If you’re thinking about a sweet honeymoon cruise, consider taking it a step further – to actually getting married while on a cruise. You can combine a beautiful ceremony and a fabulous vacation into one memorable travel experience!
There are several options for saying “I do” while on a cruise, so you’ll have some important decisions to make. And, the process can be a bit complex, which is why several cruise lines offer assistance in the form of dedicated wedding coordinators. These coordinators can also arrange special touches for you – think relaxing, pre-ceremony massages – plus flowers, photography, cake and champagne.
If you picture yourselves being married on the ship by the captain, know that you’ll be limited to just a few cruise lines and even to certain sailings on those lines, which include Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America and Royal Caribbean. The ability to be married on a cruise ship while at sea is a legal matter, dependent on the ship’s country of registry and the availability of marriage licenses. (However, if you’re already married, many cruise lines will accommodate your wish for a symbolic ceremony onboard.)
Another option is to marry on the ship before it embarks from its home port. You can bring your choice of clergy aboard, as well as family and friends. Check with your preferred cruise line for specific details, but you may be able to hold the ceremony before general boarding begins. That will give you and your guests time to celebrate before they have to disembark. Of course, if your guests are coming along on the cruise, they’ll simply stay onboard!
You could also be married on shore during a port call, although this can be get complicated due to the availability of marriage licenses and the legality of the marriage in your home country. This is where a cruise line wedding planner can be extremely helpful, as he or she can explain all the details and suggest a port that will be wedding-friendly.
Most cruise lines charge a fee for legal or symbolic weddings; however, you may find that the fee is far less than you would spend on a wedding and reception in your hometown. Your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can help you consider all the options and estimate the costs. Talk with your cruise expert soon, and happy planning!