Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Affordable Beach Honeymoons and HoneyLuna Honeymoon Registry


You keep it hearing it, but NOW really is the time to find, plan and book your affordable beach honeymoon. Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, has always offered GREAT all inclusive values, but now they are almost giving it away!

Playa Del Carmen is a beautiful, tropical, cultural, historical beach destination! There is lots of romance, lots of adventure and a lot of stunning, wonderful resorts to just DO NOTHING!!

The all-inclusive aspect is too go to be true! And, if you use HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry, you can book and affordable honeymoon and get the pieces of your perfect honeymoon as your wedding gift! Play your cards right, you might just get your honeymoon for "free".

Some fabulous faves to check out

RIU Palace Riviera Maya for a junior suite from just $104 pp/night ALL INCLUSIVE!!!

The latest addition to the Riu family in Playa del Carmen this property sets the ultimate in pampering first class service.

Built along a spectacular stretch of white sand beach and framed by tropical palm trees, this hotel boasts 400 elegant junior suites with hydro-massage bathtubs and all the distinctive Riu amenities such as minibar and liquor dispenser. Enjoy the selection of a-la-carte restaurants and bars, along with continental breakfast, room service, 24 hour All Inclusive (snacks and beverages), and the impressive exchange privileges program with all sister properties within the Riu Resort complex.

The brand new Riu Palace Riviera Maya, creating long lasting memories of Mexican paradise.


Also check out El Dorado Seaside Suites

El Dorado Seaside Suites embodies barefoot elegance for the carefree and relaxed. Spread along a white sand beach, this all-junior suite, adults-only, all-inclusive resort blends luxurious services, amenities and creative cuisine with a cool boutique-hotel atmosphere, perfect for laid- back rest and relaxation.

Jacuzzi suites from just $151 pp/night!!

It doesn't get much better than this.

To find other great affordable beach honeymoon deals and prices for your honeymoon dates, please visit

To create a honeymoon registry for you affordable beach honeymoon please visit!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A honeymoon registry can pay for your entire post-wedding getaway

An excerpt from Susie Rodriguez article on honeymoon registries from includes HoneyLuna!

Please visit Suzanne's site at

Honeymoon registries are a newish take on the old bridal registry formula. Instead of registering for table place-settings and stainless steel pots that friends and family will buy as your wedding present, you register for honeymoon goodies—one or more nights in a hotel room, room upgrades, a couples massage, an all-day jeep safari or kayak tour, a champagne breakfast delivered to your room, all or a portion of your air flight, or whatever else you might ask for.

Establishing your registry is easily done online. You'll end up with your own Web page which friends and family can visit. They'll see your wish list (with prices of each item), choose their gift, and pay by credit card. The registry informs you each time you receive a gift, keeps track online of what’s been purchased for everyone to see, and sends you a check before the wedding for the account balance.

How can registries afford to do this? They charge a fee (see individual registries below).

Some hotel/resort chains, airlines, and tourism destinations offer something similar to the registries described above. Be forewarned, however, that they typically allow you to select only items and activities falling under their umbrella. Rather than send a check or other form of straightforward monetary payment---which allows you to spend the money as you like---they send a gift card or a company credit to be applied against your bill. Often they charge the top rate for everything purchased through their registry—rather than the bargain rates you might get were you to book ordinarily.

A completely different take is the wedding/honeymoon registry offered by adventure tour company Mountain Travel Sobek. Friends and family can contribute money toward the kind of adventure honeymoon you’ll never forget—crusing the Galapagos, or climbing Kilimanjaro, or any of the other adventures they undertake in 65 countries around the world. Best thing: MTS charges no fee for their registry service.

And for couples who already have everything they need, consider this idea: register with Britain's Carbon Footprint, where friends/family can buy one or more trees in your name to be planted in Kenya's Great Rift Valley. The service is free; gift-givers pay no fees aside from the modest per-tree cost of around $13.


The following companies have reliable reputations in the traditional honeymoon registry business. Each has a unique fee structure, and extra charges may apply for some services, so read the fine print carefully (which you should always do anyway). Keep in mind that most of these services charge a credit card transaction fee, which, when combined with the typical 7% service charge per transaction, amounts to a 10% fee.

HoneyLuna charges a 7% service fee that can either be added to or deducted from the cost of the gift. If credit cards are used to fund the purchase, an additional 3% credit card fee is imposed.
Honeymoon Wishes lets you choose whether you want the 7% fee added to or deducted from the gift amounts. An additional 3% credit card transaction fee applies.

  • Rodriguez, the Founder and Editorial Director of WGH, specializes in luxury, romantic, and historic travel; culinary & wine exploration; and outdoor adventure. She is the author of three books, including Checklist For A Perfect Honeymoon (Doubleday), and is the Honeymoon Travel Examiner at

Suzie's articles have appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, including Bride's, Gourmet, Woman's World, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune.

A member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA) and Bay Area Travel Writers (BATW), Suzie lives and works in Sonoma, California.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Have a Santa Cruz Honeymoon and HoneyLuna Registry

Out of desire and necessity, many people are choosing close to home vacations and close to home honeymoons. I am fortunate enough to live in Santa Cruz -- and I have realized what an amazing and romantic place Santa Cruz and the Central Coast could be for a honeymoon. Better still, there are an abundance of fun and wonderful activities that could be included on a honeymoon registry....

Sunset in Santa Cruz, CA

Although Santa Cruz does not have the always 80 plus degress tropical climes and water, it does have beautiful weather. The cool morning fog (if there does happen to be fog) paints a very different picture on the already beautiful land and seascapes. It also offers a chance to head inland for some sunnier activities or to take stunning hikes in the redwoods at Nisene Marks State Park of Big Basin without feeling like you're missing sunny beach time. After your hikes when the fog has cleared, you can head out to the beach!

Many people (although not me!) can and do get in the Pacific here for water sports without wetsuits. I can do it -- but find that the 30 seconds I can tolerate the water is not enough time for boogie boarding and surfing. However, with a wetsuit, I can boogie board for hours. There are an abundance of surf shops that rent wetsuits (and boogie boards too) for just $10 day.

If I were to honeymoon in Santa Cruz and the Central Coast, here is what I would do and have on my HoneyLuna honeymoon registry.... (if you're flying in, Santa Cruz is 90 minutes from SFO and 35 minutes from San Jose)

5 nights Santa Cruz (more if you can!)
  1. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk -- ride the Giant Dipper!
  2. Lunch and Dinners on the Santa Cruz Pier
  3. Dinner on Pacific Avenue, Downtown Santa Cruz
  4. Sunset Sail on Monterey Bay on the Chardonnay
  5. Kayak the Elkhorn Slough
  6. Wine Tasting in Santa Cruz and Corralitos (yes, wine tasting!)
  7. Hiking in Nisene Marks or Big Basin State Park
  8. A walk on the bluff top trail at Wilder Ranch State Park is a must!
  9. Day trip up Hgwy 1 to Pescadero (Famous Clam Chowder at Duarte's Tavern (I'm a vegetarian so I've never had it, but friends insists it's the best!), Pigeon Point Lighthouse and a glass of wine at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay
  10. Have a bonfire at the beach! (Bonfires are legal on most beaches)

2 nights Carmel or Big Sur
  1. Explore Carmel
  2. Wine Tasting in the Carmel Valley
  3. 17 Mile Drive
  4. A glass of wine (or brunch if you can afford it!) at Pebble Beach
  5. Dinner at Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch Inn
  6. Lunch at Nepenthe
  7. Hiking at Pt. Lobos, Julia Pfeifer Burns or Andrew Molera State Parks
  8. Admisison to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  9. If the whales are migrating, a whale watching trip

1 night RockyPoint (this is a few hours south on Hgwy 1)
  1. Just a really cool Inn in a stunning location. Ocean View Room worth the splurge. Dinner at the Rocky Point Inn.

If you want to continue on Hgwy 1 driving south, then a night or two in Cambria with a full day at Hearst Castle is a must!

There are so many more things to see and do -- so if you have more time, check out Pinnacles National Monument, Ano Nuevo State Park and the elephant seals (reservations a must), the very charming beach town of Capitola, Phil's Fish Market at Moss Landing (after kayaking the Elkhorn Slough).... You will find an abundance of affordable, beautiful, fun and romantic things to do in Santa Cruz!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Register your Honeymoon with HoneyLuna

Top 10 Reasons to Register your Honeymoon with HoneyLuna

10 You don’t need another salad spinner or a toaster (Receive the gift of travel, romance and adventure rather than house wares!)

9 Your insurance doesn’t cover Waterford crystal if you break it

8 You and your fiancée cannot agree on a china pattern

7 With the extra help you receive from your honeymoon registry, you may be able to upgrade your hotel accommodations from a parking lot to ocean view!

6 You’ll love the ease of “one stop shopping” for both your honeymoon travel and gift registry.

5 Your friends and family will love your honeymoon registry – they won’t even have to leave home to buy your gift! A quote from Nicole Bauer, HoneyLuna client: “Everyone thought our honeymoon registry was a great idea. And they enjoyed reading our itinerary and purchasing pieces of our honeymoon.”

4 You won’t have to return any unwanted gifts to the department store

3 You’ll love all the gifts you receive from your honeymoon registry (who wouldn’t love a sunset dinner cruise? A massage? A gondola ride in Venice?)

2 You’ll get to take your dream honeymoon you never thought was possible

And the number one reason to register with HoneyLuna….

1 HoneyLuna is the best honeymoon registry service around (since 1995!)

Visit our website at:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Not sure where you want to go on your honeymoon? Advice About Choosing Your Honeymoon Destination

Here are some simple guidelines from HoneyLuna.

  1. Be realistic – the first step is determining how much time you have to travel, and as important, how much money do you have allocated for your honeymoon. (Using HoneyLuna’s honeymoon registry can give extra cushion to that budget!)

  2. The best way to start your planning may be to choose a list of specific destinations that interest you. Then start reading and researching these places to see if they fit your desires. If there are only beach and water sports and you don't tan and can't swim, then it may not be the place for you.

  3. Narrow your choices. The world is big. Even one country is big. You can't see it all in a lifetime, much less in a week or a few weeks. Most people try to do too much in too little time. You'll have a much better experience if you can actually take the time to enjoy where you are - instead of being exhausted because you're running from one city to the next, one country to the next. (This makes for some cranky travelers!)

  4. Choose a place that interests you - not just for the monuments but also for the culture and way of life. Your daily activities and the people you meet have more influence on the quality of your travel experience than the sites you visit or the sights you see.

  5. Make your own choices. Don't go somewhere just because someone else liked it or told you to go there. See #4 - again, just because a friend enjoyed the trek through the Himalayas in freezing temperatures carrying a 60-pound bag doesn't mean you will. If you're idea of roughing it is a 5 star hotel in Tahiti then a river-rafting trip down the Grand Canyon may not be for you!

  6. Think about who is giving you advice and what their knowledge is based on. Have they actually been there or are they experts on this destination? Look for resources from and by people in the places you are thinking of going for the most accurate picture of what travel in those places will really be like.

  7. Travel in the present. Learn about contemporary life and current affairs in the places you are going. (The Internet makes this much easier than ever before.)

  8. And most importantly, be sure that you and your fiancée are on the same page. If you want a week at a luxury hotel with a spa and a swim up bar, and he wants to go to a dude ranch, then you need to talk about that early on and find a way to compromise. (That is what you do in marriage!) Perhaps you can go to Kauai and stay at the Princeville Resort, which has a wonderful spa and is conveniently located by the Princeville Stables!

  9. Once you’ve made your decision, book early! Waiting for those last minute Internet fares is not honeymoon appropriate. The most popular honeymoon destinations such as Tahiti sell out months in advance!

  10. Don’t forget to say “I DO” and go have the honeymoon of your dreams. You should come back from your trip feeling like you’ve just experienced one of the most memorable and enjoyable events of your new life together.

Oh - and be sure to use HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry wherever you go!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

From Ask Amy - a great response about honeymoon registries!

Smart Answer for Smart Brides about Honeymoon Registry --

From Ask Amy
By Amy Dickinson

Dear Amy: Regarding registering for honeymoon contributions, what gives? Where do people get off thinking they’re entitled to something, even though they can’t afford it?

I can understand a bridal registry — it’s the modern dowry for today’s couples. But come on, where does this entitlement complex come from?

If you want to take a trip when you get married, save for it and put your hand back in your pocket, not mine. — Suzanne

Dear Suzanne: A gift registry is meant to provide the couple with things they can’t buy. I don’t see the difference between registering for a china pattern or a trip to Colorado. Wedding guests don’t have to adhere to registries; they’re meant as gift guidelines.

Don't walk, RUN (or click really fast!) to register at for your HoneyLuna honeymoon registry.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Creating a Successful HoneyLuna Honeymoon Registry


When Jenny Johnson and John Ericson got married, they didn’t bother registering with the traditional registries. They already lived together, owned a home, and had the household items they needed.

Instead, Jenny and John registered with HoneyLuna, the Honeymoon Registry Service, and received “pieces of their honeymoon” as wedding gifts.

Jenny and John had a very successful honeymoon registry! “Our honeymoon included Spanish Language courses in Cusco and hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru,” says Jenny. “It was so much more fun creating a gift registry that included these experiential gifts we would always remember. Our honeymoon was filled with fantastic adventures we will never forget, and allowed us to tie these special gifts to our loved ones back home.”

Honeymoon registries today are no longer “alternative” and are acceptable wedding registries, according to the Emily Post Institute of Etiquette (and others!). Honeymoon registries offer the opportunity for families and friends to give the couple something worth remembering for their honeymoon. However, because many people are not aware that honeymoon registries exist, it is important that the wedding couple (and their close friends, maid of honor and best man) let people know that their honeymoon registry exists and to “educate” their family friends about the concept. This will insure that they have the most successful honeymoon registry possible.

HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry service provides many tools to help create a successful honeymoon registry and to “get the word out” such as:

  • Registry announcement cards to send to family and friends letting them know about your honeymoon registry
  • Email announcements to send to family and friends letting them know about your honeymoon registry
  • An easy to use website to for friends and family to view your itemized registry and purchase your gifts. Our site also offers FREE wedding websites, wedding blog, and photo albums for wedding couples!

Ultimately, the wedding couple DOES need to participate in helping make the honeymoon registry successful. Here a few things you can do to create a successful honeymoon registry.

1. Be Creative - Have fun with your registry. Don’t’ just ask for cash – include fun items and activities your friends and family can get excited about.

2. Include Gifts In a Variety of Price Ranges - When creating your registry do include a variety of items in different price ranges. You don't want to leave anyone out, nor make anyone feel uncomfortable. With a wide variety of price ranges, guests can contribute anywhere from $20 on up – more if they want!

3. Upload a Photo – Upload your photo to personalize your registry even more.

4. PROMOTE YOUR REGISTRY – Don’t’ be Shy – PROMOTE YOUR REGISTRY! For a successful registry let everyone know where you are registered. Include registry announcement cards in your engagement letters, shower, and wedding invitations. Advise family members and bridal party of your gift wishes, so that they may be actively involved in communicating directly to your guests. Use email announcements as a follow up close to the wedding date. People DO want to buy you a wedding gift, so you might as well make it as easy for them as possible.

Remember, the more you promote your honeymoon registry, the better your chances of having a successful honeymoon registry. Wouldn't you rather have some fantastic honeymoon experience as your wedding gift rather than a zebra head cookie platter or another turkey baster?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Affordable Honeymoon Destinations for 2009 and beyond!

The word in the news every day now is "Staycation". Well call me silly, but if I were planning my honeymoon (and I wish I were!) a "Staycation" is not where I would want to go.

Because the economy is slow and so many people ARE NOT traveling, there are GREAT deals to be had for honeymooners -- I am trying to post great deals every day to the HoneyLuna TWITTER (#HoneyLuna) and they also upload to the blog here. So do check back every day!!

Also, don't forget - HoneyLuna's Honeymoon Registry is a great way to help expand your honeymoon budget. Guests LOVE buying pieces of your honeymoon as a wedding gift -- who wouldn't love to buy a couple the experience of a romantic dinner on the beach, a gondola ride in Venice, a night in an over the water bungalow? I digress...

What I am trying to say is, don't let the recession prevent you from taking the romantic honeymoon of your dreams. Many destinations are more affordable these days which means you can go where you want -- and maybe even upgrade a room category or two!!

Here are my pics for top deals right now... and some "off the beaten path"...

Fiji - Plane tickets still aren't cheap (no discounts there really...) but resorts on Fiji are offering GREAT deals.

- Thailand has always offered many affordable options - but now even more are available. You can have the best of both worlds - culture and exotic combined with a wonderful beach vacation.

- Again, it may be a haul and the flights may not be so cheap, but once there, Brazil has some great deals -- AND... Brazil has beautiful beautiful beaches, great food, fun nightlife, and an enjoyable cultural experience.

- If you can turn off the news and imagine the Mexico we've all dreamed of... Mexico is ON SALE!!! Resort occupancies are at their lowest and discounts are at their highest -- up to 70 percent off!! Round-trip airfare for under $300 from most major US cities

- Even the Ritz is on sale here!!

Hawaii -
Even the Four Seasons has deals! My post earlier today had the Kiahuna Plantation offering the 3rd and 6th nights free!

Alaska - Lots and lots of cruise deals!!
Taking an Alaskan cruise is a budget friendly honeymoon idea and will provide memories and experiences you will never forget!

Not a "staycation" but maybe a close to home honeymoon. Miami has great beaches, great nightlife aned plenty of deals on accomodations.

To check out great honeymoon travel deals and affordable beach honeymoons and honeymoon destinations, click here.....

Free (Honeymoon) Nights in Kauai

Great Travel Deals to Kauai - the Garden Isle. Kauai is a stunning, tropical island - perfect for a romantic honeymoon or a fun family vacation -- or just a "getaway"....

6 nights with Car rental from $655 (see chart below)

Great promotions at Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation (my FAVE!) (3rd and 6th night free!)

Hilton Kauai Beach Resort (5th night free)

Marriott Kauai Beach Resort (5th night free PLUS free daily buffet breakfast)

Grand Hyatt Kauai (6th night free PLUS free daily buffet breakfast)

Use HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry ( and have more dollars to enjoy from these great packages and your honeymoon gift dollars.

To price packages for your honeymoon or vacation, click here.....