Valentine's Day Cruise Ideas

Exotic itineraries, special savings mark cruise line offerings By: Marilyn Green

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A cruise is the essence of romance - you get away from everyday life at sea, beautiful food appears without effort and all the usual mundane tasks are left behind, so travelers really have time for each other. And couples will surely fall in love with some astonishing offers from cruise lines, where two people can often cruise as cheaply as one and, in some cases, fly free.

What could be more romantic than a cruise in Tahiti? This is the perfect opportunity, with Paul Gauguin Cruises currently offering 50 percent standard cruise fares on all 2013 voyages onboard the Paul Gauguin and the Tere Moana. Guests on the Gauguin's French Polynesia voyages will also find included airfare from Los Angeles for a February 2,14-day cruise of the Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands. Honeymooners on the Gauguin also receive a complimentary package that includes an invitation to a special gathering featuring a Tahitian Blessing Ceremony, a celebratory bottle of champagne, a photo portrait and an exclusive pillow gift. For the Feb. 2 departure, fares are from $6,245 per person.
www.pgcruises.com

Closer to home, a Valentine's getaway onboard Oceania Cruises' new Riviera is offered with 2-for-1 fares and free roundtrip air from 26 North American gateways. The 10-day Caribbean Hideaways voyage departing roundtrip from Miami on February 12 visits Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbardos; Castries, St. Lucia and Gustavia; St. Barts. Riviera is designed for epicureans and has 10 dining venues, six of them open seating, gourmet restaurants with no surcharges. Facilities also include a Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Bon Appetit Culinary Center and Artist Loft enrichment center. Fares start at $2,097.
www.oceaniacruises.com

Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers luxury romance with 2-for-1 fares and complimentary roundtrip air on its Coral Sands, Azure Tides 10-night cruise sailing roundtrip from Miami on Feb. 6. The recently refurbished, 490-guest, all-suite Seven Seas Navigator visits the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Barts, Tortola, Dominican Republic and Turks & Caicos. Couples choose from up to 50 complimentary shore excursions and enjoy a pre-cruise luxury hotel stay, unlimited fine wines and premium spirits, ground transfers, and pre-paid gratuities, all included in the cruise fare, from $5,099.
www.rssc.com

Windstar ships spread their sails in the secluded harbors and quiet coves of the Caribbean. Wind Surf's seven-day cruise roundtrip St. Maarten departing Feb. 9 brings guests to the exotic black sand beaches, colorful villages and wildlife above and below the waves in Le Merin, Martinique; Pigeon Island National Park in St. Lucia; Roseau, Dominica, Les Saints, FWI; and Basseterre, St. Kitts. Couples can lounge on a Balinese bed on deck, explore deserted retreats and caves or renew their vows on deck. Pricing starts at $1,799 per person.
www.windstarcruises.com

Extend the Valentine's Day romance onboard Azamara Quest, sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Miami on the 18-night Copacabana to Biscayne cruise departing Feb. 12. Celebrate Valentine's Day at sea after two days in Rio and visit Salvador De Bahiia, Recife and Belem, Brazil, along with Devil's Island, Bridgetown and Virgin Gorda, all from $3,249 per person. 
www.azamaraclubcruises.com

For many people, Princess Cruises will always be associated with the "Love Boat", so Golden Princess' roundtrip Los Angeles 14-day cruise to Hawaii departing Feb. 2 is a perfect choice. Calls are in Hilo, Maui (Lahaina), Kauai (Nauwilliwilli), Honolulu and Ensenada, Mexico, with a day at sea to celebrate Valentine's Day, priced for strong appeal from $1,093 per person.
www.princess.com

For those who want Valentine's Day to go on for months in the lap of luxury, there's Crystal Serenity's 74-day World Cruise roundtrip Miami at $27, 970 for 74 days, roundtrip Miami. There's more than enough romance sailing from the wilds of Patagonia and the Amazon rainforests to colorful beaches and three days each in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Included are a luxury hotel night in Miami and exclusive shoreside events, and there are very tempting offers, including up to $3,510 per person savings for Crystal Society members and up to $3,380 per person additional savings for New-to-Crystal guests.
www.crystalcruises.com

American Cruise Lines' new Queen of the Mississippi sails roundtrip New Orleans departing Feb. 9 on an eight-day cruise to Natchez, Vickburg, St. Francisville, Valentine's Day in Baton Rouge and Oak Alley from $3,995.
www.americancruiselines.com

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