A Valentine’s cruise is better than a box of chocolates

Cruising from the Port of Baltimore is convenient and less expensive.

It’s February. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s the middle of the bleakest time of year. The weather is cold, drab, and snowy. We need a getaway — a romantic getaway! Something that will slice through the gray skies and frozen dirt to reveal blue skies, warm tropical breezes, turquoise water, white sand, and palm trees.

Here’s an idea. Surprise your honey with a cruise from Baltimore to the Bahamas or the Caribbean.

Cruising from the Port of Baltimore is convenient and less expensive.
Cruising from the Port of Baltimore is convenient and less expensive.

When you cruise from Baltimore, it’s easy, less expensive, and very convenient. The Port of Baltimore’s cruise terminal (cruisemaryland.com) is only 2-1/2 miles from Baltimore’s world famous Inner Harbor and just 10 miles from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. It is also the closest drive-to port for the more than 40 million people who live within a six-hour drive.

All this makes the affordability of the cruise go way up because the cost of traveling to the cruise terminal is almost negligible compared to the cost of paying for flights to ports in other states, such as Florida. All of that extra cash can be used to make a cruise more affordable, to enjoy an upgrade to a balcony or suite, to buy a nice little piece of jewelry in one of the cruise ports, or to take those excursions of a lifetime.

If you drive to the port, there is a secure parking lot right off of I-95, located so close to the ship you can walk to the terminal after dropping your luggage off with the porters.

Or, consider the other options that are available for parking. Add a bit more romance to your cruise by starting it with a night at a nearby downtown Baltimore hotel. You can enjoy some nightlife, discover a new restaurant, and then, waking the next morning, catch the free shuttle to the port and get your parking free for the whole cruise.

Or, use one of the airport shuttle services for a discounted price and a free shuttle ride to the port.

Insider Tip: There are additional discounts available for cruisers who are members of the military, law enforcement, or EMS — volunteers included.

Last-minute cruises can offer the best prices. Even if you can’t make your schedule suit a last-minute February cruise, imagine your sweetheart’s surprise, admiration, and warm gratitude to discover you bought a cruise as a Valentine’s Day gift!

Whether you book that cruise for February or for any other time of the year, the exciting anticipation, amazing adventures, and warm memories of the best Valentine’s Day gift ever will be the same.

An easy search of the Internet shows Royal Caribbean has an eight-night Bahamas cruise out of Baltimore departing Feb. 13, just in time for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.

Royal Caribbean (royalcaribbean.com) also has 10-night cruises out of Baltimore to the Eastern and Western Caribbean in February (as well as other cruises to

Bermuda and Canada/New England).

Other exciting news for Mid-Atlantic (and beyond) cruisers is that the Carnival Pride is undergoing a Fun Ship 2.0 upgrade/refurbishment in Tampa and will return to Baltimore in March for year-round cruises to the Eastern Caribbean, Florida, and the Bahamas. Carnival (carnival.com) has added a one-time 14-night repositioning cruise departing Tampa on March 15 which will sail through the Caribbean and Central America (including optional excursions to the Panama Canal) before returning to Baltimore.

Insider Tip: Repositioning cruises are absolutely the best bang for your buck.

So, what will you be giving the love of your life this Valentine’s Day? A lame box of chocolates? Or, that box of chocolates with cruise documents inside for an amazing, love-filled cruise out of Baltimore? It will definitely heat things up in the middle of the winter!

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