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A Royal Caribbean Love Story: A couple finds love after meeting on cruise ship

14 Feb 2022

Love is in the air… and at sea!

Have you ever thought about the possibility of meeting the love of your life on a cruise ship? Laura and Jarrod West of New Braunfels, Texas did just that while on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2004.

However, the two lost touch after the cruise. It wasn’t until several years later that they reconnected, started dating, and decided to tie the knot.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we talked with Laura and Jarrod West to learn more about their Royal Caribbean Love Story.

How did you two meet?

Laura and Jarrod: On Explorer of the Seas in March 2004, I (Laura) was traveling with my family and some friends and Jarrod was traveling with his family. Jarrod approached me and my friends on the pool deck.

What was the rest of the cruise like after you met each other?

Laura and Jarrod: During the first cruise we met on, we hung out and got to know each other, along with other spring breakers on the boat.

At that time, guests 18 and up could drink beer and wine and access all the clubs and bars that guests 21 and up could. My group of friends and I told everyone we were 21 at the time instead of 18. Jarrod was 22 at the time.

I had lost my ship card on one of the last days of the cruise and Jarrod walked down with me to get a new one. After they printed my new SeaPass card, Jarrod noticed that customer service punched a hole in my card. He asked why and that’s when Jarrod first learned that I was only 18!

As a result, Jarrod (22) realized that he had been lied to about our ages, but we exchanged numbers anyway.

Did you stay in touch after the cruise?


Laura and Jarrod: Jarrod was living in Illinois and I was living in Texas, and we talked a lot on the phone through August of that year, but it became every once and a while after that (Jarrod was bad about losing his phone).

We never committed to dating or anything because of the long distance and I think Jarrod thought I was too young. So we would randomly talk on the phone every once in a while for 7 years without ever seeing each other.

We both were casually dating other people during that time, but I would always answer his calls. My friends would ask who I was talking to and I would casually respond with “the man I’m going to marry.” Of course my friends and family thought it was a pipe dream!

I even invited Jarrod to come to sorority formal but his work got in the way and he didn’t come. My mom told me to forget about him and that it was never going to happen. 

Meanwhile Jarrod began his successful career being the manager of Walmart.

How did you two end up reconnecting after such a long time apart?

Laura and Jarrod: Seven spring breaks later from when we first met, in 2011, Jarrod and I realized through social media that we were going to be on a cruise the same week and same itinerary but on different ships. I was on Allure with my family and Jarrod was on Freedom with his family. 

After our cruises were over, Jarrod had a 4 hour layover in Dallas and that is where we first saw each other again and reconnected (Jarrod gave me a kiss as soon as he got into the car).

We both agreed it was really special that we both reconnected and before he got on his flight back to Illinois, he asked if he could come back to Dallas and take me on our first official date.

A few weeks later, April fools weekend 2011, Jarrod flew in not knowing anything about Dallas. I made him take me to a nice/expensive surf and turf dinner, the Dallas Aquarium, and we went to a Texas pool party with friends. I mean… I had to wait for 7 years for this guy; the least he can do is take me somewhere nice!

Before flying home, Jarrod asked me to be his girlfriend, told me he loved me the same day, and we agreed to give the long distance relationship a try and did so for about a year.

I heard Jarrod proposed onboard a Royal Caribbean ship. Can you tell me more about that?

Laura and Jarrod: In March of 2012, Jarrod scheduled a cruise and invited me to come along with his family on Freedom of the Seas. The cruise was going to the Virgin Islands and stopped in St. Thomas.

While in St. Thomas, Jarrod and I booked a midday catamaran excursion. That morning, we got off the ship early and did one of Jarrod’s parents' favorite things to do: shop for diamonds at Diamonds International.

While there, I pointed out a few designs that I really liked and settings… and little did I know that Jarrod had taken my feedback and pointed out what ring and setting he wanted for an engagement ring.

Jarrod and I rushed to our excursion and his parents stayed behind to ensure the ring was put together just right. After a great day on the catamaran and a few *cough cough* drinks to boot, we got back on the ship to get ready for dinner.

While I was in the shower, Jarrod’s parents came to the room and gave Jarrod the ring he had purchased. They were excited and wanted him to propose that night at dinner.

Jarrod took me to Chops Grille and wined and dined me, but thought he needed more time to relax and let our food settle after a big day out on the island.

That night, one of the activities on ship was the Dancing Under The Stars party on the pool deck where a band was playing. During that dance party I stepped away to the restroom, and Jarrod asked the band if he could propose while using the stage.

The lead of the band told Jarrod to dance our way to the front and come on stage so he could propose. So we did just that, and at the end of the song, the band handed Jarrod the mic. He pulled me up on stage to which I replied “What are you doing?”

Jarrod was nervously going to his pocket to locate the ring. He told me to hang on a minute, and he found the ring and pulled it out of his pocket. Then he said into the microphone on one knee that he loved me and met the girl of his dreams on a cruise ship and couldn’t think of a better place to propose. And he proposed.

Jarrod moved to El Paso, Texas that next week, then I moved down there in May. We got married that next August in San Antonio, Texas. 

Are the two of you still cruising?

Laura and Jarrod: Cruising remains a big part of our life and something that we enjoy. Prior to covid we were cruising 5-6 times per year and we recently went on our first cruise since Covid. We are planning our 10 year anniversary cruise out of Italy to the Greek isles on the Odyssey of the seas and looking forward to that.

We have 2 kids, Autumn (8) and Carter (6), and they love to cruise too! We currently live in New Braunfels, Texas, where I am a teacher and Jarrod is still a store manager for Walmart. 

When we are not cruising we are busy with sports and extracurricular activities, but cruising remains our favorite getaway.


Royal Caribbean announces 2020 President's Cruise sailing

04 Nov 2019

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley announced to a theater full of cruise fans the next President's Cruise will be held on the October 25, 2020 sailing of Allure of the Seas.

Allure of the Seas will sail a 7-night Western Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona, Spain and visit the ports of Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseille), France; Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; and Naples (Capri), Italy.

The President's Cruise has become an annual Royal Caribbean tradition that invites fans of the cruise line to sail with the cruise line's CEO, and enjoy a series of special events, surprises and offerings.

Hall & Oates to headline Royal Caribbean's 50th Birthday & President's cruise

26 Sep 2019

Royal Caribbean announced Daryl Hall & John Oates will perform onboard the cruise line's 50th Birthday extravaganza.

In a post on social media, Royal Caribbean confirmed the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will offer, "an incredible, exclusive performance."

The 50th Birthday & President's Cruise will take place on November 2, 2019 onboard Symphony of the Seas. 

Royal Caribbean announces 50th birthday cruise celebration in 2019

01 Oct 2018

Royal Caribbean announced today its next major cruise event, will celebrate Royal Caribbean's 50th birthday.

The "50 Years Bold Birthday Cruise" will be held on the November 2, 2019 sailing of Symphony of the Seas out of Miami, Florida.

The cruise will be 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing, and Royal Caribbean says it will be "packed with special programming and events, surprise guest performers, a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay, and much more."

Experiences: Prohibition Party on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas

27 Apr 2016

Royal Caribbean offers a lot of activities, events and shows for guests to do onboard their ships, including a themed event that takes us back to the days of the Great Gatsby.

The Prohibition Party is offered on Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class cruise ships and is a themed dance event that has a cover charge for guest to experience it.

While on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, we were able to see what the Prohibition Party is all about and experience it for ourselves.

We reserved the Prohibition Party prior to our cruise and it is usually held late at night, with a start time of 10:00pm.

The premise of the Prohibition Party is you are going to a 1920's-style speakeasy, where the Eighteenth Amendment is in full effect, and guests are there to sing, dance and drink "tea".

Guests will receive in their stateroom an invitation for the special event and a place to meet.  Once there, they are instructed to give the person at the side door the secret password and are then allowed admission.

The event occurs on Jazz on Four and encourages all guests to dress up for the event with clothing fitting of the 1920's.  A vast majority of guests elect to dress up and it is highly recommended you do so as well.

Your $35 per guest admission charge includes entertainment, food and of course, drink.  There are plenty of alcoholic beverages provided throughout the event in the form of various cocktails.  Most of the drinks we had were fruit based drinks.

There is a loose storyline as part of the event, but it is mostly about guests enjoying some drinks and getting onto the dance floor to dance to some great live jazz music.

One interesting part of the event is when all guests are handed play money and betting cards to bet on a horse race.  Guests fill out their betting cards and then a recorded radio broadcast plays to reveal the winner.  Pretty neat!

Overall, the Prohibition Party is a fun excuse to get dressed up, enjoy ample cocktails with live jazz music. Guests looking for something different in their evening entertainment are sure to enjoy this fun choice.

What we liked: Lots to drink for the money, different event from anything else offered, great live music.

What we did not like: It starts fairly late, limited food choices.

Cost: $35 per guest

Royal Caribbean previews Halloween events on its cruise ships

26 Oct 2015

Celebrating holidays on a Royal Caribbean ship is always a fun opportunity, because combining the fun of a cruise adventure with holiday traditions just seems to be a great combination.

Halloween is coming up this weekend and Royal Caribbean UK has given its guests an idea of what to expect on a number of Royal Caribbean ships when it comes to special Halloween events.

Photo by Flickr user S K Joiner

These event listings may not be the complete list of activities fleet wide or even on each particular ship.  But they are a glimpse at the fun guests can expect onboard.

Enchantment of the Seas

The Centrum has been decorated for Halloween all month and will become the venue for our fright night costume dance party on October 31st.

Explorer of the Seas

Adults and kids can take part in a fun costume parade through the Royal Promenade, ending with a dance party. Guests will also get the chance to take part in a ‘Thriller’ dance class.

Jewel of the Seas

Jewel will be holding a special costume competition and party, while kids can try their luck trick-or-treating onboard.

Oasis of the Seas

Halloween will be guests’ first night onboard Oasis, and what a great night it will be! There will be a costume competition and party in the Royal Promenade.

Splendour of the Seas

Splendour of the Seas guests and crew will be celebrating Halloween in style, with a huge costume party in the Centrum.

Serenade of the Seas

Hopefully guests have remembered their best costume, as there will be prizes up for grabs at the onboard Halloween party.

Royal Caribbean to talk about Enterprise Social Networking at LA conference

06 Jun 2011

Royal Caribbean will be a featured speaker at  the Social Networking Conference and Strategic Communications Conference taking place on June 23-24, 2011 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Royal Caribbean's Global Corporate Communications Manager, Cynthia Martinez, will be on hand at the conference to cover the topic of crisis management with social media.  Martinez will use the example of the earthquake in Haiti and the aftermath to discuss how Royal Caribbean leveraged their website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter to keep the media and general public informed.  

She will discuss how these social media tools helped mitigate some of the negative press Royal Caribbean received and how they helped prevent long-term damage to the cruise's brand.


Royal Caribbean brings cruise experience to Plaza de Callao in Madrid this weekend

26 May 2011

This weekend, May 28 and 29, Royal Caribbean will take you on a cruise while still on land.  Located in the Plaza de Callao in Madrid, Spain, the Royal Caribbean Park is an entertainment area of 350 square meters where each family member can enjoy the experiences of Royal Caribbean ships, but on land.

The Royal Caribbean Park offers the possibility to enjoy various facilities in a single space. Among them, a playground where children can enjoy the presence of Shrek, DreamWorks films and activities especially designed for them.

Adults can relax in a space of Wellness and Spa where they will receive a massage or beauty treatment or in an area of ​​sport, where you climb a climbing wall six feet high, descend into zip or play basketball. These experiences are complemented by the dining room to sample regional specialties from the Mediterranean ports.

Those who choose to test three of these areas will enjoy a break in the deck space. In addition, those who photographed in the 'Photocall' Royal Caribbean Park and upload the picture to the Facebook page of Royal Caribbean Spain entered into a draw for a Mediterranean cruise.

During the month of June, a smaller version of Royal Caribbean Park will be located in various shopping malls in the capital.

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