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Couple who met locked down on quarantine cruise expecting baby


Max and Bethany now live in Belarus (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

Bethany Suthers, 28, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks, met Max Vakulich, 29, when they were trapped on the cruise ship they were both working on at the height of the first lockdown.

Little did they know that this March quarantine would result in them finding love and starting a family together.

The pair admit it was love at first sight and spent the next two months on board the ship, which wasn’t allowed to dock, getting to know each other.

And now, Bethany is days away from giving birth to their first child.

After realising they’d be separated when the ship finally docked, Bethany booked the first flight to Max’s home in Belarus where the couple were delighted to discover that they were expecting a baby girl.

The pair quickly started the process to get bar worker Max a visa and he flew over to the UK in August, proposing to Bethany just one month later.

Actor Bethany said: ‘This wasn’t how I expected my 2020 to go but everyone’s 2020 has been unexpected.

‘I had a seven month cruise contract and now I’m getting married and expecting a baby so I have a totally different life now.

‘If it wasn’t for Covid, this might never have happened for me. I’ve asked Max before if he would have approached me if the passengers had been on board but he just doesn’t know.

‘If it wasn’t for us being stranded we wouldn’t have been able to spend all that time getting to know each other.’

Bethany and Max had only been on board for two weeks when passengers were forced to disembark, leaving just the crew behind.

Bethany on the cruise ship (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

Max spotted Bethany while he was working behind the bar and eventually worked up the courage to approach her, confessing it was love at first sight.

He said: ‘Bethany stood around the table with her friends and drinking prosecco when I first saw her.

‘She had a green silk dress, high-heeled shoes, perfect long dark hair and a smile with snow-white teeth.

‘She was laughing and behaved so lightly and gracefully, it was love at first sight. I’d never wanted a serious relationship until I saw her.’

Max when he met Bethany (Picture: Mercury Press & Media)

Bethany added: ‘We were in lockdown on the ship and just floating aimlessly in the Caribbean sea with an announcement every now and then because the captain didn’t even know what was going on.

‘We spent almost all of our time together, watching films, playing puzzles, talking and doing jigsaws.”

Bethany’s baby is now due on Sunday February 28 and the couple hope to marry in the summer in Max’s home country of Belarus.

Bethany said: ‘We were sad because we realised we’d be separated after spending all that time together and we couldn’t make plans because of what was going on.

‘We didn’t know if we’d ever be able to see each other again but we knew we wanted to. We just Facetimed a lot then in May I decided to fly out to Belarus to see him.

‘Two of my flights got cancelled but the third flight went ahead and I spent four weeks there then just before I flew back we found out that I was expecting and we were both really happy.

‘We both wanted a life together, as cheesy as it sounds, we just knew.’

Now there’s a silver lining to this whole mess of a year.

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Get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@metro.co.uk.


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