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View Full Version : Considering a Honeymoon Cruise, need suggestions


jdcfsu
2010-09-07, 09:27
My fiancé and I are contemplating a cruise for our honeymoon but have no idea what lines to look at. We were looking at some stuff on Orbitz yesterday just to get an idea of whats out there, and then were comparing that with CruiseCritic.com and saw that the lines we were looking at seemed more catered to older, more ritzy people. So, my question is, what lines have you guys been on and what would you recommend?

We're looking for something fun with great food and boat amenities. It also needs to be a line with pretty large boats so as to help prevent the sea-sickness factor.

Thanks!

Robo
2010-09-07, 11:12
This isn't a very helpful post, but congratulations! :) But, uh, based on your posts, I'm pretty sure you mean fiancée.

FFL
2010-09-07, 12:12
I've been on exactly ONE cruise in my life, but I liked it.... on NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line).

Their concept of "Freestyle Cruising" turned out to be just my style... eat and party whenever you want, wherever you want, by yourself or with whoever you want!

http://www.ncl.eu/freestyle/NCL_freestyle_cruising.php

Bryson
2010-09-07, 12:43
I worked for Princess Cruises for about 18 months back in 2005/6. I can confirm that the majority of cruises are aimed at an older customer. Basically, there are 2 major players in the Cruise industry. Carnival Corporation own Carnival, Princess, Cunard, P&O, Holland America and Costa, as well as some smaller ones. Royal Caribbean own Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, plus a few smaller ones. Each line is tailored to a certain type of customer.

For you guys, then Royal Caribbean or NCL is probably the best fit. Cunard is very pricey, Princess and Holland America are firmly aimed at the older customers, and Carnival is probably too overrun with kids to be that enjoyable. Royal Caribbean probably offers more activities, but will also have more kids around.

Oh, and you'll still get sea-sick the first couple of days, even if the ship is enormous. To make it a bit better, aim for a cabin that's low down (also - cheaper!) and near the middle.

pscates2.0
2010-09-07, 13:00
I'd like something like what FFL talks about. I don't want a structured, "everyone meet on deck two for samba lessons" type of thing. I'd like total control over my activities, meals, when I play, sleep, lounge, etc.

And I want to share a cabin with Samantha Brown. :devil:

jdcfsu
2010-09-07, 13:09
Thanks for the suggestions so far. The tiny rooms seem almost unbearable. 142 sq feet with two beds that convert into a queen size. Is that even comfortable? The larger, more higher up rooms sound somewhat comfortable but are extremely expensive and, as Bryson said, will be more prone to sea-sickness.

The NCL line does sounds like fun with the lack of rules, etc. I've actually been on the Disney Line a number of years ago and it was fun, but I wouldn't consider it without kids. I'm looking at NCL and Royal Caribbean more closely now. The good news is that Orlando is within four hours of four major cruise ports, so our options are pretty high.

Please keep the suggestions and input coming!

This isn't a very helpful post, but congratulations! :) But, uh, based on your posts, I'm pretty sure you mean fiancée.

Haha, silly TextExpander auto-correcting to the wrong word. :)

Bryson
2010-09-07, 13:17
The cabin sizes - well, it depends on what kind of person you are. I lived full-time in one for 18 months! In fact, most of the crew share one of those (or smaller!) with up to 3 other people. (I was lucky, single room, passenger cabin style, with a big window. The only downside: the mooring winches were bolted to the other side of the wall...)

As long as you get a window you'll be fine. The public areas are so nice, you'll spend most of your time in them, not in your cabin.

jdcfsu
2010-09-07, 13:55
When it says two lower beds and the max occupancy is 4ppl, does that mean double size beds?

EDIT: Looking at the sample room pictures on the NCL site, two lower beds are twins. That wouldn't work very well.

I can't imagine living in a 140 sq foot room with three other people for 18 months! Yikes!

Is this something we'd be best to use a travel agent/call the company to book just to make sure we get what we need?

FFL
2010-09-07, 14:16
NCL puts a "bridge" between the two twins (which can be removed on request). It makes a nice-sized queen bed. I'd guess this is how other lines do it as well.

And like Bryson says - on a large boat with lots of activities, the size of the quarters really doesn't matter that much. The larger cabins are a waste of money IMHO.

pscates2.0
2010-09-07, 14:36
Yeah, it's just a place to crash and shower. I would imagine the bulk of your time would be out on the boat, doing things (or just lying around on the deck, enjoying the sun and scenery). If I ever went on a cruise, I'd want the smallest box of a room they had, if it saved me some $$$. Figuring I'd only be in it six out of 24 hours?

jdcfsu
2010-09-07, 16:19
So Bryson, you recommend a lower deck for the least noticeable swaying action? Does aft or stern mater much?

turtle
2010-09-07, 16:45
As close to the middle axis is the whole idea. The closer you are to center of the ship the less movement you feel. Think about your arm bending at your elbow. The movement at your hand seems much more exaggerated as opposed to the movement 1" up from your joint.

It's the same on a ship. The angle of movement is the same but the feeling is much less.

If you start to get sick go topside and find the horizon. It allows you to level off easier and makes the motion of the ship seem less intense because you are able to get a good balance again. Look as far out on the horizon as you can. It doesn't move. If you want to make some one sick do what we did in the Navy, tell them to watch the coffee in the coffee pot. :D I'd recommend you avoid this if you are prone to motion sickness though.

jdcfsu
2010-09-07, 21:15
Well that makes a lot of sense. Thanks Turtle.

Based on prices and reviews I've been reading, it looks like NCL's western Caribbean 7-day is what I'm interested in. Only problem is it departs the day after the wedding 4.5 hours away. Doable? Or would that make things far too rushed?

Everyone has told us, for sanity sake, not to plan the honeymoon the day of the wedding, but is that too soon as well?

turtle
2010-09-07, 21:55
Sounds perfect to me! After the reception hop in a car and drive the to port city for a hotel room. Get up and get on board. Car time with your new bride isn't a bad idea. You could always stop somewhere other than the port city and relax for the night.

Personally I'd think that is a good schedule even though a little tight.

Bryson
2010-09-07, 22:48
Like Turtle said, as central as possible, although if it comes down to a choice between aft and stern, choose aft. The front does the most violent jumps as it's the first thing to hit the oncoming waves.

I don't know if I'd go on honeymoon the day after the wedding myself, but that's because we're organising a lot of it ourselves, so there's a lot of "mopping up" to do. (I'm getting married in 3 weeks!). YMMV.

You're out of season for it now, but I always enjoyed Alaska more than the Caribbean when I was on the ships.

Bryson
2010-09-07, 22:51
One more thing: it's a Ship, not a boat. It has some boats on it, but it is not a boat...

jdcfsu
2010-09-08, 07:22
3 weeks out! Wow Bryson, hope you've got all your ducks in a row!

We're also doing the majority of our planning, etc. There is an identical one that leaves out a week later which might be a good option. I dunno.

And yeah, I hear really good things about Alaskan tours but we're getting married the week before Christmas, and that would not be a good time to be up there. But it is something I'd eventually want to do.

Ship. Got it. :)

kretara
2010-09-08, 14:59
The wife and I went on a Mediterranean cruise (Istanbul to Rome) with NCL for our honeymoon. We picked a room in the middle of the ship/boat thingie so we would not pitch around too much; it helped when we hit 12 foot seas.

We had a great time, but I thought the food was way too fancy. Much too "haute culture" for my plain old American tastes. This was way back in 1998 though, so maybe things have changed.

The in-laws love Princess, therefore you should avoid Princess like the plague unless you want to get stuck with lots of old farts like my in-laws.

ironlung
2010-09-08, 16:06
Hey jdcsfu try jetsetter. They have some amazing vacation deals (deals that cost significantly more otherwise) and I think I saw a cruise on there recently too. However, it is still too rich for me, even after the heavy discount.

jdcfsu
2010-09-08, 16:42
The in-laws love Princess, therefore you should avoid Princess like the plague unless you want to get stuck with lots of old farts like my in-laws.

Haha. Noted.

Hey jdcsfu try jetsetter. They have some amazing vacation deals (deals that cost significantly more otherwise) and I think I saw a cruise on there recently too. However, it is still too rich for me, even after the heavy discount.

Hadn't heard of Jetsetter. Just requested membership. We'll see what happens. Thanks for the heads up.

Bryson
2010-09-08, 17:19
3 weeks out! Wow Bryson, hope you've got all your ducks in a row!


Well, one of the things I have to do at work is organise other people's weddings, and I've been organising "events" my entire working life. No biggie. In fact, everything is complete right now. I just need to buy shoes.

The best part is, organising my own wedding looks identical to doing my regular office job....

jdcfsu
2010-10-08, 14:06
Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions. We just booked a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on NCL. Speaking with the rep we got a room dead center on the boat near the bottom with a window. So that's exciting.

Thanks again for all the tips.

Bryson
2010-10-08, 14:45
Nice!

Which ports do you go to?

(I also booked my honeymoon this week - separated by a few months from the actual wedding - to Maui.)

jdcfsu
2010-10-08, 14:53
Maui? Wow, that's pretty cool.

We're starting in Cozumel, then going to Honduras, Belize and finishing in Key West. We're excited about the Mayan ruin trip to Tulum while in Cozumel!

kieran
2010-10-08, 15:00
Maui? Wow, that's pretty cool.

We're starting in Cozumel, then going to Honduras, Belize and finishing in Key West. We're excited about the Mayan ruin trip to Tulum while in Cozumel!

Congrats man.

I was just in Tulum back in May. It was amazing. I would have loved to stay all day, but it was about 105 degrees that day. Still well worth the trip. There's a hell of a beach right next to the ruins.

Maciej
2010-10-08, 15:17
I love Key West - the whole area is beautiful.

FFL
2010-10-08, 18:33
Maui? Wow, that's pretty cool.

We're starting in Cozumel, then going to Honduras, Belize and finishing in Key West. We're excited about the Mayan ruin trip to Tulum while in Cozumel!

That's pretty similar to the route I took on NCL.

Belize was my favorite port.

jdcfsu
2010-10-08, 21:48
That's pretty similar to the route I took on NCL.

Belize was my favorite port.

What about Belize in particular? Was it an excursion or something else you did?

FFL
2010-10-09, 12:29
What about Belize in particular? Was it an excursion or something else you did?

It was an all-day "reality tour" of Belize City.

Not through the cruise line, but in a marked and licensed private taxi - 4 of us made a deal with a driver for an all-day tour. We found the taxi among a group of them just outside the very touristy cruise ship village (which was OK for cheesy souvenir shopping but not much else).

We went to a resort at one of the lagoons just outside of town, to the central market area, to the colonial architecture sites, etc. One of the highlights was buying a cheap bottle of good rum in a local sundries store and using it to mix a fantastic beverage at a booth in the open-air market where they used a machete to lop off the top of a fresh coconut and serve the coconut water with a straw.
:D

jdcfsu
2011-01-01, 21:33
Today we returned from our 7-day Caribbean adventure. The cruise was amazing. We boarded on Christmas Day and were treated to a special Christmas Dinner and "Holiday Variety Show" featuring all of the ships on-baord entertainers. The entire ship was decorated for Christmas and took us right up through New Year. They really did it up for New Year's Eve too.

The Mayan ruins at Tulum was well worth skipping the touristy Cozumel for. Guatemala was cool and Belize City was a very interesting place. It felt more like Jamaica than any place in Central America I'd been too. And then a final stop in Key West on New Year's Eve was basically a bonus.

It was a great experience. Thanks to everyone who suggested it. I'd highly recommend Norwegian to anyone considering. The staff was amazing and really made the entire thing fun. It was a great trip.

Capella
2011-01-01, 22:19
Glad to hear it was so awesome!