Cruise Honeymoons

Cruise honeymoon tips for LDS couples
Photo Courtesy of Carly Daniel Photography

There’s a lot to love about a cruise honeymoon. For starters, cruises are the cheapest way to vacation to an exotic locale, hands down. A cruise is also a great way to relax: everything is planned for you, with no arguing over where to go for dinner or getting lost while driving around in a rental car. Interesting ports of call are all part of the trip, but even if you never leave the ship you’ll still have a great time.

What Is Included in Cruise Fare

The price of a cruise includes your cabin on board the ship, meals in the dining room, buffets, and 24-hour room service (free milk and juice, but you usually have to pay for sodas.) It also includes almost all on-ship entertainment and amenities like:

• Pool and hot tub on deck
• Entertainment (stage shows, live music, comedy shows)
• Running track, gym, sports equipment, or weight room
• Huge central atrium and art gallery
• Dance clubs and karaoke

Cruises for LDS brides and grooms
Photography Courtesy of Photos by Wendy G.

Cruise ships also have a number of other amenities not included in your cruise fare: duty-free shopping in a mall-like atmosphere, massages, spa treatments, yoga lessons, a portrait studio, mini golf, billiards, bowling, and many on-board cafes and restaurants – to name a few.

There are a few other “hidden costs” of a cruise honeymoon. Airfare (if necessary) to the location of the cruise’s departure is one. Another is the mandatory gratuities for sodas, waiters, and ship staff (which usually total about $100 per person when all is said and done.) Anything you do, see, or eat off-board the ship at one of the ports of call also comes out of your own pocket.

Intro to Cruise Pricing

Cabins are sold based on two-person occupancy, and the price you see advertised in the newspaper or online are the prices for one person. (By law, most advertisements have to include taxes unless clearly indicated that it does not.)

The average cost for a mid-range cruise line is generally $100-$200 per person per day. Considering what you get for the price, spending between $1400 and $2800 for a 7-day cruise honeymoon for the two of you is very reasonable.

Of course how much you actually pay depends on your destination, time of year, and most of all the type of cabin you choose.

Types of Cruise Ship Cabins

All cruise cabins have their own attached, personal bathroom. But there are four different kinds of rooms, varying in price and luxuriousness:

Interior cabins are located on the inner circle of rooms, meaning that they have no windows to the outside. They are of course the cheapest, and if you don’t plan on spending much time in your room they may be worth it.

Cruises for LDS brides and grooms
Photography Courtesy of Terra Copper Photography

Ocean view cabins have a window to the outside. It’s only a few hundred dollars to upgrade to an ocean view room, and it makes a big difference in how “claustrophobic” a small cruise cabin can feel. Just read the fine print when you book: your “window” may turn out to be a porthole, or the view could be partially or fully obstructed by parts of the ship!

Balcony staterooms have doors opening to the outside and a small private deck for just the two of you. It’s nice to order morning orange juice and watch the sun rise on your private deck, or sit and watch the boat pull in to the next port of call.

Suites are the most expensive (costing three to five times as much as an interior cabin). By stateroom standards, they are enormous, about the size of a large hotel suite. They usually have over sized windows, a fantastic view, a king size bed, and amazing ambiance.

What Is A Cruise Like?

cruise honeymoon tips
Photo Courtesy of Carly Daniel Photography

Most cruises last between 3 and 10 days. Depending on the length of your cruise, the boat will stop at a different port of call every day for 4-6 hours. One day of the voyage is usually a full day at sea with no stops. It’s not uncommon to feel some seasickness at first, but most people find that the ship’s constant rocking doesn’t bother them after the first day or so.

The general all-purpose cruise is a mainstay, but themed cruises are also becoming popular. These include couples-only cruises, cruises featuring a certain musical genre or artist, or even LDS cruises that visit possible Book of Mormon destinations and feature LDS speakers and authors.

Top Honeymoon Cruise Destinations

If you ask people about their cruise, they will probably talk first about the food (all you can eat at every meal plus a midnight buffet and round-the-clock room service) and second about the ports of call they visit. Some of the most popular cruise destinations include:

• Alaska
• Mexico
• Hawaii
• Bahamas
• Europe
• Caribbean islands
• Bermuda

These cruises and others are provided by most of the major cruise lines including Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean.

Most cruise lines offer to book “shore excursions” for their guests. Through the cruise line, you can reserve tours, horseback rides, rentals, and admissions at each port of call. You can book them when you book your cruise so you just show up (but bring paper documentation of the reservations with you!)

ports of calls during cruise honemoons
Photo Courtesy of Cameron + Kelly Studios

Best Time to Take a Honeymoon Cruise

There are a few considerations to make when you’re deciding on your departure date. Cruise fares will be higher during holidays and school vacations, with the cheapest prices occurring between September and December.

Some destinations may be better to visit at some times than others. The Caribbean is fine year-round but Alaskan cruises, for example, only sail during the spring and summer. Also consider the weather: U.S. hurricane season is at its height from late August to mid-October. (Of course, cruise ships can always steer around bad weather.)

Cruise Airfare and Travel Insurance

tips on taking a cruise for your honeymoon
Photography Courtesy of Terra Cooper Photography

Sometimes, the most costly part of a cruise is simply getting to the port of departure.

Consider cruises that leave from a coastal area that is within a reasonable driving distance for you to save a bundle on airfare. If you do need to purchase tickets, you have three options:

1. Purchase the tickets and the cruise fare separately.
2. Purchase tickets and cruise fare bundled together from a travel website or travel agent.
3. Purchase an air/sea package directly from the cruise line.

For most vacations, travel insurance is not an absolute necessity, but it’s strongly recommended for cruises. Why? Unlike other vacations where everything is booked separately, with a cruise you’re liable to lose one very large deposit if you have to cancel for any reason. Travel insurance will cover cancellations due to injury or illness, plus any medical emergencies or lost baggage on your trip.

A cruise might not be for everyone (especially those who get really seasick,) but for most couples it offers a full docket of round-the-clock fun and activities that are already paid for in the cruise fare price. Cruises allow newlyweds to visit a handful of exotic locations in just a few days, without ever leaving all the comforts of “home” on a cruise ship.

♥ Jenny Evans
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