Get Married on a Ship! By. Sherry Laskin
It’s been a while since my wedding back in the early 1980s. I still remember how my mother and I ran from hotel to hotel, florist to florist, and on and on trying to narrow down the possible venues, decorations, menus and more.
Had I known then what I know now about having a wedding on a beautiful cruise ship, in port on a sandy beach or while at sea, I’d have jumped at the chance. I’m sure my then-fiancé would have been thrilled not to have to look at another brochure or cake photo.
PLANNING YOUR WEDDING ON A CRUISE SHIP IS LIKE ONE-STOP SHOPPING.
At Port Canaveral, on almost any given week, there are at least five, if not more, cruise ship departures. Short three and four-day cruises to the Bahamas, or longer 7 to 14-day voyages to the Caribbean offer plenty of itinerary options for your special event.
For example, let’s say you have family and friends living in Florida you want to invite to your wedding and reception. If you choose a cruise ship, you can have your wedding ceremony and reception onboard while the ship is still in port. Your friends and family can come onboard for the festivities. About an hour before the ship is set to sail away, they disembark.
Newlyweds have a built-in honeymoon and anyone who wants to cruise along simply books their cruise and stays onboard. It’s also exciting for wedding guests who have never been on a cruise to come aboard, wander through the ship and, of course, participate in your wedding.
Let the wedding planner do the work
Cruise ships have a dedicated onboard wedding planner who will work with you and your family to coordinate every bit of detail. From choosing the shipboard venue for the event, to designing a tiered cake, flowers, music, and most important, they’ll even arrange the officiant. Or you can bring your own religious or secular person onboard to legally perform the ceremony while in port.
OF COURSE YOU ARE PAYING FOR THE CRUISE, BUT THAT BECOMES YOUR HONEYMOON.
In addition to your cruise reservation, the cost for a wedding and reception onboard the ship or in U.S. port can run from just over $1,000 to $4 or $5 thousand depending upon how many guests attend and the wedding package you choose.
Where to begin
First, decide on length of cruise — three or four day cruises from Port Canaveral mean you’ll cruise to the Bahamas. Five days or more gets you to the Caribbean.
Second, find a travel agent to set up your cruise and then connect you with the ship’s Wedding Planner.
From then on, you’ll work with the onboard planner to arrange every detail of your wedding and reception. If friends and family want to cruise with you, your travel agent might suggest blocking group space. This will ensure the best rates and most likely include one or two onboard amenities.
Gifts for the guests? Yes, you can package your own pillow gifts to place in each of the reserved rooms.
CRUISE LINES SAILING FROM PORT CANAVERAL INCLUDE DISNEY, ROYAL CARIBBEAN, CARNIVAL AND NORWEGIAN.
Make your wedding as stress-free as possible. Getting married on a cruise ship is probably one of the easiest, cost-effective and memorable choices for a wedding.
Congratulations and Bon Voyage!