Quick Guide: The Best Cruises for Couples
Posted on February 14, 2019
Looking for some quality time with your significant other? Cruises are a popular choice for couple’s vacations. Our quick guide will help you pick the best cruise to spend with your special someone.
WHEN SHOULD YOU BOOK A COUPLES CRUISE?
The best cruises for couples are usually the ones with the fewest families aboard. While kids can be wonderful and rewarding, they might put a damper on your romantic evenings. Your best bet for booking a romantic getaway from all the children is going to be shoulder season. This is a magical time when kids are in school and cruise lines have staterooms they need to fill. It’s not just a great time for romance, it’s a great time to save some money.
Essentially, you won’t want to book your cruise during school breaks. This includes the first week of January (New Year’s), end of February and beginning of March (spring break), end of May until August (summer vacation), the last week of November (Thanksgiving), and the last two weeks of December (Christmas).
If you steer clear of these timeframes, you’ve taken an excellent precaution to avoid not only children but college students looking to party as well.
HOW LONG SHOULD A COUPLES CRUISE BE?
Cruise length will also determine the crowd on board. Typically, parents avoid taking their children out of school if at all possible. Generally speaking, the shorter the cruise, the more families will be on board. The same applies to college students looking for a weekend party on the seas. Week-long or longer cruises are usually an older, less rowdy crowd. These quieter cruises are much better suited to romantic vacations where couples can relax and enjoy each other’s company uninterrupted.
WHAT CRUISE LINE IS BEST FOR COUPLES?
Overall, the best cruises for couples are available on the luxury lines. Cruise lines like Silversea or Celebrity often have smaller, more intimate ships which means less crowds and more crew members available to serve guests. Not everybody has that kind of money, though. Fortunately, there are plenty of options on the big-name cruise lines as well. If you plan ahead and play your cards right, you can ensure your couple’s cruise feels like a luxury one without the massive price tag.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
Of the lines sailing out of Port Canaveral, Norwegian Cruise Line is easily our top pick for taking a couples cruise. Norwegian pioneered “freestyle cruising”, where dining, entertainment, and accommodations are offered on an on-demand basis. There’s no fixed dining times or pre-assigned seating. If there’s a table free in one of the restaurants and you’re hungry, it’s no problem to go ahead and have a seat. This gives couples the chance to be spontaneous or have a romantic late night dinner.
The ability to choose from a variety of activities (or just staying in your stateroom all day, if that’s what you feel like!) is what makes Norwegian a favorite for couples cruising together. When you add their top-notch, all new ships built with this freedom in mind it’s easy to see why Norwegian cruises are so popular.
Norwegian Cruise Line also offers ‘Romance Packages’ which include chocolate covered strawberries, wine, and roses delivered directly to your stateroom upon arrival. Some upgrades even include couples massages, breakfast in bed, or an 8×10 professional portrait. Prices for these packages can range from $170 to $500.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
Royal Caribbean is another good choice for couples looking to cruise. The crown and anchor have been testing out its own version of Norwegian’s freestyle dining. They offer flexible dining times that allow you to reserve your dining time at different times each night. You’re also given the option of showing up and waiting for a table, as you please. This can be useful if you plan to avoid the peak dining times of 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
Royal Caribbean also has a selection of romance packages you can add as an upgrade. Long stem roses, chocolates, and champagne are all available for purchase. Royal’s package prices are better than Norwegian’s as well. For $179 you can secure their ‘Decadent Romance Package’ compared to some of Norwegian’s $200+ packages.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE
Carnival is the largest cruise line in the world and arguably the company that brought cruising to the masses. Their ships are called the Fun Ships and have a bit of a reputation for being ‘party barges’. Being the most cost-effective cruises available, they tend to appeal to people on a budget, namely college spring breakers. The line has been steadily updating its ships and broadening appeal with their Fun Ship 2.0 initiative which adds new features as well as improved services and amenities.
What does this mean for couples? Well, Carnival’s a good choice for a fun time if you don’t have as much money or time to spare. Like Royal, Carnival has a large fleet and tends to keep its smaller ships on a semi-permanent rotation. This can make it easier for couples to coordinate their cruising dates within their schedules.
Like other cruise lines, Carnival offers romance packages. The basic packages, called ‘Happy Anniversary Package’ or ‘Just Married Package’ are only $42.95 Though this sounds like an excellent deal, be cautious to look at exactly what you’re getting with each package. Many of these packages include a small number of sweets and some decorations at most. There also don’t seem to be any couples spa packages available for purchase.
Our advice? Carnival offers chocolate strawberry packages, special romantic cakes, and roses all for purchase separately. You could put together your own romance package by picking each piece a-la-carte. Chocolate covered strawberries are currently listed for purchase at $12, sweetheart cakes at about $14, and roses are listed as the most expensive- $39.95 for half a dozen.
While Carnival isn’t a bad choice for a cruise, especially if you’re on a budget, the need to create your own romance package piece by piece does take some of the magic out of it. Couples looking for something really special might prefer to wait and plan a more luxurious cruise farther down the road.
Ready for romance? After booking your sweetheart cruise, let Go Port take care of the rest! We’ll make your hotel accommodations and transportation plans for you, so you can make the most of your vacation.