WEDDING, HONEYMOON, ANNIVERSARY CRUISES
Being aboard a ship can be the perfect setting for a honeymoon, wedding , anniversary or for reaffirming your vows. It’s so romantic!
In fact, more and more cruise lines offer shipboard wedding packages and wedding planning services. Indeed, a cruise can be the setting for an ideal wedding — easily planned and very personal, with the marriage ceremony, reception and honeymoon all rolled into one convenient package. Easiest is a shipboard wedding ceremony and reception for your guests on embarkation day followed by your honeymoon; of if the wedding guests go on the cruise also you can have a shoreside wedding on a tropical beach or a sunset ceremony at sea with everyone in the wedding party taking the entire cruise. You can even charter a yacht or small ship and have control over ship programs, even the itinerary.
Most couples often find costs significantly less than a similar land-based wedding and reception.
Here are some tips on ceremonies at sea:
You can have the ceremony on deck or in a ship’s lounge on the day of embarkation. You must make arrangements well in advance. Some people have the entire wedding party sail with them on the cruise. Others just have a wedding ceremony and reception on board before the cruise, then go on the cruise themselves.
Weddings: Don’t forget to bring passports and notarized documentation of any previous divorces. Most places have waiting periods. In some countries a government official must come on board and officiate the wedding ceremony. Sometimes it’s easier to have a legal ceremony at home and reaffirm your wedding vows in a second ceremony on board.
Renewal of vows: Some ships have an afternoon or sunset ceremony for couples who want to reaffirm their wedding vows on board a cruise ship, usually officiated by the captain.
Programs: Weddings at sea can be simple and complimentary; or they can range in price from less than $100 to several hundred dollars to a custom $20,000 wedding. Typical features include souvenir cruise wedding album, wedding cake, champagne, limo service from the airport, flowers, a framed photograph. There may be complimentary champagne or a fruit basket or flowers in your cabin on your arrival, wine with dinner, a souvenir video, or even a future cruise discount. One cruise company gives honeymooners a future anniversary cruise for half-fare.
Here are typical cruise wedding programs on both big and small ships.
Azamara offers legal, captain-led wedding ceremonies, vow renewals and in-port wedding programs. Private receptions in the ship’s specialty restaurant.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
Shipboard wedding ceremonies are available on embarkation day in Carnival’s U.S ports and many Caribbean destinations. Vow renewal packages are also available.
Celebrity’s most popular wedding package is a captain-led wedding ceremony and a reception. Vow renewal celebrations are also offered.
Costa’s cruise weddings take place while the ship is in port, either onboard or on land on a beach or in a garden, with the company’s wedding planners taking care of all the details. Couples may invite guests to join the full cruise or simply spend the wedding day on board in port with the bride and groom
DISNEY CRUISE LINE
Guests on Disney Cruise Line can exchange wedding vows onboard the ship or ashore for a beach-side wedding ceremony on the line’s private island. A wedding planner handles all details, including floral arrangements, cakes and Champagne.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
If you book at least eight staterooms, the entire group has private wine tastings and chocolate-covered strawberries and Chase Limogere Brut in their staterooms.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
Wedding packages are available in ports in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda and include a wedding ceremony on board conducted by a local official plus all the features of a wedding, from music to wedding cake and sparkling wine. Norwegian also offers vow renewal packages on cruises.
Princess has weddings at sea ceremonies in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Alaska and other locales, which couples can customize with live music, flowers and reception options. A harborside wedding option enables couples to be married in port, and on-shore beach weddings are available in many ports.
REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES
A honeymooner package features champagne and caviar, en-suite canapés every afternoon, a miniature wedding cake, chocolates and more.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
One package features a wedding ceremony onboard ship before the embarkation sailing. Shoreside wedding venues include glaciers in Alaska, European castles, rainforests and an Italian vineyard.
SeaDream offers two wedding vow renewal ceremonies – one designed for couples only, the other for as many as 12 guests, and both include champagne, canapés, a cake and flowers.
For couples celebrating honeymoons, renewing wedding vows or honoring a special anniversary there is champagne, chocolate-dipped seasonal fruit, breakfast in bed, massages and dinners for two at sunset.
Article Submitted By:
by Shirley Linde
Shirley Linde is the best-selling author of more than 30 books and is editor of the websites www.MedicalInformationCenter.org, www.SmallShipCruises.com, and www.CruiseRecipes.net.
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