THE secret to a long, happy relationship (apparently) is compromise, so when I recently said ‘I do’, I kept this in mind.

The first compromise of our marriage was the honeymoon destination.

I'd dreamed of relaxing on white sandy beaches, staring at a bluer than blue sea and drinking a copious amount of cocktails but my new husband had other ideas - he wanted to go to Las Vegas.

So, after hours spent on Google, we came up with the complete 19 day package that ticked both of our boxes and packed our suitcases ready for the ultimate newlywed adventure to the States.

The first stop was New York, where we stayed at The Mansfield, just a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of Times Square and the beautifully calm Central Park.

We had just five days to see the sights and found the perfect way to pack everything in was by getting a City Pass ( and a hop on, hop off bus ticket (we went with Top View but it’s best to shop around).

With a City Pass, you pick from six of nine top attractions to visit.

Here's what we picked:

9/11 Memorial Museum: This was such emotional experience. I think we can all remember where we were when we heard the tragic news on that fateful day and this is such a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives.

Top of the Rock: This was probably my favourite attraction. I can't recommend it enough as the views are breath-taking. It's a slick operation and visitors are given allocated time slots to avoid overcrowding.

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Empire State Building: Timing is everything with this attraction and I think it's one that should be done first thing to beat the crowds as it can get pretty claustrophobic up there when it's busy. The views are undeniably brilliant and City Pass also gives you the chance to visit again during the evening to get another perspective but for us, it just didn't compare to Top of the Rock.

Natural History Museum: You could spend a whole day here taking everything in. It's fascinating and there are a number of interesting visiting exhibitions that you can view for an additional cost.

Statue of Liberty: Another must. The iconic statue is so impressive up close.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art: This beautiful building houses more than 5,000 years of art spanning all cultures and time periods. I was particularly excited to see a number of Picasso canvasses.

We also took many strolls around the picturesque Central Park. It's a little oasis in the busy city and I was impressed by its sheer size. We also had a fun morning at the zoo, which is home to two bears, sea lions, penguins and much more.

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Washington Square Park is also worth a visit and I recommend taking the five minute walk to Cookie DŌ NYC to taste the reasonably priced delights!

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Even with the bus pass, which saved us a lot of walking, we still managed to send our pedometers into overdrive with all the walking we did so it was a relief to take a taxi to the docks and jump on Norwegian Cruise Line's ship for a week-long round trip, stopping off at Florida and Bahamas.

This was the taste of paradise I had dreamed of. We'd had the ultimate beverage package so immediately hit the cocktails and began to relax.

The ship had a variety of bars and restaurants, catering to all tastes. The team worked hard to keep everyone entertained and the pool and hot tubs were always packed with people winding down.

The ship docked in Florida (giving people the chance to visit a number of attractions including Kennedy Space Centre and the Disney and Universal Theme Parks) and Nassau (where you can shop until your heart’s content at the straw market, lie on the beach and visit the popular Senor Frogs bar) but my favourite stop was the cruise line's private island.

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It was absolute bliss. The sun was shining, the pina coladas were flowing and the white sand a blue sea were more than inviting.

After a week of relaxing and overindulging, it was time for the main event, Sin City.

It's like a Disney World for adults and an experience we will never forget.

It's hard to walk around without getting distracted by the huge hotels, that all have their own story to tell. We stayed at the Egyptian themed Luxor and had a room on the 27th floor of the pyramid.

There is so much to do. A day can just be spent visiting the other hotels, playing on the slots.

But we had a few things to tick off our ‘to-do list’ first, including a visit to the Hoover Dam.

We opted for a half-day tour with DETOURS (, who pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel in a luxury vehicle and keep you hydrated with complimentary bottled water and pleasantly full thanks to a delicious cinnamon roll.

We couldn’t have asked for a better driver/guide than Al, he was very informative and chatted away throughout our journey to the historic dam on the Arizona/Nevada border.

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It is incredible to see it with your own eyes but also quite emotional when you remember that more than 100 people lost their lives during the construction.

In addition to the visitors’ centre, people can usually enjoy a tour of the dam interior to marvel at the engineering feat but sadly, due to Government restrictions, it wasn’t available on the day we visited but I’m sure it would have been fascinating.

Another must-see for us was the Grand Canyon and what better way to see it than via helicopter? We took Maverick Helicopters' Wind Dancer Excursion and although I was a little nervous ahead of the flight, I needn’t have worried as our pilot, Dustin, was an absolute pro.

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The views were incredible as we flew over Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and Fortification Hill (an extinct volcano), before we descended 3,500 feet into the Grand Canyon in Hualapai Indian Territory.

Throughout the flight, as well as pointing out places of interest and answering any questions we had, Dustin played a great soundtrack to fill in the silence and hearing the Jurassic Park theme tune as we entered the Grand Canyon was such a nice touch.

Then, after we took what seemed like thousands of photographs, we sat back, sipped champagne and enjoyed the view over a light snack before flying back, taking in the unbelievable views of the red rock formations of the Bowl of Fire, Downtown Las Vegas and the famous strip.

As well as picking you up from your hotel, Maverick Helicopters ( will also drop you back - but if you don’t mind walking back, head over the road to the famous welcome sign and grab the typical tourist picture – you might even be lucky enough to see ‘Elvis’!

I’d recommend that anyone who visits Las Vegas takes a trip downtown to Fremont Street – it’s a totally different vibe.

The evening that we ventured down there were two live bands playing to delighted revellers and people were having the time of their lives flying ‘superhero-style’ down the zipline attraction SlotZilla – even if you aren’t brave enough to try it (we weren’t) it’s so much fun to watch.

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We also headed into the D Las Vegas hotel to watch the one-man show, Defending the Caveman, which plays nightly from 8.40pm.

Kevin Burke, who fronts the 70 minute show, feels more like a friend by the end due to the conversational style of the show and the very intimate setting.

Laughs echoed around the room as he dived into the differences couples may face through witty banter and insightful observations.

We both really enjoyed this show and think any couples heading to Vegas should check it out - for information about tickets, click here.

You can't go to the US and not visit a mall and as I was ready to shop until I dropped, we decided to head down to visit Las Vegas North Premium Outlets (

This outlet offers bargains galore - you receive 25-65 per cent off 175 stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Michael Kors and Ted Baker London. 

I was a happy bunny as I picked up a cheap as chips Michael Kors handbag and a very reasonably priced Hugo Boss watch for my husband's 30th birthday present as well as top notch make up that didn't cost the earth!

After we'd worked up an appetite, we did what any Big Bang Theory fans would do and refuelled at The Cheesecake Factory - seriously you HAVE to try it.

Back on the strip, we rubbed shoulders with the likes of Britney Spears, Elvis, Bruno Mars and Samuel L Jackson when we visited Madame Tussauds, based at The Venetian (

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The detail in these waxworks is incredible and a selfie-lovers paradise.

We visited at around 2pm and were pleased to find it wasn’t too busy so we could take our time wandering around and snapping away.

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The Hangover experience was a lot of fun and you can pose passed out on the sofa, sit in a police car and even take pictures with the gang but the best part of the visit for me was the Marvel Super Heroes 4D show. The special effects (which include wind, water and scents) are brilliant and I jumped out of my seat more than once.

I don’t think we could have picked a better mix of things to do or places to visit throughout the honeymoon – not once were we bored or short of things to do. I certainly think honeymooning in the USA is the only way!