Set Sail on a Honeymoon Cruise

Drifting into the sunset together may seem like the perfect ending to your wedding rollercoaster, but there are a few things you need to know before you sail away.

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Cruise Terms

Aft: toward the rear of a ship
Berth: dock where a cruise ship ties up to shore; or the bed in a ship’s passenger cabin
Bow: toward the front of a ship
Bridge: command center of ship
Cabin: room where passengers sleep; also called a stateroom
First sitting: the earlier of the two meal times
Galley: ship’s kitchen
Inside cabin: does not overlook the ocean
Leeward: side of ship away from the wind
Outside cabin: a cabin with an ocean view
Port: left side of ship
Port of call: a destination where the ship stops during a voyage
Starboard: right side of ship when looking forward toward the bow
Stem: extreme front of ship
Stern: extreme back of ship
Suite: a larger, higher-priced cabin
Tender: small boat used to transport passengers when ship is anchored offshore
Windward: side of the ship facing the wind

It’s a blissful thought: hitting the high seas with your loved one after you’ve exchanged vows. Cruising can be an exciting, romantic and surprisingly affordable honeymoon option. Finding the right cruise for your getaway, however, takes a little bit of research and preparation. Here’s what to consider when selecting your own personal “Love Boat.”

The Ship’s Style

Cruise lines are a bit like people: Each has its own distinct personality. Some, like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, emphasize a high-energy, party-centric atmosphere, while others, such as Seabourn and Crystal, focus on a quieter, more refined experience. To see if their style is a good match for you, check out the line’s website.

The Itinerary Cruise

Cruise ships can take you almost anywhere on the planet—from the Caribbean to Antarctica—so explore all of your options before you settle on a route. When you’ve found a trip you love, go over the schedule carefully to see if the itinerary allows you enough time to travel comfortably to your ship’s departure point.

The Cabin

When booking your cabin – keep these things in mind:

  • Don’t assume that you’ll automatically get a bed for two; make sure you’ve booked a queen- or king-size bed.
  • You may want to look for a cabin with a bathtub or a whirlpool (standard cabins have showers only) and a private balcony.

Getting a Great Rate

Cruise lines offer travelers a host of discounts, so consider every angle when you’re looking for a deal.

  • Start with your credit card—many offer discounts or points toward cruises.
  • Look online; travel websites, such as Travelocity and Orbitz, offer lowest price guarantees.
  • Contact any organizations you belong to, from AAA to your college’s alumni association, to see if they’ve snagged any special deals for members.
  • If you’ve previously cruised anywhere in the world, you may be in for a repeat-passenger discount.

Be sure the cruise line knows that you are on your honeymoon—several lines (Carnival, Cunard, Princess) offer honeymooners a little something special. Bon voyage!