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A cruise full of surprises


When guest Jodie Furrents stepped on board Britannia for her first ever cruise at the beginning of the year, little did she know how many surprises were in store for her

Guest Jodie Furrents with her partner Dan Thomas

Guests Jodie Furrents and Dan Thomas had the holiday of a lifetime on their cruise around the Caribbean

Jodie Furrents and Dan Thomas hail from Gravesend in Kent and first met very early on in life – at infant school. After attending secondary school together their lives took them in different directions, but a few years ago they got back in touch… and their friendship turned to romance.


‘Although Dan was my first kiss all those years ago at school, we were never anything more than friends,’ recalls Jodie. ‘We got back in touch a few years ago and we’ve been happily together ever since.’


Having been on a few cruises before, Dan was keen to show Jodie the good life she was missing. The occasion came in January this year.

‘Dan suggested going on a cruise to the Caribbean for our 40th birthdays. I was a bit apprehensive about it because I didn’t know what it would be like,’ explains Jodie. ‘But Dan had been a few times and really enjoyed them. My mum had also been cruising before and loved it, too – so between the two of them, they convinced me to give it a go.’


Cruising convert

In January, the couple flew to Barbados and sailed around the Caribbean for two weeks on Britannia. It was a trip full of surprises for Jodie, who found herself falling in love with cruising.  


‘I like to stay busy so my main concern had been that there wouldn’t be enough on board to keep me occupied,’ says Jodie. ‘I was delighted to discover how wrong I was. There was so much to do to keep you entertained – more than I could ever possibly do in one holiday. ‘I’m so pleased I listened to Dan and my parents. I had the holiday of a lifetime.’ 


Jodie and Dan made the most of the cruising experience on shore, too. ‘Even though there is so much to do on board, we wanted to take advantage of all the amazing shore excursions on offer during our two weeks in the Caribbean,’ explains Jodie. ‘One day, we went on a catamaran around Antigua. There was also an opportunity to go snorkelling, which is something I’d always wanted to do. We saw so many colourful fish and such beautiful wildlife – we even saw flying fish jumping out of the water when they were feeding. Later, there was the chance to visit a secluded beach and have a swim. The whole day was wonderful.’

Guests Jodie Furrents and Dan Thomas on a beach

Jodie and Dan made the most of the shore excursions on offer in the Caribbean

The perfect proposal

At the end of such a memorable day, little did Jodie know that the biggest surprise of them all was still to come.


‘I was sorry to get back on the catamaran because I’d had such a lovely time,’ recalls Jodie. ‘On the way back to the ship, we managed to get a seat at the front of the catamaran by ourselves where we sat and relaxed, soaking up the whole day and everything we’d enjoyed so much. That was when Dan dropped the biggest surprise of all by asking me to marry him.


‘I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was joking at first,’ says Jodie. ‘Dan told me that the trip was for our 40th birthdays, but he’d always had the proposal in mind. When he told me that he’d already asked permission from my daughter Libby, I knew he must be serious. I was over the moon.


‘I couldn’t wait to tell Alison and Reg – a couple that we had befriended on board Britannia – all about it. That night, we had dinner at the Beach House and toasted our engagement with some Champagne. I honestly had the trip of a lifetime, full of amazing surprises.’


To formalise their engagement, the happy couple bought Jodie’s engagement ring on the island of St Maarten the following day. ‘Dan had thought about buying me a ring but had decided that he’d rather let me pick something I wanted,’ says Jodie. ‘He hadn’t anticipated that we’d get the opportunity to go ring shopping so soon after his proposal, but getting the ring in St Maarten just made the trip even more memorable and special for both of us.’


Planning their next adventure

Though Jodie and Dan plan to marry on dry land in 2017, a honeymoon at sea is on the cards. ‘After such a fantastic, surprise-filled holiday, I’d love to go on a cruise for our honeymoon, too. I’m not sure where we’ll go yet, but we’re keen to have another big adventure. I loved my time on board Britannia and it would be wonderful to go back, but I’d be just as keen to try out another P&O Cruises ship,’ says Jodie. ‘I’m a complete cruise convert.’


Find out more about cruises to the Caribbean >


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