10 Best Couples Cruises for a Romantic Vacation at Sea
It's impossible not to fall in love with these cruises that cater to couples
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The best cruises for couples you’ll want to book now
What could be more romantic than spending a week at sea on a gorgeous ship with your honey, taking in spectacular views while indulging in over-the-top spa treatments and decadent, all-you-can-eat food? On the best cruises for couples, you get to experience so many exciting new sights, sounds and tastes together, you’re likely to fall in love with each other all over again. In fact, cruising is so romantic that thousands of couples actually get married, honeymoon and renew their vows onboard ships annually.
There are romantic short cruises, all-inclusive cruises, adults-only cruises and even cruises that sail around the world. So, with all the great options out there, how do you choose the best cruise for the two of you? We’ve come up with a list of the best cruises for every type of traveler—times two!—to ensure you have fun together and don’t end up having to look for singles cruises instead!
Best overall cruise
Which company offers the best cruises for couples? Thanks to its small ships, impeccable service and adults-only policy, Viking earns that title, offering amazing cruises for lovebirds of all ages. You’ll feel like you’re at one of the best adults-only, all-inclusive resorts—except that you’ll have stunning views at sea. Every stateroom features its own private veranda, perfect for cozying up and watching the world go by, but don’t miss afternoon tea in the lovely Wintergarden. Whether you’re heading to Hawaii or the Mediterranean, a shore excursion in every port is also included in your fare, and after each one, you’ll want to relax in your robes in the spa’s Scandinavian-inspired thermal suite and talk about everything you experienced.
In addition to award-winning ocean cruises, Viking is renowned for its river cruises and recently introduced expedition ships. Now, well-traveled couples can fulfill their bucket list trip to Antarctica knowing their favorite cruise line—like their partner—has their back.
Best megaship cruise
Although Celebrity ships hold thousands of guests, they’re so thoughtfully designed with cozy nooks and corners that they have a surprisingly intimate feel, which is why they may end up being your favorite cruises. That’s especially true for the Edge series ships, the newest in the fleet, which include the recently launched Beyond, a wonder in and of itself. Beyond fully lives up to its name, especially if you upgrade to the Retreat, an exclusive ship within a ship that will make you feel like, well, a celebrity. It includes a beautiful, roomy suite with your own veranda and also grants you access to a private sundeck, lounge and restaurant conducive to more intimate conversations. For the perfect date night, be sure to make a dinner reservation at Le Voyage, the first restaurant at sea from Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud, before heading off to a Broadway-quality show.
No worries if you’re not on Beyond. Every Celebrity ship is filled with fantastic dining options, and on Edge series ships, you can enjoy dinner alfresco on the Magic Carpet. A number of Celebrity ships also offer three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas for romantic weekend getaways, so seriously, what are you waiting for?
Best cruise for getting married or renewing your vows
Nicknamed “The Love Boat” in honor of the iconic TV show that was filmed on one of its ships, Princess is all about amore, and it just may be the most romantic cruise line. Embracing that legacy of love, it offers personalized wedding packages for couples who want to tie the knot at sea and recently set a Guinness World Record for the largest multi-location vow renewal. A dating reality show, The Real Love Boat, was also filmed aboard the Regal Princess and will debut this fall.
But even if you’re not thinking about marriage yet or you’ve been married for years, you’ll want to cuddle under a blanket together to watch Movies Under the Stars or book an Ultimate Balcony Dining experience for a private champagne breakfast for two. Whatever you choose to do, love is in the air! And trust us when we say you’ll forget all about these things you won’t be able to do on cruises anymore.
Best traditional cruise
With ships named after Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, it’s no wonder couples get the royal treatment on Cunard. The 180-year-old cruise line’s rich history is evident throughout each Art Deco–influenced ship, and there’s a touch of glamour that celebrates the Golden Age of cruising and will inspire you to celebrate each other. Some good cruise advice? Opt for a magical transatlantic cruise to stay on the ship 24/7 and take advantage of everything from enriching lectures to lazy days in the spa’s thermal suite. Pack your formalwear for the Gala Evening that’s a highlight of each cruise, and spend the night dancing cheek to cheek.
Best luxury cruise
With an oceanfront view from every room and all-inclusive fare, Seabourn is worth the splurge for a romantic getaway. Your Personal Suite Steward will attend to your every need, even drawing a Pure Pampering bath for two. You’ll also dine in style, choosing between award-winning venues serving everything from steak and sushi to tableside preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes.
In each port, Seabourn categorizes its shore excursions into collections, so you can experience a destination the way the two of you want to, whether you’re more into culture, wellness or adventure. The only issue is that you may never want to leave the ship. If that’s more your style, you might want to look into these themed cruises as well.
Best midsize cruise
Holland America Line
Many couples prefer midsize cruises because they offer the intimacy of a small ship with more activities. Holland America is a great choice, featuring lovely spaces like Silk Den Lounge and the Pinnacle Bar, where you can while away a couple of hours enjoying each other’s company with a cool drink in hand. Enjoy live entertainment at B.B. King’s Blues Club, Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard, and take part in Port to Table food and wine tastings and cooking demonstrations. All these experiences will enrich your cruise and your memories together.
FYI, despite its name, Holland America doesn’t just sail to Holland. It offers a wealth of itineraries for couples cruises, covering destinations from Alaska to Zanzibar. Of course, what you bring will depend on where you go, but this cruise packing list will make sure you don’t forget the essentials.
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Best cruise for younger couples
Richard Branson’s adults-only cruise line is young and hip. An oasis on the ocean, Virgin Voyages are the best cruises for millennial couples, whether you’re heading to the Greek Islands or the Caribbean ones. Every night can be date night, with more than 20 all-included eateries featuring everything from Korean BBQ to veggie-forward dining. Don’t worry—you can work off the calories in a wide variety of unlimited fitness classes, whether you prefer the intensity of indoor cycling or the zen of yoga.
Choose the soundtrack to your cruise at Voyage Vinyl, an onboard record store, where you’re likely to find your song. And commemorate your romantic vacation by getting matching tattoos at Squid Ink, the first tattoo shop at sea. Have cruises recovered from COVID? We’d say yes!
Best cruise for older couples
You won’t find lots of partiers on a Silversea cruise, but you will find lots of happy couples enjoying the ships’ understated luxury … and each other. It’s impossible not to feel special when you have your own suite with your own personal butler tending to your every need. (And FYI, all Silversea accommodations are suites.) Full dinners can even be served, course by course, in your cabin, white tablecloth and all. And because the all-inclusive pricing features wine, champagne and top-shelf spirits, you’ll find yourselves raising a glass—or two or three—to your love and your wise decision to book this couples cruise.
Best cruise for active couples
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean has always been known for its multitude of options, which have expanded even further with its launch of Wonder of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. It’s like a city in itself, boasting eight unique “neighborhoods,” including one exclusively for Royal Suite Class guests. There is so much for couples to do throughout the ship’s 18 decks, from walking through the plant-filled Central Park, riding the zip line and trying the FlowRider surf simulator to sipping cocktails at the cantilevered Vue Bar. On many of Royal Caribbean’s other ships, including Harmony of the Seas, you can opt for ice skating and dance lessons.
You may even find some hidden cruise features on board! And all this is before you even head out on shore excursions at your destinations.
Best budget cruise for couples
Carnival Cruise Lines
Because Carnival has a reputation as a party boat, people often ask, “Is Carnival good for couples?” The answer is yes, and the truth is, with the right partner, any cruise ship can be romantic. Carnival also happens to be fun and value-priced, which comes in handy if you didn’t book a cruise when they’re the cheapest (often, that’s in the off-season, like right after the holidays). In fact, right now, Priceline is offering last-minute rooms for under $50 per night, which is a steal. Carnival gives you the opportunity to channel your inner child and scream your way down the waterslides, laugh your head off at the R-rated comedy club sets and chill in the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat—all on the same cruise. And, as the saying goes, the couple that plays together stays together.