Honeymoon Discussions

Traveling Newbie, help!

Hello everyone! I am a newlywed, married just 8 days ago (5-3-15). Me and hubby are trying to plan our honeymoon and are trying to pick something perfect for us. I am 27 he is 29. We will be taking a late honeymoon sometime in September as he has work. It will be a week. We will be traveling from eastern KY. We have never flown, or been on a cruise. Weve been to the beach twice as adults. Our budget as of now is about 2-2.5k. Thats for the trip and rental of the place. Not anything extra like food or shopping etc. We want somewhere really nice, beautiful, warm sunny, beachy but private. We want time to ourselves. Somewhere to go out and eat nice, do some shopping, and just be together. At first we were thinking cruise. But, after thinking about it, it's not very private and I'm not sure that would be the most romantic place I could pick for our honeymoon. So we then started thinking about resorts. I've been reading about the Secret's resort's on here alot. We want our honeymoon to be about us, not really looking to go anywhere to chat or meet people. Hubby is really worried about traveling out of the country. It is a little scary to me too. But I want this to be fun and we both want to travel. I've been looking at the secrets resorts in Mexico. They are soooooo nice! I've also looked at resorts in the Bahamas too. I think they are just both slightly out of our price range. I need somewhere I can pay a down payment on and keep making payments up until the trip. I've been looking for resorts in the usa but I just don't know where to look. I would love to go somewhere exotic too. So I'm terribly torn if I should look into the cruise, a resort of some sort somewhere exotic, or just look to rent a house or something on a beach somewhere. Any direction or input would be greatly appreciated!
[Deleted User]

Re: Traveling Newbie, help!

  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What about Key West?

    madamerwin
  • hutchslhutchsl member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its

    Consider the Florida panhandle. The beaches there are great and with kids in school the prices will be lower. It is also closer to KY if you choose to drive or fly in to Panama City Beach on southwest - rental cars are cheap there. Southwest also has a good change and cancellation policy if you are concerned with a storm (hurricane). As far as accommodations, I am not sure as the places I know are probably too remote/private.

    Saint Augustine and fly in to Orlando, Jacksonville or Daytona Beach. Saint Augustine is filled with history as the oldest city is the US. There are nice bed and breakfast places there too. I has the beach just outside the city.

    or Amellia Island/Fernandina beach is also nice if you fly in to Jacksonville

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    What about an all inclusive in Punta Cana?  I'm not sure what airport you're flying from, but I just put in a week to Punta Cana from Louisville into Expedia and there are several options right around the 1k mark per person mid September.  Bump it down to 6 nights and there are many more resort options available.  You could probably even upgrade your room.
    jenna8984
  • I have been on 19 cruises.  You need to choose your cruise line carefully to suit your personalities and what you like to do.  Read the sticky I wrote about cruises at the top of this board.
    You should talk to a travel agent.  They are free for you because they are paid by the cruise line or resort after you take your trip.  Personally, I use an agent from one of the huge, online travel sites, but your local hometown agent will do just as well.  If you want my agent's contact info, just PM me.

    Usually you can expect to share your dinner table with one or two other couples.  Tables for two are available, but you will need to talk to the Maitre d' to reserve one in advance.  Your husband will feel secure that regular American style food is available.  My DH is a fussy eater, and he has never had a problem on a cruise ship.  If you can afford it, a private balcony would be ideal for you.  They aren't all that private - no hanky-panky, or you might provide the night's entertainment for the crew on the closed circuit security cameras!  They are just big enough for you to sit out with your husband, enjoy the ocean breeze, and sip a glass of wine.  (Most ships allow you to bring a bottle of wine with you to enjoy in private.  Ask your travel agent.)

    Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Princess are three popular cruise lines.  Carnival is a step below the other two in terms of quality, but lots of people just love them.  Talk to a travel agent.  They can find you the best bargains.  Cruise prices usually drop in September and October.

    We love cruises.  They are a terrific bargain for the money.  You can't eat three meals a day in restaurants and pay for a hotel on land for that price.
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  • First I wanted to say congratulations on your wedding! I'm sure it was magical :) 
    As far as honeymoon ideas, I'm thinking of around the price range and of places I've been to - how about... Hawaii? Or.. Cancun (like you mentioned), or also Punta Cana actually. xoxo
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    maichkaa said:

    First I wanted to say congratulations on your wedding! I'm sure it was magical :) 

    As far as honeymoon ideas, I'm thinking of around the price range and of places I've been to - how about... Hawaii? Or.. Cancun (like you mentioned), or also Punta Cana actually. xoxo
    Airfare from Kentucky to Hawaii will easily run $800-$900 per person. That doesn't leave much room for hotel and car.

     







  • I'm pretty sure you can do a payment plan on CheapCaribbean.com.  They have deals right now for travel in September.  Check out the Valentin Imperial Maya in Riviera Maya.  Try to avoid Cancun because it's just a strip of smaller resorts.  Riviera Maya has larger resorts that have lots of activities and great options for dining (all inclusive).  We also never had traveled outside of the country, but using cheapcaribbean was so simple.  The Valentin Imperial Maya is a little more pricey, but my friend went there for her honeymoon and they got special treatment while staying there.  It's adults only.  If you haven't done all inclusive, you definitely should consider it!  You will want to go back again and again.  
  • Also, if you sign up for their mailing list, they send a promo code for a discount off your booking.  And you can always check retailmenot for other promo codes.
  • Hawaii will be pricey. 

    I've heard good things about Secrets Resorts in Mexico.  My brother and his wife went to Cancun a few months back and loved it.  They were supposed to go to Cabo but had to be rerouted due to a hurricane that hit a week before their scheduled trip-- Secrets completely handled moving their location which I thought was awesome as a company to be taken care of.  They were bummed at first because Cancun was not their plan, but they ended up loving it! 

    However, if you are thinking out of the US make sure you have your passports!  They can take some time to get and you will need them to book your travel.

    and given your travel timeline if you are set on somewhere "beachy" definitely look into hurricane season.  September falls into "hurricane season" in many tropical locations.  We originally wanted to do a cruise or simply just stay in the Carribean. Our honeymoon was also delayed and set for early September--which was hurricane season for many of the locations we were looking at. So we nixed the Carribean idea.   

    We ended up going to Hawaii (Kauai) and while it was nice, it definitely was pricey and we felt we did not get to do as much as we would have if went somewhere more affordable for our budget (which was 2.5k... and we were gifted a timeshare so did not have to pay for accomodations, but between airfare, rental car, food, etc we maxed out our budget). We luckily were gifted 2 excursions so were able to enjoy some "fun things" to do on the trip as well.  We still had a nice time, but could not do as much as we would have liked to.  

     
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    Anniversary
  • kaos16kaos16 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    I have been to Secrets The Vine in Cancun and it was awesome.  That is where we went on our honeymoon.  While I have friends that have been to AI resorts and made friends that they hung out with all vacation, we did not do that.  We said hi to people that we ran into at the pool and whatnot, but for the most part we spend our time just the two of us.  It was lovely and romantic.  If you want quiet alone time you can get room service and eat on your balcony, etc.
  • I'm still recommending a cruise.  Airfare from KY to Ft. Lauderdale, FL is very affordable.  (Southwest flies there!)  Cruises cost as little as $500 per person, and that leaves room for shore excursions and drinks. Cruises are "most inclusive".  Extras are drinks, tips and shore excursions.
     Here is an example of a Royal Caribbean week long cruise.

    http://www.vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=26414  (You need to sign up on this website to search  for cruises, but they won't bother you.  It is my favorite search site.)







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  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Practical advice-- don't forget a passport if you leave the country! Budget 4-6 weeks to apply and have the application filled. I don't know if you're changing your name or not, but if you do, you'll need to send in your marriage certificate (which can also take time to get from your local courthouse). They return all your documents to you along with the new passport. 

    If you do go out of the country, places like Cancun, which rely on tourism, are good about airport-resort shuttles. It's super easy and low-stress. When you look at these kinds of places that are so popular with honeymooners, you really have nothing to stress about with going out of the country. Hospitality IS the business and they want people happy and coming back and making referrals to friends. It's different going to these places than, say, navigating Rome by yourself. 
    ________________________________


    CMGragain
  • Congrats!!  I am going to Secrets Maroma Beach for my honeymoon (2 weeks!), and it is about double your budget. Granted it is for a week, in June & including flights. I'm pretty sure that some of the other properties are much cheaper, and I'm sure September would be priced differently.

     Anyway, I ended up booking through Apple Vacations because they let me do a payment plan. It was the exact same cost as booking it directly through Secrets, but we only had to put down a $250 deposit and then had 6 or 7 months to pay it off. Which worked out perfectly for us! I think you have to book it over the phone though, not through the website. Definitely something worth looking into!
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    Congrats!!  I am going to Secrets Maroma Beach for my honeymoon (2 weeks!), and it is about double your budget. Granted it is for a week, in June & including flights. I'm pretty sure that some of the other properties are much cheaper, and I'm sure September would be priced differently.

     Anyway, I ended up booking through Apple Vacations because they let me do a payment plan. It was the exact same cost as booking it directly through Secrets, but we only had to put down a $250 deposit and then had 6 or 7 months to pay it off. Which worked out perfectly for us! I think you have to book it over the phone though, not through the website. Definitely something worth looking into!

    Believe it or not, the company that owns Apple Vacations also owns Secrets. So, in a way, you did book direct. You can also book online via Apple or with a human travel agent that works with Apple and still have the payment plan.

     







  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Congrats!!  I am going to Secrets Maroma Beach for my honeymoon (2 weeks!), and it is about double your budget. Granted it is for a week, in June & including flights. I'm pretty sure that some of the other properties are much cheaper, and I'm sure September would be priced differently.

     Anyway, I ended up booking through Apple Vacations because they let me do a payment plan. It was the exact same cost as booking it directly through Secrets, but we only had to put down a $250 deposit and then had 6 or 7 months to pay it off. Which worked out perfectly for us! I think you have to book it over the phone though, not through the website. Definitely something worth looking into!

    Believe it or not, the company that owns Apple Vacations also owns Secrets. So, in a way, you did book direct. You can also book online via Apple or with a human travel agent that works with Apple and still have the payment plan.

    @jells2dot0 From what I've experienced (mom- travel agent) you always have to pay for your flights in full and then the payment plan goes towards the hotel. Do you know if this is the case with Apple/ Secrets? Seems like $250 wouldn't cover two flights so I'm curious if they were able to book the flights as part of the package without paying them outright.

                                                                     

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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited May 2015
    @jenna8984 Apple has charter air or contracted air in some of their packages. If it's a charter flight then the flight cost is not due up front. I've used them for a wedding group one time and did not have to pay for the air upfront.

     







  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    @jenna8984 Apple has charter air or contracted air in some of their packages. If it's a charter flight then the flight cost is not due up front. I've used them for a wedding group one time and did not have to pay for the air upfront.


    ooo interesting

                                                                     

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  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I just wanted to chime in re: Florida panhandle beaches. My parents did a beach house rental in Cape San Blas, Florida a couple summers ago. The beaches were GORGEOUS, not crowded with tourists or giant hotels, clean, clear water, etc. I think it's probably the perfect place for a low-key, private getaway. There are some restaurants in the area, but you'll also have the option (if you rent your own place) of grocery shopping and cooking your own meals at home too.



  • @jells2dot0 I did know that they were owned by the same company! That is one of the reasons I didn't mind going through Apple. Good to know in the future about getting a payment plan when booking online. I couldn't figure it out, so I just called them up.

    @jenna8984 we have direct flights on Aero Mexico in our package with Apple, and did not have to pay for those up front. The only thing that is kind of annoying is they haven't given us seat assignments, and said we don't get them until we check in. I'm going to try and call this weekend to see what I can do about this, my fiance was the one who made the final payment over the phone & got this info and he just goes with whatever he is told! Besides that the payment plan was hassle free!
    jenna8984
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