If you’re planning to whisk your partner away on a romantic cruise, it pays to choose your cruise line carefully.
A relaxing getaway conjures up images of calm seas, peace and tranquillity as you both watch the sun go down from a deserted deck – or the sea lapping at your feet as you stroll together hand-in-hand along a quiet beach. However, pick the wrong ship and you might get something rather different from this exotic dream – crowds of people, queues around every corner, screaming children and hordes of noisy teens, all getting in the way of your dream vacation. Fortunately there are some great cruise lines that are ideal for couples looking for a little peace.
P&O’s Arcadia ship which was refurbished in late 2013 only offers adult cruises, which means it’s completely tailored towards adults. It’s a mid-size ship so it’s not quite as chaotic as the mega ships, and the focus is on relaxation and pampering in sophisticated surroundings. The Meridian is the main restaurant on the ship which is split into two layers – or alternatively, cruisers can visit Marco Pierre White’s grill and Atul Kochhar’s ‘East’. The on board facilities include a substantial sized spa with thermal suite, hydro-therapy pool and aromatic showers, an art gallery, a theatre and a cinema. The suites offer the nicest accommodation with their own sitting areas, good sized balconies and a range of other perks to make your getaway a little bit more special.
Aside from the Arcadia, P&O have the Oriana – another mid-sized ship, and Adonia – a much smaller ship, both of which are also adults only. The Adonia offers a more intimate experience and you’ll quickly get to know who else is on board. It sails to some more exotic destinations making it the perfect choice for couples who want a peaceful relaxing experience away from the madding crowds.
Royal Caribbean also has a smaller ship – the Majesty of the Seas – which offers an intimate experience with exotic locations on the itinerary. Although it caters for families, they tend to gravitate towards the mega ships with the wider range of activities and so the smaller ships can be a great place to find peace and relaxation. The suites on board offer the best in terms of relaxation and a balcony is a must to appreciate the amazing experience of sunrise and sunset at sea.
The Majesty doesn’t have the relaxing open-roofed Solarium that’s available on some of Royal Caribbean’s larger ships so if this appeals to you, you might want to consider their Vision class ships instead. These are slightly bigger in size and have more choice when it comes to restaurants and bars, but still not as chaotic as the mega ships. Again, although these do cater for kids, there are less facilities and the ships sail to a wider range of less-conventional destinations, meaning that families tend not to book.
Not all couples are looking for peace and tranquillity when it comes to a couple’s holiday and on that note, it’s worth mentioning the new Royal Caribbean Quantum Class mega ships. They combine some of the most spacious and beautifully furnished cabins with some incredible facilities, allowing couples to relax and unwind in the day but be more adventurous at night.
The entertainment itinerary for the new mega ships is nothing short of spectacular so whether or not this experience is for you depends on whether you can tolerate the facilities being far busier and the atmosphere less peaceful than on the smaller ships. If you opt for the mega ship experience, you can minimise the hustle and bustle by taking a longer cruise, as families ted to stick to shorter, seven night voyages.