A Valentine’s Day cruise could be a number of different things. Most broadly, it is simply some sort of cruise that is taken to recognize Valentine’s Day. For obvious reasons, a cruise for Valentine’s Day will likely be taken as a couple, although conceivably other people could be involved – other friends who happen to be couples, or potentially kids if you can’t find anyone to watch them. A Valentine’s Day cruise could also take anywhere from an hour or so to several days, although if the cruise is long it becomes less a Valentine’s Day cruise and more of a cruise that happens to include February 14th. Below we explore the various types of Valentine’s Day cruises out there, giving you ideas for 2015 and beyond.
The first distinction to make is between self-declared Valentine’s Day cruises and cruises that are officially advertised as such. You can of course just book any random cruise with your partner that encompasses Valentine’s Day and define it as a Valentine’s Day cruise; you might have purposely chosen the date to include Valentine’s Day, after all, and so the trip is specifically planned in honor of this holiday. You could also just take your date out on any sort of boat, ranging from a canoe on a lake to a yacht on the ocean, and call this is a “Valentine’s Day cruise.” There is of course nothing wrong with this – a Valentine’s Day cruise is no less legitimate just because a cruise line or marketing agency doesn’t label it as such.
However, there are plenty of companies out there that explicitly market cruises for Valentine’s Day. Most of these cruises are set entirely on February 14th. Cities all over the U.S. (and to a limited extent abroad) offer Valentine’s Day cruises that take place, depending on the city, on a river or in the ocean. These sailings often feature a meal, like brunch or dinner, but others are billed only as romantic cruises that allow you to, say, marvel at the New York City night skyline, or perhaps watch the sunset over San Francisco Bay.
In addition to these cruises, there are cruise lines and third-party sellers that advertise Valentine’s Day cruises, but often these labels seem like a bit of a marketing ploy. There are pages that have long lists of “Valentine’s Day cruises,” and all for the simple reason that their itineraries include February 14th. To be sure, the cruise lines will recognize Valentine’s Day on board, but it is somewhat strange to call a week-long cruise a “Valentine’s Day cruise” just because it encompasses the holiday. There are also cruise lines that merely use the time period around Valentine’s Day to sell “especially romantic cruises” (or something like that). For instance, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering “Take Your Sweetie to Tahiti” packages, and these are related to Valentine’s Day only in that they must be booked by February 14th of this year in order to get the included bonuses ($200 credit to the spa, a box of chocolate, and a bottle of sparkling wine). Since you could be taking your cruises a few months after February 14th, it would be bizarre to call your eventual cruise a “Valentine’s Day cruise,” although it was this holiday that inspired you to book the cruise to begin with.
We will therefore begin how we ended: a Valentine’s Day cruise can be a number of different things. They can be long or short, self-declared or officially recognized, and they don’t even have to be on Valentine’s Day.