Stories with happy endings often start out with sadness.
I boarded Ruby Princess with my mother in September 2010 as a stand-in for my father. He had died unexpectedly shortly before this cruise, a longed-for 70th birthday celebration through the Mediterranean.
In her grief, my mom thought about canceling the trip, but then decided I should take my father’s place. In addition to that painful loss, I was going through my own personal drama with my relationship back in Mississippi. Things weren’t working out. I was struggling over whether to leave him and the logistics of moving out.
Leaving Atlanta for Barcelona, mom and I decided the cruise would be a much-needed escape from all the difficult emotions at home.
Meanwhile, in Stratford-upon-Avon in England, Andrew Whitesmith was looking for an excuse for a holiday and took up an offer from an old boyfriend to take a Mediterranean cruise. Ruby Princess would be their ship. Read More