Is there anything more romantic than being aboard a cruise ship on the open sea? Embracing in the salt air a la Jack and Rose from "Titanic," supping on gourmet meals you don't have to cook (or clean up), or just hiding away in your cozy cabin watching romantic movies?
Because we are really sappy at heart, we decided to ask Cruise Critic members -- and staffers -- what they think are the most romantic things to do while cruising. And though we did get some dubious suggestions (ahem, balcony trysts), most of the ideas were lovely and G rated.
So, we've compiled our top 10 romantic ideas for your next, or first, cruise. Check out the sentimental suggestions in our slideshow.
Dine a Deux
Dinner for two at a swanky restaurant always makes for a perfect date night, but on a cruise ship, where you're usually dining with a few other couples, a reservation for two at a gourmet specialty restaurant can provide just the romantic refreshment you need. "Just don't forget to splurge on Champagne!" advises Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor.
Book a Couples' Massage
It might be cliche, says Carrie Gonzalez, Cruise Critic PR guru, but there's nothing like experiencing a relaxing, tension-eliminating rub down with the one you love the most right by your side. Bonus: knowing your partner feels just as good as you do at that very moment.
Do Absolutely Nothing!
Nothing beats a little quality quiet time when it comes to reconnecting. "Just hangin' out, with the notion of having absolutely no pressure, is fantastic...." -- Carolyn Spencer Brown, Cruise Critic Editor in Chief.
Catch a Movie
Cruise Critic member In2why recommends an old-fashioned night out -- grabbing a blanket for two and catching a romantic flick under the stars on the onboard big screen. Carnival, Princess, Costa and MSC Cruises are among the lines that feature poolside theaters.
Rock the Rasul Room
Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Cruise Critic contributor, suggests reserving private spa space. Some ships (like those in Royal Caribbean's and Princess' fleets) even feature Rasul (private steam and shower) rooms for two that you can book for just you and your honey.
Be Jack and Rose
"Just for fun, why not recreate Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet's famous flying scene from 'Titanic'? C'mon you know you want to!" (Just be careful.) -- Kelly Ranson, Cruise Critic contributor
Grab your sweetie, find a two-person lounge bed and snuggle up out in the sun. It's not just a great way to escape the crowds, it's a great excuse for some one-on-one contact. -- Suggested by Erica Silverstein, Cruise Critic Senior Editor
Watch the Sunrise
Cruise Critic member lifeguardjen suggests spending a quiet morning out on your balcony, watching the sunrise hand-in-hand and enjoying a quiet breakfast overlooking the sea -- and yes, it's okay to drink mimosas at dawn.
Renew your Vows (or Get Married!)
Book a cruise that stops in a place you love or at a cruise line's private island, and renew your vows on the beach. "We renewed our vows on Half Moon Cay," Jennifer on Facebook says. "Romance city!"
Pop the Question
What could be more romantic than a starlight proposal at sea? "After scouting out the privacy on the forward deck of the ship and stumbling around in his nervousness for a minute or two, my fiance pulled it together, got down on one knee and poetically proposed to me. It was quite magical and a moment in time I'll cherish forever!" -- Kim Karis, Cruise Critic Online Marketing Specialist