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For couples fond of traveling and their guests alike, there is no better wedding to be had than on a cruise. Whether arranged by the line directly or by a third party, such ceremonies are perfect for seamlessly pairing with a dream honeymoon sailing to immediately follow. Here are some options to consider for the happy day that can be arranged by outside planners or in-house cruise lines.
Cruise Wedding Planners
If you don't quite yet know what cruise line you'd prefer to host your ceremony, various planners can help point you in the right direction, among which are Cruise Ship Wedding, Royal Ocean Events and The Wedding Experience. These already have established relationships with companies like Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises among many others.
In fact, my childhood pastor Mike Mitschke has performed ceremonies for The Wedding Experience when ships are docked in San Diego, California. He said such cruise ship events are, "…very nice. Most people have never been on a cruise ship, and the whole idea of the grandeur of the ship and the grandeur of the reception impresses people."
[READMORE] READ MORE: MSC Cruises Enhances Wedding Program in Caribbean [/READMORE]
Ceremonies are usually scheduled when ships are in a turnaround port disembarking one cruise to prepare to embark guests on the next. That way guests can attend the ceremony and reception onboard and get off before departure time or stay on for the cruise with the couple as desired.
Mitschke considered that, "the ship is the most pleasant experience because of the setting," which can be in any number of venues onboard from main show theaters to cabaret lounges depending on capacity needs.
Another option are destination weddings where ceremonies are performed at one of the cruise's ports-of-call for an even more exotic experience. Such companies can even help arrange other types of events including special proposals, anniversaries and vow renewals, as well as travel itself. Cruise Ship Wedding is affiliated with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, for instance.
[READMORE] READ MORE: Norwegian Offers Legal Weddings at Sea [/READMORE]
Cruise Line Wedding Packages
Otherwise, if you had a favorite cruise line already, you can make arrangements directly with them. Popular cruise lines that provide dedicated services include Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Besides onboard and destination options, the brands with private island access can also schedule special events ashore for even more control over the proceedings.
Cruise lines also offer great gift and honeymoon registries, and Carnival specifically adds to its signature fun with a free personalized cruise wedding website. Meanwhile Royal Caribbean presents a detailed weddings brochure to peruse details such as cakes, flowers, entertainment and photography, and Norwegian Cruise Line also has a clear breakdown of its packages and prices online. Both Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises tout the ability to customize ceremonies and receptions to suit every taste.
Of course, Disney Cruise Line probably provides the most extensive wedding offerings as a leader on land at its resorts and theme parks as well, and its prices reflect elaborate choices accordingly. My dear friend and Disney entertainer Clara Oman, who I interviewed for TravelPulse here, has herself sung and played piano for several Disney weddings onboard and at its Castaway Cay private island.
But no matter the chosen company or cruise line, a cruise wedding is surely a magical one.
Jason Leppert - Senior Writer, Cruises and Cruise Travel - is a San Diego-based cruising expert with more than 100 sailings...
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