A successful honeymoon cruise can cost a little or a lot - as long as it offers the couple a sense of romance, a touch of luxury - and the feeling that they are special and are being treated in a special way.
A balcony, where they can share private meals and drinks is a plus. If the budget allows, a small ship like one of the
SeaDream yachts is a good choice; so are the “ship within a ship” options like NCL’s Courtyard, Celebrity’s Aqua Class
or MSC’s Yacht Club.
Luxury can mean a spacious bathroom, perhaps a bathtub, such as those found in Princess suites (even the mini-suites) and Ponant’s Le Boreal; upscale toiletries and terrycloth robes; a choice of restaurants, and ready availability of tables for two.
With their abundance of suites and mini-suites, Princess’s newer ships carry on the “Love Boat” tradition, with spacious balconies and closets, complimentary canapes, Internet and use of the ships’ thermal suites. A perfect honeymoon meal is the Ultimate Balcony Dining experience, which includes a hosted cocktail party, fresh flowers, champagne and a deluxe for course meal featuring such entrees as lobster tail or steak.
Windstar’s recently renovated sailing yachts can spell “romance” for couples who love the idea of a casual, unregimented honeymoon and relaxed unpretentious luxury while exploring such destinations as the Greek islands.
In the same vein, the Paul Gauguin fulfills fantasies of escape to the South Seas and the kind of romance that captivated the painter of the same name. However, from some parts of the country, the long flights prior to the cruise can be a downer, especially when honeymoon time is short.
When price is no object, the yachts of Seabourn can fulfill a long honeymoon wish list, including gourmet dining and all-inclusive luxury that means not having to count the cost of caviar, fine wines, bar drinks, water sports (water-skiing and kayaking), mini-massages and pampering baths. Younger honeymooners will appreciate the lineup of newer active shore excursions.
For foodie couples with a taste for high-end luxury, the Crystal ships can deliver a fantasy honeymoon, especially if they can afford a penthouse suite with a veranda, marble bath (with Jacuzzi tub) and other perks. Crystal dining options include sea-going versions of top land-based restaurants.
With a lower price tag, Oceania cruises can be fun for foodies who would enjoy hands-on cooking lessons in the Bon Appetit kitchens. Oceania also offers some interesting itineraries and outstanding dining and service.
Couples who enjoy a spa ambiance and amenities might prefer the AquaSpa cabins on Celebrity’s Solstice class ships. In addition to spacious verandas, upgraded amenities and robes, they will have unlimited access to the AquaSpa relaxation room, the Persian Garden and the specialty restaurant Blu.
Celebrity also offers newlyweds evening celebrations with Champagne, hors d’oeuvres and special greetings.
Young couples with a tiny budget who have never traveled away from home might be perfectly happy with a Carnival Caribbean cruise that includes secluded beaches where they can be alone. Carnival’s cabins are generous, the beds are comfortable and there are opportunities for table-for-two dining at the steakhouses.
Not all couples think of romance in the same way. Disney Cruises, for example, would not be my idea of romance, yet the line books a fair number of honeymooners; one satisfied couple described themselves as “kids at heart.”