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Honeymoon cruises

honeymoon

The perfect beginning to married life... A honeymoon cruise is the perfect way for couples to relax and unwind after their wedding. What could be more romantic than standing on the deck of the ship watching the sun set, or waking up in a new, exotic destination every morning, with the love of your life at your side?

One of the main benefits of a honeymoon cruise is being able to visit several destinations without needing intricate planning. You have already spent a great deal of time and effort planning your wedding, so a cruise offers the perfect way to relax and begin your married life.

Romance at sea

Cruise lines offer honeymoon packages designed especially for newlyweds, with extras like spa treatments, couple massages, in-cabin breakfasts, luxurious robes, champagne and flowers, all designed to add to the romantic mood. The fee is in addition to your cruise fare. A romance package adds the icing on the cake to your honeymoon cruise.

You don’t have to purchase a honeymoon package to ensure romance on your honeymoon cruise. Take the opportunity to have a stunning portrait taken of you both in your finery at the ship’s formal dinner. A suite or verandah cabin is a more luxurious option, and a candlelit dinner in a reservations-only supper club or restaurant provides newlyweds with a more intimate romantic atmosphere than the main dining rooms. And taking a stroll along a moonlit deck, just the two of you, has to be the most romantic experience of all.

Destinations

Choosing the destination of your honeymoon cruise is one of the most pleasant decisions you will ever have to make! Some of the most popular destinations include:

  • Hawaii

  • The Mediterranean

  • The Caribbean and Bahamas

  • Australia and New Zealand

  • Alaska

  • Tahiti and the South Pacific

Cruise lines for honeymooners

There are many cruise lines to choose from which offer the facilities and the romantic atmosphere sought by honeymooners. Here are some suggested cruise lines and itineraries that are perfect for newlyweds:

  • Paul Gauguin Cruises – Tahiti and Bora Bora (visiting coral atolls, Moorea, and Papeete). Just 320 passengers, all-inclusive, gourmet cuisine and exquisite service.

  • Royal Caribbean International – Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean (islands such as Aruba, Curacao, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados)

  • Princess Cruises – Western and Eastern Caribbean (islands such as St. Maarten, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica)

  • Celebrity Cruises– Eastern Caribbean (islands such as Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan and Dominican Republic)

  • Windstar Cruises– Europe (destinations such as the Greek Islands, Istanbul, Barcelona, Rome, Monte Carlo, Nice and Portofino)

  • Carnival Cruise Lines – Eastern or Western Caribbean (destinations such as Montego Bay Jamaica, Nassau, Bahamas, Belize, Roatan, Cozumel Mexico, and Grand Cayman)

  • Disney Cruise Lines– A fairytale honeymoon that includes 4 days in Orlando at a Walt Disney World resort, then cruise to Disney’s own retreat, Castaway Cay, and Nassau, Bahamas

  • Holland America Line – Alaska (sails out of Vancouver, visiting destinations like Glacier Bay National Park and the Yukon)

  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Canada and New England (destinations such as Maine, Massachusetts, Quebec and Montreal)

Cruise seasons

When planning a cruise honeymoon, you need to consider factors such as the climate and weather, and the season in your destination. Check our list below to find out when you can visit your planned destination.

Alaska: May to September.

Antarctica: November to February.

Australia: October to March.

Bahamas: October to April is the ideal season. The hurricane season is from August to November. The rainy season is from May to October.

The Caribbean: You can cruise the Caribbean all year, but the peak season for cruise travel is in winter. The hurricane season is from August to November, but ships are able to change their destinations to avoid the hurricane.

Central America/Panama Canal: October to March.

Hawaii: All year.

The Mediterranean: All year, but the peak season and best weather is during summer.

Northern Europe/Baltic: May to September.

The South Pacific: All year (French Polynesia, Fiji and New Zealand).

Honeymoon-cruises

Departure days

Most couples these days prefer to enjoy their wedding celebrations and then set off on honeymoon the day after. Many cruise lines offer Sunday departures, meaning that you probably need to fly off to your departure port the morning after the wedding. There are also weekday departures, giving you time to recover and to spend time with family and friends who have flown into town to attend your wedding. Ask your travel agent to arrange your flights and transportation to and from the departure port.

Booking a honeymoon cruise

If you are planning a honeymoon cruise, you should book well in advance to get the best cabins and also to ensure that you get availability to fit in with your wedding date. You will need to set a budget depending on how much you can afford to spend, and do try to stick to this. Consider booking the cruise in advance and paying by installments with a payment plan. The destination, length of cruise, season, and cruise line are all affected by your budget, so if your budget is tight but you are longing for a honeymoon cruise, think of choosing a shorter cruise in a cheaper cabin, traveling with a more economical cruise line. You can always consider upgrading later if your funds allow, or spend any extra money on luxuries such as extra excursions, romantic dinners, and spa treatments.

One of the advantages of a honeymoon cruise is that you do not have to worry about the cost of accommodation, meals, and local transportation. However, there are certain additional costs that have to be budgeted in when booking your cruise, such as port fees, gratuities, excursions, spa visits, and extra activities. Don’t forget that you may need to fly to the departure port, which is another added expense.

One way of paying for your cruise (or part of it) is by asking guests to contribute towards it. Try a cash gift registry such as www.ourwishingwell.com, where you show your guests exactly what you will do with the cash gifts you receive. However do not rely on receiving the whole cost from your guests, as your amazing honeymoon could put you seriously in the red.

If you have not spent time on a boat or ship before, you may be advised to plan a shorter cruise of perhaps four or five days as part of a longer honeymoon, as your honeymoon is not a good time to discover that you suffer from seasickness.

If the bride is going to change her name after her marriage, mention this to the travel agent when booking your honeymoon cruise. The names on the tickets must match the names on the passports, and your passport will still bear your maiden name. Checking in as Mr and Mrs may cause confusion and delay, so take along a copy of your marriage license or marriage certificate. It is worth checking your cruise line’s policy on this matter.

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