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they thought would allow them to
reconnect as a couple.
“It’s quality time together, rekindling
the romance while watching spectacular
sunsets, having romantic dinners, relaxing
with a cocktail by the pool, going to
amazing ports, plus exploring and
snorkelling at places you’ve only dreamed
about,” Robyn explained.
“We have talked many of our friends
into having a ‘Honeyboom’ and they are
all hooked too.”
And the trend has really caught on.
While some couples are going on short
three to five-day getaways to places like
Moreton Island and Hobart, many others
are enjoying longer cruises, like seven to
12-night voyages to the Pacific Islands.
While Carnival might be known for
catering to the family market, they have
now introduced Honeyboomer-only
activities such as specific shore excursions
and trialled new programs including the
first ever ‘flirt-class’ at sea – a seminar
hosted by a relationship expert to help
spice up Honeyboomers’ marriages.
“The ‘flirt class’ really surprised us.
It raised some great ideas in a fun
environment, like things we used to do
when we were dating and have started
doing again, like pet names, romantic
music from our past and having fun trying
new things as a couple,” added Robyn.
They attended the flirt class with about
other eight couples and learned simple
techniques that can add the spark back
into their relationship, including looking
into the eyes of your partner for an
extended period and working out what
your partner wants.
“It is just getting to a level where it is
just the two of us. When you are dating
you can work out what your partner
wants – you don’t have to say too much.
“But when kids come along, everything
gets so hectic, you lose that ability to
understand what your partner wants,”
“At the beginning of our first cruise
we really missed the kids because all our
previous holidays were family oriented.
Our conversations kept revolving around
the kids, so we made a rule: no more talk
about the kids,” he added.
“As we relaxed and reconnected, we
remembered what it was like as a couple
and really enjoyed being together and
having fun. As the kids are now
independent, cruising is our time for fun!”
But after 17 Honeyboom cruises, are the
Watsons keen to travel with the kids again?
“We are loving cruising so much that
we’ve been trying to get them on for the
last three years. We want to show them
how great this kind of holiday can be.”
This bourgeoning cruise demographic is ditching
the kids and hitting the deck. Vanessa Wu explains.
It had been 25 long years since Shane
and Robyn Watson had taken a holiday
without their kids. But when their
youngest child had a 17th birthday, they
knew it was time to start booking.
Five years and 17 cruises later, the
Watsons are card-carrying members
of the Honeyboomers: a phrase coined by
Carnival Cruise Line to describe couples
whose kids have flown the coop, letting
them holiday alone again.
Honeyboomers haven’t just got rid of
the kids. They are mapping out plans to
spend their inheritance, and relinquished
other responsibilities like work, mortgages
and even the family dog.
For them, a holiday is like a second
honeymoon. And rekindling romance in
their marriage is high on their to-do list.
So Carnival created a cruise with
a focus on doing just that – it even
includes flirting classes.
The Watsons took their first
Honeyboomer cruise to Florida – a holiday
Cruise of the
“We made a rule: no more
talk about the kids!”
76 per cent of couples with teenage
children aged 13 and above miss
having fun with their partner
Carnival has seen an 80 per cent
increase in Honeyboomers sailing
over the past four years
The most popular time for
Honeyboomers to cruise is outside
of the school holiday periods, when
there are bargains to be had.
Book your next cruise holiday with a specialist travel agent
accredited by the official body of the cruise industry.
Travel agents that display the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
logo are members of a global association that is dedicated to the education,
promotion and growth of the cruise industry.
Look for the CLIA logo and travel agents that display
their accreditation credentials.
Go to www.cruising.org.au to find
your nearest cruise specialist agent
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