Honeymoon cruises check off all the boxes for a once-in-a-lifetime escape. Multiple destinations sublimely bundled into one trip, inclusive pricing, a wide range of amenities that cater to every mood and taste, and the opportunity to revel in dreamy experiences are some of the many reasons why couples choose to cruise for honeymoon memories.
We break down honeymoon cruises further, to help you decide if sailing into the sunset is the best newlywed retreat for you.
What is a honeymoon cruise?
A honeymoon cruise is one way that newlyweds can celebrate their union, blissfully carefree. Like any cruise, the fare will cover your accommodations in a cabin or suite as well as dining, entertainment, onboard activities and stops along the cruise.
Mainstream cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line charge extra for specialty restaurants, certain entertainment and activities. Shore excursions also come at an additional cost, although you are free to disembark the ship and explore at your leisure.
These lines also offer honeymoon cruise packages (more on that below) that include extra perks -- ranging from a welcome bottle of Champagne, catered dinners on your balcony and spa treatments -- designed to elevate your experience.
Luxury lines, on the other hand, have more inclusive fares to begin with, so there's less nickel-and-diming. How much is included also depends on the line.
For example, on Viking Ocean Cruises, booking gets you dining in all restaurants; wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner; some shore excursions; Wi-Fi; and access to the spa's thermal suite. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is arguably the most inclusive line, covering roundtrip airfare with transfers, gratuities, all dining, open bar, shore tours, Wi-Fi and more.
Cruise vs. Resort for Honeymoon
While cruises have been referred to as "resorts at sea", there are several differences between the two options that might sway couples toward the former.
The greatest advantage of honeymoon cruises is the ability to explore more than one destination. This is an alluring factor all in itself, but another benefit is that the ship can divert and maneuver around any inclement weather.
Like resorts, when it comes to choosing a ship, there are many different types and styles, one of which is bound to suit you.
Aside from your traditional cruise, there are styles that satisfy varying interests, such as river cruising, expedition cruising and small-ship luxury cruising (think the masted sailing ships of yesteryear). All three provide a much more intimate atmosphere than you'd find at a resort, while taking passengers to smaller, more remote or inland places that are not reachable by bigger ships.
Resorts are larger and more widespread than cruise ships, where everything is compact. This means resorts typically have roomier accommodations, and you can splurge on more private options like villas with private infinity pools and overwater bungalows.
As for pricing, cruise base fares (before any extras are added) are usually more affordable than a resort. However, once you add on that romantic dinner, drinks, shore excursions and other amenities, it most likely will cost slightly more. You can also expect to pay more for luxury, river and expedition cruises. Many couples feel, however, that not being confined to one area of a destination is priceless.
Honeymoon Cruise Packages
Regardless of which line, ship and style you choose, rest assured several offer honeymoon cruise packages that make newlyweds feel extra special on their sailings.
Packages typically include Champagne, flowers and at least one private dining experience. Others take it up a notch with perks like a complimentary portrait session, casino points, spa treatments and personalized touches such as engraved cards and a letter from the captain.
Honeymoon cruise packages do cost extra but can provide an excellent value, and in some cases, save you money on experiences that would otherwise cost more a la carte. For a closer look at honeymoon cruise packages, check out our list of the 10 best honeymoon cruises and what they include.
Is a cruise a good honeymoon idea?
A honeymoon cruise is a good idea for newlyweds who don't want to stay in one place during their vacation.
Additionally, some couples have special interests that only specific itineraries and ships can provide, forexample an expedition cruise in Alaska, a wine-focused river cruise through France's Bordeaux region, or a trip to the high Arctic to spot the Northern Lights.
As mentioned earlier, for couples honeymooning during hurricane season, cruising can be a safer choice. Ships are able to evade storms, but you'd be stuck at a resort if it were in the hurricane's path.
When you're ready to book, make sure you follow these seven honeymoon cruise tips to make the most of your experience.