By Anita Dunham-Potter Travel columnist
updated 2/10/2009 10:09:16 AM ET 2009-02-10T15:09:16

Cruise ships are romantic, that’s for sure. The combination of a sea breeze and starry nights seems to send Cupid reeling. And while love is in the air, cruise lines are going all-out to entice couples to lure love to the seas.

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Here are the top five most romantic onboard experiences.

SeaDream Yacht Club’s Balinese beds
Imagine spending the night under the stars. You can on SeaDream Yacht Club’s two vessels. SeaDream offers “Balinese DreamBeds,” amazing queen-size loungers found on Deck 6. Raised above the height of the yacht’s railings, they provide unobstructed views of the ocean. This is the perfect place to sunbathe, read, look out to sea or just snooze. And, should a couple wish to spend the night al fresco, SeaDream’s staff will supply pillows and a cozy duvet. Now that’s a good night.

Disney Cruise Line — Villa for two
Surprisingly, the giant mouse boats offer a spa haven for romantic couples. The Vista Spa on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder feature amazing spa villas. You won’t find these on any other cruise ship. These three villas come complete with an indoor spa treatment suite which is connected to a private outdoor veranda with personal hot tub, open air shower and luxurious chaise lounge. Couples can indulge in three-hour “Villa For Two” package that incorporates a long dip in the Jacuzzi, massages, and a relaxing post-treatment tea time or champagne all while watching the sunset — complete bliss!

Windstar dining in
Windstar offers an in-room “Romance Dinner” with an aphrodisiac menu served in elegant style. It includes such tantalizing presentations as “Rack of Lamb under a Blanket of Sun-Dried Love Apples, Seduced by a Rosemary-Garlic-Mint Sauce.” Top it off with a dessert called “Fantasy of Fresh Strawberries Caressed by Decadent Chocolate Ganache with Kisses of Chantilly Cream Aroused with Pernod.” Dinner comes with an iPod Nano cued to romantic music, which plays through the stateroom’s Bose SoundDock speakers. There is no additional charge for the dinner.

The line also offers a “Romance Under Sail” package with a range of options like chilled champagne and chocolate-dipped fruit and breakfast in bed followed by a couple’s massage in the spa. Clearly, Windstar has a recipe that will keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign up on the stateroom door for a long time.

Princess Cruises — ‘The Love Boats’
They don’t call these ships the “Love Boats” without good reason. Princess offers an “Engagement Under the Stars” package that creates a multimedia marriage proposal to remember. Regular Joes can become Cruising Casanovas when they pop the question to their unsuspecting bride-to-be with a personal proposal videocast on the ship’s giant outdoor “Movies Under the Stars” movie screen. Afterwards, the crew will shower the happy couple with a special romantic dinner, amenities and keepsake items to help them remember the occasion.

For couples looking to recapture a little romance on vacation the line offers a number of options. There is the Romance-By-Room-Service menu that includes champagne and chocolate, scattered rose petals and candlelight, all set to romantic music. For couples staying in staterooms with a veranda there’s the “Ultimate Balcony Dinner” where couples get their own waiter and a table beautifully decked out in crisp linens, flowers, silver, crystal and china. Dine on lobster, filet mignon to name a few. For couples, Princess certainly lives up to their “Escape Completely” motto.

Star Clippers swashbuckling romance
Each time the Royal Clipper slips its mooring and sets sail for new shores, the traditional Star Clippers send-off awakens in its passengers a sense of adventure and romance. Based on the last tall ship of its kind, Preussen, which was launched in 1902, the 227-passenger Royal Clipper is the world’s only five-masted, fully rigged sailing ship, and the largest in the Star Clipper fleet. With 42 sails and open teak decks, the ship is a sight to behold.

Couples wanting to get in touch with their swashbuckling side can crawl out onto the ship’s bowsprit net for some private cuddling. The bowsprit is like a giant hammock hanging 30 feet above the sea where couples can relax and gaze up at the ship’s sails and the changing colors of the sky.

For couples ready for romance, the cruising world is definitely ready for you.

Sound off! Do you have a comment, an idea, a complaint or a problem for Anita to solve? Send her an e-mail and you might find yourself in her next column. And check out her blog, ExpertCruiser.com.

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