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Honeymooning on the Waves


Cruising down the river was always deemed by couples the ultimate romantic date. You can't be much more together alone than when you're separated from the rest of the world by sheets and sheets of water.

But who started the idea of a floating honeymoon is not hard to imagine. As in most wedding traditions, it was probably suggested by the action of the rich and the famous, or the royals who are usually one or the other; and often both.

The newly-wed royals themselves, keen for some intimate privacy, left the palace grounds soon after the wedding. Some showed a suprising lack of imagination. With the whole country at his disposal, Henry V111 chose the same honeymoon spot on three of his marriages. If the late Princess Diana thought there were too many people in her married bed, that seems to go double for that of Henry's.

When going off on their own, the British royals never actually said that they were taking a honeymoon. Rather it was considered a wedding tour. And the means of transport was always the best available at the time.

In the last century it was the train. The Orient Express type of thing. But as private yachts became almost indispensable to anyone who was anyone, sea travel became a romantic option. Not surprising, many couples since then, have made a cruise their favourite honeymooning option also.

The ships at their disposal are many and varied. There are those impressive liners which not only resemble a floating hotel, but literally are floating hotels. Some are up to six stories in height ? or should I say six decks in height ? have bedroom suites with private balconies to remind you, in case you've forgotten, that you're on the sea.

Like high-class hotels, these ships might even have a dress code where passengers are expected to dine in style ? gentlemen in a tuxedo, ladies in an evening gown.

For a less formal getaway, there are smaller ships that carry only several hundred passengers, as opposed to several thousands. On the decks of these, casual clothes will be more appropriate, though even here jeans and working boots might raise eyebrows.

However, whatever ship you choose, whether it's one of England's "Queen" ships, or the USA "Princess" which started the whole business of "Love Boat" romance, you can expect one thing to be of high standard on all sea voyages. Excellent cuisine.

Perhaps it all started with all those mutinies on the high seas. But it seems maritime officialdom has learned to accept that people can put up with a lot of things when isolated on the sea for months at a time, but bad food is not one of them.

Vlady, an Australian Civil Marriage Celebrant, is an author of "The Complete Book of Australian Weddings", "The Small Organisation Handbook" and an ebook "Honeymoon! A Sizzle or a Fizzle!" which you can see on her website http://www.vlady-celebrant.com


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