On sea and land, a dismal economy has buoyed bargains, so be proactive in exploring your opportunities for both discounts and upgrades.
Turn plastic into gold by inquiring about amenities that are linked to your credit card. Goodies might range from a welcome basket stocked with chocolate-covered strawberries to an intimate dinner in the ship’s classiest dining room. You might get a modest bump up, such as a $50 cabin credit or an upgrade from interior quarters to a stateroom with an ocean view.
Roth says honeymooners also should seek guidance about what is not included in the fare. Are port charges and taxes included? Do you have to pay for transfers from the airport? What about daily tips for your cabin boy, bus boy, wait person and other crew?
The cruise line staff will provide guidelines for attire before you depart. Though dress codes have become less formal in recent years, shorts and baseball caps are still frowned upon at dinner. For passengers who enjoy dressing up, some lines offer optional formal nights, giving the groom an opportunity to don his tux again.
To entice cruising honeymooners to stay overnight in Canada’s Quebec province, Tourisme Montreal is offering year-round promotions under its Sweet Deal campaign. The reward can be booked directly with the hotel or through a travel agent.
“These packages give access to discounted hotel rates, along with rebates, coupons and transportation titles worth $200 per room,” says spokesperson Jeremie Gabourg.
Not on a budget? Swim in luxury aboard an Oceania Cruises excursion from New York to Montreal. A 12-day cruise includes stops in such scenic locales as Bar Harbor, Maine, and Quebec City. Prices range from $4,499 per person for an inside state room to $12,199 for a 1,000-square-foot owner’s suite on a corner with several ocean views, a private jacuzzi and a 42-inch plasma TV with Bose surround sound system and a library of first-run Hollywood movies.
Crystal is offering a two-for-one special on fares for its Crystal Penthouse, priced at $29,970 for a 16-day excursion from Miami to Peru, departing on Jan. 15, 2015. The suite includes a private dining room, workout room, guest bath, library and veranda. Beds are dressed in Frette linens and cashmere blankets. A butler is on call 24 hours a day to unpack and pack, serve in-suite cocktails and canapes, and deliver daily newspapers.
Standard staterooms are compact. Preserve precious counter space in the bathroom by packing cosmetics and toiletries in a bag you can hang on the back of the door. Don’t jam too much into your suitcase. You can always send clothes to the laundry. “It’s always good to leave room for things you will buy and bring home,” Roth says.