Yesterday was Partner-in-Crime and my 2nd / 3rd anniversary. After some deliberation, we decided on taking a Sydney Harbour dinner cruise to celebrate. We were expecting something a little bit fun, a little bit atmospheric, and also a little bit cheesy. It turned out to be just what we were expecting.
We booked our cruise with the most popular harbour cruise line after doing our due diligence on Trip Advisor. We’d both opted for wearing something a bit on the nicer side, but it turned out that more than half the guests were just in khakis and t-shirts, or the like, and one girl in my sight line completely took off her sneakers under the table at one point. I was a little surprised, as Sydneysiders tend to dress up, but of course, this was more the cruise ship/tourist crowd than locals.
We ended up being seated next to a mother and son (I think) who I thought were straight out of The Castle. He’d already attracted our attention on the wharf by making a blokey scene about tickets, and their company was not exactly what we’d had in mind for our anniversary. P-i-C knows that I hate making dramas or asking for special favors, so without either of us saying anything about the unfavorable arrangement, he excused himself from the table and went to have a chat with the head waiter, who discretely moved us to another table. In that moment, I had never been more grateful to be married to this man. Later, when I observed our former neighbor chewing with his mouth open and scraping the extra food from his mother’s plate onto his, my gratitude grew exponentially.
The cruise departed from Circular Quay and then under the bridge to Darling Harbour where it picked up more passengers. Somewhere along the way, a woman in a 1990s style bridesmaid’s dress took to the stage and began her evening-long set of just exactly what you would expect to hear … “The Rose,” “The Greatest Love,” “The Wind Beneath My Wings” and so forth. At one point, she offered to take requests for anyone celebrating a special occasion. I asked P-i-C if he might ask for 3 minutes of silence on our behalf. But, that was not to be.
The food was prompt and exceedingly average, but we had a nice chat with our waitress, a sweet working holiday girl from France, with whom P-i-C enjoyed practicing his French (I “practice my French” by seeing how many words I can pick out of the conversation). We were also brought our dessert ablaze with a flaming sparkler as a happy anniversary wish, which was rather charming.
The cruise lazily drifted up the Harbour to Middle Head, and once we’d settled in, we really did enjoy being out on the water for a couple of hours. The ship had an outdoor top deck that gave us some good views. It was too cold to stay out for long, but enough to get that romantic sense of being in the evening sea air, which was just what we had in mind.
Inside, we adapted enough to nearly drown out “I Just Called to Say I Love You” and “Wonderful Tonight” and found some peace in watching the water, talking about what our next year has in store, and reflecting on how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful city. Along the way, P-i-C also managed to snap a few nice night photos.
Once was enough for our dinner cruising adventures, but today as we talked about it, we both agreed that we’d ended up having a lovely night, the positives far outweighing the “I Will Always Love You’s”.