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Helpful tips about honeymoon cruises after your Rochester wedding
Exciting days and romantic nights. Cruises allow you to be pampered and catered to, and to explore many delightful ports of call.
Aside from their obvious romance, cruises are popular with honeymooners because they usually include all the amenities - your transportation, meals, entertainment, night life, and recreation. They provide you with the ability to visit many different places from one location (the ship). Honeymooners also prefer cruises because of the wide range of activities. You can be very active one day, and take a slower pace the next. If the two of you are having a hard time deciding exactly which style of honeymoon pace youâ€™d prefer, a cruise might be the answer for you.
Which to Choose
The best way is to talk to someone who is familiar with many different types of cruises. A travel agent who specializes in cruises would be the ideal person. You should first decide how active you wish to be, the type of things you both enjoy doing, how many ports of call youâ€™d like to see, how much time and how much money you have. Cruises vary in length. You may take one for as short a time as three days, or as long as three months. There are many different cruise ships to choose from as well. Some sail with only 200 passengers, while other â€œmega-shipsâ€ can hold from 1,000 to 2,000 passengers.
Where to Go
You can find a cruise ship travelling nearly anywhere. Aside from the ship itself, the ports of call are your next decision. A Caribbean cruise? Hawaii? Alaska? Or the Mediterranean? Mexico? Bermuda? There are many, many different factors which will enter into this decision, such as how much time you have, your budget, and, of course, the places you want to see.
Prices can vary greatly, even for identical rooms on the same cruise, so check and compare prices. Your best bet is, again, a travel agent who specializes in cruises. Make sure your travel agent is a reputable cruise agent. He or she should be a CLIA (Cruise Line International Associated) affiliated agent.
- The most important factor in your cruise is your cabin. Make sure it is on the outside, since inside cabins do not have a window.
- Ask what size it is - cabins are generally not very large.
- Make sure you are a slight distance from activities. You wouldnâ€™t want a cabin right next to a night club.
- You will have to request a double bed, most cabins have two twins beds.
- You may also have to select a â€œSeating,â€ or dinner hour. Honeymooners should generally opt for the later seating, since the earlier one usually draws mainly families with children and older travelers.
Cruise ships are famous for their meals, and rightly so. Breakfast may be served in the dining room or near the pool, and may include pancakes, omelets, and a wide selection of other breakfast treats. If you are on board for lunch, you may have the choice of a casual meal by the pool, or a full meal in the dining room. If you donâ€™t have enough for lunch, afternoon tea includes small sandwiches and sweets. After that, canapes and hors dâ€™oeuvres at the cocktail hour. Dinners on a cruise are usually divided into an early and late seating. You will either have to choose one of these when booking your cruise, or during check-in. The seating will apply to all meals you eat while on the ship. The later seating is usually more popular with younger travelers. It is also more convenient, if you plan to stay in the ports later, to have extra time to get ready for dinner. You will be assigned to a table of four, six, or eight. If offered your choice, you may be better off at the larger table. This will allow you to meet more of your shipmates, and perhaps make some good friends along the way. And, donâ€™t forget the midnight buffet. It is a cruising tradition for this to be the most spectacular meal of the day.
The activities available on your particular cruise may vary, but most offer about the same activities to passengers.
- On-board gymnasium, for jogging, competitive games, or for workouts.
- Exercise and aerobics and dance classes.
- Other sports may be available, such as tennis, golfing, or snorkeling. (These may also be available as part of your time in port.)
- Nightclubs and dancing.
- Shows, with singers, dancers, comedians, and other performers.
- Talks or classes on a variety of subjects.
- Personal pampering. Facials, massages, and other services are offered to make you feel your very best. (Note: the cost of these may be extra).
Cruises are supposed to be leisurely, but they still have to follow a schedule. Meals and activities will begin promptly at the scheduled time. And, be warned, ships leave the various ports on schedule, too. If the ship is due to leave at 11:00, make sure you are aboard before that time. Otherwise, you will find the ship has left without you.
While some cruise ships have eliminated tipping by adding it to the bill, most ships still expect it. They have made it easier for you by posting suggested amounts to tip various personnel who serve you. You should bring some envelopes along to place tips into, and hand them out on the final evening of your cruise. In general, plan on from $25 to $30 per day for tipping. Suggested tips include:
- Cabin steward: $3 per couple per day.
- Night steward: $5 per couple per day.
- Dining room waiter: $6 per couple per day.
- Dining room captain: $2 to $4 per couple per day.
- Maitre dâ€™: $5 to $10 per couple per day.
- Wine steward, bartender: 15% of the bill.
- Deck steward: $2 per couple per day.
Packing for a Cruise
Your cruise brochures should give you a schedule of events for you to plan your packing. In general, daytime dress is casual; shorts, shirts, bathing suits, exercise clothing. You should pack sandals, walking shoes for sight-seeing, as well as a pair of rubber-soled shoes for walking on deck. Ask your travel agent how many nights formal dress is required, and whether a jacket is sufficient. You may be required to wear a tuxedo.
Doâ€™s and Donâ€™ts
- DO book the later dinner seating if you plan on spending every day exploring the ports of call.
- DONâ€™T wait to sign up for shore excursions. These may fill up fast.
- DO look at the fine print for any additional fees/taxes at any of the ports.
- DO pack an overnight bag with a few daysâ€™ worth of essentials. If your luggage is lost on your flight, it could take a few days to catch up with you.
- DONâ€™T overpack. Cabins are small, and will soon be overcrowded.
- DO ask your doctor for Transderm Scop skin patches to prevent motion sickness. These require a prescription, and are not stocked on board.
- DONâ€™T stay in your cabin if you suffer from seasickness. Get out as much as possible into the fresh air.
- DO bring travelerâ€™s checks and credit cards.
- DO mention that you are newlyweds. Some ships may offer a special treat.
- DONâ€™T count calories! One of the best features of a cruise is its culinary expertise. So enjoy the meals!
- DONâ€™T miss the midnight buffets when the chefs show off their finest!
Tips for Cruising
- Bring your own supply of daily necessities (shampoo, toothpaste) and sun lotions. These will be available on board, but will be more expensive.
- You will probably do a lot of shopping, but check prices. You may find more bargains in the shipâ€™s shops than on land.
- Customs allows you to purchase up to $400 worth of goods per person, duty free. ($1,200 from the US Virgin Islands).
- Read the cruise newsletter daily for a listing of the dayâ€™s activities.
- Alcoholic drinks are not included in the price, so bring cash for these.
- Ask if there is a special party for honeymooners while on board.
- Cruise ships ask you to place your luggage outside your door the final night of the cruise so that it can be unloaded at port. Remember to keep out your clothes for the next day, or you will leave the ship in your pajamas.