The meal most frequently associated with Valentine’s Day is dinner, and so the various Valentine’s Day cruises we’ve recently been writing about have focused for the most part on dinner. There are also more Valentine’s Day dinner cruises than any other type of Valentine’s Day cruise. However, there are other possibilities, like Valentine’s Day brunch cruises, which we have come across a few times while researching cruise options for the upcoming romantic holiday. Below we provide a brief overview of Valentine’s Day brunch cruises, telling you what to expect and what is available.
In general, people seem to regard brunch as a more befitting meal for holidays and other celebrations than breakfast or lunch, and for this reason we hear about Easter brunches and Mother’s Day brunches and wedding brunches, but rarely a breakfast or lunch version of these same events. We aren’t entirely sure why this is the case, and perhaps our experience is unusual, but Valentine’s Day is the same way – the only alternative to a dinner cruise is a brunch cruise, with very few exceptions.
That said, it is not as if we have come across an abundance of Valentine’s Day brunch cruises, and dinner cruises are still vastly more popular. For instance, we recently wrote about the Valentine’s Day cruises in New York City, and while we could find about a dozen dinner cruises, we only found two brunch cruises. Moreover, only one of these cruises is on February 14th; the other sets sail the next day, on Sunday the 15th. (Although this may only seem like a way for the cruise operators to milk a little extra out of Valentine’s Day, it is actually quite helpful for those who can’t go out on the 14th for whatever reason.) The same situation is true of other cities across the country. There tend to be several Valentine’s Day dinner cruises, and then there may be one or two brunch cruises to supplement the evening sailings. So, there are brunch cruises out there for Valentine’s Day, but we don’t want to imply they are especially abundant, or that they will necessarily exist in any city that has dinner cruises for Valentine’s Day.
As for what to expect on board one of these cruises, the experience will vary slightly, but in general the offerings seem fairly similar. The cruises tend to leave in the 11:00 AM to noon range, with boarding taking place about 30 minutes before departure, and then the ships sail around for approximately two hours. The food itself tends to be served buffet style, and champagne or sparkling wine is the drink of choice. One brunch cruise we came across (offered by Hornblower in NYC) includes unlimited champagne, although that appeared to be the exception among the cruises we looked at. Free-flowing champagne notwithstanding, brunch cruises tend to be less extravagant affairs than other cruises, and so they tend to be substantially cheaper, although for a holiday like Valentine’s Day they still aren’t exactly cheap. (We looked into a few and they all cost around $70 per person.)
If you can’t take a dinner cruise for Valentine’s Day, but still feel like taking a cruise, brunch might be a good option to look at. It might not be quite as romantic as a dinner cruise, but brunch has its charms, and in any case it might work better with your schedule if you can’t get an entire night off.