There is no way around it; weddings are traditional affairs, and after all of the pomp and splendour of your wedding banquet do you really want your honeymoon to start at Gatwick airport?
With a reputation for being more suited to retired couples than honeymooners, it is a bold groom who books a cruise without consulting his bride. But for a real touch of old fashioned glamour, exceptional service, the romance of the empty ocean and clear starry skies, a transatlantic cruise on Cunard’s QE2 is the obvious choice.
We chose a July crossing for the warmer weather and calmer seas, although we were repeatedly assured that the boat remains comfortable in any seas. It became noticeably warmer as we neared New York, and throughout the cruise there was a cooling breeze due to the speed we were travelling. The aft decks, including the pool areas, provided great sun-traps and are very well sheltered from the wind.
The cabins are divided into four grades, each grade with a different restaurant and with a choice of cabins within each grade. Queen’s Grill offers the ultimate in service, with the larger suites offering a full butler service and every luxury you might consider. At the lower end of Queen’s Grill your cabin is very spacious, with a large double bed, sofa, sitting area, fully appointed bathroom and a walk in wardrobe, and a large window.
Although the Queen’s Grill, with its exclusive restaurant, room service and white-gloved afternoon teas, is the ideal choice for couples treating themselves to the full Cunard experience, the lower grades of cabin still offer an exceptional level of service and cuisine, with all the entertainment and facilities of the ship. The exception, perhaps, is the lowest grade Mauretania Restaurant where the choice of early or late dinner sittings prevent you from lingering over a romantic dinner, and the stateroom configurations – a choice of twin or bunk beds – may not be ideal for a honeymoon!
Cunard’s website gives plenty of helpful information for choosing an appropriate cabin.
Having expected the cruise to be aimed at over 50’s, we were very surprised. Admittedly in the Mauretania Restaurant there seemed a reasonable number of “seasoned cruisers”, but we found the other grills to be largely professional couples and families, looking for the opportunity to be pampered, de-stressed and get away from the hustle of normal life.
If you wanted to be active there was a lot to do during the day and in the evenings, from swimming, deck quoits, golf, lectures, dance lessons, quizzes, cabarets and a casino. For those wanting to chill out, there is a great spa, and for those that can’t escape work, in the depths of the ship there is a well equipped internet room. For many couples, after weeks of running around with final wedding plans, taking a book from the library and finding a quiet spot to simply sit and read can be the tonic you are looking for.
And for those honeymooners who really enjoyed their wedding ceremony … there is the chance to renew your vows mid-atlantic.