Looking for a different kind of romantic getaway with your sweetie? Surprise her (or him) by booking a cruise. Time it to coincide with your anniversary, or her birthday, or a holiday or New Year's.
Let me suggest a few ideas. Look through my list of options below, book a voyage through Cruiseable, print out the confirmation/ticket, put in it a big box, wrap it up with pretty red paper and put a big bow on it. He or she will be thrilled to the gills.
I've written before about 10 ideas to ramp up the romance on a cruise, so I'm something of an expert on the subject. Here, then, are cruise options that I think will impress your honey on any occasion.
- Oceania Cruises (food doesn’t get much better than on these ships; we loved dining on Marina with its 10 dining venues, nine free of charge), Silversea, Seabourn, Crystal and Regent Seven Seas all serve food you don’t expect to find on a ship.
- Princess Cruises now has some great alternative restaurants.
There's nothing wrong with wanting a getaway with free-flowing booze to get you both in the mood for amour. You'll find complimentary drinks aboard the ships of:
- Silversea. The little luxury cruise line started out by offering free wines, waters, soft drinks and spirits and continues to do so. However, if you’re a wine lover you'll want to purchase some finer vintages from its wine list.
- Crystal Cruises. This Los Angeles-based operator of two luxury ships, Crystal Symphony and Serenity, just started pouring free wines and libations about a year ago. These are two of the top cruise ships in the world, so there's no way this wouldn't impress your loved one.
- Seabourn. This small luxury cruise line actually didn’t start out offering free drinks, and we've always loved our sailings on Seabourn even when they would only pour free wine at meals or have hosted cocktail parties. Today the spirits flow freely — no charge.
- Regent Seven Seas. Everything’s pretty much included in the fare on these ships, from drinks to shore excursions. Regent attracts passengers by offering huge discounts on business class air fare and offering onboard perks such as free wi-fi and more. Just be sure to price it out and compare it against the alternatives.
- The premium cruise line Celebrity Cruises offers upscale experiences without the luxury price tag. Participate in a wine and food event with an expert sommelier — it's fun, memorable, classy and educational.
Hey, we're well aware that romance continues after the nuptials and the one, two or more kiddies who come along (congats!). You can escape on a guilt-free romantic voyage with (or without) the kids aboard these cruise lines:
- Disney Cruise Line. Naturally, Mickey and Minnie are going to attract young people, and in this case we mean tots with young parents, or sometimes grandparents and/or aunts and uncles. Disney is a bit pricier than other contemporary cruise lines but the Disney magic is worth it. Check out the dreamy Remy restaurant serving French fare aboard Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
- Carnival Cruise Line. While Carnival is often about singles sailings, you'll find plenty of young couples on board looking for some fun in the sun.
- Norwegian Cruise Line. You'll find, cool, hip, innovative escapes, especially aboard ships like the new Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Epic.
- MSC Cruises. I'd put MSC Divina in the same class. Fun, modern, eye-catching and filled with nooks and crannies where romantic couples can escape to.
I know that when I sail I love to learn a thing or two.
- Crystal Cruises is hands down the leader of the pack in the enrichment category. It also offers some of the most amazing free computer course programs and onboard photography classes.
- Depending on your sailing, you can also catch some intriguing cooking classes on Holland America Line, stargazing, art events and [email protected] on Princess Cruises and other cruise lines.
Suites & more
There are lots of ways to endear yourself to your loved one, on Valentine's Day or any day. Splurge on a suite or penthouse — many suites offer free room service. Some luxury lines offer butler service. And, hey, even a bottle of champagne and bouquet of flowers will impress.
- We love Paul Gauguin Cruises and its voyages to the South Seas, Caribbean and Mediterranean. Sign me up for a getaway with a bottle of cool champagne and a warm climate!
- Most of the Silversea fleet features plenty of staterooms with private verandas. The same for Seabourn. Regent Seven Seas also has quite a few ships fitted with verandas. Crystal Serenity and Symphony also have lots of balconies plus opulent Crystal Cruises penthouse deck accommodations. Each of those lines will serve full means in the privacy of your stateroom and even on the veranda. What’s more romantic than that?
- Celebrity has some outstanding staterooms and suites.
- Princess Cruises' top suites — the ones in the back of the ship and with verandas — really do rock!
Best & biggest pools
- Crystal, Silversea and Oceania win fins down.
- Princess has good-size pools, too.
- Celebrity’s pool are large and inviting.
For pamper seekers
Want to impress your honey for months to come? Use Cruiseable's Bliss Filters (at the top right of every page on our site) to suss out the cruise ships with the best spas and fitness centers. Here are some good choices:
- Crystal Cruises, especially since they’ve upgraded the equipment on the Symphony. The spa treatments offered are a cut above other ships because Crystal insists that it be so (seagoing spas are all operated by the omnipotent Steiner). Carnival has big fitness centers and spas, and Silversea and Seabourn do great jobs in their little seagoing sanctuaries, especially in the pampering department.
- Seabourn is top-notch for onboard treatments.
- Princess spas are also tops and the fleet also has some of the largest, best equipped fitness centers.
Those are a few of my ideas. How about you? Any suggestions on what will impress your partner?