Planning a wedding? Between the invite list, venue, menus, and everything else that goes into making the special day, it can be hectic and stressful. It’s a fun and exciting time but can also cause all sorts of turmoil leading up to the big day.
That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise that many people look to book a cruise to celebrate their honeymoon. Following the stress of the wedding a cruise is about as simple as it gets for planning a honeymoon. With one transaction you get everything you need for your trip — transportation, room, food, and entertainment. Furthermore, most cruises head to warm locales where good weather and beautiful surroundings (not to mention swimsuits and free-flowing drinks) help to spark romance.
In all, if you were going to build the perfect honeymoon, we think it would look a whole lot like a cruise.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still some planning that can go into picking the perfect trip. That’s because just like individuals, different cruises have different personalities. Some are laid back and relaxing while others offer more excitement and a party atmosphere. That’s not to say you can’t make every cruise your own, but it’s helpful to look for those cruises that most match the type of honeymoon you have imagined.
Below, we’ve listed some of the things to consider when planning a honeymoon cruise. These ideas will help ensure that you have a trip of a lifetime after you tie the knot.
Splurge on the Room
One of the big draws of cruising is that it’s affordable. Head to any cruise line website and you’ll find dirt-cheap headline fares. These are almost always on a per-person basis and for an interior cabin (meaning there are no windows). For your honeymoon, we recommend going ahead and spending the extra money to upgrade your room if you can afford to. Yes, inside cabins are just fine and you’ll have a great time. However, taking the trip in a balcony or suite cabin certainly takes it up a notch.
First, there is simply the amazing views that come with having a balcony on your cruise cabin. At any time of the day you can sit out and take in the scenery — just you and your spouse. It’s a relaxing way to unwind after what has almost certainly been a hectic time leading up to the wedding.
In addition, on a honeymoon you are more likely to spend a considerable amount of time in your cabin during your trip. Having a room that you love to spend time in will be a big factor in the enjoyment of your trip.
Look for Longer Cruises for a Relaxed Feel
While not always the case, the rule of thumb is that shorter cruises (5 days or fewer) will have a younger and more lively crowd. Longer cruises have a more relaxed feel as the passengers on these trips have the means to spend more on their cruise and take more time off of work.
So if you want a honeymoon on a ship that’s a bit more laid-back, then look for trips that sail for a week or longer. This is typically a better atmosphere for relaxing and enjoying each other’s company as you get used to the idea of being married. Of course, if you want to party with other people during your honeymoon, then shorter cruises may fit the bill.
Don’t Be Afraid to Treat Yourself
One of the cool things about cruising is that you’re literally on a floating resort. That means there are plenty of ways to treat yourself on everything from spa treatments to restaurants to shopping on board. While it’s tempting to save your money (after all, weddings are pricey), take the chance to indulge a little on your honeymoon. Get a couples massage or hit the steakhouse for a special moment that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s a small amount of money to spend for a lifelong memory.
Be Respectful When It Comes to Sex
To be direct, new couples have sex on their honeymoon. Everyone knows this is going to happen, but it’s still polite to keep the noise to a minimum. You’ll find that cruise cabins are fairly well-insulated — it’s not easy to hear what’s going on in the next cabin. That said, if you are too loud (or hitting against walls) then yes, it can be heard. So keep it down when having your fun.
Also, there’s little doubt that one of the perks of having a balcony is the chance to have some romance with the ocean breeze and an amazing view. Just be careful if you decide to do this. Balconies aren’t extremely private and other rooms might be able to get a peek at what’s going on.
Sail When School Is in Session
While on a honeymoon you likely don’t want to sail with a lot of kids on the ship. Nothing against kiddos, but they can ruin the romantic mood if they are underfoot. That’s why it’s a smart move to sail when school is in session. As an added benefit, not only will there be fewer kids on the ship, but prices are also cheaper when families can’t sail. So you’ll save money on your trip while also having a cruise with more adults.
Cruise Lines Focused on Adults Are a Smart Move
The mass market cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean try to appeal to the broadest base possible. That means everyone from kids to grandma might be on a cruise. If you’re trying to have a romantic honeymoon, then that might not be the vibe you’re looking for.
The good news is that these days there are cruise lines to fit every niche and many cater to adult cruise passengers. Higher-end cruise lines like Celebrity and Princess fit this bill. Keep in mind that you might have to pay more for your trip (these aren’t the cheapest cruise lines available) and they only sail from larger ports like Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Even so, if you want a honeymoon that’s more focused on adult luxury, it can be worth the cost.
Make Sure Your Ship Has Adults-Only Areas
Even if you travel on a cruise line that has lots of kids, adult areas can be a refuge to enjoy your honeymoon. These days nearly every cruise ship has a special adult area. You’ll often find an adults-only pool (no kids splashing or yelling!) as well as deck areas where kids aren’t allowed. There’s no better place to spend sea days working on your tan, have a drink, and relax on the ship while spending some quality time with your new spouse. On Royal Caribbean the adults-only area is the Solarium while Carnival calls their the Serenity Adults Only Retreat.
Sail From Somewhere You Want to Visit As Well
While most people look at the embarkation port as simply the place to get on the ship, it’s actually another port of call where you can stay as long as you like. Plan your trip accordingly and sail from a port city you want to visit if you can swing it. For example, honeymooners sailing from Miami or Fort Lauderdale can book a couple of nights in a beachfront hotel and enjoy the area before (or after!) heading out for their cruise. That’s much more fun and memorable than simply heading into town just to get on a ship and leave.