Meeting My Husband on a Cruise Was the Best Graduation Present

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Hilary and Brent have been married for 12.5 years. (Hilary Moore)

Who: Hilary and Brent Moore

Where we met: On a cruise ship in the Caribbean ocean.

When: Summer 1997

Relationship status: Married for 12.5 years. Two children.

(As told by Hilary)

In 1997, my mom and grandparents took me on a cruise to celebrate my high school graduation. I lived in Missouri, and my grandparents lived in Texas.

Also coming from Texas was a boy named Brent who was on the same bus and flight as my grandparents. Brent and his mom were also celebrating his recent graduation, and on the journey to the boat Brent actually started chatting with my grandfather. Little did they know that one day they would be in the same family.

I met Brent on the first night. There was a big sendoff on the deck with all of the passengers and the cruise directors, including a dance party. As I looked across the floor, I saw Brent doing the Macarena. “Hey,” I thought. “That guy’s really cute.”

Hilary and Brent met on a cruise ship after high school graduation. (Hilary Moore)

Later that evening, another boy invited me out with a group of kids to go dancing at the discotheque. When I walked in, I saw Brent there singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the karaoke machine. Turns out, not only was this guy super cute but he could sing, too! Brent and I chatted a little that night and, as on so many other nights at the discotheque, we all danced until the wee hours of the morning.

Related: “I Met My Husband on a Girl’s Trip to Thailand”

The next day we had some tours to do, and I saw Brent in passing. On the third day of the cruise we had a day at sea, and Brent and I hung out for nearly the entire day. We lounged by the pool and talked for hours as if we were old friends. Both of us had significant others, so we weren’t really looking to get into anything. Still, we loved spending time together, and it was clear that we had a connection.

On the last day of the cruise there was a pajama party, and we all stayed up to watch the sunrise. The next morning, we had to say goodbye. When we got off the ship at 8 a.m., I was sick about having to part ways with Brent. My stomach was a mess, and it made me sad to think that I might never see him again. We exchanged numbers, and he gave me his pager number (hey, it was the ’90s). Then we parted ways and promised to keep in touch. He lived near my grandparents in Dallas, so he told me to let him know if I was ever in town.

When I got home I had very little interest in continuing the relationship with my boyfriend, and we broke it off. Two weeks later the phone rang. It was Brent! He had also broken up with his girlfriend. That day we talked for around five hours about everything. We definitely racked up quite a phone bill. He came up to visit me in August, and it was like magic. I was nervous to see him again, but my anxiety faded as soon as I saw his face. Brent is so funny, quick-witted, clever, and smart. During those initial days, these traits definitely attracted me to him. He’s also very sweet, thoughtful, and sensitive. This one was special.

The couple got married after they graduated from college. (Hilary Moore)

Later that month, I started college at the Mizzou (the University of Missouri) and he started college in Texas.

Related: Real Travel: I Met My Husband on a Cruise — No, Really!

We wanted to be together, so we did the long-distance thing as best we could. I went to Dallas to visit him at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and he came up to school in February for my sorority’s Valentine’s Day dance. It sounds like a lot of travel, but honestly, things just felt like they were falling into place. That spring he applied to Mizzou and got in. Again, I was wary of what it would be like once we lived in the same place, but we took a leap for love.

After we graduated from college, Brent proposed marriage in 2001. We were in Kansas City, and he bought me a dress to wear and took me to dinner. He was supernervous when he popped the question, but of course I said yes! After we got married, we took a two-week honeymoon, with the first week on a cruise ship. It just felt like the appropriate place to celebrate our marriage.

The Moore’s have added a son and daughter to their family. (Hilary Moore)

I was so young when I met Brent that I wasn’t even thinking about love. I always just assumed that I’d meet my husband in college. Looking back, we were both put on that boat to meet each other. I’m lucky that I met him early on, because it’s been so much fun to grow together. Simply put, he’s the one for me.

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