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Get on board with a cruise honeymoon

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime….

Cruise lines offer many perks to attract newlyweds, including exotic destinations, beautiful scenery, a variety of foods, on-board and on-shore shopping, and a variety of activities. After planning a wedding, you may find a cruise honeymoon just right for you.

Work with a travel agent to finds the right cruise

Tips to Get You on the Right Cruise

Since cruise packages change frequently, find a travel agent who specializes in cruises – even if you have been on a cruise before. They can present the options, find one that is perfect for you, and often get some extra amenities at no charge. Have your travel agent lay out everything in the package and know what you’re getting so you can compare prices.

If your cruise line offers a celebration package, book it well in advance.

Tables for two are in demand, so request one early and make sure the cruise line knows that it’s because you’re on your honeymoon.

If you want a couple’s massage, book it early. Couples massages sell out very quickly.

Many cruise lines to choose from

Different Cruise Line Amenities

If you’re not sure what type of cruise to look for, you’ll have a choice between activity heavy cruises, a low-key ambience, luxury cruises, or more informal lines. Cruise lines are listed here in alphabetical order.

Azamara Club Cruises

This a little bit of luxury but not over the top. You’ll get personal attention and an intimate ambience with occasional overnights in port. Most gratuities, beverages and shuttle buses into town are included. They don’t offer honeymoon packages, but concierge services are free so you can customize your trip with little surprises. You’ll find spas, tables for two, breakfast in bed, wine included with meals, fresh flowers in staterooms, and butlers for suite guests.

Carnival Cruise Lines

Their affordable honeymoon options include a six-inch honeymoon cake, a memory box with photo frames and photo mailing cards, a bottle of Korbel sparkling wine and two etched honeymoon champagne flutes, tic-tac-toe with metal game pieces cut in heart shapes, tee shirts, visors, beach towels, bar coupons, and a photo coupon. You’ll pay $7.95 and up for options.

Celebrity Cruises

You’ll get a sophisticated atmosphere and personal service at lower rates than the luxury lines. A Concierge Class cabin gets you extra amenities such as daily canapés. Solstice-class ships offer an Aqua Spa cabin with wellness amenities right in your room, and priority seating at the chic Blu restaurant and the spa’s relaxation room. All newlyweds get evening celebrations with hors d’oeuvres and champagne.

Honeymoon packages include a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine, rose petals sprinkled on your bed, and chocolate-dipped strawberries in your cabin. The higher priced package also includes robes and slippers, breakfast in bed and a special romantic dinner.

Luxury options available on some cruises

Costa Cruises

Italian Costa has a European atmosphere with regional cuisine and some of the most expansive spas at sea. Honeymooners take part in a cocktail party for newlyweds and can purchase the Honeymoon Package, which includes two keepsake bathrobes, a bottle of sparkling wine, a floral arrangement, and a photo portrait.

Crystal Cruises

This upscale luxury line has outstanding service, elegant afternoon tea and gourmet Asian cuisine, and offers a range of amenities from flowers and candy to champagne. Dining is formal, and you’ll have to select your dining times in advance.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney caters to adults as much as kids, with many adults-only activities, restaurants, and nightlife. The “All You Can Dream” package comes with a waterproof blanket, picnic case, plates, napkins, cutlery, a cheese board, a bottle opener, and robes. You can purchase additional champagne, a fruit and cheese platter, and fresh flowers. There are dozens of other gift packages and honeymoon packages.

European Waterways

European Waterways operate a fleet of fully-crewed hotel barges in France and other European countries, from the picturesque vineyards of Burgundy to the spectacular Scottish Highlands; from the sun-drenched Canal du Midi to the storybook Alsace. They are luxury floating boutique hotels that offer a unique private honeymoon cruise that will cater to your every whim. You’ll have your own personal chef with candlelit dinners, fine wines, and shore excursions included, such as a hot air balloon ride, a visit to a romantic château, or a picnic by a beautiful Scottish lake loch.

Contact European Waterways at gobarging.com or call Toll Free 1-877-879-8808.

Pick the right sized cruise ship

Holland America Line

They offer mid-size ships with a more intimate experience, Eurotop mattresses and upscale bedding, gourmet food, and a spa. Make sure you’re listed as honeymooners and get invited to the Honeymoon at Sea party. Package options include sparkling wine or champagne, a small cake, a photo, a flower bouquet, chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to your stateroom, dinner for two, a casino gaming lesson with free chips to start you off, couple’s massages, a pair of terrycloth robes, in-room dessert with champagne, and afternoon tea served in your stateroom.

Norwegian Cruise Line

There are no set dining arrangements so you can eat when and where you want, with multiple choices in restaurants, bars, lounges and discos. Package options include sparkling wine and strawberries, couple’s massage, a body wrap for her, breakfast in bed, in-cabin tea service, a formal portrait, and dinner for two with wine. You can make dinner reservations up to 90 days in advance or on board.

Oceania Cruises

Low-key honeymooners who want interesting itineraries, chic ambience, incredible dining, and impeccable service will fit in here. This line has luxurious and romantic onboard spots to enjoy. Champagne breakfasts with a full hot and cold menu are served on your private balcony in Concierge-Class staterooms.

P&O Cruises

Each ship is different, with 1) an adults-only ship (traditional ship with set dining and formal evenings) and 2) a ship with a contemporary vibe (choice of fixed or flexible dining and modern spas with hydro pools.) Package options include champagne and chocolates in your room, a formal portrait, breakfast in bed, fresh flowers, a massage or facial, and two fluffy bathrobes. Each ship varies radically so be careful when booking to get the experience you prefer.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

There’s only one ship in this “line” and it’s been called the most romantic ship in the world. It sails the South Pacific and you’ll get a pillow gift, photo, include a letter from the captain, canapés every afternoon, a miniature wedding cake, and a box of chocolates.

Princess Cruises

Princess is highly geared for romance with extraordinary dining options that include an Italian tapas menu, indoor and outdoor massage, a mud room for two, and a variety of entertainment options. Package options include champagne, two engraved glasses and two long-stemmed red roses, chocolate-dipped strawberries, two waffled fabric robes, a massage or facial for each of you, canapés or petit fours delivered to your stateroom, a tour of the bridge, and a personalized, engraved congratulatory card signed by the captain.

Large cruise ships offer many options

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Everything is included aboard these six-star cruise ships, from superb service and cuisine, to tours and roundtrip air. In addition, dining is flexible, so you’re not locked into one seating assignment. Optional honeymoon amenities include a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne, caviar, in-suite canapés, a bountiful flower arrangement, a mini-wedding cake, a box of Belgium chocolates, and a congratulatory letter from the captain.

Royal Caribbean

Royal is for couples who want a lot of physical activities like surfing, rock-climbing and working out. Spa, hot tub, and a range of optional extras are offered, including Domaine Chandon sparkling wine or Dom Perignon champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, petit fours and canapés, after-dinner sweets, breakfast in bed, an 8×10-inch portrait in a silver-plated frame, a dozen roses, terry robes, and spa treatments. If you want to avoid families and children, don’t book during holidays and school breaks.

Seabourn

These spacious luxury cruises cater to the whims of guests, but doesn’t offer any packages. You can arrange for just about anything, however, from champagne to therapeutic bathing oils from London. You can have alfresco or in-suite dining, someone to run your bath and drop rose petals into the water, and a personal shopper with luxury transport at ports if you so desire.

Silversea Cruises

You’ll get serious pampering and service on this line and it’s geared toward affluent older couples. If you don’t mind that, you’ll get the best of the best including Maison Pommery Brut Royal Champagne included in the cost of the cruise, with a bottle chilled every night if that’s what you want, or sent with your breakfast. You’ll get a box of chocolates and fresh flowers in your room, optional canapés, and a honeymoon cake (advance notice is required). Activities are very limited and there’s virtually no nightlife.

Windstar

This is a no-frills line with sleek-masted ships that are ideal for active honeymooners interested in water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, windsailing, paddle-boating and water-skiing. You’ll get complimentary chocolate-dipped strawberries and can opt for a bottle of champagne, more chocolate-dipped strawberries, breakfast in bed, a keepsake picture frame and a honeymoon certificate.

Call your travel agent now to discuss and book the honeymoon cruise of your dreams. Setting up a Honeyfund honeymoon registry can help you pay for it too!

Bio: Plan Your LDS Wedding Today at WeddingLDS.com, “Where WEDDING comes first!” makes every aspect of your wedding simple, yet elegant, We work with brides, grooms, parents, and attendants to help plan everything from engagement parties to ceremonies to receptions to honeymoons. Check out our website at https://www.weddinglds.com/.

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Save your midweek wedding date

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime….

So you’ve just said “Yes” to the love of your life and now your ready to start planning your wedding. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is setting the date for your wedding. You may naturally start looking though your calendar at all of the Saturdays and Sundays around the time you’d like to get married,  but have you ever thought of having a midweek wedding?

You might be thinking, “Who would attend a mid-week wedding?”, but the truth is that weekday weddings are becoming more and more popular. If you are planning on having a wedding during the week, here are a couple of things to consider:

When Planning a Midweek Wedding, Be Sure To…

Give guests plenty of notice

1. Give your guests plenty of notice

One of the biggest things to consider when planning a midweek wedding is giving your guests plenty of notice.  Having your wedding on a weekday means that your guests will need to get time off work, so send out your save the dates and invitations as early as possible to ensure that guests can arrange time off work and have plenty of time to plan ahead for your wedding.

2. Be prepared for fewer affirmative RSVP’s

Some of your guests won’t be able to come because of work or other commitments. By giving your guests lots of time to prepare you can help increase your number of RSVP’s, but be ready and understanding if not everyone can come. Weekdays are busy for most people, so be prepared for some of your guests to not be able to attend your wedding because of work or other commitments.

 3. Be flexible on the time your wedding starts

 If you’re worried about guests not being able to make it to your wedding on a work day you could consider a twilight ceremony. Starting your wedding later in the afternoon will give your guests enough time to do what they need to during the day  oreven come into town so they can attend your wedding at night.

4. Show your guests some extra love

Your guests are likely to have sacrificed something to come to your wedding so remember to show them some love and let them know how grateful you are that they took the time out of their usual routine to attend your wedding.

Advantages of a midweek wedding

The Many Advantages of A Midweek Wedding

If you’re starting to think that a mid-week wedding might be too hard, check out these benefits of a mid-week wedding. You might change your mind.

1. Weekday weddings can save you money

More often than not, weekday weddings are cheaper than weekend weddings. Some of your biggest expenses such as your venue hire and catering can be significantly cheaper if you book a weekday wedding. Who doesn’t want to save a bit of money!? You could use the money you save to make your guests feel extra special, splurge on your honeymoon. or add some extra details to your wedding decor.

Enjoy a broader range of venues

 2. Your choice of venues just got bigger

If your dream venue doesn’t have a weekend available for another two years, it might have a weekday available. Choosing to get married on a Monday or Thursday is likely to open up more options for wedding venues. So take your pick!

Book your dream florist

Have a wider pick of caterers

 3. Lock in your dream vendors

Some of the best vendors such as photographers, furniture hire companies and florists often book out on weekends. Getting married on a weekday will give you more options of the vendors to use at your wedding.

4. Your guests get a day off work

Enjoy midweek vacation rates

5. Save money on your honeymoon

Flights and accommodation are often cheaper on weekdays. If you’re honeymoon was starting to look a little too expensive, a weekday wedding might help bring down the costs.

Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life and your guests will want to be a part of it no matter what day of the week you decide to get married. At the end of the day if you choose a day that works best for you and your partner, your closest friends and family wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Help finance your wedding with a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio: This was a guest post by Bronte Dwyer, a stylist and wedding planner at Foreva Events based in Brisbane. To see more wedding wisdom by Foreva Events click here.

Credits:

Styling Foreva Events | Photographer Ivy Road Photography | Stationery Little Duck Calligraphy | Florist Akirah Collective | Venue Summergrove Estate | Dress Jennifer Gifford Designs | Suit Wil Valor | Cake Macarons by Monika |Donuts Nodo | Model Kobie Louis

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