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Old June 17th, 2006, 10:03 AM
Tom & Mary Tom & Mary is offline
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Default Tom & Marys Back/Back Caribbean Princess-Part 1[/b]

Tom & Mary Milano
tomandmarymilano@yahoo.com
Age: 78
Occupation: Retired
Number of Cruises: 36
Sailing Date: April 29th, 2006

Tom & Mary’s
38th Anniversary Cruise
Aboard The Beautiful Caribbean Princess

This is the first review we have posted in the last eighteen months. We want to thank you, our readers, for your many e-mails expressing your concern for our well being. We had some serious bumps in our journey of life and had to curtail our cruising. Just as we were at a critical stage of dealing with the many issues resulting from a catastrophic fire at our restaurant, Glynn’s Inn, in Huntington, Long Island, we learned I needed open heart surgery, for replacement of my aorta Valve. I was operated on one year ago this week. My Mary also had a medical problem and was hospitalized. We have fully recovered from our medical problems but this past September we were devastated by something that parents pray will never happen and something they never fully recover from. But we thank God for our faith; we would never have survived without it. We are working hard at taking each day of our life, one day at a time and we are gradually getting our life in order.

Our anniversary was approaching, and I thought a cruise on the beautiful, tranquil, waters of the Caribbean might help soothe Mary’s aching heart. Our cruise exceeded our expectations and we had a glorious time. It was just what the doctor ordered. It was the first time I saw my Mary relaxed in months. Being on this magnificent vessel and having an attentive, caring crew go out of their way to take care of our every need, rekindled our passion for cruising. While at sea, we went to see Gloria Mallard, the Onboard Sales Manager at the Future Cruise Sales Desk and we booked a cruise on the Coral Princess, partial transit of the Panama Canal, for December 12, to celebrate Mary’s birthday and my anniversary. We are also looking to book two more Princess cruises before than. As you can tell we are once again bitten by the cruise bug and we are in full cruise mode. (A little later I will tell you about this great program, FCS that Princess has for booking future cruises.)

Although we have made 36 cruises we do not consider ourselves cruise experts; we are simply a couple that is passionate about cruising and get immense pleasure from sharing our cruise experience with you, our fellow cruisers. As most of you know, Mary & I refer to our cruises as ‘Honeymoons’ because we can’t think of a more romantic, intimate, exciting way to spend quality time with the one you love, than when cruising.

Our New Format
**edited to remove commercial link*** there are 25 reviews of ships of the major cruise lines we have sailed on. At the end of those reviews there is a segment entitled, “Suggestions that Could Enhance Your Cruise?, a capitulation of many things we have learned from our cruise experience. You will be able to access that information in our former reviews... that is with one exception. We have revisited the area of cruise pricing and have revised our suggestion “How to get the best price when you book a cruise.? Send an e-mail to tomandmarymilano@yahoo.com and write best price in the subject box.

We are going to leave out all the nuts and bolts and tell you about the things that interest us and we think interest you... and of course... we are going to tell you what wimpy did for Mary to make her cruise special? (For those who have no idea who Wimpy is and what we’re talking about, the following explanation.)

*** Our regular readers are familiar with the Wimpy character (Tom’s cruise persona) I refer to in our reviews, but for our new readers a quick explanation. Tom had been a Macho man most of his early life. In his latter years he began to realize when he did those little wimpy things that women liked and Mary loved him to do, his lovely Mary gave him a lot more reason to smile. Although Tom was macho, he wasn't dumb. When Tom is at sea on another of their honeymoons, he takes on the Wimpy persona to its highest degree. He views cruising as the Super Bowl of marriage maintenance and uses these occasions to do all sorts of lovely little wimpy things for his Mary. *** Wimpy’s credo is, “A marriage may be made in heaven but the maintenance is done on earth.?

The Reason We Want You to Know Our Age:
I will be 79 this July and Mary is 82. We decided we would tell you our age and let me explain why. The prognosis for a long term marriage in this country has declined at an alarming rate. I’m not sure, but I think the figure is 54% of marriages will end in divorce. As you know we are writing about our anniversary cruise, but there is an important, unique aspect to our marriage that is very special. On May 8th we celebrated our 38th anniversary and that may not be special but what is special, is the fact that Mary and I were both previously married for more than 20+ years.

We receive many e-mails from young readers telling us that knowing we are in the latter stages of life and still in love has been an inspiration to them and gives them hope that it’s possible to have a marriage that will last. We have a dual purpose in mind by revealing our age. We hope that we will be an example of the truth of Leo Buscaglia’s phrase that, “Love is truly the fountain of youth and can be retained and grow until we breathe our last breath.? We also hope we can inspire folks in the latter stages of their life. We know having a medical problem cause’s life to take on a different hue, but we encourage you to do what you’re capable of doing, and live every day, every moment of your life like it’s your last day. Mary and I are fortunate we can do the things we do, and we are going to do everything we can do, as long as we can do it. And for the young couples that are reading our review, we want you to know, although we are in the twilight years of our life, our love continues to grow. We have learned that when the physical attributes begin to diminish, which happens to all of us, those things that are most important, things of the heart and the mind surface and cast a bright light. I pen the words for our reviews, but as I think many of our long-time readers have suspected, Mary is the inspiration for my thoughts.

I asked Mary to edit this segment of the review and when she finished she said, “Tom, I think some of the young couples might like to read this.? She handed me the following article.

In Trying Times Don’t Quit Trying

Take any major individual-oriented athletic event, and you’ll probably find that far more people are starters than are finishers. How many people have started the Tour de France bicycle race, the Boston marathon, or a swim of the English Channel... only to drop out before reaching their goal?

Those who finish these long distance endurance events speak of “pushing through the wall.? The “wall? in these events is the point where the body cries out to the mind,? We can’t go on. I’ve given all I can. I don’t have any more to give.? Every endurance racer hits the wall, including those who may have completed the event in years past. Those who push through the wall are those whose mind say back to their body, “Oh yes we can.? The mind compels—yes, forces—the body to keep moving.

The ability to keep moving when your instincts say otherwise is called perseverance. Every couple needs to keep that word in mind when they hit the wall in their relationship. Perseverance is the ability to hang on, rather than hang up. It’s the ability to keep going, rather than to call it quits. It’s a matter of the heart saying, to the relationship,? Oh yes we can.?... Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. Hang in there!
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