After all the decisions have been made for your big day, you still have another important decision to face: Where will you go for your honeymoon? The answer to that will depend on what kind of getaway you envision — something adventurous? Something relaxing? A little bit of both? Read on to find out which destinations and which cruise lines can help you achieve the best honeymoon cruise for your tastes.
For Penny-Pinchers: 3-Night Bahamas Cruise
After spending thousands on a wedding, it's not uncommon for couples to have very little left over for a honeymoon. That's where these affordable 3-night Bahamas cruises come in — for the $300-$400 dollar per person range, you can head to one or more islands in the Bahamas and get your fill of powder-white sand and aquamarine water.
Carnival, known for its budget sailings, also offers a quickie 2-night cruise from Miami to Nassau with a starting rate of just $199 per person. You'll depart on Friday, get a taste of island life on Saturday, and disembark on Sunday.
For Culture Vultures: 4- or 5-Night Cuba Cruise
Not content to simply lie out under the sun all day? If you seek out cultural experiences and meaningful interactions with locals, you and your partner will love the new sailings to Cuba from Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
These cruises sail into Havana's harbor and let you explore the once off-limits country with the help of approved people-to-people excursions, such as a trip to Ernest Hemingway's home or an over-the-top cabaret show at famed nightclub Tropicana. Carnival's 5-night cruise from Miami also includes a stop through Key West, so you can get a taste of this offbeat town, once the stomping grounds of pirates, wreckers and rumrunners.
For Island Explorers: 7-Night Caribbean or Hawaii Cruise
Let's be honest — when we imagine honeymoon cruises, we immediately think of sun-drenched islands, tropical cocktails and romantic sunset strolls, right? If you're ready to embrace this ideal, sign up for a 7-night island-hopping cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico to paradises in the Lesser Antilles, such as St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and Barbados.
Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival offer weeklong itineraries to tiny, lesser-known islands, and there's even a cruise from Carnival that sails to the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao), located well outside of the cruise ship beaten path. Plus, you can put your names on Carnival's Honeymoon Registry and have your friends and family sign you up for amazing excursions like snorkeling trips, kayak tours or even cabana rentals for some beachside romance. See a sample honeymoon registry.
Hawaii, long a top getaway for couples, is another picture-perfect destination for honeymoon cruises. Ships depart from big cities in the West Coast such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, and stop in destinations such as Honolulu, Kona and Hilo.
Another option is to fly directly to Honolulu and from there set sail on Norwegian's Pride of America, which calls in Kahului, Hilo, Kona and Nawiliwili. Enjoy the stunning scenery with a number of excursions, including a trip to Volcanoes National Park or a ride along the lush Hana Highway. And when your waterborne journey is over, you can choose to stay a few days more in Honolulu and enjoy famous Waikiki Beach, with its views of Diamond Head's peak.
For Foodies: Mediterranean Cruise on Celebrity Reflection
Though you'll certainly have access to incredible culinary options when you're visiting ports in this food-famous region, you'll also be thrilled by what awaits you onboard the Celebrity Reflection, which was rated No. 1 among the Best Cruise Ships for Dining in the Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice awards for 2017. There are a number of fee-based restaurants onboard, such as an a la carte Sushi spot and an open-air grill, but even the Oceanview buffet offers a nice selection of international dishes.
For Luxury Seekers: Caribbean Cruise from Seabourn
Looking for the ultimate "treat yourself" experience? Sail with Seabourn, which offers several ultra-luxe Caribbean cruises to not-so-common cruise ports in places such as St. Barts, Trinidad and Tobago, and Anguilla, just to name a few. The ships in this company's fleet are known for their smaller size and intimate feel — none has more than 300 suites — making them ideal for honeymoon cruises. No drink package needed here — you're welcome at all of the open bars found throughout the ships. And for your honeymoon toast, you'll be all set: Seabourn offers passengers complimentary welcome champagne.