Saying that we had an incredible time on our honeymoon is an understatement! It was the trip of a lifetime and I’m so glad that we decided to start our life as a married couple with such a bang. I’d like to toss around a few suggestions to those of you that might be planning on taking a European cruise honeymoon.
1. Pack light!
I cannot stress this enough! Pack as little clothing as possible, which might not seem so simple when you’re spending three weeks in another country with limited access to laundry. We spent 18 days in Europe and everything was packed in the two backpacks shown below and one small garment bag.
My wardrobe for this honeymoon consisted mostly of dresses. I’d wear them for dinner with nice heels and jewelry and them wear them again some other day atop leggings with my Crocs.
In contrast, our friends C and L packed two HUGE suitcases (bottom left) in addition to two backpacks. These things could easily fit me inside; they were humongous and a pain to travel with. I think they definitely learned their lesson.
Another good thing about packing light was that since only Mr. Boa had a checked bag, I was able to check a bag full of souvenirs on the flight back home for free.
2. Do a bit of research.
I did a A LOT of research before the trip, but you may be able to get by only using this book.
Rick Steves’ Mediterranean Cruise Ports via Amazon
It features most of the cities covered in a Mediterranean cruise. It has information on tour guides, restaurants, maps, directions to attractions, and recommendations on how to “skip the line” or “where to buy tickets in advance.” The part of the book that we loved the most was the walking tours of the major cities. The one we followed in Athens was one of the highlights of the trip!
Unfortunately, seeing Europe by cruise means you only get to see a city for a couple of hours, and his book/walking tours definitely made us make the most of them, helping us to avoid three-hour-long lines and to squish as much as possible into our day. It’s the perfect companion for someone traveling on a cruise DIY style.
3. Find the time to enjoy all the cruise ship has to offer.
Mediterranean ports are wonderful and it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the grandeur and wonder, but don’t neglect the amenities a cruise ship offers. We had an absolute blast on the cruise portion of the honeymoon! The Mariner of the Seas is a great ship, with good food and lots of things to do. I feel I should warn you that Mediterranean cruises do cater more to a retired crowd, so those of you expecting the party atmosphere that can be found in some Caribbean sailings will be a bit disappointed. We enjoyed the laid-back vibe since it made for a quieter, more intimate atmosphere perfect for us honeymooners.
4. Find time to slow things down and turn up the romance.
Though we did go on our honeymoon with friends (the awesome C and L, who got engaged during our stay in Istanbul), we had more than our fair share of private and romantic moments. On our second night aboard, I surprised Mr. Boa by hauling him down to the pool deck at 2 AM after a night of salsa dancing, so that we could chill in the Jacuzzi tub for a while. At that hour the deck was deserted, and it was super nice to be able to just relax and spend some quality time with each other and let all the wonderful things that had happened in the last few days just sink in.
We also celebrated our one week as Mr. and Mrs. on board.We got all dressed up and, after a nice dinner, we celebrated at the Mariner of the Seas wine bar. We were the only ones there and the atmosphere was super romantic and intimate. We celebrated yet again on our last night on the ship, having dinner at the ship’s steakhouse while watching an incredible sunset.
Taking a European honeymoon can be very overwhelming, so don’t forget to sit back, relax, and focus on the two of you for a while.
Wanna read up on our honeymoon adventure?