Riding the ‘Love Boat’: Ukrainian Woman Falls for Chinese Cruise Ship Colleague

Have you ever imagined romance on the wide, open seas? Meet Mary, a Ukrainian woman who worked on a cruise ship and fell for her colleague from South China. I’m honored to share the tale, along with a lovely collection of photos that document their precious love.

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He asked if he could accompany me on this trip … and he became my companion for life.

I was working on a luxury cruise ship and my day off looked pretty fun. I planned to sail up to Manaus, the capital of northwestern Brazil, for shopping, lunch, a crocodile safari tour in the Amazon river just for crew members, dinner in a traditional Mexican restaurant and clubbing all night.

When my girlfriends and I entered the l boat for the safari tour, which was supposed to take us to see dangerous crocodiles, he was already onboard, taking pictures of the Amazonian waters.

He was the handsome IT engineer on the cruise ship.

I had talked to him on our ship before. He was always very polite and friendly, and this moment was no exception. He asked if he could sit next to me and accompany me on this trip.

I said “Yes,” never realizing it was the beginning of our romance.

The next day we had a date in Manaus city. Then we got together Curacao island, Aruba, St. Martin and Puerto Rico, and along the way our love grew.

Both of us had worked on cruise ships for a few years, traveling all over the world. We shared a lot in common, including the fact that we were both dreamers who were accustomed to taking action to achieve our goals. With him everything always felt easy and enjoyable.

When our working contracts had ended, I flew back to the Ukraine, while he went home to South China. Yet the bond between the two of us remained strong.

Three months after we parted, he arrived in my city of Lviv and we traveled together to all the best places in Ukraine.

Later, I was invited to visit him and his family in Guangzhou, where he proposed to me. I went back home and announced to my parents that I would move to China.

We did not find any obstacles in our way. My parents really liked him, and his parents liked me.

Before the wedding, we lived together for one year. We established our own home and found jobs (as we had resigned from the cruise company). We also traveled together to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau, and had a paradise honeymoon in Hawaii. Our wedding supposed to be small, but we ended up with 120 people in attendance. My parents, a few relatives and friends came from Ukraine. It was mix of traditions, with sea-inspired decorations, Chinese cuisine, Ukrainian embroidered towels, a first dance and a hip party for younger guests on the 65th floor of the Hyatt rooftop bar.

Eleven months after the wedding, we were blessed with our gorgeous daughter Alicia, becoming the happiest parents ever. Now seven months old, she is a very interesting and cute little baby.

When we are together, nothing seems impossible. There are no distances, no obstacles and barriers for us. We are citizens of the world. And we will continue to open up this world together and show all of its beauty to our girl.

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4 Replies to “Riding the ‘Love Boat’: Ukrainian Woman Falls for Chinese Cruise Ship Colleague”

  1. Fate often intervenes unexpectedly. I underwent a very similar experience a few years back.
    I went on a skiing vacation in the Canadian Rockies and met a cute blue-eyed young Canadian girl on the ski slopes. Frequent business trips between Hawaii and the US mainland allowed us to sustain the courtship despite the 2800 miles geographic separation. After each one of those trips I would pay the difference and included a side trip to British Columbia for a weekend with her. Her mother was hesitant with the distance and our racial differences, but thumbs up support from her siblings convinced her to proceed. 10 months later we were married in Honolulu.

    1. Thank you for the comment, Dan, and for sharing. It is indeed incredible how fate can bring two people together. It’s inspiring how the two of you bridged the distance to make things work. A wedding in Honolulu sounds heavenly!

  2. A beautiful story and a beautiful interracial couple!

    Everyone is now talking about ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ the all Asian cast Hollywood movie since ‘The Joy Luck Club’ 25 long years ago. But the male lead Henry Golding is a 混血 of mixed blood, and for the movie itself where his family is clearly Chinese, that comes across as more jarring than convincing. That aside, I don’t know because I haven’t watched the movie yet.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Om Ni. “Crazy Rich Asians” has generated a lot of buzz these days, including the fact that it topped the box office in the US for its opening weekend. While I understand the criticism, I also hope that this film can pave the way for more stories to hit the big screen.

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