There's a reason why uber TV producer Aaron Spelling set his popular, nine-year-plus series “The Love Boat” on a cruise ship: A vacation at sea is inherently romantic. Setting sail on the sea of love, however, does take a bit of planning. we gathered some of our favorites based on budget and itinerary length to ensure you smooth sailing. Bon voyage!
If you have three nights:
Disney Dream Disney Cruise Line
This regular mini-excursion sails out of Port Canaveral, Florida to Nassau and Castaway Cay, the line’s private island in the Bahamas. Picture gorgeous beaches, crystalline water and a laid-back barbecue area. You fly into Orlando, Florida and then get a transfer to the ship. Best of all, if you want to combine this sailing with a few nights at Walt Disney World, the line makes the experience seamless — the team even transfers baggage from your cabin to your hotel room.
Photo Credit: Matt Stroshane/Disney, Photographer
Highlights: Dinner at Remy, the line’s formal, modern French restaurant. The name is an homage to Disney’s animated 2007 film Ratatouille, but the meal is decidedly chic, with a cheese tray and elegant takes on luxe ingredients. And yes, there are lots of kids on these ships, but there are also adults-only areas including a pool, restaurant, beach on the private island and watering holes including a Champagne bar (three-night cruises start at $1,500 per person and include meals and some activities; disneycruises.disney.go.com).
Carnival Magic Carnival Cruises
This trip sails out of Galveston, Texas to the Western Caribbean, including a call at the Mexican island of Cozumel and a day at sea. For the cruise-wary, it is a great introduction to travel on the water.
Highlights: Short budget-friendly sailings tend to attract more young people, plenty of who like their buckets of beer by the pool and their long-after-midnight cocktails in the club. Bonus: Some of Carnival’s sails feature concerts by big-name entertainers like Maria McBride and Journey (three-night cruises start at $329 per person and include meals and some onboard activities; carnival.com).