Romance at sea thanks to Castle Travel

For sheer fantasy, there’s nothing quite like your own little world in a vast ocean of sea and stars. On a clear, quiet night at sea those stars shine down with special brilliance. Who says the moon reflecting on the water isn’t casting its glow just for you two alone? That’s the beauty of a cruise… there’s an indefinable “something” that brings out the romantic nature in us all—from just-married, young and old, to golden anniversary couples — we all feel it.

With a little careful planning, a cruise can be anything you want it to be — a heavenly honeymoon, a renewal of your commitment to one another, or simply a quiet time together, far removed from your fast-paced everyday life. The travel consultants at Castle Travel Worldchoice who have cruised with their spouses would highly recommend a few romantic days on the high seas.

Cruise lines are certainly aware of the magical effects their vessels have on couples. Many offer options in the way of "romance" or "anniversary" packages that can include complimentary champagne upon arrival in your stateroom, logo robes to keep, his-and-her spa treatments, formal photos in elegant frames, and breakfast in bed on the morning of your choice. Renewal of vows are sometimes performed privately by the captain by arrangement or in a festive group setting, followed by a champagne toast to your commitment.

Romantic packages

For example, some cruise lines offer the following romantic packages:

Start your voyage off right with a bon voyage flower bouquet, bottle of champagne, and a half-dozen chocolate strawberries in your stateroom when you arrive. Then receive a 6” x 8” portrait in an engraved silver frame, a card lesson including $25 in casino chips, dinner for two in the Pinnacle Grill, and one 25 minute aromatherapy massage.

One dozen roses and Mumms Cordon Rouge champagne on ice will be waiting in your stateroom upon arrival. A pair of deluxe robes are yours to keep, as well as a special chocolate pillow gift, two 25-minute massages, and a framed 8 x 10 portrait. Be served tea one afternoon and dessert and champagne one evening in your state room and be guaranteed a table for two in the dining room.

Renewal of vows

For couples who would like to say their wedding vows while at sea, Holland America offers an on-board renewal-of-vows package. Flowers are in your state room upon arrival and the bride receives a corsage. Invitations are available to invite guests to the ceremony and celebration. The couple also receives a photo and photo album, dinner for two in the Pinnacle Grill, plus a celebration featuring live music. Select beverages and fancy hors d'oeuvres are served by Holland America's five-star staff to ensure a romantic and memorable occasion, and a certificate is presented to the happy couple by the ship's captain.

Celebrations package

Share the joy of a special anniversary, or just that you are together, with flowers and champagne in your state room upon arrival, dinner one evening in the Pinnacle Grill, and a photograph in an engraved frame as a reminder of your time together and the years to come.

These and similar packages available from other cruise lines aren't really out of line price-wise if you consider the cost of the individual items and the exclusive services the packages include.

Do it your way

However, if you want to do it yourself you might consider the following suggestions:

Enhance your time together by selecting a stateroom with its own private balcony.

Have champagne breakfast in bed to toast the beginning of a day at sea.

Request a table for two at a late sitting and share the memories of your day.

Dine in the speciality restaurant to celebrate your good taste; after all, you selected one another.

Dance under the stars to the music only you can hear.

Pack your favorite scents and sounds to heighten the intimacy of your stateroom. Set the mood for romance with your favorite aromatherapy spray lingering in the air while your special song plays on a portable CD.

While you’re packing, don’t forget something whisper-soft to lounge in.

There's nothing quite like a cruise for total relaxation and romance. What setting could be more idyllic? For more advice, do not hesitate to contact Castle Travel Worldchoice on 094 902 4244 and feel free to come to their Cruise Open Day on Saturday November 15 where you will meet cruise representatives and can avail of special offers on the day. Castle Travel Worldchoice, Ellison Street, Castlebar (between the Bank of Ireland and Heatons ), www.castletravel.ie

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