In January 2005, my fiancÚ (now husband) and I started planning our honeymoon. When you get down to actually looking into what options you have, it becomes evident that you can literally go anywhere and do anything. I was slightly overwhelmed.
I was new to the industry and didn't know what aspects to look into or what options needed to be taken into consideration, such as travel conditions for the time of year, weather, seasons, etc. So, we enlisted the help of some agents in the office. Their knowledge of what is out there and the best time to do it was a relief to me.
We were getting married in June and wanted to take our honeymoon in July. They advised us of what we could expect during the summer season and how much precipitation is in each of the destinations we were looking into.
We first looked into going to a resort. While this sounded a lot of fun and would definitely be an intimate escape, we decided to keep checking our options.
The agency has videos many different resorts, cruises, tours and destinations. These were so interesting to watch and really excited us to keep looking for what would be the perfect fit for both of us.
After looking into a resort, we looked into doing a tour. How wonderful it would be to have a honeymoon in Paris or Venice or even both, depending on what tour company we looked into.
This looked as if it might be our best option. We would still have our time in a romantic place, but would be escorted around to make sure we visited the most important, historical and beautiful areas. We weren't completely ready to commit to the tour yet; there was something else there. I can't explain it, but it didn't seem that this was it. So, the agents started giving us more ideas.
The next step was to look into big ship cruising: Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, the list goes on. We didn't know which line would "fit" us best, so we asked the agents what the typical crowd might be on each line.
Again they came through for us. We thought Royal Caribbean would suit us best. All these cruise lines seemed great because they have ports out of Florida for almost any Caribbean or warm weather destination.
Being the bride-to-be, of course I wanted more options. I wanted to make sure I had checked into everything before we decided on what we were going to do for our honeymoon. This could very well have been one of the most important decisions I made, since accepting his proposal, of course.
I couldn't believe the agents still had more ideas for us.
They asked more specific questions about what we liked to do and what our hobbies and interests were. We both love sailing and being outdoors; I guess you could categorize us as somewhat adventuresome.
Then one of the agents suggested a Windjammer cruise, (I have to admit, I looked at her like she had two heads). "What is a Windjammer cruise?" I asked.
It is basically a big sailboat, but is considered a ship. There are different ships to choose from depending on where you want to go and what you want to do.
We chose the S.V. Yankee Clipper going to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The agents warned us we were going right in the middle of hurricane season, but this was it, we had to do it.
This is by far the best way to really appreciate the Grenadines. The ship was able to sail right up to the shore and, better yet, we were actually able to jump off the ship into the water. This was so exciting.
However, just as the agents advised, there was a hurricane. Emily was headed right for us. Windjammer handled everything with superior service and amazing order.
We had to spend the night at a resort in Grenada, which proved to be fun as well. The Yankee Clipper sailed around to the other side of the island into a mooring to bunker down. The next afternoon, we received word that the ship and crew were OK and that we could get back on.
As we were boarding the ship, the crew, who had just weathered a Category 1 hurricane, were taking our bags and giving us our afternoon rum swizzles (two at a time). It was incredible how special and important everyone made us feel.
This trip was so exciting and invigorating, by far the best vacation I have ever had. It was the perfect choice for our honeymoon.
I have to say that this would have been an especially grueling and exasperating process, if it weren't for all of the help and ideas from the ones who know best; the travel agents.
I can't wait for the next time we can take a vacation like this; maybe our 20th wedding anniversary.
Contact Karrie Torok at Gadabout Travel at (321) 253-3674.