A honeymoon is the first of countless romantic getaways you’ll take with your spouse, but as a vacation designed to celebrate the beginning of your lives together, it will forever remain the most memorable. Choose a cruise honeymoon, and those happy, lifelong memories will be of not just one exotic destination but a series of beautiful places. Ports of call across Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean and The Bahamas all promise glorious sunshine, balmy beaches, natural treasures and opportunities for exciting adventures. These 10 enticing cruise destinations, though, stand out for their especially romantic ambiance.
With its waterfalls, clear Caribbean seas, and tropical rainforests teeming with life, Limón is the perfect honeymoon destination for nature-loving newlyweds. Together you can brave a canopy zip line course, go tubing down a wild river or hit the trail on a spectacular hike.
From seeing the sunrise together at the 10,000-foot peak of the volcano Haleakala to exploring the kaleidoscopic underwater world of coral reefs on a snorkel trip and ending the day with Mai Tais on a sunset cruise, the Hawaiian island of Maui was seemingly made for lovers. Spend time in the sleepy old whaling port of Lahaina, tour a pineapple plantation, or feast on traditional Hawaiian cuisine with live entertainment at a luau.
Cabo San Lucas
Travel with your new spouse to the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, where the port of Cabo San Lucas awaits. Treasures to discover in the vicinity of the coastal resort include the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sierra Mountains, where you can soar over a canyon on a series of ziplines; the resident humpback, gray and blue whales in the sparkling Sea of Cortez; and the famous El Arco rock arch, best seen up-close on a kayak tour.
Half Moon Cay
What could be more romantic than spending some of your honeymoon on a private island in The Bahamas? At Half Moon Cay, you can pursue such couples-friendly cruise activities as riding horseback along a white-sand beach and paddling a tandem kayak through a protected lagoon. But perhaps after all those months of wedding planning, you might prefer to lounge together in a hammock under the shade of a palm tree or toast to your wedded bliss with a rum punch or two in an open-air bar.
With its ancient Mayan ruins dotted with moss, stalactite-filled limestone caves carved by rivers deep in the rainforest, and the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, Belize makes a most beautiful background for honeymoon photos. You’ll have to find time during your adventures to stop and snap those two-some selfies.
Bermuda‘s famous pink sand beaches set the scene for a delightful sojourn with your sweetie. Other enticements of the island (actually an archipelago of more than 100 islands and cays) include classic English-style high tea inside elegant hotel parlors, shipwrecks in shallow enough waters for snorkeling, and the picturesque cobblestone streets and cottages of St. George’s.
See the incredible Hawaiian island of Kauai by air, on a helicopter ride over Waimea Canyon and the remote Na Pali Coast; from the seat of a unique, all-terrain “Mudbug” that drives you through streams and old sugar cane fields in the back country of the Garden Isle; or through the open-air windows of the historic Kauai Plantation Railway.
Cruise to Curacao, the Caribbean island famous for its signature blue liqueur, and you’ll discover there’s much more to this destination than cocktails. Visit the picture-perfect rows of pastel-painted houses in old Willemstad, the dramatic Hato Caves, beautiful rainforest trails, historic plantation houses and unusual salt pans inhabited by pink flamingos. However, you’ll still want to find time to toast to Curacao with a blue-hued tipple or two.
Beaches, Mayan pyramids, the Spanish colonial city of Merida and more await newlyweds who cruise to Yucatan (Progreso), Mexico. The destination boasts no less a treasure than one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza, the well-preserved remains of one of the greatest Mayan cities. Other excursions might take you snorkeling in underground pools, to a private beach club or on a Mexican beer-tasting tour. See Merida by horse-drawn carriage, the rugged Gulf of Mexico coastline by ATV or the bird life-rich mangroves by stand-up paddle board.
Whether you steal away on a weekend getaway after your wedding or embark upon an epic weeks-long cruise, there are few finer ways to launch your adventure into married life than with a cruise vacation. Exotic destinations abound on cruise itineraries long and short, so you and your new spouse can happily enter the world of wedded bliss with the sand in between your toes, the sun shining on your shoulders and your fingers intertwined.