According to a recent survey by P&O Cruises, 74% of Australian cruisers believe that taking a cruise holiday will put the romance back into a tired relationship and love life. The endless ocean, intimate fine dining and romantic onboard activities like Movies under the Stars and private massage treatments all fan the flames for a passionate journey.
If you want a romantic cruise in the traditional sense of the word, couples often opt for love-inspired destinations in the South Pacific or the Mediterranean. And if the wooing has been successful, you can even get married at sea with many ships offering wedding planners onboard to help you organise the big day. There are so many different cruises to choose from, each offering different benefits whether it’s a small boat for a more personal adventure or a large cruise ship with all the luxurious accommodations you could possibly imagine.
Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados and the Cayman Islands are just some of the countries in the Caribbean that anchor this region of thousands of islands and cays. Expect to find white-sand beaches, turquoise water and a good dose of culture and colonial heritage. Dance into the night to the beat of Zumba, or go swimming with dolphins. Typically, cruise lines will depart from Florida and stop at several islands. Some ships will visit their own “private” islands leased by the cruise line.
Swim and snorkel in picture-perfect blue lagoons and sunbathe on peaceful sun-drenched beaches, none better than the white-sand La Plage de Maui. Alternatively, venture into the lush interior to see and swim under waterfalls. Near Papeete, go to the Paul Gauguin Museum, dedicated to the painter’s life in Tahiti. Also visit the islands of Bora Bora and Moorea.
If you get married Tahitian style, the groom will arrive by canoe and the bride will be carried to the ceremony on a rattan throne. A Tahitian priest will perform the ceremony and give the couple a Tahitian name. Ceremonies can be performed on the beach, or some resorts have over-water chapels. Couples will be adorned in painted wraps, flower crowns and leis. It’s also possible to renew your vows in this way.
The Greek islands beckon Mediterranean-bound romantics with colourful villages, the natural beauty of the beaches, and seaside bars and restaurants. Make sure Santorini is on the itinerary. It has often been described as the most romantic of the islands as well as the “wedding” island. Most will recognise it for its whitewashed houses, with splashes of blue, clinging to the cliffs and steep hills. Also include Corfu and Rhodes in your plans.
Drinks on your private balcony followed by an intimate candlelit dinner in a specialty restaurant.
Who will take you there
Cunard, Silversea, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Windstar, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Princess and Seadream all appeal to romantics.
With romance on the agenda, one of the first things to sort out is the style of cabin you require, and what could be better than a balcony cabin so you can sit in your own private area and sip champagne while the world floats by? Onboard services include spa treatments, wine tastings and culinary demonstrations, moonlit strolls along the decks as well as romantic dinners at world class restaurants.
For a romantic and relaxed cruise, choose a ship that doesn’t cater for children but does have a day spa, piano bar and specialty restaurants. Gavin MacLeod, who played Captain Stubing on the TV series Love Boat, says you should have a “good dance move” ready to shimmy your way into someone’s heart!