With spring in full swing, and June, the traditional month for weddings just around the corner, many brides and grooms-to-be are busy planning honeymoon trips.
Here are some ideas to consider for wedding trips -– both land and sea programs — that are dripping in romance in Florida, the Caribbean and beyond:
· Orlando – Newlyweds who already know their love is timeless may wish to head for the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World. A Victorian-inspired deluxe resort, it transports guests to another, gracious era. Staff wears period dress, and the resort’s décor in soft tones of coral, ecru and mint, incorporates chandeliers and a birdcage, among other Victorian touches in the lobby, where musicians entertain daily. In the romantic rooms –all with balconies—there are floral prints, fine woods and lace. Culinary options include an elegant afternoon tea at the Garden View Tea Room, Mediterranean specialties in Citricos, and gourmet fare in the intimate Victoria & Albert’s, among others –this being Disney, there’s even a “Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner.” Recreational opportunities include boat rentals, white-sand lake beach, pirate cruises on the lake, and Senses – A Disney Spa. And brides and grooms can return hand-in-hand to their childhood via a monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom. For a moderately priced romantic option at Disney World, try the Port Orleans Resort inspired in New Orleans. Visit www.disneyworld.com.
· Negril, Jamaica – Couples who are considering something tropical – perhaps a romantic wedding trip to the Caribbean – may wish to check out Moon Dance Cliffs, an oceanfront resort in Negril. Romantic amenities include a 5,000 square-foot swimming pool with waterfall and island bridges. And for gentle thrills to plunge into married life together there are lifeguard-attended cliffs for splashing into the blue sea. Accommodations include 480- to 1,200-square-foot rooms and suites, and one-bedroom poolside villas with Caribbean views. Visit www.moondanceresorts.com/cliffs.
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· French Polynesia – Across the centuries, artists like Paul Gauguin and writers like Robert Louis Stevenson and James Michener have been captivated by French Polynesia. Why not begin the masterpiece of your marriage by following in the footsteps of these luminaries to this paradise in the South Seas? Bora Bora beckons with its spectacular lagoon with waters in varied tones of blue and green, atolls with necklaces of white sand and mountains like the imposing Mt. Otemahu. This playground for lovers, called “the pearl of the Pacific” by British explorer James Cook, is composed of a main island with the town of Vaitape and a series of islets or “motus” surrounding it. Pastimes include hiking to the top of Mt. Otemahu, diving, kayaking, and shopping for the precious black pearls of the South Pacific. A romantic lodging option is the Four Seasons Bora Bora, a resort with thatched-roofed, overwater bungalows on a “motu” about a half hour from Vaitape via complimentary launch from the resort (with a lei of fresh flowers for a welcome). Snorkel equipment awaits guests on the terrace of their bungalow –swimming and snorkeling in the lagoon is like doing so in a gigantic aquarium filled with tropical marine life. A spa, pool, a variety of restaurants, water sports, beach volleyball and tennis are among recreational opportunities. Visit www.fourseasons.com/borabora.
· Princess Cruises – This premium line, which was a pioneer in promoting “affordable balcony” accommodations, is ideal for newlyweds who would like to begin their wedded bliss on a “Love Boat” –this is the cruise line of the hit 1970s and 1980s television series, “The Love Boat.” Romantic touches onboard Princess ships include a festive event with a champagne waterfall. Spring and summer itineraries on Princess vessels include romantic Grand Mediterranean voyages and Alaska cruises. Visit www.princess.com.
· Silversea Cruises – For couples wishing to begin their married life with a bit of adventure, this luxury line’s Silver Discoverer, launched this spring, may be the ticket. The 120-guest, all-suite expedition ship explores exotic, “bucket list” locales. The ship’s inaugural season this spring encompasses many of the Pacific Ocean’s most isolated corners including rarely traveled lands in Southeast Asia, Micronesia, Melanesia, East Asia, the Russian Far East, New Zealand and Sub-Antarctic Islands. Onboard amenities include gourmet cuisine, butler service, complimentary beverages, wines and spirits throughout the ship and stocked in-suite beverage cabinet. Zodiac excursions and walks ashore, led by marine biologists, botanists, historians and anthropologists are complimentary. Visit www.silversea.com.
· Star Clippers – The romance of exploring idyllic, off-beaten-path spots under white, billowy sails is a big draw on this premium line of four-mast vessels –with itineraries including the Greek Isles, the French and Italian Rivieras and other gems. Onboard, the ambience is smart casual, and the vessels feature a water sports platform for swimming, snorkeling and other pastimes right off the ship. Visit www.starclippers.com.