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Cruise into your Honeymoon without breaking the bank

By Danielle van Wyk

Let’s face it - between seating charts and general wedding expenses your wedding day can also be one of the most stressful events to plan. But your honeymoon needn’t be. Now you can sail off into the sunset with your true love - while sipping Pina coladas.

What are the honeymoon trends for 2018?

According to Jane Davidson, director at Development Promotions, one of the key trends in recent years and especially in 2018 is to go on a honeymoon cruise. It is something different and provides all-round value - from spas, casinos and Michelin-star chefs to jazz ensembles, luxury shops and water-sporting facilities. So, if you like dressing up for dinner or have never been snorkelling before, these luxury cruise liners have you covered.

Where could you go?

Davidson and Divan Viljoen at Cruiseabout, a Division of Flight Centre expand on a few cruise options that may float your boat:

Local option:

Enjoy a luxury cruise from Cape Town to Durban for four nights in a cabin with an ocean view aboard the MSC Sinfonia.

Aboard you can take advantage of the theatre (booking essential), casino, music and dancing hall, swimming pool, arcade, whirlpool bath, restaurants, bars and more that will ensure you have plenty of fun on board.

Your fare includes accommodation, all meals, entertainment, Captain’s Gala dinner, port charges and taxes and insurance and service fees.

Cost: R8910 pp (cruise only).

If you were to compare this to a stay in a sea-facing room at the popular Twelve Apostles hotel in Cape Town, the cruise offers better value for money.

For example, you could expect to pay around R 7850 for a couple per night in the hotel. This brings you to R 31 400 for a 4-night stay. While you may think that this signals lavish perks the only inclusions here are breakfast and the basic room facilities.

International options:

- Still in Africa but more exotic, is a trip to culture-rich Mozambique where aqua-waters and kilometres of white beaches await.

Your fare for three nights includes accommodation, all meals and entertainment onboard, gratuities, port charges and taxes. 

Cost: R4 990 pp (cruise only).
- Mauritius is a cruise favourite with its rich history, great rum tastings and magnificent sunsets, but your trip needn’t end there.

Sign up for a 9-night Indian Ocean Island Cruising adventure and broaden your horizons along the spice route. Your fare includes accommodation, all meals and entertainment onboard, gratuities, port charges and taxes.

Cost: R24 990 pp (cruise only).

- Undeniably a firm favourite, Mediterranean cruises have for decades made for the perfect honeymoon setting.

 From the exotic cuisine to the beautiful weather, you simply can’t go wrong. Your eight-night stay includes accommodation, all meals and entertainment onboard, gratuities, port charges and taxes. 

Cost: R8990 pp (cruise only).

- Caribbean days and nights are what every person who has ever dreamed of an island getaway imagines. From the moonlight beach strolls and marimba band playing as you enjoy delicious local dishes to beautiful spa facilities and water sports. Your seven-night fare includes accommodation, all meals and entertainment onboard, gratuities, port charges and taxes.

Cost: R9 990 pp (cruise only).

The following are not included in the fares for above options:  Flights, transfers, passports and visas if applicable, gratuities (payable upon embarkation), shore excursions while in port, beverages, laundry, beauty and spa treatments, and anything of a personal nature.

For more information on what these packages include, visit Development Promotions or Cruiseabout.

How else can you save?

Every seasoned traveller will tell you there are always a few tricks you could try to save money. Viljoen shares some to keep in mind:
Depending on the cruise company you book through and the cruise you opt for there are potential discounts and specials that are available during the year. Make sure to keep an eye on their website for any special offers.
-There are typically also different room options to choose from. Here views and bed sizes and cable options are the key deciding factors in the price.
- Pre-book and pay for your excursions.
- Add drinks beforehand and pay in rand and not foreign currency.
-Pre-book and pay your gratuities. 
-Pre-book your spa packages as on-board rates are typically higher, and slots fill up quickly if you leave it to the last minute.
-Add special honeymoon extra's like strawberries and champagne when you board, as they tend to have specials running on board that could see you paying less than if you were to pre-book.

-Save by exploring port cities on your own as opposed to signing up for tour-guided packages.

Your honeymoon is essentially and typically the first time you spend together as a newly married couple, and some may say it goes a long way in setting the tone for what is to come. Ensure you set the right one by spoiling each other to nautical bliss.

*Note these prices were correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.

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