HONEYMOON CASE STUDIES

Nicole and Rodney Butler

(Provided By Nicole And Rodney Bu)

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

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Nicole and Rodney Butler

Nicole, 30, is a statistician with the U.S. Census Bureau and Rodney, 30, is a passport specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They were married Oct. 16 in Mitchellville, Md., and live in Waldorf.

WHERE THEY WENT: Miami, for a four-night cruise aboard the Carnival Fascination. They chose Carnival because they'd heard it was a fun line.

WHERE THEY DIDN'T GO: Hawaii, their first choice, because the airfare was too expensive.

BUDGET: $2,100

WHERE THEY DIDN'T GO, PART 2: They chose an itinerary that included Cozumel, Mexico, because they thought it would be less commercialized than the Bahamas or Jamaica. But the day after they boarded, a note was slipped under their cabin door saying the ship was being diverted to the Bahamas because of Hurricane Wilma. They were disappointed but made the best of it. "We spent more time onboard the ship than in Nassau," Nicole said.

SILVER LINING: When they checked into the Embassy Suites in Arlington the night before they left, Nicole was still wearing her wedding gown, and they were upgraded to the presidential suite. "I didn't even know they had a presidential suite," she said.

SIX WORDS OF ADVICE: "Get a suite on the ship," Nicole said, noting that their cabin's private balcony was a particular fave. "We upgraded, and now we would never go back."

ALL RIGHT, A FEW MORE: Beware of glass-bottom boat rides. The couple took one as an excursion at their cruise's Key West stop, thinking it would be an easy trip on glassy seas, but instead spent 45 minutes in the back of the boat being very, very seasick.

NEXT STOP, COZUMEL: They enjoyed their first cruise so much that they're planning another: a seven-nighter on the newer Carnival Miracle to the western Caribbean. And since it won't be during hurricane season, they should get to Mexico this time.

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© 2006 The Washington Post Company


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