On May 25th of this year Art Lee celebrated his 50th Wedding Anniversary with his wife, Jackie.  Mulling over the choices of how to celebrate, the couple eventually landed on a dinner at the renowned Orlando area restaurant, Fleming’s and a 10-day Caribbean Cruise afterwards.   A reservation was made at Fleming’s for Table 3, affectionately known as the ‘Mafia Table’ due to its rounded booth shape.

Rose, Candy, and Champagne

The Fleming’s staff made every effort to help the couple celebrate, starting with table decorations, a red rose, and an anniversary card signed by the chefs.  After a dinner of fried calamari, lobster bisque, and Chilean Sea Bass, Art and Jackie were treated to glasses of champagne and a box of chocolates.  A small group of young ladies were sitting at the next table over, and they asked Art if he had really been married 50 years.  They were astounded that anyone would be married so long. 

On May 30 Art and Jackie set sail on the Emerald Princess for a Caribbean cruise.  The Emerald is one of Princess’s older ships and is still ornately decorated with wood, old world paintings, and artistic curving walls and ceilings.  Crooners’ Lounge is still a romantic place to enjoy a martini and a Manhattan.   The waiters were friendly, and when the waitress Jeniya learned that the Lees were celebrating an anniversary, she brought out a paper napkin and proceeded to create a lovely paper rose for them.

On the very first night Mrs. Lee approached the Head Waiter with a short list of preferred tables, explaining that they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and wanted a quiet, romantic table for two.  The Head Waiter graciously guided them to a small table along the wall with a romantic old world painting above it.  The waiter Noel and his assistant waiter Manas must have been the best waiters on the ship.  They treated the Lees like royalty, bringing extra plates of cheeses or petti fours and extra entrees if the Lees could not decide on one.  The table was reserved every night so that the Lees could go straight to their table instead of waiting to be seated.  A bottle of wine was waiting on the table every night.

One night Noel brought out a paper napkin, tore it into strips and created a beautiful paper rose for Mrs. Lee.  But the grandest thing that Noel did for the couple was unforgettable.  He came to the table and sang all three verses of the romantic song, “Let It Be Me.” The rendition was perfect, and the Lees were overcome with its heartfelt beauty. 


Every night of the ten day cruise was show night on the Emerald Princess, which is unusual for the Princess line.  The music, the singers, the dancers, and the costumes were all amazing.

And every time the Lees walked past one of the many digital bulletin boards, the display switched to an animated anniversary congratulations message, causing people around them to wish them a happy anniversary.

Every island on the itinerary was typically Caribbean, with colorful shops, friendly shopkeepers, and lots of fun souvenirs.  Even Martinique, which at one time was very French and very beautiful is now following the Caribbean style.  

On June 9, Art and Jackie disembarked from the Emerald Princess having experienced the most amazing and romantic of their nearly 40 cruises over the years.  It was a perfectly romantic anniversary.

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