World's Greatest Romantic Cruises
off into the sunset and find love on the high seas.
Anyone looking for
romance at sea should talk to Irene and Jim Manion, who celebrated their 60th
birthdays on a Windstar ship cruising
the Greek isles last summer. “You could reserve a table outdoors for a
candlelight dinner,” says Irene Manion. “And we watched the sunset while
looking out at the Greek islands. It was pretty incredible.”
For many, the term “romantic cruise” conjures up cheesy
1970s visions of matchmaking shuffleboard on The Love Boat. But
for those who’ve actually sought out romance on the high seas, the reality is a
whole lot more alluring. In fact, cruising can create a memorable experience
with your loved one. What’s not romantic about admiring the open sea and
holding hands while a crew waits on you hand and foot?
While romance is never guaranteed, choosing a love-inspiring
cruising destination is a good first step. Going to Antarctica to ogle penguins
is fine, but cruising, say, around the breathtaking volcanic peaks and crystal
blue lagoons of French Polynesia on the
Paul Gauguin is, well, sexier. Or go sailing in the Greek isles: whether
you’re on small ships (like those of Windstar) or big vessels (like the Celebrity
Equinox), it’s easy to see why these
islands—with their beautiful sandy beaches, clear seas, and ancient ruins—are a
favorite of die-hard romantics.
Constant views and a relaxed vacation ambience only serve to
enhance the romance. Whether you choose a big ship with such accoutrements as
lavish casinos, theaters, and lounges, or go with a more low-key small ship is
a personal choice. But to assure amore on any ship you’ll want to book
the biggest cabin you can afford—you don’t want to be on top of each other at all times.
Ships like the über-luxurious Seabourn
Odyssey promise space with all-suite
accommodations that include separate sitting areas, walk-in closets, and
generous-size bathrooms. Look, too, for a cabin with a balcony, which adds a
pleasant open-air retreat for private dining (and canoodling).
Further impress your sweetheart on
the high seas with a couples’ treatment in the spa (the Canyon Ranch spa on Queen
Mary 2 is one of the best). And plan a “date
night” shipboard with an intimate dinner for two at a specialty restaurant like
the fancy Crown Grill steak house on the Ruby Princess.
Fittingly, that’s the same ship christened by reality TV couple Trista and Ryan
Sutter (of ABC’s hit television show The Bachelorette) in celebration of
their fifth wedding anniversary.