PHOTO: A romantic shipboard sunset. (photo by Gary Crow)
The romance season is upon us, and as you ponder the options for creating a perfect travel gift for your partner, you may be thinking a romantic weekend in a hotel is the ultimate gift. Obviously, nobody is going to say that's a bad choice, but imagine the results you would get if you planned a romantic cruise instead and presented the tickets as a gift.
There's way more chocolate.
From chocolate mousse to chocolate fondue, cruise ships of all sizes are known for serving up chocolate by the boatload. If your partner is a chocolate fiend, giving them a cruise is like giving them a mountain of rich, gooey pleasure. Princess Cruises even has a dedicated chocolate program onboard called Chocolate Journeys.
All-inclusive options eliminate guilt.
There's no gift-guilt over having another glass of wine with dinner or a specialty coffee every morning when you choose cruises or add-on packages that cover the beverage costs. Luxury cruise lines Silversea, Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, and Seabourn include most drinks at no additional cost. Premium lines Azamara and Viking include some drinks with the cruise. The luxury and the premium lines offer add-on packages for additional beverages. Standard cruise lines offer a variety of beverage packages that can be purchased with your cruise, letting you focus more on the romance.
The pampering starts as soon as you step onboard.
Celebrity's famous white glove champagne greeting is just one example of pampering to enjoy on a romantic cruise. Think spa treatments, freshly squeezed orange juice, and concierge services. Celebrity even has a Concierge Class and a spa-oriented class known as Aqua Class—both add premium amenities and services to already premium cabins.
There are more daytime activities.
Even if you choose a hotel escape in a fun-filled destination, it is hard to top the range of activities available on a cruise. Learn to sail together, ride a zip line, or hike to the top of the Acropolis. Cruises are loaded with options for creating romantic memories.
There's a show every evening-- and they are included.
Imagine having dinner and a show every evening of your cruise without the hassle of getting tickets, making reservations months in advance, or worrying about the cost.
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You can splurge and have two desserts. Each.
Circling back now to the chocolate—what if you want the molten chocolate cake and the crème brulee? All you need do is ask. It's a cruise. You leave all food guilt on the pier when you depart. Not only can you order two desserts, you can both feel free to indulge in dishes you might not try in any other setting. From Sushi to escargot, the choices are yours to make.
The sunsets are amazing.
No matter where you choose to cruise, the chances are good that every evening you will be treated to a stunning sunset as if magically ordered up for you and your partner.
There are croissants.
There is something so sexy about fresh flaky croissants at breakfast. Maybe it's a French thing. The fun part on a cruise is that you can order up a basket of croissants to be delivered to your room. Flaky pastry not your thing? Opt for donuts instead.
Breakfast on the balcony.
Reserve a balcony cabin or suite and you can even enjoy your croissants on the outside balcony. Or order up a complete breakfast from room service and start your day with a view of the world.
The most romantic destinations of the world are right outside your window.
Speaking of views: Imagine waking to the sights of Santorini, Venice, or Bora Bora. Then there is the romance of the sea itself. The most romantic moments of your cruise may be those spent strolling the decks or standing side-by-side at the rail, with the ocean as your backdrop. You can't get that in a hotel.