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Couples love to holiday. But most couples never consider a cruise. Which is odd considering most of them are designed with duos in mind. Here are six of our favourite cruise lines for the best couple's holiday at sea.
1. Princess Cruises
Why: Dinner dates never come with the compromise about who has to drive.
Well regarded as ‘The Love Boat’ of cruise lines, don’t let such a cheesy title put you off a Princess cruise, they really have fine-tuned romance at sea. The Ultimate Balcony Dining experience allows guests to dine privately on their balcony, with a four-course meal, personal waitstaff, lobster, steak and plenty of Champagne. Bottoms up, because no one has to drive home. Better yet, you don’t even need a taxi. Already have dinner plans? And with the line’s restaurants boasting more Italian Executive Chefs than you can shake your spaghetti at – we can see why you would, why not opt for a romantic Balcony Breakfast instead? Croissants in your cabin to the sound of the ocean. Yes please.
Date option 2: If a cosy movie night is more your bag, Movies Under the Stars is an outdoor cinema experience projected from the pool deck. Grab a reclining lounger, a tartan blanket and some popcorn to share. The tried and tested never fails.
2. Silversea Cruises
Why: Children are a rarity in these parts.
It’s not so much that children aren’t allowed on board, it’s more that they’re not encouraged. At all. For all those travelling as a duo, Silversea is the discerning cruise for the discerning cruiser. A small ship setting with prominence on fine food and European-style service, you’ll enjoy uninterrupted dinner dates in venues that are designed with only adults in mind. On all Silversea’s ships, The Showlounge, a theatre which can seat hundreds, also boasts two-person love seats, and each has a small table for personal items and drinks. It's an oldie but a goodie; there’s no nicer date than dinner and a show.
Date option 2: Regardless of ship or suite category, every guest is offered Silversea Butler Service. Why not ask them to draw a scented whirlpool bath? For two.
3. Norwegian Cruise Lines
Why: Uninterrupted time for just the two of you.
Norwegian Cruise Lines remain consistently popular with couples because there are zero expectations for guests to actively seek new cruise-going comrades. Ordinarily, cruisers make the perfect venue for forging new friendships and acquaintances, but when you just want a bit of couple-time with your significant other, Norwegian’s approach to “freestyle cruising” allows for a more intimate cruise experience. There are no fixed dining times or pre-assigned seating, and entertainment and accommodations are offered on an on-demand basis. Choose to stay in your cabin all day (on a whim) or have a really late dinner if you feel like it. With Norwegian, couples can be spontaneous. And there’s nothing more romantic than spontaneity.
Date option 2: Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway are renowned for their stage shows. From “Rock of Ages," to "Million Dollar Quartet" as well as live comedy and improve stand up, complement your dinner with a post-dessert giggle or some razzle dazzle. IE, move over Broadway.
4. Celebrity Cruises
Why: Couples come first.
Celebrity design their ships with doubles in mind so as well as date-worthy wine bars and cosy dining venues, there are sunbeds built for two and hammocks with enough space to accommodate a loved-up duo. If the pair of you share an infinity for heat, by day you can descend on the adults-only solarium, and by night you can accompany your better half to the Sunset Bar. There’s only one thing more amorous than a shared solarium and it’s soaking up a romantic sunset together. Order a couple of cocktails and as night falls, a starlit sky will erupt over the ocean.
Date option 2: The Lawn Club is a large stretch of real grass covering the ships’ top deck. Also the perfect venue for a picnic or to sunbathe. Wander barefoot across the greenery, or enjoy a spot of croquet together – loser has to pay for the private cabana rental.
5. Oceania Cruises
Why: The way to any (wo)man’s heart is through the stomach.
Both Oceania’s Riviera and Marina ships feature The Culinary Center Classes: Cooking workshops led by revered head chefs and covering various cuisines from across the globe. This is the first custom-designed cooking school at sea, packed-out with a fully equipped workstation in a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen. If you dream of returning home to breakfast crepes served in bed, or a French style bistro dinner awaiting your arrival after a long day in work - partner up and learn some new skills together.
Date option 2: Wine tasting at The Marina’s La Reserve is one of the many luxury extras that Oceania are renowned for. Intimate experiences aboard ships that are smaller than most is what premium couples cruising is all about.
6. Paul Gauguin Cruises
Why: Over one thousand honeymooners later, the proof’s in the Gauguin pudding.
Paul Gauguin sail through French Polynesia year-round, and for good reason – what’s more desirable than a South Pacific backdrop? Imagine having coffee on your balcony when Bora Bora pulls into view, or enjoying a chilled glass of Champagne to the sun setting over a deserted island. Couples who like to get up, out and active together will appreciate the endless array of water-based activities, from SUP boarding to kayaking. If you both possess a PADI certificate, join the dive master for a coral dive, or get dropped off at a tiny island and spend a few hours swimming, snorkelling and sun bathing.
Date option 2: After a full day of activity, indulge in a relaxing couples massage at the spa followed by dinner at L'Etoile. Boasting French cuisine (and as any French person will tell you, every love story starts with food) and an exotic Polynesian twist, enjoy a good knead and then have a good feed.
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