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Quick Guide: The Best Cruises for Couples

Couple standing by the balcony deck on the best cruise with the ocean in the background

Looking for some quality time with your significant other? Cruises are a popular choice for couple’s vacations. Our quick cruise guide will help you pick the best cruise to spend with your special someone.

Table of Content

Is a Cruise a Good Vacation for Couples?

When Should You Book a Couples Cruise?

How Long Should a Couples Cruise Be?

What Cruise Line is Best for Couples?

Is a Cruise a Good Vacation for Couples?

A cruise is a great way to vacation for couples to relax and spend quality time together. It allows them to get away from their daily worries and duties. Enjoy your sea days by the pool or spend your port of call on the sandy beaches. Some cruise lines cater to adults and offer amenities that make their ships even more perfect for couples. Your partner and you will enjoy some of the most romantic views on earth on a cruise.

Couple in black formal outfits: man in a black tuxedo is kissing the hand of a woman in a black dress on a cruise balcony top deck, blue ocean in the background

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), the end of February and the beginning of March (spring break), the 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 can 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.

Couple holding each other and looking into the distant on the cruise, standing by the balcony

What Cruise Line is Best for Couples?

Overall, the best cruises for couples are available on the luxury lines. Cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean often have smaller, more intimate ships which means less crowds and more crew members available to serve guests. Some small ships even have wine tastings for a romantic cruise ship date night. If you opt for more affordable options, there are plenty of getaways on the big-name cruise lines as well. Plan ahead and make smart choices to experience a lavish couple’s cruise without breaking the bank.

Norwegian Cruise Line: The Best Cruises for Couples

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 an empty table in a restaurant and you’re hungry, feel free to sit down and eat without any issues. 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. Norwegian cruises are so popular because of their top-notch, all-new, luxury cruise ships built with this freedom in mind.

Norwegian Cruise Line has “Romance Packages”  with strawberries, wine, and roses delivered to your room upon arrival, and more. Some upgrades even include couples massages, breakfast in bed, or an 8×10 professional portrait. Prices for these packages can range from $199 to $499.

Royal Caribbean International: The Best Cruises for Couples

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 Caribbean’s package prices are slightly more affordable than Norwegian’s. For $149 you can secure their “Anniversary & Champagne Package” compared to some of Norwegian’s $199+ packages.

couple hands cheering two flute glasses of champagne

Carnival Cruise Line: The Best Cruises for Couples

Carnival is the largest cruise line in the world and arguably the company that brought cruising to the masses. Being the most cost-effective cruises available, they tend to appeal to people on a budget, namely college spring breakers.

The line is updating its ships and making them more appealing with its Fun Ship 2.0 initiative. This includes new features, better services, and improved amenities.

What does this mean for couples? Carnival is a great option for having fun when you’re short on money or time.

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’ start at $63.95 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 starting at $15, cakes start at $12.50, and roses are listed as the most expensive at $64.95 for half a dozen.

Carnival is a decent choice for a cruise, particularly if you’re on a budget. However, the need to create your own romance package piece by piece does take some of the magic out of it. Carnival offers three wedding packages: on embarkation day, at sea, or at a destination starting at $1799; while the onboard engagement package starts at $500.

Princess Cruises: The Best Cruises for Couples

Princess Cruises won the Cruise Critic’s award for “Best Cruise Line for Romance” in 2016 and lucky for you lovebirds, the Caribbean Princess will debut in Port Canaveral starting November 2024 – the first ship from the cruise line to call Port Canaveral home. They offer three wedding packages called Celebrate the Love, with prices starting at $2,000, depending on your needs.

Whether you want to say your vows at sea, harborside, or ashore – there is a package for you. The most affordable romance package is the Sweetheart’s Package starting at $79 as a thoughtful gesture featuring sweet treats and flowers.

Your romantic getaway will be even more memorable with the Honeymoon/Anniversary package. Anniversary Packages range from $199 to $449. The room will be stocked with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries for the couple upon arrival. Enjoy your drink from your complimentary engraved champagne glasses to take home. The package also offers free framed portraits that can be taken anytime on the ship, as well as a personal note from the captain for couples. Honeymoon Packages are priced at $299 to $549.

For those who want to go the extra mile, consider upgrading to the deluxe package. This package includes everything in the base package, plus some additional ingredients to make it extra special. Couples will also receive two robes to take home in addition to the champagne glass. Plus, they can order a free champagne breakfast and canapes or petit fours that will be delivered to them any time of day or night. The couple will also get one free massage or facial at the Lotus Spa. Last but not least, they will be invited to the bridge as personal guests of the Captain, which might be the most memorable experience of their entire trip.

Couple holding hands walking on the beach of Curacao cruise destination

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