The Romance of Valentine’s Day at Sea

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. This is a holiday you do not want to overlook. It’s a day to do something really special for your spouse or partner. According to an American Express report cited by six million couples are likely to get engaged on Valentine’s Day. It’s a day you do not want to overlook. Now suppose you are on a cruise on February 14th, how might you celebrate?

Many of these ideas can also be done on land, but here is the big benefit: Because of the all-inclusive nature of cruises, the cost of each activity is a lot lower. Some are probably included in your cruise fare.

  1. Buy your special someone roses. Many ships have a florist. You can place an order for flowers before you board or set it up once you have settled into your cabin. You can choose the day of delivery. Unlike land-based florists, prices should not shoot up just because it’s a holiday. I order flowers to surprise my wife on every voyage. (Assuming they have a florist.)
  2. Dress up for a formal dinner out. Regardless of the ship’s dress code, this is still an option. Your ship should have at least one specialty restaurant. They likely have private rooms too. Order the grilled filet mignon or twin Maine lobster entrée. Dress if your finest clothing. If you think you look out of place in a tuxedo, the private room is an option.
  3. Spring for gourmet chocolates. According to Statista, candy or sweets is the most popular Valentine’s Day present. Experienced gift givers know you don’t go for the cheap stuff. Your ship might have a specialty chocolate shop onboard. If not, the gift shop should feature famous names. If your research proves me wrong, there should be a luxury department store in port.
  4. Champagne and caviar, anyone? This can be a great deal! What is more luxurious than caviar? On our recent Cunard Queen Victoria voyage, caviar and the trimmings cost $60.00. Adding a half bottle of champagne brought it up to about $100. As a point of reference, the NYC hotel we like charges $225 for the caviar service. Champagne is extra.
  5. Dance the night away. Your ship comes alive at night. There are multiple venues, each featuring different genres of music. You can ballroom dance or spend the night clubbing. You might not dance yourselves, but you can enjoy watching others dance.
  6. Give the gift of jewelry. Here’s a popular gift! You might buy it in port. You might buy it in the jewelry shop onboard. You might pack it in your luggage and present it as a surprise present. Bring the purchase receipt and store it in a safe place. The US Customs people may have questions. Getting some advice beforehand helps. On our 40th anniversary my wife asked: “Why are you opening the safe?”
  7. Buy artwork to commemorate the occasion. This Valentine’s Day at sea might be a special holiday. Perhaps you were married on Valentine’s Day several years ago. This is a cruise to commemorate your anniversary. Your ship should have a gallery featuring original artworks.
  8. Do they have a favorite scent? Does your partner have a favorite cologne or perfume? Buying duty free onboard can get you a good deal, but you need to know your stateside prices beforehand. Perfume has always been a popular Valentine’s Day gift.
  9. How about a candlelight supper? Because of onboard fire hazards, the candles might be those flickering LED versions that look like real candles, but you should get credit for making the effort. The room service menu in your cabin should provide plenty of options. You might have dinner out on your balcony. Once you have made friends with the restaurant staff, you might explain your idea and ask if you can order from tonight’s dining room menu and have the meal brought to your cabin.
  10. Want to start with breakfast in bed? This is easy to arrange. Fill out the order form and hand it on your door handle before turning in. You specify the delivery time. Think this through, realizing you will need to be at least partially dressed, waring your robe when the steward knocks on your door. Take the tray from them, ditch the robe and hear back into bed to enjoy breakfast together.
  11. Visit the best restaurant in town. No, this is not a subtle ad for your ship! If you are going to be in port on Valentine’s Day, do some research on the Michelin website. What restaurants in town get stars or special mention? Can you get there easily? Book a reservation for lunch or dinner. Dress nicely. The experience should be fabulous. World cruising friends go for lunch at the most famous hotel in town.
  12. Have you considered a carriage ride? Horse drawn carriage rides through New York’s Central Park are a standard ingredient in romance movies. Other cities have carriage rides too. See if your port is one of them. Carriage rides are romantic. If you are in Venice, consider a gondola instead.
  13. At least buy a card! Some people are just not the romantic type! They gave up exchanging presents years ago. This does not mean you need to pretend the holiday does not happen! Valentine’s Day is an international holiday. When you are in port, check out the card shops. It’s cool to give a romantic card in a foreign language. If you left it to the last moment and are at sea, the gift shop onboard should carry cards.
  14. Book your next cruise. Are you having a good time on this cruise? Are you wishing the voyage would never end? Surprise your partner by booking your next volage while onboard! Booking a future cruise should only require a small advance deposit.

Now let us suppose you are not on a cruise ship at the moment. What can you do to follow through with the cruise theme?

  1. Book a future cruise as a special present. You are at home, on land. You have arranged for a dinner out or perhaps you are surprising your special someone with a home cooked meal. Surprise them by booking a cruise to one of their favorite places! Can you think of a better gift?

If you are at sea for Valentines Day, you have plenty of possibilities for making the day special!

Ed. Notes: CruiseCompete and its member travel advisors provide many curated cruise and land deals, offers and amenities on over 50 cruise lines with over 500 cruise ships sailing all around the world. Browse Cruise Ships and Cruise Lines

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