Let’s be honest, most honeymoon cruisers aren’t counting on solitude — it is, after all, a cruise — one ship, lots of people. Truth is, though, couples can find significant “just you and me time” on board — champagne breakfast in bed, a couple’s massage, or candlelit dinners on the verandah.
Shore excursions, however, are a different animal—they’re tours with lots of people going to the same places. Even private tours limit the newlywed’s alone time because most of the time, they’re going to wind up in tourist hubs. But that’s not a bad thing for honeymooners because either way it’s a bonding time, sharing a first-time destination experience — a sense of togetherness exploring new things and sharing adventures. Here are some excursions we feel fit that bill.
Venice—the departure port on Royal Caribbean International’s Splendour of the Seas’ 7-night Greek Isles & Turkey cruise visiting Split, Croatia, Kusadasi in Turkey, and Mykonis and Argostoli in Greece before returning to Venice—ranks right at the top of honeymoon and romance capitals. But what’s the most romantic way to truly appreciate that unique city? How about a Secret Tour of Venice, a half-day exploration of this sexy, historical icon via its intricate maze of pedestrian passageways. Couples will move like natives through narrow streets and small squares to the Grand Canal for a view of the Rialto Bridge, the largest of the four bridges spanning the celebrated canal. After crossing the bridge and moving on across the Corte del Milion, where Marco Polo’s family lived, to Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the city’s most monumental squares, it’s off again through the winding narrow streets, courtyards and squares to Riva degli Schiavoni and the church of the Pieta, better known as Antonio Vivaldi’s church. Now the honeymooners have braved the backstreets and small squares together, like a couple in a spy novel—except they’re with maybe 12 other people and a guide ($84). And of course, honeymooners can’t leave Venice without a gondola ride, so tell clients to pay a little extra off the ship for a serenaded ride through those charming waterways, this time, just the two of them.
Contact: (866) 562-7625; royalcaribbean.com or cruisingpower.com
The island paradise of America still ranks as one of the hottest honeymoon destinations for North Americans, and what better way to anticipate sharing its honeymoon pleasures than with a transpacific 15-night Hawaii sailing aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Century itinerary departing from San Diego and visiting Honolulu, Oahu; Lahaina, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; and Kailua, Kona and then heading to Ensenada, Mexico and then back to San Diego. But it’s the Hawaii excursions that are the romantic stars of this sailing, offering couples an adventure- and culture-filled time together.
Active couples will feel the rush of love on the Kilauea Lava Viewing Hike on Hilo as they trek black lava flows past steaming fissures where lava once fountained hundreds of feet skyward, through rainforests, all the while taking in the beauty of Hawaiian nature, then drive along the Hamakua coast to one of Hawaii’s most impressive waterfalls ($125). Park where they’ll walk the path of Hawaiian royalty and see where James Cook first discovered the Hawaiian culture and people. Then they’ll don snorkel equipment for what some say is the best snorkeling in all of the Hawaiian islands ($116).