I Do, Again

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 (evening)

A couple of days ago, we had been notified by Arnold, the event planner, that Captain Timmers would be available tonight to perform the vow renewal ceremony. We were to arrive at the Crow’s Nest by 6:20 and the ceremony would start at 6:30. There was one other couple who would be renewing their vows for their 20th anniversary.

We got there at 6:15 to find one corner of the Crow’s Nest roped off and decorated.

Arnold was there to meet us and give us our boutonniere and wrist corsage. The other couple showed up soon after.

Captain Timmers arrived with the photographer at 6:30. We chatted a while and then it was time for the ceremony. Chuck and I went first. The Captain said a few words and then we faced each other and repeated the following vows:

I stand once again before you / to renew our vows of marriage. / I promise to be strong in my love, / gentle in my care, / and unwavering in my trust. / In the name of all we have created together, / and all we are yet to become. / I offer you my hand / as your partner / lifetime friend / and companion.

Once we had said the vows, the Captain said:

With these words, I, Captain Werner Timmers, as the Master of the MS Rotterdam, wish you all the joy and peace which only love can bring, and may it be yours today and in all life’s tomorrows.

I have to admit we both choked up a little during the vows. I was able to compose myself while the other couple said their vows.

Passengers who happened to be in the Crow’s Nest did watch the ceremony, but they were respectful and kept the noise level down. They did clap after both couples finished which was a nice gesture. A number of people approached us later and said how nice it was and they would consider it in the future.

After the ceremony, each couple received a cake – chocolate and raspberry. We cut the cake and had a piece, along with hors d’oeuvres, and champagne.

The Captain made some more small talk with us, gave us our certificate, and then ended the evening with the following toast:

Here’s to good ships / And wood ships / and ships that sail the seas. / But the best ships are / Relationships / and may yours always be.

We followed the photographer to the premium photo shop and had some more photos taken. Then, we went to the main dining room for a late dinner. We each had the shrimp cocktail and a salad. I had the trout and Chuck had the beef tenderloin with grilled shrimp.

When we got back to the room, the rest of the cake had been delivered. We had to cut it up to get it to fit in the small refrigerator.

We were really pleased with the ceremony, and I would encourage anyone who is cruising on a Holland America ship during their anniversary to purchase this package. In my opinion, it was well worth the cost.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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