Honeymoon cruises are the perfect choice to relax after hectic wedding planning. In addition, many cruise lines offer special honeymoon packages with different amenities to treat the newlyweds as they celebrate their new life together. With careful planning, a honeymoon cruise is an excellent way to begin a marriage full of happy memories.
Choosing A Cruise for Your Honeymoon
For many couples, the appeal of an exotic, tropical getaway is enough incentive to choose a cruise. An added benefit is the simplicity, when the couple can visit multiple destinations without elaborate planning (a striking contrast to the detailed arrangements of a wedding). When choosing which particular voyage is perfect to celebrate a new marriage, however, several considerations need to be made.
Where and When
Honeymooners need to take as much care with their honeymoon arrangements as anyone planning an elaborate vacation. Taking Cruise Vacations depends on many factors, including the destination climate, holidays, and weather patterns. Naturally, cruises during May and June often host several honeymooning couples, and many cruise ships even arrange newlywed events for recently married couples, such as receptions or dances. While some couples may enjoy that camaraderie, others may wish to take a more intimate vacation where they are more likely to be the only honeymooners.
The Caribbean is the most popular cruise destination, particularly for couples interested in a tropical honeymoon. Before choosing a specific destination, couples should investigate different itineraries such as Western Caribbean Cruises, Bahamas Cruises, and Eastern Caribbean Cruises in order to choose the location that intrigues them most. Some destinations, particularly Alaska and Hawaii, may not be available during certain times of the year.
A note of caution: if either the bride or groom has not cruised prior to the honeymoon, it may be wise to select a shorter itinerary such as a four- or five-day voyage, particularly if there is any suspicion that they may suffer from motion sickness or other maladies. While certain precautions can minimize unpleasant reactions, a honeymoon is not the best time to chance unknown travel and potential illness.
Most wedding celebrations last well into the evening. While cruises typically do not depart until late afternoon, if the couple needs to fly to the cruise port, their flights will likely leave early in the morning and the initial travel could be exhausting. Many cruise ships offer Sunday departures for couples who wish to leave on their honeymoon immediately, but other options include weekday departures that delay the honeymoon for a few days in order to recover from the stress of the wedding. A travel agent can help arrange airfare and ground transportation to the port in order to make the honeymoon as smooth as possible.
Booking A Honeymoon Cruise
To insure the perfect honeymoon, the voyage should be booked well in advance in order to guarantee the date and the best cabin selection. This can cause several difficulties for an about-to-be-wed couple, including payment and documentation problems.
It is possible to reserve a cruise several months in advance and arrange a payment plan to make the cost more manageable. These payments can be automatically charged to a credit card, or some agencies are willing to bill the couple for each installment. Because wedding costs often spiral out of control, the couple should be sure to budget appropriately for their honeymoon, including additional fees for shore excursions, tips, and souvenirs. Several travel agencies offer alternative wedding registries that allow guests to contribute to the cost of a honeymoon, including cruises.
If the bride plans on changing her name, it is important to mention this to the travel agent when the honeymoon cruise is booked. Passports are required for cruise vacations, and the names on the tickets must match the names on the passports to eliminate any confusion or disruption while the couple checks in at the port, even though many honeymooning couples delight in signing "Mr. and Mrs." for the first time. It would be wise to take along a copy of the marriage license or certificate as well as birth certificates in case additional documentation is necessary. For the specific requirements of each cruise line, contact their customer service representatives.
Honeymoon Cruise Packages
All cruise lines offer honeymoon getaway packages for personalized romance. These "romance packages" often include assorted amenities, such as flowers, wine or champagne, an intimate in-cabin breakfast for two, private massages, in-cabin decorations, spa treatments, and ship souvenirs such as photo frames, hats, t-shirts, relaxing robes, and more. Every cruise line offers different types of packages, and fees vary depending on the type of package and the length of the cruise. These package fees are in addition to the standard cruise fare.
Romance On The High Seas
For honeymooners who choose not to purchase an exclusive package, there are still many ways to make a honeymoon cruise even more romantic. Formal nights give the couple the opportunity to dress up in their finery as husband and wife for professional portraits that make unique additions to wedding photo albums or scrapbooks. Choosing a verandah or suite cabin offers more luxurious furnishings, and with some cruise lines, exclusive embarkation and debarkation privileges to circumvent long lines. Intimate reservations-only restaurants offer a couple the chance for a romantic, private dinner as opposed to the more crowded main dining rooms. And of course, the simple romance of being alone on deck beneath starlit skies is the ultimate experience for many honeymoon cruisers.
A honeymoon cruise is an extraordinary way to begin a new life together: filled with new experiences and exciting destinations. With careful planning for the proper itinerary, date, and additional romance packages, a cruise honeymoon is the perfect introduction to "happily ever after."