The Story, as told by Kevin

In June 2023, Yanina was hitting the big 5-0, and I figured, why not go big or go home? So, in true ‘plan-ahead’ fashion, we booked an exclusive cruise for February 2023. Yanina was in the dark about my master plan – a surprise proposal with all the trimmings. I spent months channeling my inner James Bond, secretly working with a local jeweler to craft the perfect ring.

Fast forward to February 20th. We jetted off to Florida, with me acting like a secret agent hiding a top-secret gadget – the ring, nestled in a secret pocket of my carry-on. Yanina, blissfully unaware, was probably more concerned about the in-flight snacks.

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are.”

Will Farrell

The cruise, which kicked off on February 21st from Fort Lauderdale, was like a floating piece of paradise with stops in the Bahamas and Key West. Despite Yanina’s ninja-like luggage-searching skills (she was on a mission to find a pair of AWOL scissors), the ring remained my little secret.

On day two, after a dinner where we could’ve easily mistaken the boat for a gourmet restaurant, we met our fellow cruisers – a group of espresso martini aficionados. They were from all corners of the world, each with their own stories and milestones. The party moved to the Observation Lounge, with dance moves and martinis flowing like there was no tomorrow. Little did Yanina know, the engagement ring was playing hide and seek in my pocket all evening.

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Harry (to Sally)

When Yanina took a break, I seized the moment. I turned to our new friends and said, “I’m about to propose. Act natural and keep your phones ready.” They eagerly asked about ‘our song’. After a brief brainstorm, we all agreed on John Legend’s “All of Me” – a great choice, right?

Yanina returned, and we hit the dance floor. Mid-song, in a move that would make rom-coms jealous, I went down on one knee. Yanina’s reaction? Priceless shock. She joined me on the floor (talk about a dramatic twist!), and I’m 99.9% sure she said yes amidst the excitement.

“The best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly who you are: good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

J.K. Simmons in “Juno”

The rest of the cruise? We were treated like celebrities. The cruise line, probably excited to have their first engagement onboard, pampered us with champagne, desserts, and more rose petals than a Valentine’s Day parade. Let’s just say, they made sure our engagement was anything but ordinary!

We’re very excited about this next phase of our relationship and lives together. December 14, 2024 will be one hell of a party!

Kevin and Yanina