The right cruise can be the greatest vacation for a couple to go on together- not just any cruise will do. Some cruise lines are too casual or crowded to be considered a good fit for a romantic getaway, while others cater to children.
A couples’ cruise affords couples a chance to bond while also taking advantage of activities such as:
- Spa treatments
- Shore excursions
- Fine dining
The best couples’ cruises cater to romance and adult entertainment above all.
The wrong cruise could end up either bringing a couple closer together or causing them to start bickering. Read on to learn more about how to get the most out of a couples’ cruise vacation.
Are Cruises Good for Couples?
There are tons of reasons why cruises can be a great vacation match for couples. Here are just a few of them (Source: Trip Advisor):
- Plenty of leisure time for bonding: One of the best things about going on a cruise vacation is that cruising allows guests to forego mundane household tasks like cooking, cleaning, and errands. Instead, cruises provide all the amenities necessary to have a good time. This makes them one of the more relaxing types of vacations couples can take.
- Romantic on-board entertainment: There are tons of entertaining things to do on a cruise line for couples, from cocktails and dancing to candlelit dinners. Because of the semi-formal atmosphere of the best couples’ cruises, the entire vacation feels that much more special for a getaway with your spouse or significant other.
- Romantic shore excursions: Want to spend some time as a couple hiking through the jungle to look for ancient ruins, or hang out together on a secluded beach? Cruise lines offer a variety of different shore excursions to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for peak experiences and plenty of photo ops.
- In-room privacy: With a balcony to get some fresh air and twenty-four-hour room service to get some snacks anytime, cruises are great for couples who don’t have plans to venture much further than the bedroom while at sea.
- Simplicity for ease and comfort: Cruise lines take a lot of the hassle out of going on a vacation such as finding restaurants, looking up activities, and packing or unpacking your luggage. In comparison, cruises leave guests free to mingle and participate in only as many activities as they want to. On a cruise, food, drinks, and entertainment are readily available at any time.
Cruises are a convenient vacation for anyone and many are surprisingly affordable. They’re an especially good choice for couples as a vacation choice. This is because they remove most of the pressure involved with traveling together while offering plenty of romantic activities to do.
What to Look for in a Couples Cruise
When it comes to choosing a couples’ cruise, it’s important to know what you’re looking to get out of your vacation. The scope of your budget will also help determine which cruise would be the best option for you and your significant other. Here are a few things you should consider when picking out a cruise for couples:
It’s better to choose a cruise slightly under your budget. This ensures that you’ll have plenty of money for drinks, souvenirs, and shore shopping. This is much better than booking the most expensive cruise you can afford and then being broke the rest of the time you’re on board. Be sure to choose a cruise within your budget as a couple and determine who’s paying what before you make reservations.
Some cruise destinations are more romantic than others, so consider where you’re wanting to go when you check out couples’ cruises. Since it is a couples’ cruise, it’s important to make sure that both parties are on board with the type of cruise they want whether it’s a European river tour or a Caribbean getaway.
If you’re wanting to get some private time during your meals while you’re on a romantic cruise, you’ll need to be sure to choose a cruise that takes dinner reservations and spaces out their tables for an intimate setting. Looking over photographs of different cruise restaurants can give you an idea of their table arrangements and what kind of seating they have.
Shore excursions are a great way for couples to break the monotony of being out at sea. Many cruise lines offer romantic shore excursions such as isolated beach days or guided local tours. Activities include everything from cooking classes to zip-lining for more adventurous couples. Shore excursions often need to be booked or reserved ahead.
Cruise lines offer a wide variety of different on-board activities depending on which line you choose. These diversions can range from rock-climbing walls and demonstrations to dance classes and audience participation games. You’ll also want to see what the decks of different ships look like and figure out how much time you intend to spend lounging around on the promenade.
Having a conversation ahead of booking about what you both want out of a cruise vacation and making some notes amongst yourselves can help narrow your choices down to a cruise that will please both parties once it’s time to choose your trip.
Preparing for a Couples Cruise
Half of the battle of having a good vacation on a cruise is making sure that you’re well-prepared ahead of time. Here are some things you can do to get ready for a couples’ cruise (Source: Cruiseable):
- Do some comparison shopping: Once you’ve figured out what kind of activities you’re looking for out of a cruise line and the atmosphere you’re going for, you can start doing some comparison shopping between different cruise trips. Keep in mind that the earlier you book your cruise, the better deal you can get on it. Be sure to check out for all-inclusive packages too.
- Figure out what destination you want to visit: Knowing where you want to go on a cruise can help you narrow down your search for a cruise line. Some cruise lines such as Viking or Royal Caribbean focus on certain areas of the world. Others have ships that travel the globe. Knowing how long you want to travel is also a good way to filter your cruise search.
- Choosing activities: Figuring out what activities you and your spouse are looking to do on vacation can help you choose what cruise to go with. It can also give you a head-start in getting some excursions planned. Be sure to choose a mix of relaxing activities like beach time with more adventurous jaunts to get the best experience.
- Pack light: It’s important no matter which cruise trip you end up reserving that you keep your packing list light. Most cruise suites are half the size (or smaller) than your average hotel room, so you’ll be in cramped quarters. Be prepared to re-wear some clothes if they haven’t gotten that dirty. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of free laundry services on board if available.
If you’re prepared for a couples’ cruise ahead of time, you’ll save yourself some hassle. If you plan carefully and give yourself plenty of leeway for early bookings, you’ll likely save yourself some money on your trip too.
Best Cruise Lines for Couples
When it comes to cruise lines, some companies are better for couples’ cruises than others. Unless you and your significant other are super fans of Disney, you’re not likely going to want to take your romantic cruise vacation on a Disney cruise. Likewise, Carnival and some of the “party boats” may not be sophisticated enough to make a romantic cruise really special.
The best cruise lines for couples are the middle to high-class luxury cruise lines that cater to adults. These are boats that emphasize nightclubs, casinos, and spas over water parks and obstacle courses. You’ll want to look for a cruise line that goes for a slightly fancy aesthetic if you want an atmosphere of romance.
Here are a few of the best cruise lines that cater to couples:
- Viking Cruises: Viking is a great cruise line for couples since these cruise ships visit some seriously romantic destinations and they don’t allow passengers under the age of 18. That means you won’t have to worry about a ship overrun with screaming kids while you’re trying to have a moment. Viking ships are knowing for their cozy Nordic décor and upscale design. Viking cruise prices range from $1,999 to $9,198. (Source: Retirement Living)
- Crystal Cruises: Crystal Cruises may be one of the smallest cruise lines in the world with only three ships, but it is top of the line when it comes to luxury cruise trips. If you’re looking for a spare-no-expense romantic vacation, a Crystal Cruise is the trip you’re looking for. Crystal Cruises are all-inclusive. Cruise prices range from $1,799 to $3,299.
- Princess Cruises: If you are wanting to go on a romantic Alaskan couples’ cruise with beautiful glacial vistas and long leisurely days at sea, Princess cruise ships are the way to go. These mid-size ships don’t have the flair or sprawl of larger, more popular cruise lines like Carnival or Royal Caribbean. However, they offer a quieter experience for couples who want to kick back and relax. Cruise prices for Princess range from $269 to $2,575.
- Cunard: For couples who want the full romantic Titanic experience, this traditional cruise line going back to the 1800s is the way to go. The formal dancing and black-tie evening dress codes help maintain a sophisticated atmosphere. A Cunard transatlantic cruise would be perfect for couples who love to dress up or are celebrating their honeymoon in style. Cruise prices for Cunard voyages range from $299 to $16,799.
Many cruises are ideal for couples depending on what kind of activities they want access to and how tolerant they are of younger (or rowdier) passengers. But the cruises above offer some of the most sophisticated and romantic cruise trips available on the market.
Romantic Cruise Destinations for Couples
A large part of what makes a cruise romantic for couples are the destinations that the cruise line visits. Couples can choose a trip with European flair, a frozen adventure in Alaska, or a traditional tropical paradise. Here are a few destinations that are good romantic choices for a couples’ cruise:
- Alaskan cruises: Many people may not think of Alaska when they think of cruise ships, but Alaska cruises offer some of the most beautiful views in the world. It also offers an opportunity to see wildlife that can’t be witnessed anywhere else on earth. Alaskan cruises are great for couples who plan on cuddling up to stay warm and don’t mind giving up the beach.
- Mediterranean cruises: For couples who enjoy the culture and landscapes of Europe, a Mediterranean cruise can give couples the chance to visit several key national landmarks throughout the Mediterranean. It can also give them access to some of the world’s most famous port cities. Mediterranean cruises are great for cruise guests who also like to visit cities.
- Caribbean cruises: Caribbean cruises offer one of the most traditional cruise experiences and many short and affordable cruise trips can be found in this region. Caribbean cruises are also a great choice for couples to stock up on duty-free liquor and other high-end souvenirs, and this region contains some of the most idyllic beaches in the world.
These are only a few of the great getaway locations that are available on a cruise. Cruises visit everywhere in the world from Rome to Antarctica. No matter what kind of romantic vacation you’re looking for, you’re sure to find a cruise voyage to match.
Activities for Couples Cruising
When you go on a couples’ cruise, there are plenty of activities you can take advantage of to make your cruise as fun and romantic as possible. Making sure to plan a variety of things to do can help prevent boredom while out at sea and can help you build awesome memories of your trip together.
Here are just a few of the things you can do when you go cruising as a couple (Source: A Life Well Cruised):
Tour the Promenade Deck
Walking around on the ship together taking in the sights can be fun and romantic all on its own. People-watching and possibly mingling with some of the other guests on the boat can help keep you from getting cabin fever.
Choose a Romantic Shore Excursion
Be sure to set up some romantic “dates” as shore excursions on your couples’ cruise. These can range from secluded beach days to pasta-making classes in Rome. Be sure to choose activities that appeal to both of you so that one person doesn’t end up bored. Compromise on activities is important for having a good time.
Watch the Sun Rise and Set on the Sea
While you won’t want to get up at the crack of dawn every day, making a point to get up to see the sunrise at least once or twice during your trip is well worth the early-morning yawns. Sunsets on the open ocean are epic too, so check to see when the sun will be rising and setting for the best photos and views.
Have an Intimate Meal
Sometimes one of the best things you can do as a couple is to stay in and order plenty of room service so that you can dedicate your time to more romantic activities.
Book a Spa Day Together
Many cruise lines have spas with couples’ spa treatments that include:
- Many types of massage
Dedicating one of your days at sea to treating yourself together can be a great low-key bonding experience for a couple on a cruise.
Have a Fancy Dinner at a Fine Dining Restaurant
Most cruise lines are known for their excellent food. Many have excellent high cuisine restaurants on board for the perfect candlelit dinner between you and your significant other. Keep in mind that many of these restaurants require reservations, so planning for formal nights is crucial.
Check out the Night Life
Cruise lines have tons of entertainment that are perfect for couples to take in during the evenings, from off-Broadway musicals to casinos and dance clubs. Going dancing or hitting the ship’s comedy club can be a great way to sit back and enjoy a few drinks with your significant other.
Get Some Formal Photos
While getting dolled up in full evening gowns and tuxedos might seem like a bother on vacation, you won’t regret the time you spent getting pretty when you have some gorgeous romantic photographs of you and the person you care about. Cruise line photographers are skilled at getting great shots in a short amount of time. That means you won’t be caught up too long sitting around waiting to take pictures.
When people complain about being bored on a cruise, it’s usually because they weren’t proactive in taking advantage of the many activities available both on the ship and at ports of call. Looking into what activities the ship has available before you hit the deck makes it much easier to keep yourself occupied.
Tips for Going on a Cruise as a Couple
Going on a cruise as a couple can be fun and romantic, but it can also be stressful or even cause conflict if it isn’t done right. To avoid spending half of your cruise despising your better half, here are some tips for cruising as a couple (Source: Peter Greenberg Worldwide):
- Be sure to schedule some time to do things on your own. Even though you’re going on vacation as a couple, the tight quarters of your room combined with spending your every waking moment together can get annoying. Instead, split up and meet back up later if there are activities that one person wants to do and the other doesn’t.
- Unpack your stuff together. Cruise storage can be cramped and confusing. Putting away your things at the same time makes it much easier to know where everything is without having to drag out half of your belongings trying to find something.
- Try booking a short cruise first. If you’re going on a cruise with your significant other for the first time, you’ll want to start with a short cruise and work your way up. This way if one or both of you end up not enjoying the vacation for whatever reason (like seasickness) you’ll be able to keep the trip brief.
- Figure out the layout of the ship early on. This will allow you to separate from your cruise partner without having to worry about getting lost from each other. It’s also a good idea to figure out the most convenient stairwells and other passages to get you back from the prominent decks to your stateroom.
- Try setting up a communication system. Whether it’s bringing along a set of walkie-talkies or using Post-It notes in your cabin, you’ll need some way to communicate with each other when you’re apart. This will help keep you from having to comb the ship for each other to reunite.
- Splurge on a balcony. Balcony rooms are more expensive than interior rooms. However, a balcony offers you and your significant other a place to catch the sea breeze without having to fight the crowds on deck. For couples who value privacy but still want to get some fresh air, a balcony is worth investing in.
Cruising as a couple can be a lot of fun but can also come with its own set of frustrations and challenges to overcome. Observing the tips above can help prevent minor hassles and inconveniences from souring your experience.
How to Save Money on a Cruise for Couples
If you’re going to go on a couples’ cruise, you’ll want to get the most bang for your buck. Luckily, there are several ways you can save money on a cruise. This will leave you more money for souvenirs and shore excursions. Here are a few ways you can make your couples’ cruise more affordable (Source: Smarter Travel):
- Be sure to book well in advance or right before. The earlier you book your cruise voyage, the cheaper you’ll be able to get tickets for it. If you’re willing to be flexible when it comes to destinations and room accommodations, you can also get good last-minute deals too.
- Look into all-inclusive cruises. All-inclusive cruises offer free food and drink, and often come with gratuity rolled into the package as well for convenience. This keeps guests from having to carry as much cash. Be sure to read the fine print of all-inclusive cruise packages carefully so you know for sure what is and isn’t included in the deal.
- Choose an economy cruise line. Cruise lines like Carnival don’t have as nice of accommodations as the luxury lines, but you’ll be able to afford a lot more time on a Carnival boat than a more expensive line. Choosing a cheaper cruise line can leave you more money for souvenirs and activities in ports of call.
- Check out cruise packages. If you aren’t as picky about your cruise destination as long as you’re on a good ship, see what kinds of deals and packages the cruise line you’re looking into has to offer. These packages often offer steep discounts for certain voyages and can help you snag a great deal on your trip.
- Go cruising during the school year. Cruising in the off-season guarantees lower prices than cruising during spring break and summer, when cruise lines raise prices to take advantage of family travel. This is an especially good tip if you’re planning on using a cruise line that allows passengers under the age of 18.
- Book during seasonal promotions. The best deals on cruise lines are often posted between January and March when cruise lines put their highest effort into marketing their upcoming voyages for the year. Take advantage of these seasonal promotions to snack extra discounts on cruise packages. You can even get added amenities such as ship credit.
Cruise vacations can be expensive depending on which cruise line you go with, so you’ll want to save wherever you can. Taking advantage of online discounts and other deals can help you get the best voyage for your money.
Also keep in mind that while some economy cruise fares may seem like a good deal, many of these cheaper tickets do not include drinks or food. This can significantly increase the amount of your bill at the end of the trip, so examine the stipulations of each cruise package with care.
Cruises Are Great Vacations for Couples
Cruises have a lot to offer couples for romance and adventure in a convenient and affordable package. A voyage is perfect for all stages of a couple’s life together from their honeymoon to the renewal of their wedding vows in retirement. If you choose a cruise line that caters to couples, you’ll be sure to have a wonderful time!