My husband and I both agreed before getting married that our honeymoon was of greater importance to us than a big, fancy wedding. Personally I think this should be the case for everyone as the wedding is just one day and the honeymoon can be many and it is time for the bride and groom to just be alone and relax.
Even so we (well…mainly I) still wanted a beautiful wedding as well. A balance had to be struck between both. And we had a small budget for both the wedding and honeymoon so we had to be cost conscious no matter what.
My husband first suggested a cruise and I liked the idea. I had always pictured my honeymoon being somewhere tropical. But I thought an all-inclusive cruise would be out of our budget.
It wasn’t! At all!
In fact, a cruise was one of the more affordable beach vacation options!
I know, I was surprised too!
There were three key reasons we were able to afford a week long, all-inclusive cruise on our tight budget.
We booked early
We started looking at cruises about a year before our wedding. Prices start out at a reasonable price and continue to go up as you get closer to the departure date. We booked about 9 months in advance so the prices were still low and we had the option of making three payments.
At this time Royal Caribbean was also having a sale in which the second passenger’s booking is half off. This made our second booking include a weeklong stay, meals, and entertainment on board for 500$!
Additionally, at the time we booked it was only an additional 7$ a day for a balcony stateroom. For 49$ we definitely took them up on that offer!
If you are considering a cruise for your honeymoon, definitely book sooner rather than later!
2. We created a Royal Caribbean Wedding Registry
A friend of mine told me about this offering through Royal Caribbean. I jumped on this idea because we A. didn’t plan on registering for many things as we were moving into a small apartment and B. this would help us pay for shore excursions.
Yes, you can use these contributons for shore excursions! All melas and onboard entertainment are included in your ticket price. While there are “extras you can spend money on on the ship, shore excursions are really the only thing that costs extra. You can however even register for funds to contribute to your general fare for the cruise. If you already have a fully stocked home this could be a great option!
We did need some household items that we registered for so we only chose to register for contributions towards shore excursions. You can also register for things like a dinner at one of the specialty restaurants, a spa experience, or a photo package.
Check out the website for more details!
Sidenote: I know there are many that, for some reason, think having guests contribute to a honeymoon fund of any kind is tacky. I am not sure why this is.
Contributions to a honeymoon provide the couple with experiences and memories, rather than just things.
We certainly use all the items we were gifted for our wedding but our memories from our honeymoon are worth so much more to us. Like climbing the waterfall below!
We addressed this on our wedding website with our registry information. When explaining our Royal Caribbean registry we put that guests could contribute to our experience and memories on our honeymoon.
3. The cruise port was close by.
In fact, the port is in the town we got married in! We got married in Galveston, Texas and took our cruise out of The Port of Galveston.
This cut down immensely on our honeymoon costs. We did not have any transportation costs for our honeymoon and it started as soon as we boarded the ship. Our cruise began the Sunday morning after our wedding and we stayed in a hotel the night before that offered a free shuttle to the cruise port.
Literally 0 cost for honeymoon transportation.
Obviously, this is not possible for everyone. If you live or are getting married in a location that is nowhere near the coast, you will have to have some transportation costs in order to take a cruise.
Factor this in and compare cruise prices out of certain ports and the costs of flights or driving to that port. If one cruise is more expensive but you can easily drive to the departure location, that may be more cost efficient than flying to another port.
Also be sure to check if there are shuttles to the port from the airport. In most locations there will be. If you are driving consider the costs of parking verses renting a car.
Even if you have to pay for transportation to your cruise port, a cruise may still be an affordable option for you! If you are able to book early and choose to have your guests contribute to your costs, a cruise may be an affordable option for your honeymoon!