Couple celebrate anniversary with voyage of a lifetime


Raymond Steiner, left, and his wife Janet Steiner pet a koala bear during their vacation to Australia. The couple celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary with a voyage aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 before reaching Australia.

SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of the Steiner family


Three years ago, Janet and Raymond Steiner wanted to do something special for their 50th wedding anniversary. Things happened and the couple didn’t celebrate their 50th until their 53rd.

They made up for the three years, big time, with a 53-day trip aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 as part of the ship’s 110-day around-the-world cruise.

“We agreed to 53 days, one for every year we’ve been married,” said Janet Steiner, the director of education and family services for the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Raymond Steiner had worried they might run out of things to do aboard a ship for that length of a voyage. He needn’t have.

“There were so many things to do every day,” Steiner said. “We spent very little time in the cabin.”

Health issues were never a problem, except for what Steiner called a nagging “Cunard Cough.”

“I wasn’t going to let a little cough bother me,” she said.

Because the QM 2 is a transatlantic liner rather than a cruise ship, seasickness also never reared its ugly head.

“It’s so smooth that you don’t feel you’re on a ship, even with 14-foot waves,” Steiner said.

After hopping across The Pond to Southampton on the QM 2, the Steiners visited Portugal and the Canary Islands before heading to Namibia in Southern Africa.

“The landscape was like being on the moon,” Steiner said.

Cape Town followed.

“It was such a welcoming and fascinating place,” added Steiner.

Their seagoing adventure ended in Sydney, Australia, but it was only a prologue to a journey of discovery on land.

“We spent three weeks in Australia,” Steiner said.

A cousin who had connected with them served as their tour guide. Raymond had gone to high school in Cooma, New South Wales and was able to revisit the old school haunts, escorted by one of his alma mater’s current students.

Of course, any proper Australian interlude should include a visit to the Great Barrier Reef, which the Steiners enjoyed from the vantage point of a submarine.

All in all, the couple spent 100 days globetrotting.

“The worst part of the trip was the 28-hour plane trip back,” Steiner said.

The Steiners are off again, this time up north to Maine, so they can tick off one of the two states they had yet to see. Only North Dakota remains to be discovered, but it will have to wait, since the couple plans to visit Antarctica for two weeks this January.

“My husband is always asking where should we go next,” Steiner said. 

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