruise industry, what do you think you would both do? 

Dani: This is a very difficult question. We both love to travel so we would definitely still be in the travel industry. I wanted to travel the world and busk on the streets!

Danielle: I’m not so keen on the busking idea.

What does the future hold for you both? 

Danielle: For now we are both happy on board, exploring new places and meeting new people. Dani recently proposed so lots of new adventures are ahead of us.

Dani: The future looks good.