Where Shall the Whales Honeymoon?

I am such a daydreamer. I love to look up vacation spots and dream all about what we could possibly do there. They rarely happen, but I’ve got a long list in my mind of places I’d love to visit. In truth, Mr. Whale and I don’t really take too many vacations. Actually, when I think about it, we’ve never taken a vacation together! Sure, we road trip around the southeast during the winter and summer while we visit our families when school is on break. But, we’ve never taken a bona fide “vacation.” This is our chance!!

The ideal honeymoon would be the perfect vacation from each of our perspectives. But what do we each envision for a vacation? For me, I would like a place where we can get a good mix of both sight-seeing/activities and relaxation. When I asked Mr. Whale what he wanted, he responded, “I don’t know. I’ve never really been on a vacation. As long as I don’t have to plan anything and as long as I can sleep in sometimes, it’ll be fine.” So”¦ Mr. Whale doesn’t really know what he wants. But, I do know him pretty well, so I’m pretty sure that he would prefer slightly more relaxation and less planned activities than I would. (For those of you that are into this stuff, I’m an ISTJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Indication Test. I’m 89% J, so I am all about planning out our activities. Mr. Whale is an ENFP. P’s like to “keep their options open”, so I’m guessing he doesn’t want our whole honeymoon planned out.)

So the first goal was to rule out things that would require too many activities. This meant Paris was out.

Image from World Visits

Paris is totally my favorite city. I’ve been there”¦seven times? Maybe more? I’ve done it so much now that I’m totally an expert on getting around and all that stuff. And it never gets old. I cannot wait to take Mr. Whale there. He’s going to love the bakeries and the amazing architecture and the fact that everything is just beautiful. But unfortunately, a trip to Europe requires a lot of planning, a lot of getting up early (because museums and things close at 5), and usually a little bit of getting lost (I can get lost in my hometown. I might be an expert on Paris, but it’s still a big city with a language I don’t speak). I’m confident our marriage can handle it, but maybe we shouldn’t push it too early on.

So what kinds of places having both relaxation and attractions and are relatively affordable?

The first obvious option is a trip to a beach somewhere. I’m not really sure why beaches are such a popular vacation destination. I mean, they are relaxing, but I usually just end up hot and sweaty. Plus, Mr. Whale and I are kind of pale. Especially after spending several years in graduate school (where we stay inside all the time), we mostly just burn whenever we go out in the sun. So if we’re going to go to a beach, it needs to be some place with other stuff to do too. Costa Rica?

Image from Tour Costa Rica


Costa Rica has beaches, volcanos, hot springs, waterfalls, zip-lining”¦so much stuff! It seems like a great warm-weather location to do some relaxing and some activities. Plus, it’s so cheap!

The next obvious option is a cruise.

Image from Mikey’s Cruise Blog

I was initially not too keen on this idea, because I’ve only been on cruises with my family where we stay in the cheap rooms. There, if you want to share a bed, it’s actually just two twins pushed together with a sheet over both. Not really my idea of a romantic getaway. But then I saw Mrs. Coach’s cruise suite, and I warmed up to the idea a little. Plus, we would have the option of a warm weather location or”¦maybe Alaska?

Image from Simply a Cruise Blog

I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise to Alaska! So has Mr. Whale! But I’m worried that an Alaska cruise would be too expensive and maybe a little more activity-heavy than we want for our honeymoon. So a cruise to somewhere like the Bahamas or Mexico is probably a more realistic option.

Our next option came as a suggestion from a friend. She suggested a train ride through the Canadian Rockies.

Image from Rocky Mountaineer

Apparently, this is a pretty famous vacation, but I’d never heard of such a thing. But it looks phenomenal. You ride the train during the day and spend the night at hotels along the way. And the Canadian Rockies are beautiful. We definitely don’t have any scenery like this where we live.

Image from Conde Nast Traveller

Of course, the downside of this trip is that it’s a little pricey. Plus, while riding on a train would be both relaxing and sight-seeing combined, we wouldn’t have too much privacy.

We’re kind of all over the place right now. What do you think of our choices?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Blue Whale

Location:
College Park, MD
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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  1. Member
    mssquirrel 276 posts, Helper bee @ 5:32 am

    We are having the exact same discussions ourselves!! I think we are leaning towards a cruise because it is just so dang convenient living in Florida, but that train ride looks AMAZING. It is is so different that a traditional honeymoon. I have always wanted to take the TransSiberian Railway which takes you across Russia. I hadn’t even realized there was something comparable here in the US.

  2. Member
    babycakes24 606 posts, Busy bee @ 5:50 am

    I have two friends who visited Panama not too long ago and had an amazing time (one did a stopover on a longer cruise, and the other one went there outright). Pictures looked fantastic. Might be an option?

  3. Member
    This Time Round 10219 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 5:59 am

    Confession – I am a Travel Nut… Mr TTR and I are semi-retired, and we spend as much time as we can travelling… we absolutely LOVE IT !!

    So, I have to say that ALL of your list is great… and as you’ve no doubt figured out all are quite different from the next.

    My recommendation would be to do the “adventurous” stuff while you are both young and BEFORE children. Because once the babies come along, you won’t be able to travel quite the same (be it time or money… or the fact that you can’t take them everywhere you might want to go).

    Obviously Europe is great… but something that you can do with or without kids in tow.

    Not so much a Caribbean Adventure Holiday like Costa Rica (or St Lucia). Both are good choices for active folks.

    As is Alaska. Altho you are right the best way to see Alaska is expensive… a combo of a Cruise and land vacation. They also have packages that go part way by sea, then inland thru Northern Canada (British Columbia / The Yukon) by train & coach onto Alaska. A fabulous taste of what this whole wonderous region has to offer… but very very expensive.

    A Caribbean All-Inclusive Beach Vacation or a Cruise are both very popular, because you can enjoy the good weather, and do as much or as little as you wish. I am a BIG Fan of cruising because of the pampering and seeing a different island (country) every single day. There are certainly more options than the regular “Family Cruiselines”… or Inside Cabins that can be quite posh without breaking the bank like a Suite would do. Look at Outside Cabins with Windows or Balconys (love having my own Balcony). And cruise lines that focus on couples like… Celebrity, Princess or HAL. (Celebrity being more focussed on a slightly younger & professional sector… 35 to 55, but good for folks both older and younger too who want a more lux vacation). Lol, as for the beds, yes unless you are in a Suite they all have pretty much 2 Twins shoved together to form a Queen/King… but they’ve come a long way in the last decade, so very comfortable (and with pillowtop toppers so you don’t even know that there is two beds not just one).

    The Rocky Mountaineer thru Alberta & BC is a very lux holiday as well. (There is also the regular Via Rail that is cheaper and runs Edmonton to Vancouver, and you can make stop-overs). Personally, as much as I’d love to do the RM, it is super-expensive… and very much an “older person’s holiday”. BUT that isn’t to say that the Canadian Rockies shouldn’t be on your list… doing a fly & drive vacation thru Alberta & BC is awesome and filled with fun things to see and do for all ages. You can fly into Calgary and out of Vancouver (or vice versa). Just make sure you give yourselves plenty of time for this holiday because it is one that has sooo much to do (10 to 14 days would be ideal).

    Hope this helps, enjoy whatever it is you choose to do.

    PS… Lol, Mr TTR and I are doing a combo Road Trip (Southern USA) and a Cruise for our own Honeymoon. I cannot frickin wait, it is going to be a fabulous with visits to some of our faves as well as discovering some great new Destinations as well. A blend of Geography, History, Culture, Sightseeing, Music, Sunshine and Beach. Plus a nice balance of adventure and pampering. Should be the vacation of a lifetime !!
    (Lol that is until we retire officially) ;-)

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    BNGB, Guest @ 6:18 am

    Cruises are amazing. Ive been on three bahamas cruises, one easter caribbean, and one western caribbean. They can be romantic, adventerous, relaxing, and exciting all at once, I recommend Royal Caribbean to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and their private island. Get a room with a balcony and you are set!!!

  5. Member
    kbiceling 298 posts, Helper bee @ 7:27 am

    If you happened to do the Alaskan cruise, you could do fun touristy things in Seattle before you left (or when you returned!). Most of the Alaskan cruises leave from Seattle and there are tons of things to do here and in our surrounding areas.

  6. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:39 am

    If you guys are into food and wine, Napa would be perfect for you guys. There’s plenty to do, but you can definitely sleep in everyday.

  7. Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:13 am

    I’d go to any of your options right now, if we could afford it. ;)

  8. Member
    Beltacular 51 posts, Worker bee @ 8:43 am

    I am a fan of cruises personally. I’ve been on a few, and my fiance and I are doing one through Italy for our honeymoon. The Bahamas ones are great because you can do one excursion in the morning- go zip lining or snorkeling- and then spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach or by the pool, eating your way through the day!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    JennyG, Guest @ 9:18 am

    Is that Lake Louise I see in that last picture? So amazing. I looked up prices to stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and it was high but not out of the question. We’re getting hitched at the beginning of April, and the weather is Canada at that time would still be snowy- so we decided we would go another time when it’s warmer! (we are NOT skiiers) I hear it’s only warm in July and August.

    We also thought about Costa Rica, as well as Belize- which have lots of very romantic looking resorts! But we ended up choosing St. Martin. We had it down to Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, and St. Martin- but St. Martin won for it’s diversity in cultures (French, Caribbean, and Dutch), beautiful beaches, and lots of stuff to do, all safe enough to walk around and explore on our own!

    However, I think Costa Rica would be a great place. I feel the same way as you do about cruises- cramped, trapped spaces and mediocre food buffets just do NOT spell romantic or unique to me. (I mean no offense to those that like it, though!)

  10. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 11:15 am

    @This Time Round: I love how insightful this comment is! You’ve definitely made me want to expand my travel options! :)

  11. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 11:16 am

    That Canadian Rockies trip looks AMAZING. I’ve never even heard of it. My FI would love something like that and I think that it would be so awesome and unique.

  12. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:35 pm

    All of these are such wonderful options, you can’t go wrong with any of them!

  13. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 5:05 pm

    I love them all! I’ve been to Paris and on plenty of cruises. I’m thinking you’ve listed great options. It might be fun to do something you haven’t done before, like go somewhere you and Mr. whale have never been before.

  14. Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 8:30 pm

    @This Time Round: Thanks so much for all your insight!! I’m a little nervous to rent a car in a place we’re not familiar with, but we’re considering that for a trip to the Canadian Rockies. It seems like the cheaper option of a fabulous vacation. Where are you going on your road trip? (I bet you’ve picked awesome locations, and I’d be excited to hear what they are.)

    @JennyG: It IS Lake Louise! I hadn’t thought about a place like St. Martin…maybe I’ll look into it.

    @kbiceling: Thanks for the tip! I’ve always wanted to visit Seattle, so if we go that route, I’m sure I’ll ask for recommendations for there.

  15. Member
    panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:06 pm

    I love all of your possibilities and I can see why you’re having such a difficulty deciding. I would too. hm… I think you should do all of them–simultaneously ;) (yup, I am not help at all!)

  16. Member
    This Time Round 10219 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 10:02 am

    @JennyG: The Canadian Rockies are stunning… July & August tho are indeed the warmest months (in the mountatins, there can be snow pretty much every other month to some extent… be it falling or melting… which can make the air temps a tad chilly). There is tons to see and do in the span from Calgary to Vancouver (a distance of aprox 1000 Kms = 600 Miles) and makes for an excellent road trip adventure for a young couple.
    Lol, as for cruising your description is quite dated… not at all what the Super Ships have to offer these days… once you get to the 4,000 mark (combined Passengers & Crew) they really are more like floating Resorts or small cities… with comfy accommodations, multiple pools, movie theatres, commedy clubs, live theatre, shoppping & spa etc. And a huge assortment of Bars with a variety of themes (Craft Beers, Martini Bars, Wine Bars, Piano Bars and just some great places to grab a drink or hang out with friends). Not ot mention FABULOUS Restaurants… truly the days of ONLY a buffet are long gone. Many cruise lines now have top notch fine dining (although there is a buffet so one can nosh 24/7 if hunger gets you in the middle of the night). Our last cruise on one of the Celebrity Super-Ships (Solstice Class with aprox 2800 Pax) the ship had many options including… 2 Dining Rooms – an Outdoor Grill – 1 Cafe – 1 Bistro – and 3 Fine Dining Restaurants in addition to the 24/7 Buffet or Room Service. Not to mention several special events during the week… like a Chocolate Midnight Extravaganza – Brunch at Sea – and English Afternoon Tea. Lol, most Passengers (myself included) comment on how on a week long cruise one just cannot do it all.. there is always something on the list that goes wanting. You might want to take a closer look at Cruising before you totally count them out as a possible vacation option.

  17. Member
    This Time Round 10219 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 10:14 am

    @Miss Blue Whale: Canada is very similar to the USA… so doing something like renting a car here is easy… lol, and the Canadian Rockies aren’t a densely pppulated area, so there isn’t tons of traffic or lots of roads to choose from (get lost on). If you look at a map for the region, you’ll see that there aren’t that many options that carve their way thru the mountain passes connecting Alberta to British Columbia. Calgary makes a great starting point… and not a huge city, and traffic is realtively calm (not like say Atlanta). Vancouver, is bigger, but also doesn’t present major issues. Many tourists to the area… including those coming from Overseas where right-hand drive is the norm take to self-driving quite easily… and are happy they made that choice, because it gives one the ultimate of freedom to set one’s own pace and discover places that interest you (a luxury not afforded to those who opt for organzied touring and are herded on and off of tour buses). All reasons WHY I absolutely LOVE road tripping.
    For more info on the Canadian Rockies there are Websites for Tourism that are beneficial… as is my favourite standby TripAdvisor… packed full of insight… and love the Forums in that you can chat with locals and frequent visitors who know a Destination best. Tons to be learned on TA about any spot in the world you plan to travel to.
    As for Sint Marteen / Saint Martin… absolutely gorgeous Caribbean Island. And a popular Honeymoon Destination. Again lots of great info on-line… both countries have Official Tourism Websites… and on TA as well.
    Hope this helps,

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Bronwyn, Guest @ 7:37 pm

    Though I went when I was younger, travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer is MAGICAL. My grandmother and I travelled on it and we had so many newlyweds with us.
    I went on Gold standard, and really recommend it. The scenery is gorgeous and you get to learn so many things about my wonderful country!
    Also, you can stay in Vancouver, or Calgary, both of which are amazing cities!
    Basically, I totally recommend it. And it’s a lot more private than you’d expect. Lots of space between the double seats and they’re quite cozy and perfect for snuggles, especially with all the wine and champagne they give out.

    Plus! The food is unbelievable. And you get to dine with other lovely people, so it’s such a fun, social adventure. I will stop babbling now, but I do think it’s amazing, beautiful and unique experience.

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