Has anyone gotten married on a cruise?

posted 2 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

JessicaBrooke926:  We took a cruise with our family and friends and then got married IN Cozumel while in port that day. It was absolutely perfect, even better than I imagined when I was planning it. Our wedding was in January, so the prices for the 4 day cruise were fantastic. We had family coming from all over the country, so they would have to fly somewhere regardless. And literally, the cost for the cruise for 4 days was  cheaper than what they would have had to spend on a hotel (without meals/entertainment/etc.) on the mainland!

I can’t even describe.. it is beyond words… the amazing gift it was to have that quality time on the cruise with everyone. When in your life would you be able to go on a vacation with ALL of your closest family and friends? Especially since there were loved ones that we don’t get to see often.

We cruised there and back, then took a flight out of Florida to go to our honeymoon.

We did choose to get married in port rather than using the cruiseline’s wedding package. We still wanted to have a beautiful ceremony with many of the traditional elements, and a private vendor on the island gives you a lot more flexibility and help. At least that was my experience with Cozumel Wedding Planners. Let me know if you want more info! 

If you do consider the cruise-then-get-married-in-port option, make sure you choose a port of call that isn’t a tendered port. That’s the infinitismal chance that the port could get skipped… but it’s pretty unlikely if you pick a stable port.

https://vimeo.com/93572375 (wedding video)

Oh! And I almost forgot! Another surprise gift was that (as you’re aware) cell phones don’t work on board the cruise ship and wifi is too expensive to use. SO instead of being stressed and trying to nitpick over any last minute details the days leading up to the wedding like most brides do… you can’t! There’s literally nothing you can do but relax and enjoy the trip.

It’s wonderful.

Post # 3
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Also! Check out the Cruise Critic message board under the ‘wedding’ section – there are a ton of brides actively planning both on board and port of call weddings to get some specific advice about anything. Although many of them are in the planning stage and not so much the ‘has been’.

Post # 4
Member
1298 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

JessicaBrooke926:  We had a cruise wedding – we chose a three day cruise over a weekend so that it might be easier for our guests to attend. We did the embarkation day ceremony – you get to board the ship and get married on ship before the other cruisers board, and the wedding package was pretty reasonable. Also, if people wanted to attend the wedding but didn’t want to go on the cruise, they could disembark before the ship left the port. We had about 40 people cruise with us, it was so fun! About 8 people chose to not go on the cruise, but attended the wedding. 

I second the PP on checking out the cruise critic board. You’ll find lots of reviews and pictures of weddings, as well as planning ideas. 

Post # 5
Member
1303 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2015 - Chapel on Base

Following

Post # 6
Member
2116 posts
Buzzing bee

JessicaBrooke926:  i have seriously been considering this!

I think it is a great idea! Especially since you guys live so close to a couple ports! Depending on your guest list, you may want to go with the At Port wedding. Carnival allows 50 non-sailing guests to attend a ceremony and reception on the ship before you set sail. 

Post # 9
Member
6034 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I went as a guest once to a cruise wedding. To be blunt, it sucked. Fi and I aren’t cruisers so we just went for the wedding and reception. We flew down, so we still had to pay for flights and hotel (which is just part of going to a wedding when you don’t live in that city). We had to pay around  $40 each for the round trip shuttle from the hotel to the ship and back, since parking is so hard on cruise day. We got picked up around 9, made a bunch of stops, to get to the cruise by 10 am for “VIP boarding”. Did the security screening then sat in a loud hot room with 500 other “VIP’s” for about an hour till our group was taken to another loud hot room for about another 45 minutes. Finally we could go on the ship — it was close to noon by this time and the ceremony was 1:30— there were bars and restaurants open and I sure would have loved a drink and a bite to eat but the cruise ships don’t take cash or credit card, only their onboard spending account, so we couldn’t even get a soda. Nothing to do and nowhere to park ourselves till the ceremony started so we just wandered. Sucked! The shop didn’t even have tap water flowing until about an hour after we were allowed on (takes a while after they start the pumps, which apparently they can’t do till after CBP has done their inspection).

The ceremony itself was lovely and the reception was great except it only lasted 90 minutes. Finger foods only, not enough tables for everyone, fortunately the couple covered open bar for beer/wine/signature drinks but you could tell the cruise line was trying to make a profit— drinks were super small, maybe a 6-oz glass and packed with ice. The food was nice but it was very difficult to make a full meal of it (and by this time it was after 2pm and we’d had breakfast at 8!!). They had to cram the first dance, toasts, speeches, dining and dancing all into 90 minutes. I saw the groom for 5 minutes and didn’t see the bride at all–  spent more time mingling with other guests (including the groom’s brother) on the shuttle bus back to the hotel tHan I did at the ceremony and reception. 

So all in all a pretty unfriendly experience for a non-cruising guest, and I’m not a high maintenance person. I’m really not. Just was exhausting to have spent 3 hours between physically getting there and clearing security, only to have another 2 hours to be able to eat something, and then be rushed off the ship like it was sinking 🙁

Post # 10
Member
2116 posts
Buzzing bee

JessicaBrooke926:  congrats on your decision!!! So exciting!

Were they able to give you any info about where the ceremony or location might take place on ship?

 

Post # 11
Member
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I went to a port of call wedding in St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Its was lovely. There were 10 people in total including the bride and groom. They were married at a gorgeous resort on the beach. We were picked up at the dock and were with the driver all day. They had a one hour open bar after the wedding with cake and then we did a tour of the island (bride and groom did photos at the different locations). Later that night the bride and groom hosted dinner at the steakhouse on board.

Post # 12
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

JessicaBrooke926:  Congrats! We basically polled our “must have” people when we became serious about the idea to see if it was possible for them. Surprisingly, everyone was really excited about it! With living so close to a cruise port, you will have the best of both worlds!

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