Getting married while on a cruise provides not only awesome memories, but it also gives you the opportunity for some amazing wedding photographs. However, there are some important things to consider before you decide to tie the knot at sea.
There are two different ways that you can get married on a cruise. You can get married in one of the ports of call that you are scheduled to stop at or you can get married on the cruise ship. Getting married by the cruise ship captain is even possible on a few cruise lines such as Princess, Celebrity and Azamara Cruises.
Getting married in one of the ports of call that your ship is scheduled to stop at can provide you with a beach wedding in a tropical paradise. However, there is one important thing to consider before you decide this is the way that you want to get married. There is a chance that the ship might have to miss the port of call that you were planning on getting married at.
I recently read a story about a young couple who had planned their dream wedding that would be held in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. They were scheduled to stop there on a cruise and had made arrangements to get married at the gazebo overlooking the Caribbean at the Sunset Grande Resort. The night before the wedding, the captain made an announcement over the intercom that the ship would have to skip the stop in Ocho Rios due to a tropical storm that was headed near Jamaica. One of the most joyful times in their lives turned into utter disappointment.
There is no guarantee that your cruise will stop in each port of call that is on the itinerary. Cruise lines do everything they can to make sure that the cruise goes on as planned. However, weather, mechanical, and medical problems often cause ships to miss or change ports of call at the last minute. Ports such as Grand Cayman that require tendering are more likely to be changed as weather plays a huge factor in the safety of tendering. Cruises are also more likely to miss ports during hurricane season (June 1 – November 30).
It is also important that you check with the wedding laws of the country you want to get married in so your wedding will be legal. Getting married at sea can be complicated, so it is best to plan well in advance.
Cruise lines offer many different wedding packages that vary greatly by cruise line. If you want to get married while on the ship, be sure to check out the wedding packages that the cruise line that you are sailing on offers. Weddings at sea have become extremely popular in the past few years and cruise lines offer everything from ceremonies, to vow renewals, and a few cruise ships even have wedding chapels.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Disney, Princess, Celebrity, P&O, and Holland American all offer wedding packages/vow renewals that start from $385 to $3,500 and up for a wedding at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. Packages can include the wedding coordinator, ceremony with officiant, photographer, wedding cake, open bar, bouquet, music, tuxedo rental, videography services, and more.
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian offer the most variety for cruise weddings. Cruise lines are constantly adding more packages to help meet with demand. A few cruise lines even charge a surcharge for the most popular times of year for cruise weddings.
While weddings at sea are not for everyone, they offer a change of pace from the traditional church weddings.
Want to cruise like a pro? Check out some insider secrets to saving money on cruises and avoid the 20 mistakes that most cruisers make with the Intelligent Cruiser here.
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