Why You Should Go on a Cruise for Your Honeymoon
Wedding planning requires a million careful decisions and a fair amount of stress, which is why most couples want their honeymoon to be hassle-free, relaxing, and, most importantly, positively riddled with romance. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to the perfect honeymoon, but for some couples, a romantic honeymoon spent at sea just might win out over any traditional land-based counterpart. We chatted with four newlywed couples for their take on the question: Should you go on a cruise for your honeymoon?
The Knieriems—Abby, 26, a nursing student, and Dave, 36, a physician, from Ohio—opted to combine both their early 2016 nuptials and honeymoon aboard a Paul Gauguin Cruises voyage to French Polynesian islands (including Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea). Both first-time cruisers, the couple saw the appeal and practicality of a cruise for covering lots of ground in an island-filled region, which would ultimately save them money and spare them the complicated logistics of working out any similar arrangements via a land-based trip. “We wanted to experience several islands and take in the unique qualities of several locations in French Polynesia,” explained Abby.
The Counts—Zach, 35, an airline pilot, and Kim, 36, an insurance underwriter, from South Carolina—likewise chose Paul Gauguin for their 2016 honeymoon following similar logic. They also appreciated the all-inclusive and one-stop shopping aspect of cruising, with Paul Gauguin bundling in all of the usual staples of sailing (lodging, food, entertainment, and transportation), while throwing in extras like beverages and even airfare between Los Angeles and Tahiti. “This convenience reduced the stress of travel and really made the trip much easier,” Zach remarked, adding that the all-inclusive pricing model “allows a couple to forget the worries of paying for each and every event and spend the time just enjoying the experience.”
Both couples felt that their small-ship sailing with South Pacific specialists Paul Gaugin—often cited as one of the world’s best cruise lines for romance—far exceeded expectations. “From the moment we stepped on the ship, the cruise line did everything to make us feel special,” Dave said, citing pampering touches like a champagne and chocolate welcome amenity in their cabin, a Polynesian blessing ceremony, and warm congratulatory wishes from crew, captain, and other passengers throughout the sailing. Zach agreed: “We would go back on a cruise aboard the Paul Gauguin in a heartbeat.”
Small-ship line Windstar Cruises also runs one of its masted sailing yachts through French Polynesia for that jaw-dropping billowing-white-sails-in-the-sunset effect (the line offers other masted-ship itineraries in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Central America, and Northern Europe, too). Windstar was the honeymoon choice for the Heisers—Brandon, 29, a marketing entrepreneur, and Brittney, 27, an interior designer, from Washington—who sailed to seven different French Polynesian islands with Windstar in 10 days. Brandon reminisced, “We would awake refreshed after a restful night to see the next island coming into view on the horizon.”
Brittney especially valued the convenience of the “floating hotel” feel of the cruise, recounting how they got to “see so many destinations, all without ever packing again or moving rooms.” While the Heisers had previously sailed on larger passenger ships from Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises, this was their first time aboard a premium small-ship line, which meant just hundreds instead of thousands of passengers, with trade-offs like fewer amenities in favor of more elbow room, and more personalized attention from the crew. As for the legendarily romantic French Polynesia as a honeymoon backdrop? Dave said, “We could not have had a more picturesque setting to celebrate our special occasion.” Brittney deemed it the honeymoon of her dreams. “Tahiti is so romantic, and sailing aboard Wind Spirit made it that much more magical with the sails and breathtaking sail-away ceremonies,” she said.
Indeed, island and beach destinations top the list of the most popular honeymoon cruising destinations, with the Greek Islands, Hawaii, and the Caribbean marking other popular choices. Though, of course, depending on preferences, some honeymooners may find a European river cruise, sailing along the coast of Alaska, or a voyage through Asia to be an even better fit.
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