Our travel writer Neeharika Bhutani presents the perfect honeymoon guide to cruising by debunking the common myths. Here is all that you need to know…
Remember Zoya Akhtar’s 2015 hit film Dil Dhadakne Do? For me, the movie was less about the relationships and more about travel. The cruise ship took center stage in the film with its plush rooms, snazzy dining options and trendy nightclubs. The long chats under the starry ocean night sky and the romantic midnight swim with the blue ocean around convinced me that a Honeymoon at sea is a must-do for every newly wed.
Here’s How You Should Plan Your Honeymoon For Enjoying Some Delightful Romantic Days With Your Life Partner
Finding An Ideal Cruise Is Not Tough
Before you dismiss it, figuring a cruise for your honeymoon is not a tough job. True, as a travel option, cruises are still considered exotic but the only thing exotic about them is the experience they provide. Imagine exploring a new port everyday without moving around with your luggage or having entertainment facilities available at your fingertips! With a little understanding, it is easy to see that booking a cruise is affordable, all-inclusive and extremely relaxing.
You Are Spoilt For Choices
A cruise is a round trip that covers several destinations and eventually brings you back to the starting point. Travelling on this luxury vessel is as much about the journey at sea as the fun about the various destinations it covers. The facilities on a cruise can make most seven-star resorts green with envy; open-air dining on deck to Michelin star restaurants, the options are endless. Swimming pools, hot tubs, lounges, libraries, gyms, clubs, casinos, fitness centers, spas and cinemas are all a common feature to almost every liner. The one thing a cruise guarantees is to spoil your beloved and you with choices it enfolds.
How to choose your cruise? The five T’s hold your answer
There are over a dozen major cruise liners with more than 100 ships at sea. Destinations range from Southeast Asia, Mediterranean, Northern Europe to the West Pacific Ocean. The timeline ranges from overnight, a week to a fortnight. The big question is how do you decide which cruise to choose?!
Time, Temperature, Temperament and Topography are the 4 T’s that will help you find the answer. Cruises sail all through the year. Figure when and for how long would you like to cruise? Next, understand the temperature and topography you would like to travel to. Cruises range from sunny town-hopping Mediterranean to chilly, northern lights-spotting Iceland. If you have a particular experience or destination you want to explore you can opt to cruise accordingly.
But above these, the most important T is the temperament of the couple and the type of experience they are looking for. Are you a ‘laze-by-pool or a party-on-port’ type? Or is exploring a romantic destination and having a fine meal on-board, is more your thing. Do you want to be social and mingle with like-minded people on your trip? Or do you prefer to be cozily left alone? Match your personality with your cruise for an ideal fit.
What is an alternative way to choose? What do you shell out?
You can also approach your choice in reverse. Select your cruise based on the cruise liner you find most appealing. This requires you to do a little bit of reading about the top liners in the world and what’s included in their trip. Some names you should be familiar with are Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises.
Time to address the cost concerns! Let’s debunk the biggest myth upfront. Cruising is not an expensive proposition when compared to its land holiday counterparts. This is because a cruise fare includes accommodations, meals, access to on-board amenities and entertainment, transportation at sea, port duties and taxes.
The category of room you choose plays an important role in the price you pay. Interior rooms without a sea view are the cheapest, while rooms with views and balconies often cost more. The duration of your cruise and the kind of facilities included on-board are other factors that affect the cost of your trip. Please note, airfare to the port of departure and visa requirements are generally not included in the cruise bookings and need to be arranged separately.
Still not convinced? Here is what you need to hear
If you are still not convinced to cruise on your honeymoon, here’s a piece of news that will tip the scales. Now you can consider a luxury cruise to the Maldives right from Mumbai. The Cost neo-classica will sail in December covering locations like Mangaluru, Kochi, Colombo and Goa on its return trip from Maldives. The ship’s facilities include a casino, theatre, library, discotheque, ballroom, a slew of dining options (some with Jain menus), a bar, and a wellness centre complete with treatment rooms, sauna, a steam room, four Jacuzzis, two swimming pools and a gym. And for the cherry on top, you can savour all of this for Rs 43,000 per head on a twin-sharing basis, inclusive of port taxes.
Remember, the key to scoring an amazing deal in a cruise is to plan well in advance. Also, if you are honeymooning on a cruise, there are strong chances that the crew will go an extra mile to make your trip special. Speak to a good travel consultant for guidance on how to make the most of your trip at sea.
If everything in your wedding is unique, don’t let your honeymoon be left behind. Set the trend with a cruise. It’s refreshing, relaxing and exotic enriching you with unforgettable memories for life.
(Neharika Bhutani specializes in creating tailor-made trips that fit every budget and preference. Get in touch with her at www.pyb.co.in )