Cruising Speed

By Maggie Reed

December 21, 2007 6 min read

CRUISING SPEED

Set sail for a perfectly relaxing honeymoon trip

By Maggie Reed

Copley News Service

There are as many ways to spend a honeymoon as there are couples spending them. Destinations abound around the world and you can get there by myriad forms of transportation.

But probably, you're best bet is by boat.

Cruises will take you almost anywhere your can think of across the world.

"The advantage of cruising is that you only have to unpack once and then your floating, luxury hotel takes you to unforgettable destinations," said Nancy Harrison of America's Vacation Center in San Diego.

"There is such a variety of food, and ports and different places to see on a cruise," Harrison said.

You can spend as much time alone in the cabin, out and about on the boat or enjoying on-shore excursions as you choose, Harrison added.

With dozens of ships and itineraries available there is a perfect cruise for everyone and the activities are endless. Go sightseeing or just spend time in the pool or spa. Take in a show or an outdoor movie. Go island hopping. Climb a rock wall. Take a jog around the upper deck or try your hand at the casino.

Then there's the food. Today's modern cruise ships have it all. From 24-hour room service and pizza parlours, buffets, small bistros, formal and casual dining and even sushi bars.

Also, let your travel agent know what the trip's about.

"If their travel agent lets the cruise line know that they are on a honeymoon, they can expect little extras throughout the cruise," Harrison said.

You can also purchase those extra frills before you set sail. The majority of honeymoon packages consist of amenities that spell romance. Roses in the stateroom, sparkling wine in glasses you can take home as souvenirs, breakfast in bed, private hors d'oeuvres or dessert deliveries, spa services, greetings from the captain, and other perks are some examples of typical honeymoon package perks.

Prices vary widely. In addition to the cost of the cruise, the package can add anywhere from an additional $30 to a few hundred dollars, depending on the value of the sweeteners.

Another plus of a cruise is that basically everything besides shore excursions, some gratuities, and alcohol are included in your cruise, Harrison said, so there are no unforeseen additions to the bill for the couple. "They really know the cost of the trip."

TOP CRUISES

The staff of CruiseCheap.com has put together a list of the top honeymoon cruises based on the following criteria: romance, destination, itinerary, ship, service, accommodations, dining and value.

Here are a few of the gems:

- Carnival Cruise Lines (Carnival Valor): This ship is built for fun. Departing from Miami, you can sail year-round for seven nights to western Caribbean ports of call in Belize, Isla Roatan, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. This cruise keeps the party going from the show lounge to the casino to the nightclub to the piano bar. Plus, Carnival offers a terrific variety of flexible dining options, including an intimate adults-only supper club with steaks and stone crab claws.

A port visit to Stingray City in Grand Cayman is an adventure in itself. Stingray City is Grand Cayman's most popular attraction for snorkelers and non-swimmers alike. Enjoy the unique experience of touching and feeding a stingray, together with snorkeling amongst magnificent coral reefs and colorful tropical fish. The Stingray City Sandbar is a fun place and is suitable for everyone. You may be surrounded by more than two dozen "tame" Atlantic Southern Stingray's that enjoy the company of humans and swim freely in only three feet of water at the shallow sandbar area.

- Celebrity Cruises (Millenium): This seven-night eastern Caribbean cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., will be a vacation to remember. Ports of call include Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic; and Labadee, Haiti. Sexy and elegant, the Millenium is rich in luxurious spas and relaxation.

- Princess Cruises (Diamond Princess): Head out of Los Angeles for a seven-night Mexican Riviera experience. Hit the ports along the rugged west coast of Mexico to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Ports are quiet and quaint and about half the time you are at sea - a perfect choice for relaxation and excitement.

- Disney Cruise Line (Disney Wonder): Begin by spending four nights at one of Walt Disney's resorts with all the benefits of being a VIP. Then head to Port Canaveral where you will sail away for three nights to Disney's secluded island retreat, Castaway Cay. Honeymooners will be thrilled to know there are no-kid zones, including a decadent spa, a nightclub complex with three bars and even a beach.

- Holland America Line (Amsterdam): Carrying just less than 1,400 passengers, this ship sails out of Seattle for seven days through the inside passage along the west coast of Canada into southeastern Alaska. The ship calls in three ports that encompass the history that has shaped this great land, plus Glacier Bay National Park.

Honeymooners, a plethora of experiences await you. For more information, visit www.america'svacationcenter.com, www.cruisecheap.com, www.stingraycitytrips.com.

Visit Copley News Service at www.copleynews.com.

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