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Love in the time of COVID-19

Julie is from New Zealand, Leeron is from South Africa. They met on Pacific Explorer in 2018 when they worked together for only ten days before Julie was transferred to the Pacific Dawn. 


But when they met again on Pacific Explorer, this time on a longer contract, it seemed like it was meant to be. That is, until a global pandemic was declared. 


"We spent three months of the pandemic on board together, which was both challenging and super rewarding, before boarding chartered flights to return to our own home countries," Julie said.


"During the months we spent on board, both before the pandemic and during, we knew that we had both found our one."


The pair endured a long distance relationship before being reunited in the UK and then travelling to New Zealand and on to Australia.


"There are many people in relationships worldwide who are dealing with Covid-19 and the tough aspects that are associated with it such as being apart from loved ones," Julie said.


"A lot of parts of this (reuniting) process could have gone wrong but fortunately for us it worked -- 2020 was a huge year for us and our relationship." 


The pair, now based on the Gold Coast, went on a seemingly impromptu picnic earlier this month when Leeron popped the question at sunset.



"It was an amazing setting with the most gorgeous sunset," said Julie. 


"It is unimaginable how far we have come and what we had to overcome to get to this point. 


"During such a year with so many barriers and uncertainties, the power of love kept us strong and we cannot wait to get back to our jobs and second home on board the ships with P&O."


P&O Cruises’ Virtual Short Break will launch next week and feature a regular line up of events including a special appearance from Julie and Leeron. Tune in at


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Published: 3 May 2021

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