A cruise vacation can be many things – exciting, adventurous, exotic, indulgent – and yes, even romantic. It may be hard, however, to envision romance amidst mini golf courses, trivia contests, endless buffets, bawdy revue shows, comedian acts, slot tournaments, shopping sales and all the other hoopla that fills an onboard itinerary. With a little care and thoughtfulness, however, any cruise can become a romantic voyage you’ll never forget.
Time Your Trip
When you take your cruise can make a great difference for how romantic it can be. Popular spring break periods, major holidays and summer vacations are more crowded cruise times, with younger passengers and wilder activities that can take away from romantic moments. If possible, opt for less busy travel periods when the ship may not be as crowded, giving you more opportunities for romance.
Optimize the Itinerary
While any cruise can have its romantic moments, you’ll have many more of them if you choose an itinerary that lends itself toward romance. The most popular, most frequently visited ports of call, such as Nassau, Cozumel and Jamaica, tend to be the least romantic because they’re crammed with multiple ships and thousands of visitors. More luxurious, less visited destinations such as Hawaii, the Greek Isles and Bermuda, however, are just as attractive and entertaining, but also far less crowded.
Consider a Cabin Upgrade
When choosing your cabin, a more luxurious cabin will make for a more romantic getaway. Instead of an interior cabin or basic oceanview, splurge for a private balcony or even a suite. Not only will the cabin be larger with generally have better furniture and features, but it may also have other perks that can add to the romance. Some cruise lines offer private butler and concierge service with suites, for example, or you may enjoy the complimentary robes to relax in with your balcony cabin.
Enlist Your Steward’s Help
Your stateroom steward can be your greatest ally for making a cruise more romantic. Let them know right away that you want to make this vacation special, and let them in on any secret plans you may have for a special moment or celebration. They’ll be happy to help, often adorning your cabin with a romantic towel swan, heart or even rose petals instead of a quirky towel monkey or dangling bat. Stewards can also help arrange for a bottle of wine or champagne on ice or other special touches in your cabin.
Try a Table for Two
Dining face to face, just the two of you, can make an ordinary evening meal into an extraordinary romantic repast. While you can request a private table in the main dining room, such requests are not generally guaranteed and the dining room can still be crowded – your private table may be just a few inches from another couple. Instead, consider making reservations at a specialty restaurant, where the food is even more amazing, the ambiance is more romantic and you will truly feel one on one with your partner.
Don’t Forget the Flowers
Flowers are always romantic. You won’t usually be able to bring flowers on board the ship, but most larger cruise ships have flower shops that can supply long-stemmed roses and romantic bouquets. If you have a special flower request for a favorite bloom, contact the cruise line in advance and it may be able to be arranged as well. Just bear in mind that you also cannot bring either live or cut flowers off a cruise ship, so be sure to enjoy them early in the cruise.
Seek Out Seclusion
For the best romantic getaway, you’ll want to spend plenty of time alone with your partner. While you can stay in your cabin for guaranteed privacy, there are other places you can be alone on the ship and even on shore. Look for adults-only retreat areas, which often have large hammocks, oversized lounge chairs or other relaxing options you can both enjoy. You might also consider arranging for breakfast in bed or dinner on your stateroom’s balcony for a more intimate experience. On some shore tours, you can also book private cabanas or other secluded options.
Light Up Your Love
Shine the light on your love by taking advantage of wonderful, romantic opportunities to see different lights on a cruise. It is worth waking up early to see an ocean sunrise, or perhaps you prefer to take in the evening’s sunset as you stroll around the deck. If you and your partner are night owls, try walking around the deck late in the evening for some romantic stargazing.
Make Memories Together
You don’t have to have a sappy, cliché schedule filled only with alone time to have a truly romantic cruise vacation. Make memories together – try a new shore tour, or do something you’ve always wanted together and you’ll remember the smiles and excitement of the experience as part of your romance. A couple’s massage, learning to snorkel, taking a cooking class or participating in a scavenger hunt can all be part of your romantic getaway.
Pamper Your Partner
Your cruise will be the most romantic of all if you put your partner first. Be kind and considerate during the vacation, taking extra steps to be sure they are comfortable and feel loved. Avoid any tension, diagreements or fighting, offer sincere compliments and just be happy to be spending an amazing time together. That will be the greatest romance you can imagine and a cruise you’ll always remember.