What is the dope on taking a cruise?

Hi. My wedding date is May 21st and since most of my family is traveling out of state I want to spend some time with them while they are here. The problem is that this only leaves about 5-6 days for a honeymoon. Since I am landlocked in the Midwest and two hours from the airport, travel time is an issue. I have considered taking a cruise.

What are your opinions of a cruise if you have been on one?

Is there quite a bit to do? My soon to be wife keeps emphasizing that she wants “lots to do.” I’m just worried that since we are on a ship that we might be rather limited.

Also, what cruise line should I book with?


Thanks guys!

go, definitely go.

Check something like travelocity, there are some short 3 day cruises that essentially leave from New Jersey, wander to Bermuda, hit shore for a day then wander back. The ships are very comfortable, have casinos shopping, spas and other entertainments, and you unpack once and pack up at the end =)

They have 7 and 9 and 14 day cruises down to the caribbean that are fantastic. We did a great one last spring that was amazingly relaxing for about $1900 each plus tax and tip. I think we spent another $500 on alcohol, spa treatments and trinkets for people left at home.

Cruisecritics.com is a message board about cruising.

A cruise ship is simply a hotel…that floats and moves around to interesting places.
On the ship, you can do whatever you would normally do inside a luxurious resort hotel.
And when the ship docks at an interesting place, you can do whatever sightseeing you would normally do at that place.

Cons: it’s a bit confining and regimented. the rooms are tiny, and the schedule is tight–you have to eat at exactly 6:00pm or 7:30 pm, sightsee for no more than 4and a half hours after docking, etc.
Pros: it’s EASY! It’s pre-packaged:all plans made for you and paid for in advance. And the food is great.

Take a cruise… and enjoy it.
It’s your honeymoon: You’ll probably find something to do that you can enjoy without wasting time on rental car insurance forms :slight_smile:

One thing I would urge you to consider is to not take your honeymoon directly after the wedding.

You will be dead tired after the wedding, and not uncommonly, become severely ill (all that kissing and hugging and handshaking with people who have been on airplanes spreading germs). I had walking pneumonia within five days of my wedding and that happened to at least one half of four or five couples I know. If I had planned international travel it would have been a disaster.

Best thing is to take 2-3 days afterwards just to hang out and recuperate at home, and set your honeymoon where you go off somewhere together for some convenient time no less than a month later.

Thanks for the information guys, it is much appreciated. To Hello Again, your recommendation does not fall on deaf ears, however my place of employment only grants 3 wks vacation per year and that is if someone with higher seniority has not already taken what you want, so I’m stuck with what I can get.

Ah, I think you misunderstood me. I didn’t mean you stayed home from work for a month then went away. I meant you went back to work after 3-4 DAYS, and honeymooned at a much later date.

As to cruising, my understanding is that different companies are quite different with respect to who they cater to, resultingly the level and type of activities are quite different. Personally, I am certain I would hate the cruise ship experience, but I know loads of people who love it, I think it’s a personal decision you can look into, and see if it is for you.

I think a cruise is a great idea for a honeymoon. As noted above, a wedding can really wear you out, and I wouldn’t recommend a vacation where you run yourself ragged, trying to see all the landmarks and great shopping, etc. Cruises are great for relaxing. Breakfast in bed, sit all day by the pool, go dancing or to the casino or to see a show in the evening. There’s plenty to do without it running you ragged.

jeredc1983, my mom happens to run a little travel agency online that specializes in cruises. If you want, feel free to PM me and I’ll send you her contact info.

I’ve been on three cruises, and I don’t think I’ll ever do another. When I travel I like to explore new places and keep my itinerary flexible. While the ship may be in a port for 8 hours, by the time you line up to get on the tender, and leaving adequate time to tender back AND go through security again, it leaves less time for any leisurely pursuits on land. I always feel too rushed to enjoy the ports.

And I get bored on the ship. I don’t gamble, I only drink 1 or 2 drinks a day, sunbathing gets boring quickly, I don’t like crowds, and unfortunately I end up eating for entertainment. There is tons of beautiful, and beautifully prepared food available every minute you are on board. And I eat way way too much.

If you enjoy going to resorts/hotels and staying on the premises, I think a cruise would be a nice vacation.

I am here to politely disagree with several posters grousing about limited activities. Both cruises I went on an itinerary was delivered every morning with the activity options, art auctions, mock quiz shows, an Austin powers dance class, and an adult scavenger hunt, were part of just one day. There is ALOT of things going on in a given day and at least in my experience, you only get to do about half of the stuff you might want to do. Dining times are only structured if you want the fancy sitdown dinners in the main dining rooms. Buffets are available over a wide time span (IIRC about 7am-3pm then like 4pm-10pm and room service will bring you basic cafe food pretty much 24/7 (burgers / fries / sandwiches).

I’ve been on a number of cruises with NCL, with friends, with my husband, and with my whole family, and throroughly enjoyed each one. There are many planned activities every day, but you only have to participate in what looks like fun to you. Splurge on a balcony cabin at least if you want, for the view and the sea breezes.

If you decide to take one, book a couples massage for your first day at the same time you book the cruise. massage appointments fill up fast, and you’re going to need it.

Also be sure the cruiseline knows it’s your honeymoon! They love to spoil newlyweds!

I just got back from a week-long cruise like… three hours ago. This was my third cruise. We’re already planning a cruise for next year.

We did this. My sister is about to do this. We went to a B&B not far from home for a few days, then went back to work. Six months later, we went on our “honeymoon.”

My sister is doing the same.

Who wants to leave the Midwest in the Spring? Nah, we want to vacation in Winter!

As to cruises, we’ve done two. They are OK, not my ideal choice for vacation. There is lots to do - if things like mock quiz shows and art auctions are something you want to do. There are shows, some gambling. In the time you have, you won’t manage to get very far - probably Nassau and back. You do want to fly in the day before you leave because if you miss the boat, you miss the boat, that will remove a day of your vacation.

FWIW, a good “beginner” cruise line is Carnival.

My wife and I went a a cruise a few years ago (Cabo / Mazatlan / Puerta Vallarta), and I don’t think we’ll go on another one until we are too old to walk. We’re not drinkers or gamblers, so the two main activities on board weren’t of interest. Some of the other activities (shows, formal dinners) were OK, but we would much rather spend our vacation time exploring a city. The stops at the various ports were too short, and a lot of the pre-arranged activities seemed to be geared at getting you to buy crap. The best thing we did was take a bike ride through the hills of Puerta Vallarta, ending up at a delicious meal.

I’ve been on four cruises. There is definitely lots to do, but a good reason for taking a cruise as a honeymoon is that you have a very good reason to be out of touch with work and everyone else.
I neither drink nor gamble (much) and I’ve had no problems keeping busy.
As for visiting interesting places, cruises are good as a sampler, but not as a way of really getting to see something. Our last one taught me that I don’t want to have any part of Egypt (well before the recent unpleasantness) but that Turkey seems like a wonderful place. The thing to do is to go back to a place you like to really see it.

The best thing is not having to shlep luggage all over.

Oh, someone complained about seatings. NCL (which we used for our last one) has open seatings for the main dining rooms (though you can make reservations) so that isn’t an issue. I prefer assigned tables, though, since you get to meet some people in depth. On our first cruise, NY to France on the QE2, we got assigned a table with the ship’s chief engineer and deputy chief engineer, which was awesome.

I took a cruise up the inside passage to Alaska last summer. We had a nice sized cabin with an outside balcony. There were a lot of tours to choose from at the various stops. I must admit that there was a lot of pushing to buy stuff like the jewelry on shore and all the duty free stuff on board. I showed up for every computer class and learned some new things and actually helped a few people. The food was great and the ship very nice. You can try to do everything or zone out and stay in your cabin for a week (it’s your honeymoon!) I wouldn’t do it every year, but I enjoyed my Alaska cruise.

Aren’t cruises mostly retired people?

Depends on the line. Carnival has a reputation as a party cruise filled with younger people - its a fairly inexpensive line. Disney gets young families. NCL gets families with teens. Holland America gets retirees.

You’ll get some of each on each line.

I have a question about going on a cruise. My wife and I are compulsive “1 Wheelie Bag/1 carry-on Bag Each” travellers, we travel light, always, no matter how long/far we are going. So, we stay in hotels that offer do it yourself laundry, or have coin ops near by. Can we find something like this on a cruise, or is it all valet service, with extra charges-if so, how much should we budget for that sort of stuff?

Don’t just fight my ignorance, kick it while its down, too!