Cruise Ship Weddings: Fun, Unique, Unforgettable

Cruise Ship Weddings: Fun, Unique, Unforgettable

Posted 07.09.2012 in Articles by Jess

Whether you're renewing your vows or saying “I-do” for the first time, cruise ship weddings are sure to make your event memorable. Not only will your ceremony be beautiful and unique, you'll also give yourself, your family and friends a wonderful vacation. Forget all the hassle of planning a formal, sit-down ceremony for your closest friends. Planning a cruise wedding can be as simple as making one call. Most cruise lines offer incredible dream wedding packages with coordinators to help you through arranging the ceremony to sending out invitations and thank-you notes. Like planning an on-shore wedding, there's always the possibility of a few bumps in the road. Keep in mind these tips and cruise line recommendations to make sure your wedding is everything you ever dreamed of.

One of the first thing to consider when planning your cruise wedding even before choosing your destination, is the fact that only a few cruise lines offer marriage at sea by the captain. There’s always the option of being married by another accredited person, such as a priest, but there’s something romantic about getting married by the ship captain. The reason why this is difficult to come across is because there are a few legal limitations based on the ships’ countries of registry. So before you plan a storybook wedding of being married on the water by the captain, make sure you double check with the cruise line. 

Another cool aspect of a cruise wedding is that some cruise lines have private islands for wedding or vow renewals. The downside is that senior officers cannot perform legal ceremonies so the actual “legal” marriage (and paperwork signing) must occur in the cruise terminal before the ship leaves. There’s nothing romantic or warm and fuzzy about a cruise terminal. But if you do decide to take this route, it’s easy to make the reception or the rest of the wedding celebration romantic, so don’t focus too much on romanticizing the legal work.

One very important factor that most people overlook is weather. Weddings that are planned in ports of call have the possibility of being cancelled. Some ports can be high unpredictable because of the weather (ex: having a shore side wedding at a Caribbean locale during hurricane season). There’s nothing more tragic than having to call every single guest to cancel your long anticipated wedding.

While these are important things to keep in mind, planning a cruise wedding can be fun and the results amazing. When planning your ceremony, most cruise lines will allow you to have as much or as little input into the ceremony as you wish. Also, if the cruise company organizes your flight, they usually offer extra luggage allowance. This is a great option for the bride and her bridesmaids!

Having a cruise wedding is fun in itself. It’s almost like starting the honeymoon a few days early with all of your closest friends and family. It’s a wedding your guests aren’t likely to forget as they sail through the Caribbean or wherever your destination of choice. When considering a cruise wedding, make sure to look into the itineraries as well. Pick something fun like kayaking or zip lining, hiking or a safari. 

Here are just a few of our recommendations for anyone considering having a cruise wedding or renewing their vows.

Princess Cruises is one of the most esteemed cruise lines for this kind of event. All of the lines offer shipboard wedding options. They have the best combination of features, services and facilities. Most ships have dedicated wedding chapels and you can get married by the captain at sea. One of their most unique features is that the line has installed state-of-the-art technology that allows you to broadcast the ceremony live, via Webcam, to friends and family on land.

Another is Carnival Cruise Lines for their appeal to younger couples with its spirited ships and more affordable wedding package prices. Most have onboard chapels but all offer wedding packages. They have an easy-to-use, free online gift registry that makes it easy for guests to contribute to a couple's destination wedding. They also provide couples with a wedding website, blog, email wizard, photo album, and Facebook/Twitter uploaders.

Lastly, Royal Caribbean International offers a lot of variety in wedding packages. They also have coordinators that will arrange shore side ceremonies at various ports of call. It's also the only line to offer adventurous shipboard and destination weddings through a subprogram, Explorer Weddings. Their shore side ceremonies run from simply scenic on a beach in Puerto Rico to funky like a winery in Greece to exotic like atop a glacier in Juneau, Alaska. Also offers the ability to arrange a ceremony in a memorable onboard location on the line's largest mega-ships.

Cruise weddings can be exciting, fun, romantic, and unforgettable. With coordinators to help you through every step of the way, planning is as swift and easy as saying your “I-Do’s”. Remember to keep a few things in mind like weather or being married by the captain before sending those invitations.


Image (CC) Kelsie Taylot


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