A cruise is a great choice for a honeymoon, especially because it is an easy trip to plan for, and couples are generally distracted by wedding planning up until the big day itself. You will want to make sure to request a cabin with a double, queen, or king-size bed, instead of twins.
Rooms with private verandas are particularly romantic; you can take in the sights in privacy and even enjoy a quiet meal, assuming the veranda is big enough for a table and chairs and the weather doesn’t turn chilly. If you want to dine alone at dinner, request a table for two in advance; the same goes for couples’ spa treatments, which can fill up in advance.
Some ships among them those of Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, and Holland America offer special packages and sometimes honeymoon suites. Most lines provide special amenities, such as champagne and chocolates, if you let them know in advance that you’ll be honeymooning.
Ruise lines have detailed websites and brochures, or sometimes many different brochures including e-brochures full of beautiful glossy photos of beautiful glossy people enjoying fabulous vacations. They’re colorful! They’re gorgeous! They’re enticing! They’re also confusing in that they all blur together very quickly. Sadly, while the lines themselves are very different from one another, their marketing strategies are not.
This chapter is about comparing and contrasting, so you can pick the cruise that’s right for you. And about not getting taken, so you can feel good about your vacation costs.
If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that picking the right cruise is a lot like buying a car: Any one will get you where you want to go, but there are some that will make you happier than others.
When you look at the attributes of the various ships and itineraries to make your choice, some determining factors will be no-brainers. For instance, if you’re traveling with kids, you’ll want a ship with a good kids’ program If you’re a foodie, you’ll want a ship with gourmet cuisine. If you usually stay at B&Bs when you travel, you’ll probably prefer one of the small ships.
Also ask yourself whether you require resortlike amenities, such as a heated swimming pool, spa, casino, aerobics classes, and state-of-the-art gym. Or do you care more about having an adventure or an educational experience? If you want the former, choose a large cruise ship; if you prefer the latter, a small ship may be more your speed. Here are some more pertinent questions to help you narrow the field:
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