Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Choosing Where to Go

So, I was going through some of the posts that I had started before the wedding, but never got around to finishing. Even though I've already shared some pictures and stories from our honeymoon already, I came across this one about how & why we chose our honeymoon destination, and I thought I'd go ahead and share that with you guys.
So, after the engagement, setting a budget, and picking a wedding date, the next thing on our agenda was to decide on where we wanted to go for our honeymoon. Let’s just say that this was probably Dan’s favorite part of the entire wedding planning process.
The first thing we decided on was what type of honeymoon we wanted, and we knew we wanted go somewhere tropical near water & sand. I wanted to be able to relax and maybe do a little shopping, and Dan wanted to be able to do little adventurous things throughout the trip. Also, whatever it is that we decided on, it needed to fit into our budget.

My dream honeymoon location was Bora Bora (isn't it gorgeous?!). I did a project on it once in school and fell in love with the place almost instantly. I always dreamed of staying in one of those over-the-water huts with the glass-bottom floor & the private staircase into the water. But, once we priced the cost of the flight out there, plus the nightly rate of a decent hotel, not to mention all the food & activities we wanted to try while we were there... to put it simply, it was WAY out of our humble budget.
After the Bora Bora research, we started to realize that the ideal honeymoon we wanted wasn't going to be cheap. We talked with some friends who had gotten married a couple years before us, and their honeymoon to the Caribbean cost half of what our entire wedding & honeymoon budget was. I don't know about Dan, but at this point I was starting to get a little discouraged and beginning to think that we were going to have to settle for something a little closer to home. But as we mulled over it a little longer, Dan finally came up with the perfect solution to our problems: a cruise!
Some cruising pros:
  • You can travel to more than one location and still sleep in the same bed every night
  • You don’t have to worry about connection flights/trains/travel between each location
  • You don’t have to keep packing your bags for each new location
  • Food is already done for you & paid for within your tickets
  • Entertainment is already on board
  • They worry about all of the logistics for your activities (a.k.a excursions), all you have to do is sign up for a particular time & pay them
  • You get to meet a lot of interesting people. As much as it was our honeymoon and we wanted to spend as much time together enjoying being married, we're also what you might call "people watchers." We like to find somewhere to sit and just watch the people going by. Plus, as much as I'd love to say that I'd love an entire week where the only person I ever talked to was my husband, I'd be lying.
  • If you're hungry in the middle of the night, its really easy to find a place to eat on board.

So, with that decision made, we now had to choose where we wanted to go. I wanted to go to the southern Caribbean islands, but that required us to fly into San Juan, PR to get to the departure port. And, since we already live in Florida, we obviously wanted to depart from a Florida port. I knew that I didn’t want to go on a cruise that either one of us had already been on (I’d gone to Mexico & Key West in the past, and Dan had gone to the Bahamas). We found a cruise that left from Port Canaveral, FL and travelled to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, & St. Martin. We were sold! Then of course we had to pick our stateroom  (we ended up choosing a balcony stateroom on the 9th deck) – let me tell you, that process took an entire night. But, once we decided on one, we paid our down payment & we started our “days until our honeymoon” countdown on our cell phones & computers.
What about you? Where did you choose to go on your honeymoon? Or maybe it wasn't your honeymoon, but a family vacation or an anniversary trip? Did you have a hard time narrowing down where you wanted to go? And how did you get there? I love hearing the travel stories of other people!

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