(Closed) To wedding cruise or not to wedding cruise?!?

posted 8 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
5388 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

@mongoose: That sounds like a great idea to me. We were invited to a cruise wedding a few years ago but it was cancelled. Everyone was going to go, and they were excited. The wedding was to take place first and then the cruise ship would leave (So people could attend the wedding and leave or stay on the cruise).

I think you should still ask the people that you want in the bridal party and allow them to decline.

Post # 4
746 posts
Busy bee

We did a wedding cruise with Royal Caribbean a couple of years ago.

The bride wanted to keep the travel costs down for the guests, and we were able to get a great group rate and keep it capped at $1000 per person.

There’s a couple of things to keep in mind.

1. if you are going to get married in one of the ports, you need a back up plan in the event that the stop is cancelled due to weather.

2. Most of the cruiselines use the same wedding planning company for their onboard and port weddings. I’ve experienced some service issues with them in the past. I would recommend you compare them to the services of a local wedding company on one of the ports you’re stopping at.

3. You could get married the day of departure onboard before the ship leaves the port.

4. I believe the only cruiseline that allows the captain to marry you at sea is Princess.

5. If you’re looking at a cruise that goes to Mexico, you would have to do the wedding prior to leaving the port in CA, as you wouldn’t be in Mexico long enough to meet their residency requirement.

Hope that helps!

Post # 5
40 posts

Oh my goodness! I have been there and done that for my daughter’s wedding! We had a BLAST! I would be more than happy to assist you in any way.  If you are trying to be a little more cost effective (or cheaper), there are ways to go about it. Carnival has some great cruises out of San Diego, etc. and tend to have the lowest price points. Plus, they are the “fun ships.” Lots of activities, good times, and younger guests (vs senior citizens).  Their “groups” people quite helpful for your booking though we went with local cruise agent. The weddings take place at port, usually prior to departure if you go thru the ship. I found it to be more costly than contracting your own officiant and doing it off ship. We went out of Miami and our daughter got married at Key West. The officiant, photographer, flowers, and marriage license totaled just a little over $1000. Cruise was over Thanksgiving week so prices were a little higher, around $350 for most rooms. Plus, with Carnival you get one free room with every 8 rooms (as long as the cruise is having groups). Sometimes they don’t over holidays or if they already have several large groups going.

As for “is it rude to invite everyone” We debated that too. They ended up inviting everyone they would have invited to a local wedding. To our surprise, our group total was 58!! Much more than the 18-20 we expected. Must have been due to being over Thanksgiving?? Then when they got back, they had their wedding picture on the beach turned into a postcard inviting everyone to a Destination Dessert Open House at our church the week after Christmas. Again, a very inexpensive BLAST!  We made Key Lime Pies (Key West), Miami Beach cakes (cruise port), Cozumel cupcakes (strawberry margerita, pina colada, mudslide), palm tree sugar cookies, a beachy wedding cake, and rum cakes (for their Jamicain honeymoon).

Sept is a good time, and a bad time. Prices will be good. Some people will not be able to attend due to time of year.

With Maid/Matron of Honor or bridesmaid, my daughter let her sister pick her own dress off the rack. She had fun buying and returning right up until the week before. The guys wore linen khakis and white shirts.

We are now in the trenches of planning the 2nd daughter’s wedding, just 8 weeks away! While it will be a beautiful, very large outdoor wedding and tent reception at a family farm, it will all come down to one day. Our wedding cruise was a 6 days of nothing but fun!! Another nice thing about a cruise (from the bride and groom standpoint) is you can see your peeps as much, or as little, as you want throughout the week. 🙂

Post # 6
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

My friend got married a year ago on a carnival ship.  It was out of Miami (bigger port in Florida) for 3 nights I think.  

We got to the port and got to sit in a special lobby while we waiting for them to clean the ship and get ready for the wedding.  It was nice and air conditioned.  All our luggage was checked in.  We got on the ship and had a few minutes to grab some lunch and then had to head to one of the lounges for the wedding.  My only complaint was that she didn’t get to pick where on the ship she was getting married.  They ended up putting her in one of the show lounges.  They stood on the stage which had a crushed red velvet curtain behind them.  It was nice to have theatre style seating though because everyone could see really well.  

After the ceremony, everyone went to one of the night clubs/disco’s on the cruise ship for the “reception”.  I think it was 2 hours open bar.  The food spread they had was awesome.  Ice sculpture and carved fruits, etc.  They did a good job bringing more food out but our group ate a lot.  

Their wedding cake turned out REALLY nice and was good.  They also really loved the photographer they got with the package and ordered a lot of the pictures.  

It was nice that we all were able to go and only had to take a day or two off of work.  We each were able to go for like $300-$400 per person with 4 people per room.  I honestly don’t know if I would have went though if it had cost much more than that.  

I would try to keep your wedding party really small if possible.  It is costly for people to pay for a cruise and all the wedding expenses.  

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