Whether you consider February 14 a Hallmark holiday (me) or a testament to the power of love (aloof group of sentamentalists), Valentine's Day shows no sign of disappearing any time soon. Thanks to a mysterious Christian martyr named Valentinus, nearly 2,000 years of myth making and a powerful marketing lobby, we now celebrate our romantic and platonic relationships through the exchange of candy and love notes.
And guess what? Your cruise line has something special in store for you, too! From roses and love songs to a special aprhodisiac menu, lines across the board are celebrating (except Windjammer, which hasn't scheduled anything special. A cruise line after my own cynical heart!).
Here's what your favorite cruise line is doing:
On this year's day of love, the Fun Ship line will be offering a Champagne special; for $9.50 (a real steal), you get a bottle of Champagne, a red rose and six chocolate covered strawberries. The line will also decorate its ships wtih heart-shaped ice carvings; room stewards will be making special heart-shaped towel "animals" for your enjoyment. As a romantic gesture, each female guest will be presented with a flower upon arrival in the dining room. And during dinner, the wait staff will perform a special rendition of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart."
CostaMediterranea, as one example, will feature Valentine's games including "Most Romantic Couple" and "Mr. Cupid." In addition, special love songs will be played throughout the ship. The Grand Bar Casanova (where most activities will take place) will be decorated in Valentine's Day decor as well. And like fellow Carnival Corp. cruise lines, all women will receive a long-stemmed red rose at dinner. Lucky ladies!
On Celebrity Mercury, Zenith and Millennium, for example, Valentine spa specials will be offered to couples, daytime love-song-themed music trivia and special bingo (everyone who wears red will receive a free jackpot card). Raffles for Valentine-themed gifts will be offered onboard, and there will be a Valentine’s Day party, featuring a live band and other activities. Celebrity will also hand out roses to female guests at dinner!
Disney Cruise Line
Disney will feature a variety of youth and adult activities to celebrate romance aboard Disney Magic and Wonder. The kids will be able to make Valentine's Day cards for mom, grandmom or their -- ewww -- girlfriends or boyfriends. For mom and dad, both ships will offer spa specials on intimate couples' massages. The restaurants will provide love-themed desserts during dinner. And to top things off, there will be family and adults-only Valentine's parties.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Bouquets of red roses will decorate spots on each ship during embarkation day, including Le Bistro; the night club; martini, Champagne and wine bars; and the pool bar. On Valentine's Day, Le Bistro will feature a special romantic menu for the entire evening priced at $45 per person, which includes three glasses of featured wine. Instead of a flower in the dining room, on February 14, each female guest will receive a flower on her pillow during evening turndown. NCL's night clubs and bars will offer specialty drinks from opening until last call, including such hot numbers as "Elixir of Love" (Amaretto, Dark Creme de Cacao, Bacardi White, double cream), "Passionate Martini" (martini rimmed with red sugar and garnished with raspberries) and "Arriba! (Light My Fire)" (frozen margarita rimmed with salt dipped in mild chipotle hot sauce garnished with lime wheel and raw jalapeno pepper).
Princess will add festive decor and offer vow renewals. Other heart-themed shipboard festivities include a Valentine's dinner capped off by one of the line's most popular desserts, "The Princess Love Boat Dream"; a Valentine's rendition of the "Newlywed and Not-So-Newlywed Game"; and a Valentine's Singles Party so that solos don't feel left out. Bars will be serving a Cupid's Champagne Cocktail -- a concoction of coconut rum, passion fruit, orange juice and sparkling wine. And, for those who want to start their commitment to a life together on this memorable day, Princess' special "Engagement Under the Stars" packages enable suitors to create a dramatic video proposal shown on the "Movies Under the Stars" screen on Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Grand Princess or Sea Princess. For the ultimate Valentine's Day, couples can tie the knot at sea, with the ship's captain officiating!
Royal Caribbean has fleetwide fun in store, including a battle of the sexes game show, a sweethearts' dance with the showband, a love-song-themed version of "Name That Tune," and couples' spa packages. In fitting tribute, the drink of the day will be the "Love Connection."
Windstar will hand out red roses to the ladies, offer cocktails of the day, and provide either a chocolate buffet in the evening or a chocolate plate on turndown.
Also in the spirit of love, Windstar Cruises has a special "Cuisine de l'Amour" menu (no charge) that offers a choice of appetizer, a set soup, a choice of salad and two entree options, finished with a set dessert. Each item on the menu has been carefully selected for its aphrodisiac qualities, and renamed in the spirt of the day. For example: "Tango of Green Asparagus Spears Veloute Flirting with Crispy Prosciutto Confettis" and "Fantasy of Fresh Strawberries Caressed by Decadent Chocolate Ganache with Kisses of Chantilly Cream Aroused with Pernod."
--by Dan Askin, Editorial Assistant
Photo above appears courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line; homepage photo appears courtesy of Disney.