Romance and the cruise seem to go hand in hand, especially if you’ve seen any of the cruise line ads that show pictures of couples huddled in the bow at dusk, or sipping orange juice on their private terrace in bath robes, or even this one we have a hard time believing: spending time alone on a deserted beach with its mega ship anchored in the background. Despite the advertisements, cruises can be one of the most romantic vacation options, but choosing the right cruise line and, even more specifically, the right boat within the fleet, can be a challenge. You do not want the sunset to be tarnished by the crowd on the deck, the romance of a dinner for two murdered by children crying at the next table or a pleasant evening ruined by cabins crammed with minimal comforts. For our best choices, we analyze criteria that we consider universally romantic: boats that offer cabins with private balconies, excellent bathrooms and extra special amenities; options to eat; cozy corners and night places; and almost private spaces open terrace to relax during the day and observe the stars at night. Here are our favorite boats to celebrate or rekindle romance with your partner.
1. Princess Cruises
The best boats: Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess
Why: The younger ships of the Princess Grand Class – Crown Princess, Princess Emerald and Princess Ruby – combine large and cozy boat options. Romance has always been the focus of the Love Boat line, but the small, unglamorous balconies and the larger size of their new real-class ships mean that older sisters still win in this category.
Sweet Excavations: Each one has the traditionally high percentage of suites and mini suites. The suites have a separate living room, large balconies and dressing rooms, and have benefits such as canapés at night, complimentary minibar configuration, laundry service, use of the thermal suite of the boat and dinner at a restaurant specializing in the night of the boarding But even the standard mini suite is charming and comfortable. In addition, the line is displaying its new luxury Princess bed linens through 2018. With double-padded mattresses, jacquard cotton bedding and soft duvets, you may be inspired to cuddle up in bed a little longer.
Romance on board: What could be more romantic than a night in “Movies Under the Stars”, reclining on padded loungers while snuggling under tartan wool blankets on the pool deck? Or for the quiet tete-a-tetes with your partner, try Adagio, a charming and private lounge on the upper terrace. During the day, we love The Sanctuary, a shady retreat (mostly), complete with waiter service, spa menu and massage service (a massage for couples is available).
Dinner for two: Open dining room (as well as traditional) available. But the most romantic option is the dining experience in the last dining room with balcony. For an additional fee, cruises can enjoy a lobster dinner with champagne and a course-by-course service. (Or take a romantic breakfast in your cabin). Only warning: your cabin should have a balcony. We also love the specialty restaurants on the boats. Request a sidewalk at Crown Grill, a steak and seafood restaurant with an open grill; Enjoy a multi-course meal at the Italian Sabatini; or share dishes with your partner in Share by Curtis Stone or The Salty Dog Gastropub. For a more casual option, try Vines, a wine and sushi bar. If chocolate is the aphrodisiac of your choice,
Disadvantage: while the luxury mini-suites are charming and comfortable, the outdoor balconies are anything but private.
2. Paul Gauguin Cruises
Best boat: Paul Gauguin
Why: Designed, built and decorated to sail all year round in the romantic South Pacific, the cozy Paul Gauguin with 332 passengers offers an air of tropical festivity. The meals are restaurant style, the staff is excellent and the boat is very inclusive (cocktails and other drinks are included in the cruise rates). But it is the remote and exuberant destinations of the island that really raise the level of the romantic nature of the trip.
Sweet Excavations: You know that this is a boat destined for couples when most of the cabins have a queen size bed and only a limited number can be divided into twins. According to the decoration that surrounds the boat, the cabins have a tropical inspiration. When boarding, it is possible that your cabin attendant has bathed the bathroom sink with red rose petals. Definitely book in advance so you can catch a balcony cabin. It’s not a trip to the South Pacific if you’re not on your balcony, savoring a coffee, while Bora Bora appears in plain sight. And just when life on board could not be better, suites and cabins in categories A and B have butler service.
Romance on board: Dance face to face with her melody to the rhythm of a singer at La Palette Lounge, or gaze at the sea or the stars from the privileged position of the lounge.
Dinner for two: for such a small boat, the selection of restaurants is excellent. L’Etoile, which offers French cuisine accented with Polynesian touches, is the main venue. Couples will appreciate the abundant tables for two and an attentive staff of waiters who will keep their glasses full of house wines and non-alcoholic beverages. Two informal places offer indoor and outdoor dinners, with dinner only reserved. And there is always room service for meals in bed or on your balcony.
Disadvantage: French Polynesia is a long trip from almost anywhere, so be prepared to endure hours on a plane before arriving at your luxurious destination.
3. Windstar Cruises
Best boat: Wind Surf
Why: Wind Surf is both a sailboat and a cruise, and presents a hybrid combination of cruise traditions (such as the crew show, organized shore excursions and multiple restaurants) and absolutely romantic views. With only 310 passengers, the atmosphere aboard the ship is relaxed (there are no seats for dinner) and its itineraries focus on the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Baltic ports that are often too small to attract massive ships.
Sweet Excavations: The Windstar cabins lack size and variety, they conform with style. The cabins offer decadently soft bedding, L’Occitane bath products and flat-screen TVs with DVD players. Most of the suites are simply two standard, open and joined cabins, but having two bathrooms is generally a blessing for marital bliss. For a splurge on a special occasion, reserve one of the two Bridge Suites, which feature separate living rooms and bedrooms, a whirlpool bath and a massage shower.
Romance on board: a favorite place, and it is extraordinarily quiet, it is found in the outdoor tables of the Wind Surf cigar bar; It is a great place to sit under the stars (or enjoy a quiet cocktail). If it’s too cold to sit outside, head to the inner section of the Compass Rose room to listen to some music before dinner while having a drink with your partner.
Dinner for two: for an informal dinner during the day, the glass-walled Veranda offers outdoor and indoor seating. It is adjacent to the grill and offers buffet rates and options from a menu. In the evening, enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner by the pool in Candles, try contemporary French-influenced dishes at Stella Bistro or dine at the main restaurant, Amphora, which offers local and creative cuisine.
Disadvantage: This boat is small and the cabins are close to the water, so in rough seas, you will definitely feel the movement of the ocean and maybe you will see the waves approaching your porthole. If you’re prone to seasickness, bad weather could kill the romance of a Windstar cruise ship.
4. Norwegian Cruise Line
The best boats: Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jade
Why: Norwegian’s “Freestyle Dining” philosophy (passengers can dine without the hassle of assigned times and classmates in a variety of restaurants) is perfectly suited for table travelers for two. While the newest and largest ships in the line are full of instant action and endless entertainment in Las Vegas, we prefer your Jewel class for the right combination of romantic options and abundant activities.
Sweet Excavations: if you can afford it, the Haven suites (Penthouses, Courtyard, Owner’s Suites and Garden Villas) are the best for a romantic getaway. These suites are located away from the fray in a private access area of the ship, and offer a number of special benefits, from access to an exclusive pool area (complete with padded loungers and whirlpool) to breakfast and lunch Only for VIP Cagney’s Steakhouse or Modern Churrascaria. Suites add separate living and sleeping areas, flat-screen TVs, butler service and elegant bathrooms, some with a spa bath in a panoramic window corner.
Romance on board: active couples can play a small individual basketball on the sports deck or compete with each other on the climbing wall; while those looking to relax together can hook sunbeds in the spa’s relaxation room or take a dip in the thalassotherapy pool. At night, cuddle up with your honey, cocktail in hand, in one of the luxurious sofas (in Norwegian Gem) or four-poster beds (in Norwegian Pearl) that serve as lounge chairs in the Bliss Ultra Lounge and Night Club; in Jewel and Jade, press Bar City to choose several bars and drink styles.
Dinner for two: Try dinner at Cagney’s, the steakhouse, and Le Bistro, a French restaurant.
Disadvantage: these mega ships are not exactly intimate, and you may have to queue for the dinner table for two if you do not eat at odd times or make reservations in advance
5. SeaDream Yacht Club
The best boats: SeaDream I and SeaDream II
Why: These almost identical 112-passenger yachts earn the ultimate romantic honors for sophisticated couples who want luxury (great meals and excellent service) in an informal environment. The boats are beautifully restored; eating is all you want; The cabins, although cozy, are equipped with everything you might need; And the service is outstanding, pleasant, attentive … and subtle. Rates include all inclusive, which means that tips and most drinks are included in your rate. Choose a warm weather itinerary if you want to spend time playing with the boat’s water toys offered from your marina on board.
Sweet Excavations: there are only four types of cabins. The most romantic is, of course, the Owner’s Suite (with a fabulous bathroom with windows); The Admiral suite has similar amenities but is somewhat smaller. The Commodore suites are basically two standard cabins together, in fact we prefer our standard accommodations. The standard 195-square-foot cabins feature separate living and sleeping areas, with a small but exquisitely equipped bathroom (huge shower for two with three shower heads). Add fine clothes and mattresses on the bed, high-tech flat-screen TVs, DVD and CD players, stocked mini-bars and plenty of storage space.
Romance on board: our favorite place for departures in the harbor at sunset time was on one of the Balinese beds on the highest deck. Hidden around the fireplace, they are built a little above the railing of the roof, which gives the feeling of floating on the water. (You can also reserve one for one night sleeping under the stars). We also loved the Top of the Yacht bar for an after dinner drink with live music.
Dinner for two: there are two main places. The Main Dining Salon (interior) feels like a restaurant in an elegant and small boutique hotel. But our favorite place was the Topside restaurant; It is an open-air open restaurant (covered, however, so shaded) and there are a handful of wonderful and private nooks.
Disadvantage: there are no cabins with balconies, but the open decks are so spacious and there are so many lovely corners that you will never miss them.
6. Celebrity Cruises
Best ship: Celebrity Solistice, Equinox, Eclipse, Silhouette, and Reflection
Why: Celebrity’s new ships are sophisticated and modern, and cater to couples on adult getaways, rather than vacationing families. In addition, there are plenty of onboard spaces tailored for groups of two people: from wine bars to multiple specialized restaurants, sun loungers in the double pool and lawn on the upper deck, ideal for a picnic.
Sweet Excavations:For a true splurge, suites vary in size from 300 to 1,636 square feet, with amenities such as separate living / dining areas, baby grand pianos, whirlpool tubs, and large balconies. For couples who enjoy the spa experience, Celebrity’s AquaClass cabins and suites create an oasis of calm on boisterous boats with massage shower heads, complimentary spa and body care products, and upgraded bedding. In addition, couples can look for more R & R with free use of the AquaSpa relaxation room and the Persian garden and the exclusive specialty restaurant, Blu. There is also good news for couples seeking a private retreat without breaking the bank: 85 percent of all cabins have private balconies.
Romance on board: it ‘s easy to rekindle romance with a picnic for two at the Lawn Club, a real grass lawn on the upper decks of the boats. Or hide in a corner of the Deck 4 wine bar or in the martini bar, and get a little drunk with your loved one; The Sunset Bar is ideal to enjoy the views. The pool deck and the Solarium for adults only also have cozy double hammocks and hammocks to snuggle in the sun.
Dinner for two: With so many top-notch restaurants on board, any table for two will serve a romantic evening. Our favorite for couples (and any other person, for that matter) is Murano, the exclusive Continental restaurant that offers tasting and a la carte menus. Indulge yourself and your partner with luxury dishes such as caviar, escargots, sweet cakes or foie gras. For a dinner with a view, dine early at the Tuscan Grille restaurant, an Italian steakhouse with a touch of wine.
The downside is that on-board dates are not cheap, whether you’re deranging wine glasses or fabulous cocktail creations, splurging on a specialty restaurant meal (Murano charges $ 45 per person) or reserving high class cabins.
7. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Best boat: Seven Seas Explorer
Why: you can not go wrong with the “most luxurious boat ever built”, a boat with all the suites and balconies that offers personalized service, gourmet cuisine and the most comprehensive cruise rates of the main luxury lines. You do not have to worry about lovers’ fights for the price of shore excursions, the hotel you book before the cruise or the amount of drinks you order, everything is covered by your cruise fare.
Sweet Excavations: Make your choice! The smallest cabin in Explorer is a 219-square-foot suite with an 88-square-foot balcony and a marble bathroom. The largest is a whopping 2,917 square feet and features a luxurious bed with a $ 90,000 horsehair mattress and $ 60,000 bedding; a spa in the full cabin with private sauna, heated ceramic armchairs and unlimited spa treatments; and a 958 square foot balcony (with a hot tub, dining table and a variety of loungers) that wraps around the entire front of the boat. If you want to pamper yourself, but can not afford the best suite, know that all Penthouse suites and higher categories have butler service, upgraded toiletries and free use of iPads and iPods on board.
Romance on board: head to the beautiful spa and fitness area to get a little sweaty (personal training for two?) And then relax in the infinity pool at the bottom of the boat or on heated ceramic loungers. Or visit the Observation Lounge to enjoy 180 degree views during the day and cocktails and music at night. If you like to learn together, sign up for a cooking class at Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Dinner for two: it‘s easy to get a table for two on these boats, even at Compass Rose, the main dining room. And the food is excellent, without diminishing the quality of the specialized places to the main dining room. For the night, try the Pan-Asian Pacific Rim, the modern French Chartreuse or the Prime 7 steakhouse. You must make reservations for these popular places, but there is no fee.
Disadvantage: Because its prices include almost everything, Regent Seven Seas Cruises has some of the highest cruise rates in the industry.
8. Crystal Yacht Cruises
Best ship: Crystal Esprit
Why: if you want to try the great life, where you spend your days lounging on a sun lounger with a drink in your hand, swimming and snorkeling or touring the most yacht ports, Crystal Esprit beckons. The 62-passenger yacht is also incredibly high-tech, with Jet Skis and a three-person submersible; cabins loaded with cutting-edge technology; and even an outdoor flat screen TV for movies under the stars.
Sweet Excavations: Most of the cabins are identical and have a generous 280 square feet, so you will not feel like you are stumbling over your honey in a small boat. The rooms are equipped with hi-tech touches, such as the Soundbar speaker system, iPad to access the services of the boats and flat-screen TVs loaded with movies. Enjoy the services of a butler, a stocked minibar and a Krups coffee machine, a king-size bed and even a rain shower in a spacious bathroom. For a truly special vacation, hook up an owner’s on-board suite, which has separate living and sleeping areas and an egg-shaped bathtub in the bathroom.
Romance on board: most passengers are splashing in the water or enjoying free excursions during the day. If you’re on board, you’re likely to find yourself curled up in a Balinese bed or dipping your fingers in the pool. At night, watch a movie on the outdoor screen or have fun at The Cove, the boat lounge with live music and bar service.
Dinner for two: The elegant Yacht Club restaurant is the only place to dine on board. You will not have problems to hook a table for two and you will have many options with a regular menu and a special four-course menu every night. For total privacy, request room service from the Yacht Club menu and take the night to your cabin.
Disadvantage: Crystal Esprit offers itineraries in intensive ports, so if you are looking for days at sea, you will not find them. The yacht uses zodiacs to tender, with some wet landings, and rocks and rolls when it is not in protected waters. If you have mobility problems or are prone to seasickness, the romance could get lost instead of being in this small boat.
9. Azamara Club Cruises
Best ship: Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest
Why: Azamara offers two intimate twin ships and a destination approach, so you can bond with your loved one in new experiences and incredible adventures on land. The line will constantly provide you with opportunities for memorable nights of appointments with your after-dinner nights in cool places and cool places and the AzAmazing Evening Shoreside event on the complimentary night. The atmosphere on board is geared towards adults, so your vacation for two will not be interrupted by ungovernable carpet rats.
Sweet Excavations: The standard cabins are quite cozy, but the 46 suites offer more luxury and space for elbows. The most sought after are the Ocean and World Owner’s Suites, which dominate the projections of the cabin. Think of king-size beds, marble bathrooms and huge private balconies. If you both love spa life, book a Spa Suite, located near the spa facilities on the ship; The suite features in-room spa music, a soaking tub with shower and separate rain shower, a free night tour and a spa credit. Massage for couples, someone?
Romance on board: take your partner for a round with ballroom dancing in the Cabaret Lounge, or look for the green flash in the Sunset Bar, cocktail in hand. For the ultimate in romance, however, book the Nights package in private places. For one night, you’ll get the stern spa cover for yourself. A private butler will serve a candlelight dinner, float in the thalassotherapy pool while gazing at the stars, and then spend the night huddled on the canopied sofa, decorated in fine linen. Just be sure to put on the robe again when the butler comes to serve breakfast in the morning.
Dinner for two: tables for two are not hard to find in the main restaurant with open seats of Azamara, but for a more intimate meal, book at one of the specialty restaurants, the Prime C Steakhouse or the Italian Aqualina. The special event meals that should not be missed include a jazz brunch, the official barbecue with suckling pig and barbecue ribs and the White Night dinner served on the deck.
Disadvantage: if you like the nightlife on board, the options of Azamara are limited. The casino is small and the theater offers are unpredictable. You will not find a crowded nightclub or dancing until the wee hours of the morning.
10. Viking Ocean Cruises
Best boat: Viking Orion, Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun
Why: with the beautiful sundecks and a huge Nordic-inspired spa, the four identical Viking Ocean boats are ideal for couples who love to relax … after a hard day’s sightseeing in the harbor. The approach of the line includes full itineraries, nights and nights in the port and includes trips to the coast. Well-equipped cabins, including Wi-Fi and wine with meals, several restaurants and a policy of not under 16 years seal the deal.
Sweet Excavations: It can not fail when each cabin has a balcony, well thought out touches, such as abundant exits and silent closing drawers, and bathrooms with heated floors. Upgrade to one of the 14 Explorer suites to see extensive galleries, separate living rooms and bedrooms, and bathtubs in the bathrooms. If nothing else but the best suits your partner, book the Owner’s Suite with your private sauna, dining area and bar, and the comfortable living room with stereo system.
Romance on board: during the day, relax in the large, glass-enclosed Greenhouse conservatory, glazed and bring your honey to tea for finger sandwiches and buns in the late afternoon. Or relax by the main all-weather pool, with retractable roof or infinity aft pool. A cold drink is never far away. At night, camp in Torshavn, dance, enjoy a cabaret show or take Armagnac in a dark corner.
Dinner for two: Manfredi’s delicious food will start on the night of the appointment in the right way. The Italian restaurant is free and offers an extensive Italian menu. Do not miss the daily specials and definitely save space for dessert (difficult though it may be). If your style is more informal, take a look at the World Cafe buffet sushi bar or the cured meats and the bacon and peas soup that is served at Mamsen’s restaurant.
Disadvantage: everything that runs in the port can leave you exhausted, with little energy for romance at the end of the day. Be sure to consider the relaxation time with your special person, but expect limited entertainment on board (day and night) and not the casino.