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My Magical Carnival Cruise Wedding

I Wanted to Share my wedding cruise experience as well as the video and photos. Please enjoy! I know we did. 

Video: https://youtu.be/wUk9B974vko

Leaving for the Cruise in Baltimore:

Nov 11th 2017- I live on the very end of Long Island, as does most of the people that would be cruising with us for the week. Traveling to Baltimore by car from the Eastern End of Long Island takes about 6.5(No traffic). We all decided that we would be staying in a Hotel by the airport (about 15 mins away from the cruise terminal). So the morning of the 11th. I got up extra early, packed as much of the wedding stuff and our luggage into my very compact 2008 Kia Rio. Luckily, my parents were riding with my Aunt and Uncle and they had extra room in their car for my dress. After saying goodbye to the Cat babies I went to pick up the rest of my crew. My fiancé, Johnny, our best Man, Aaron, and the Ring Bearer, my niece Halena. The ride down to Baltimore was easy and fun. Aaron and Halena (who were meeting for the first time) bonded quickly in the backseat. About 2.5 hours into the trip we all got a phone call from Carnival, letting us know that the Carnival Pride was going to be about 4 hours late to port because of some bad weather off the coast of Florida. At the time, this did not mean much to us, however this would come into play big time later. We got to Baltimore around 3. Our hotel Hampton Inn Baltimore/BWI Airport , was right by the airport along with many other hotels. It was a decent price for all of our travelers. When we booked, they promised my fiancé and I a Suite, with a whirlpool bath and a king size bed with pull out couch. When we got there, they did not have a suite for us. I also found out that they had put my parents in a room that was literally right next to the lobby, they could hear everything. They told us it was to accommodate my Father, who walks with a crutch, but I believe they just didn’t have the rooms we requested ready. I spoke to someone who stays at the Hotel often and they told us that there was a soccer convention for kids going on and it usually is never that crowded. Once we were all settled My aunt took me, my Mom, my Niece, My Cousin and groomsman Zak and his girlfriend Catherine to a lovely Nail Salon .My now Husband and Aaron went to get some beer for our hotel room. Little did they know, Gas stations do not sell beer and they got sent (by the GPS) on a wild and stressful ride through tunnels and tolls just to find beer. They gave me a call and stressed me out before going into the salon, but everyone with me QUICKLY calmed this Bride down. And I soon got a text letting me know the boys were safe back at the hotel. We each got manicures and pedicures and really enjoyed ourselves. My vision for my nails was “Mermaid, sea princess” So I got a seafoam green gel build with glow in the dark glitter on top. They were magical I wish they were still on lol! The night in the hotel was wonderful. My sister who was driving with her boyfriend and 3 babies( yes 3 babies, 1.5 year old twins and a 2.5 year old) arrived around 9pm and boy were those babies happy to be out of that car. After some hotel fun and a good night sleep, we got up and started thinking about dealing with our day. One of the main excitements about being in Baltimore was getting some Baltimore crab. After extensive research during wedding planning we found the perfect place. It was literally 4 mins away from the port and would be great for a late lunch before boarding. The restaurant, LP Steamers, was amazing. There was 2 hour parking right near by. Our large group had to be seated upstairs, which required my Dad to have to walk up a very narrow staircase, but we made it work. Aaron, out best man, had never had real crab before and was in his glory. Baylee, my 2 year old niece, was in her glory, sucking down clams and lobster. Once finished my 2 other bridesmaids Aimee and Jillian and my 17 year old Niece Hannah, showed up to meet us.(They drove down on that Sunday because of work) It was around 3pm at this point (2 hours past when we were supposed to get on) with the delay we figured we could head to the port to at least park. This is where the delay became a huge issue. We drove to the port, they were not letting anyone that would be boarding even into the lot. The people from the last cruise were still on the boat. So my car and Jillian’s car decided to go to the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. Along the way, my bridesmaid Aimee, realized she forgot her passport. This led to a brief panic and a lot of phone calls to her BF back in Brooklyn and the cruise line. The Museum was very cool. It was in the home in lived in with his family. We learned so much about him. Aaron bought himself a Poe sweater and an action figure for Halena. We then decided to go back to the terminal and hope for the best. This time they let us in to park. All of the wedding supplies and decorations were in suit cases so we were able to check them. My dress however I had to carry on. The line when we got inside….was INSANE. It was unorganized and a nightmare. My parents had to wait outside in the cold for my other niece to get to the terminal so they could all board together. Everyone was cranky and annoyed. I mean everyone in the room. Johnny, Aaron and I did our best to make the best of it. We also still did not know if Aimee was going to make it on the boat because of the passport issue. As we were walking through we saw her on the sidelines with a nice man named “Tank” who was hooking her up! So thankfully, we ALL eventually got on the boat. Johnny and I got to our room, and extended balcony on Deck 8 and could finally take a load off. It was such an incredible relief for us all to be on the boat and for the wedding cruise to finally kick off. It was cold, rainy and dark when we finally left port at 8:30pm.

Cruising and The Wedding:

The first day at sea was cold and a little rainy but fun none the less. All the kids were getting used to the boat and everyone was enjoying the food. My sister and her Boyfriend had the drink package, which they found to be totally worth it. We had group seating, 3 tables of 6, for our late dining group. The service on Carnival Cruises is exceptional. Every night they had high chairs set up for the babies and a booster seat for Baylee as well as juice cups with apple juice. They had a magician, that the kids and adults ADORED! We got to switch seating overnight so everyone got to enjoy each other throughout the cruise. The food was also always amazing. Tuesday was when I finally got to meet my weeding coordinator and photographer. Tetiana and Krsna. My 2 bridesmaids came with me. Now I was very prepared. I had an entire folder explaining everything I wanted. I had examples of photos I liked. I had multiple print outs of the music playlists. I had to iphone all set up with the music on it. If anyone wants more info on my wedding planning process I will gladly make another post devoted to that.

Tetiana seemed to know exactly what I wanted as did Krsna. At dinner I dropped off all the wedding decorations, favors, ect for Tetiana. That night we all hit the hay kind of early so to be ready for the big day the next afternoon in Port Canaveral. Jillian and I both had hair appointments in the morning. I slept alone, Johnny stayed with his best man for traditions sake. I slept great, not too nervous, just very happy. I woke up early so I could have my coffee and sit on my balcony and enjoy my last moments of being Johnny’s fiancé. But, since we were in Fl, I had cell phone reception and started getting texts and calls from the Non-sailing guests, which I relayed onto others. I set up the bridesmaid and mother of bride/groom gift bags and blew up the “Mr and Mrs” balloons that we got. I got my hair done at 10am, during this time the room steward, Jessica, set our room up BEAUTIFULLY. Once all my girls got in the room we all started to get ready together. Slowly, non sailing guests started to show up at my door to say hello. I did my best to stay focused and not be distracted. It was a wonderful time with my girls. Everyone loved their gift bags with their silk robes and jewelry. Also in the bags were little wristlet glitter purses and lip gloss. Krsna was with us the whole time taking video and photos. I had my niece Halena deliver our gifts for the groomsmen as well as my gift for Johnny. And the best man brought me my gift from Johnny, a beautiful diamond bracelet. I then got in my dress and my girls helped me but on my shoes and garter. The wedding was to begin at 1pm so the girls had to head down to do a quick rehearsal before the ceremony started. Catherine stayed with me and helped me figure out what I was supposed to do next. I did not know if someone was coming to get me or not. We walked to the elevators that would bring me down to where the ceremony would be “The Butterflies Lounge”. I stayed on the 8th floor and Catherine went down to find someone for me, just in case Johnny was out there. My Wedding Helper for the day came up and got me and brought me down where I would meet my Officiant. Our Officiant, Mary, came to meet me. She gave me a big hug and hyped me up for the moments to come. As I was waiting there for everything to start, a cruiser who was staying on that floor came around the corner and saw me. She talked to me for those moments and made me feel beautiful and calm. It was a really nice circumstance before one of the biggest moments of my life. While all the guests were getting seated we had them play the song “Waiting in Vain” By Bob Marley, but covered by the pop punk band “The Story so Far”. For the processional of the wedding party we played and instrumental version of “Do you Realize” by The Flaming Lips. I then walked down to my future husband to the instrumental version of “Always” by Blink182, which is our song. The ceremony was short and sweet. It was incredibly loving and romantic. After the ceremony we took a few photos with my parents and Johnny’s parents as well as the wedding party. I wanted to make sure I got these out of the way, since some of the wedding party as well as Johnny’s parents were non-sailing guests. All the guests then headed to the “Beauties Nightclub” for the reception. While we waited to be introduced our officiant brought myself and my new Husband a drink. We then got to go into our reception and walk down the beautiful staircase in the nightclub. My wedding crew had done and AMAZING job decorating the room. We then had our first dance to the song “Rainbow Connection” covered by the Band Weezer. After the first dance our best man and matron of honor gave the most INCREDIBLE speeches. They were so sweet and heartfelt. We then cut the cake and got a few more photos taken. Then it was time to PARTY. The food was incredible. My fiancé is a Vegetarian, and Carnival provided us with so many awesome veggie hors d'oeuvres. The party was so much fun. We did the garter removal and toss as well as the bouquet toss. The whole experience was amazing. If only it could have been longer than an hour and a half. After the party Krsna took us to do our photos and we could not have been happier with them.

All in all it was the most wonderful day. It was filled with so much joy and the best people in the whole world. The rest of the cruise was just icing on the delicious wedding cake. I hope you all enjoyed my story. I would be glad to answer any questions about the planning process. I can’t wait for the day we can do it all again as a vow renewal.


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Re: My Magical Carnival Cruise Wedding

  • I am glad you had a lovely wedding.  I have been on 25 cruises, and I love cruising.

    The cruise industry is in the business of making money, though.  They are not interested in etiquette.  Your wedding is over, but I would like to comment for lurkers and newbies that want to do this.

    If you are having your ceremony on the ship at sea, you should pay for your guests cruise.  Your guests are responsible for their transportation and overnight hotel before the cruise, but you should pay for their cruise if this is the only way they can attend your ceremony.
    There are some easy solutions.   Have your ceremony while the ship is in port.  Your guests then have the option of traveling to the port to witness your wedding ceremony.  Afterwards, you can have a reception onboard before the ship sails away.  Some family members may them want to join you on your cruise, and since there is no obligation, they can pay for their own cruise and have fun.
    Carnival is notorious for promoting packages like you used.  It is all about money for them, not proper etiquette.  You cannot "invite" guests on a cruise and expect them to pay for it.  As I said, give your guests a choice with a onshore ceremony.
    With all my cruising, I have seen many cruise ship weddings.  Even though your family is telling you this is all right, I promise you that they are privately complaining that they had to pay to attend your wedding.  I have heard many of these conversations on board ships.

    Again, I am glad you had a good experience.
  • Congrats on your recent nuptials!  I'm glad you had such a happy wedding day and wonderful trip.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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