Best For Adventure: Azamara Club Cruises
Courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises
- Sails from: Rio De Janeiro
- Duration: 8 nights
- Ship Name: Azamara Pursuit
- Itinerary: Ilhabela, Brazil Sao Paulo, Brazil Montevideo, Uruguay Punta Del Este, Uruguay Buenos Aires, Argentina
Azamara Club Cruises is ideal for couples who like to discover more adventurous destinations on a smaller cruise ship. The newest addition to the fleet, the Amazon Pursuit, has just 702 passengers, so theres added space and privacy. In addition, the companys Destination Immersion program allows more time in ports so theres no rush to get back to the ship. Adult beverages and gratuities are bundled into the pricing, and suites come with a personal butler and in-suite afternoon tea service. The ships new Club Spa Suites place couples next to the spa and feature a glass-enclosed soaking tub and separate rain shower, plus private balconies. On the South America voyage, the ship will stay docked overnight in Rio De Janeiro so couples can take in the sizzling nightlife.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best cruise lines for couples.
Best Shore Excursions: Viking Ocean Cruises
Vikings ocean and river cruises include shore excursions in the price of a ticket, which gives them a foot up on many other luxury lines. These immersive shore experiences tend to center around walking and bus tours, as well as enrichment excursions like brewing craft beer, arts and crafts, photo walks, and more. Viking also caters to passengers with limited mobility, as well as more active guests. Tours are staffed by knowledgeable guides who have scoped out the best photo ops, and Vikings partnership with many iconic sites means you can skip long lines.
Best Cruise Lines In The Mediterranean
With another win, Viking tops three of U.S. News’ six categories, this time for its presence in the Mediterranean. In every instance, it is followed by Seattle-based Seabourn Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation‘s ultra-luxury brand.
Seabourn has five ships, which hold between 450-600 passengers and cruise to more than 400 destinations. As part of a multi-year agreement, the cruise line has contributed more than $1.5 million to support UNESCO, which grants its guests “unique access” to more than 170 World Heritage Sites, according to its website.
Also on the list: Oceania Cruises , Crystal Cruises , Costa Cruises , MSC Cruises , Silversea Cruises , Holland America Line , Norwegian Cruise Line , Princess Cruises , Royal Caribbean International and Cunard Line .
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Best Cruise Line For Parents Leaving The Kids At Home
We know that some parents feel guilt about leaving the kids while they go on a cruise. Thats normal, but it should subside oh about five seconds after getting on the ship.
If youre an adult couple leaving the kids at home, then its likely you want to let loose a little bit now that you dont have to worry about being responsible for a kiddo for a few days. In that case, we suggest sailing on Carnival preferably one of their newer Vista-class ships.
Carnival, in our opinion, is the most free-wheeling of the cruise lines. Its generally known as the line where people let loose a little bit more and have fewer reservations about partying or hanging out with strangers and having a good time. From the staff to the ships atmosphere, its all cheery and fun-loving.
For adults, there is the Serenity area , which despite not having a pool, does include hot tubs. Many people also like the half-circle loungers for couples that offer a measure of privacy for those wanting to feel like they are all alone on a ship full of people.
As well, Carnival often has some of the lowest prices of the major cruise lines as well as the most ships and departure ports. That makes it fairly convenient and inexpensive to have a quick getaway without the kids.
Explore A Private Island Together With Paul Gauguin Cruises
If you or your love have fantasized about being whisked off to a secluded isle, weve got good news for you. Not only do Paul Gauguin cruises sail exclusively to destinations off the beaten path, many also call at Motu Mahana, the cruise lines private French Polynesian island. Make the most of your newly-minted PADI SCUBA certification by exploring the beaches and shores together before retiring back to the ships lap of luxury for gourmet dining.
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Saga Cruises For The 50
Saga Cruises, a British boutique cruise line, offers small-ship sailings exclusively to passengers over 50 years of age. Fares include all meals at any restaurant, gratuities, Wi-Fi, most drinks , fitness classes, transfers to and from the ship and shuttles into town from port.
The line has two ocean ships, the 999-passenger Spirit of Discovery and the 999-passenger Spirit of Adventure, both with all balcony staterooms. Saga cruise itineraries include the Baltic, the British Isles, the Canaries, and the Caribbean.
Saga river cruises feature the same level of included perks on adults-only sailings aboard Spirit of the Danube and Spirit of the Rhine.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Offer The Most Base Fare Inclusions
Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers the most inclusions of any luxury line in its base fares. That means all tips, drinks , a wide array of shore excursions in every port, shuttles into town when needed, main dining rooms and specialty dining, one account of unlimited Wi-Fi per suite, as well as airfare and airport transfers. Regent’s five ships , range in size from 490 to 750 passengers.
You can expect some kids on Regent Seven Seas’ Alaska and European cruises in the summer, so if you’re set on cruising at that time of year, opt for longer cruises that shy away from places with more family-friendly excursions.
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Alaska For Breathtaking Landscapes
Snuggle up with your sweetie and embark on a cruise to the Last Frontier. An overwhelming crowd favorite, Alaskas natural splendor and abundant wildlife make it a must for any bucket list. Go in the spring for prime whale watching or opt for a fall sailing to catch a glimpse of the spectacular northern lights while cozied up with your person.
Go with:Silversea Cruises
Can’t wait to go on a Luxury Mediterranean Cruise now? Simply use our cruise search to narrow your focus and activate a free price alert to be automatically notified of any price changes. You can also take advantage of our price prediction analytics to save even more money.
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Transatlantic Or Repositioning Cruises For Timeless Romance
Do it like Jack and Rose and set sail from Europe to New York on a voyage that stands the test of time. While a full-size ocean liner is best for couples looking to recreate the romance of the Titanic without the drama, swashbuckling sweethearts may be more interested in cruising with Windstar Cruises. With the unfurling of its seven dramatic sails at departure, Windstars Wind Surf delivers high-seas romance on Transatlantic cruises, plus intimacy onboard.
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Large Ship Line #: Holland America Line
As its name indicates, Holland America is a cruise line that was established in 1873 to primarily ferry passengers, many of whom were emigrants, between the Netherlands and the United States. Of course, these days, the cruise line sails more broadly to more than 470 ports around the world on its 11 shipsand its highly regarded for its Alaska itineraries. While passengers can enjoy classic cruise activities like swimming, sports, and gambling, Holland America is particularly noted for its culinary and musical programs: it has a partnership with the TV show Americas Test Kitchen for cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, and a number of live music venues , and stage productions dedicated to the history of music on many of its ships. The latest addition to Holland Americas fleet is the Rotterdam, which first set sail in July 2021, with a capacity of 2,650 passengers.
Norwegian Cruises Allow Couples To Go With The Flow
The Norwegian Cruise Line has a freestyle dining experience wherein couples dont have designated time or tablemates in various restaurants. The cruise lines newest ships offer a Las Vegas-type flash combined with non-stop entertainment. For those wanting some private time, it has private spaces as well.
Couples can relive their youth by challenging each other to go-karts or see who can outshoot each other in a game involving zombies. Couples can relax in the spas relaxation space, relax in the thalassotherapy pool, or enjoy beautiful views in the glass Observation Lounge.
During the evening, enjoy a Broadway show or take in a cover bank at The Cavern Club. Go salsa dancing at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar or enjoy a vintage bottle at the Cellars Wine Bar.
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Seadream Yacht Club: For The Casual Cruiser
Are you seeking luxury cruising with a casual vibe? Perhaps you want to enjoy a well-appointed stateroom or suite , flawless service and excellent food and wine but could care less about dressing up or packing lots of clothes.
If so, consider SeaDream Yacht Club for your idyllic cruise. The 112-passenger SeaDream I and II deliver sailing experiences that vibe like private yachts. The 95 crew members aboard each cruise ensure it’s a luxury-driven getaway.
Elegant informality rules. With most cruises in warm climes — the Caribbean or Mediterranean — passengers dress mostly in shorts. Cruisers even receive personalized pajamas, designed for snuggling under the stars on SeaDream’s signature Balinese Dream Beds dressed with soft Belgian linens or in comfy cabins, awash in richly polished wood.
At dinner, button-down shirts and slacks for men and sundresses or casual pants for ladies suffice. Expect your lavish multicourse meal, paired with fine wines, to look and taste Michelin-star worthy. Weather permitting, count on dining alfresco, in cozy corners under a sky ablaze with stars.
Best Romantic Cruises For Couples Whove Never Cruised Before
A great pick for couples whove never been on a romantic vacation at sea, Carnival Cruise Line is often thought of as the budget or party cruise line, but theres a lot to love about its cruises for couples, too.
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On many of Carnivals cruise ships, youll find restaurants that were created by celebrity chefs like Guy Fieri and Emeril Lagasse. You can enjoy couples massages and quality time in the spa or one of the many lounges around the ships. And couples looking for a unique romantic getaway will want to book a trip on the upcoming Carnival Mardi Gras, which has the first coaster at sea.
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Most Romantic Cruise Destinations
Typically, romantic destinations tend to be idyllic islands in a faraway land, where couples can escape from their busy lives and focus on each other. Places like French Polynesia, the Caribbean islands, the Maldives, and Fiji usually top the list because of their exotic locale, turquoise lagoons, and peaceful serenity. Europe also exudes romance with its centuries-old castles, gilded palaces, and various romantic pursuits think gondola ride in Venice, Seine river cruise in Paris, and frolicking in the Greek Isles the playgrounds of legendary gods and goddesses.
The good news is that all of these destinations can be reached by cruise ship. In French Polynesia, Paul Gauguin Cruises and Windstar Cruises sail year-round, with occasional trips to Fiji, which is also visited by numerous other cruise lines as part of a repositioning cruise or South Pacific itinerary. Luxury cruise lines Crystal, PONANT, and Seabourn sail to the Maldives, along with Costa Cruises and Oceania Cruises. All major cruise lines from budget to luxury sail to Europe, as well as a variety of river cruise lines.
Below are some of our recommendations for a romantic vacation at sea:
Small Ship Line #: Windstar Cruises
The lines six shipsthree sailing yachts and three all-suite motor yachtsspecialize in visiting ports that ban larger ships, like the Byzantine hilltop town of Monemvasia in the Greek Islands, and the sleepy, palm-fringed Caribbean island of Bequia. Those smaller ports can give a sense of intimacy that isn’t always present in the most common cruise destinations, allowing for wholly different experiences. In 2017, Windstar also became the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation, introducing further special itineraries with culinary themes and guest chefs.
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Medium Ship Line #1: Princess Cruises
Of Princess Cruises 14-ship fleet, its five smallest include the Coral Princess, Island Princess, Sun Princess, Sea Princess, and the infamous Pacific Princess, which was the star of the TV show The Love Boat. The Pacific Princess is by far the smallest, holding just 680 passengers. The four other ships carry around 2,000 passengers and are the perfect size to sail through the Panama Canal.
The Best Cruise Lines In The World: 2021 Readers Choice Awards
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For our 34th annual Readers Choice Awards survey, registered voters weighed in on their favorite cruise lines. As the world has begun to reopen and ships of all sizes are once again leaving port, the results reflect the lines you longed to set sail with when you couldnt travel and the ones you returned to first once you could. More than 800,000 of you filled out our survey, and while were always curious about where youve been and where youre going, were especially excited to learn about the truly memorable cruise lines that sparked your imagination and stayed with you when your next sailing seemed out of reach.
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Relax In A Private Cabana With Seabourn
If youre on a honeymoon cruise or celebrating a special occasion, this is a great way to make some memories. Seabourn Encore offers 15 private cabanas for rent described as luxury living rooms. Spend the day there with your sweetheart and soak in the sea views in peace and privacy. Each cabana costs $350 per day, but its arguably one of the best ways to spend a sea day.
Medium Ship Line #1: Carnival Cruise Line
The eight ships between Carnival’s Fantasy and Spirit classes each clock in around 2,100 passengersCarnival hasn’t built a ship that small since 2004 and has no plans to order any more. But these smaller ships sail itineraries all over the world, from the Panama Canal to the South Pacific, as well as shorter sailings from Florida to the Caribbean, and bring the same amount of laid-back fun to each sailing as the much larger Carnival ships.
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Best Cruise Line For Couples Who Go With The Flow: Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian‘s Freestyle Dining philosophy is perfectly suited to table-for-two travelers. We love the line’s newest — but not biggest ships — which are full of Las Vegas flash and nonstop entertainment action for active couples, while also offering quiet spaces for couples seeking to reconnect.
Active couples can race each other in go-karts and compete to see who can shoot the most zombies . Those looking to relax together can snag side-by-side loungers in the spa’s relaxation room, take a dip in the thalassotherapy pool, or lay about in plush chaise lounges with stunning views in the glass-enclosed Observation Lounge.
At night, snuggle up to your honey, cocktail in hand as you take in a Broadway show, or rock out together to a Beatles-cover band in The Cavern Club. Those looking to perfect their salsa together can stop by Sugarcane Mojito Bar for some hot Latin tunes, while those looking to toast a special event can try out a slew of vintages at the Cellars Wine Bar.
Try dinner at Cagney’s, the dedicated steakhouse, and Le Bistro, a French eatery. Or share small plates of street food at Food Republic. Afterwards, get two spoons and dig into a massive sundae at Coco’s.
Final Thoughts On The Best Cruises For Couples
Now that you know which are the best couples cruises, youre ready to book the adventure of your life. Sail across the globe and create ever-lasting memories with your favorite person.
The best thing about cruising is that youre not bound to one destination. You can be in Italy today and Spain tomorrow, all the while enjoying delicious cuisine, partying til you drop, and getting exclusive pampering at a spa.
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Carnival Cruise Lines Offers The Best Budget Friendly Option
Imagine a serene retreat filled with clamshells, hammocks, sunbeds, and bars located nearby. Best of all, you dont need to pay extra for visiting.
Couples who are looking for a food experience can choose from Bonsai Teppanyaki, Fahrenheit 555, or the Chefs Table . Dinners come with private champagne receptions and a galley tour.
If you want a more casual experience, the Carnival Panorama, and Carnival Horizon featureGuys Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse. This restaurant offers smokehouse favorites from popular chef Guy Fieri, plus it includes a brewery as well as live music for dancing.
The Carnival Cruise Line also has newlywed and anniversary experiences wherein couples can enjoy a stateroom that is romantically decorated with heart-shaped cakes, cookie plates, champagne, and Carnival-etched champagne flutes.
Medium Ship Line #: Hurtigruten
What started as a coastal ferry company in Norway in 1893 has expanded its operations to include expeditions to such destinations as Antarctica, Cape Verde, and Greenland. Of Hurtigruten’s 14-ship fleet, there are seven expedition vessels, five of which fit 500 to 1,000 passengers. The cruise line’s two newest ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, are hybrid-powered ships, demonstrating Hurtigruten’s dedication to sailing as cleanly as possible to protect the environment.
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