Cruising has many components that cater to adventure, fun, families and group activities, and those things are what most people think of when cruising pops to mind. However, cruising can also be ideal for a romantic couple’s vacation if you book the right the itinerary and destination. Whether you’re planning a honeymoon or special milestone trip, or simply want a stress-free way to see the world with your loved one, cruises offer plenty of opportunities for romance. Here are some of the best options for romantic cruises.
Planning a cruise? Browse Viator’s Shore Excursions, with tours and activities all over the world.
Romantic Cruise Destinations
The Caribbean’s island ambiance caters to couples and romance. Frolic in the warm turquoise and teal sea, then stroll down the beach holding hands as waves gently roll at your feet. The Caribbean also has many beachside restaurants that are excellent for tasting Caribbean fare such as Cajun shrimp or freshly caught seafood while taking in a Caribbean sunset.
To amplify the romance factor on a Caribbean cruise, sail to the eastern Caribbean islands. These islands, which consist of the U.S. Virgin Islands plus favorites such as Antigua and St. Kitts, are smaller than many of the islands popular on western Caribbean cruises. This adds an intimate vibe to your time in port with your significant other and puts the focus on the two of you as you explore the island.
During a Caribbean cruise, there are many romantic activities you can partake in. While in St. Kitts, head out on a snorkel cruise with lunch and watch the tranquil scenery glide by you as your boat takes you around the turquoise waters surrounding St. Kitts. Snorkel alongside each other and enjoy seeing tropical fish and other marine life together.
Take a helicopter tour in Antigua for a bird’s eye view of the island. Helicopter rides are often synonymous with romance due to the close quarters and the intoxicating views they afford.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit St. John and spend the day on the crescent shaped beach of Magens Bay. Flanked by tropical forests on both sides curving around a deep blue inlet in the sea, Magens Bay is often considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
With vineyards, cobblestoned streets, idyllic little cafes, and intimate restaurants around practically every corner, the Mediterranean is a prime place to head for a romantic vacation, and a Mediterranean cruise makes it easy for you to visit the lovely cities and towns in this area of Europe.
For extra romance, choose a Mediterranean cruise itinerary that stops at Venice, Dubrovnik, and Nice.
Venice is known for its gondola rides and for good reason. It’s hard to find something more romantic than cuddling up together on a gondola as you glide through the peaceful canals of Venice while being serenaded by your gondola driver.
Dubrovnik is a walled city on the southern coast of Croatia. The city juts out into the sea and a maze of streets and alleys provide for peaceful meandering inside the city walls. For a romantic activity while in Dubrovnik, walk around the wall together and get panoramic views of the terracotta-colored rooftops of the city and the glistening sea beyond the walls.
Nice, France is an upscale beach town with delicious restaurants ideal for a romantic lunch or dinner together and a wide beach that you can sunbathe on before or after your meal. Or, if you want to see where the rich and famous spend their romantic vacations, take a ferry tour to nearby St Tropez, an area known for glitz and glamor.
Warm weather and relaxing beaches aren’t a requirement for romance. Snuggling up under blankets with hot chocolate also may help to get you and your honey in a romantic mood. You can get this ambiance on an Alaska cruise. In addition to stunning views of glaciers and wildlife seen from your room’s balcony or the ship’s deck, there are many activities you can participate in that will bring you closer together as a couple.
Bond as a couple on a Ketchikan kayaking shore excursion – you’ll feel closer after conquering paddling through the water and seeing wildlife such as bald eagles and even whales.
Cuddle up together on the bow of a boat as you look for whales on a Juneau whale-watching tour. You can even combine whale-watching with a scenic flight over the nearby glaciers for a memorable date together.
Cruise Ships Designed for Romance
Some cruise ships cater to romance more than others. For a romantic time onboard a ship, here are some top choices.
Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class ships are the first at sea to boast an actual real-grass deck. Grab a bottle of wine and some lunch and pick a spot on the grass for a picnic with each other, while you take in the ocean view. The Solstice-class ships also have excellent specialty dining onboard, including Murano, which serves French cuisine in a sumptuous environment that will make you feel like you’re dining in a top-rated French restaurant – at a fraction of the cost. The Solstice-class ships also have AquaClass suites, which are staterooms that give you special access to the onboard AquaSpa for a truly relaxing vacation, letting you and your partner just focus on each other.
This luxury cruise line boasts a fleet of ships that is 100% suites – meaning extra room for you and your honey. With a butler for every room who will help you unpack, make reservations, and cater to any other needs you have, all you’ll need to do is concentrate on the romance. Your butler will even serve breakfast to you in your suite if you so desire. The onboard spa on Silversea’s ships is also ideal for getting a couples massage or other relaxing treatments. After of day of lounging by the pool or getting pampered in the spa, head to dinner at one of the specialty restaurants onboard for top-notch cuisine in a luxurious setting.
Royal Caribbean’s World’s Largest Cruise Ships
For couples who want some extra entertainment on their romantic cruise, sailing on one of Royal Caribbean’s two “World’s Largest Cruise Ships” – the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas – will give you romance and fun. After you tackle the ships’ surf simulators, zip-line, or rock climbing walls, head to the Central Park neighborhood onboard for a romantic stroll. Central Park is an open air area in the middle of the ship that is reminiscent of New York City’s Central Park with green foliage, meandering walking trails, and excellent restaurants and bars. Then later on, dance the night away together at one of the dance clubs onboard.
European River Cruises
If you’re worried about finding romance on a big cruise ship or in ports of call that cater to many visitors every day, try a river cruise.
What makes a river cruise different to ocean cruising is that the ships are small and narrow to fit down the river canals that go through the middle of Europe. Therefore, the ships are able to stop at many small villages and towns along the river. Many river cruises offer dining rooms that can be reserved for a special dinner just for the two of you. For some more alone time, you can bike together in between ports along the river and meet the ship at the next port.
Read more about river cruising through Europe
Boutique-Style on Uniworld
For a boutique-style vacation while cruising, check out Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s new ship, the River Beatrice, which has rooms decorated like a small, luxury hotel and each one is decorated a bit differently. You’ll feel like you’re staying more at luxurious B&B – one that just happens to take you to some of the prettiest towns along the Danube River.
Whether your romance-style is active or relaxing, you can find a cruise ship and itinerary that will work for you and your partner. You’ll head home after your cruise feeling more connected and if you’re lucky, the romance you found during your vacation will continue long after the cruise ends.
– Gina Douglas Tarnacki