Destination Weddings Discussions

Cruise Weddings

Hi everyone!! I just got engaged a few weeks ago (he proposed in Bermuda!) so I'm new to this site. I've haven't found many forums about cruise weddings so I wanted to see if anyone could help me out.
Has anyone attended or had a cruise wedding?
If so, what cruise line? when and where did you do it? how did you like it?
I've been looking at wedding brochures for just about every major cruise line and researched but I want to hear about other people's experiences. I'm planning on having about 40 people on a 4/5 night cruise to get married in Bermuda on land.
All ideas, opinions, stories etc are welcome. Thanks everyone!

Re: Cruise Weddings

  • Congrats on your engagement. I am having a cruise wedding in the Bahamas in April 2014. I have chosen Carnival Cruise Lines. They seem to be reasonably priced and very helpful. Let me know if you have specific. I am learning as I go but will try to help if I can! Congrats again.
  • My fiance's brother had a cruise wedding just this past Spring. It was a really small wedding, just family and a couple of friends. We went on Oasis of the Seas I think it was was a huge cruise ship, there was a lot to do! My fiance thought the ship was too big (too many people and such). They actually got married on land in Florida the morning before we boarded, the cruise had people to arrange everything, we got to board the ship a bit early and even guests that weren't coming on the cruise were allowed to come on the ship for the reception before the boat left. Although they did arrange everything, apparently they were not good to work with and they had a lot of problems with the planning process because of them. We have been on a Princess cruise before (not for a wedding) and it was really cool. Most people liked that one better. On the Oasis ship you had to book ahead to go to the comedy shows and plays and things like that where as on the Princess one you could just decide last minute that you wanted to see a show and just show up so that was way nicer... I know Carnival is the most affordable cruise line, I have never been on a Carnival cruise myself but I have heard not great things about them. But I think Carnival is geared towards younger people so it would probably be a more fun party ship whereas the cruises I went on were full of old people haha
  • My FI and I are just in the beginning stages of planning and the only thing we are certain of is we want to get married on a gorgeous beach at sunset. I'm curious what lead you to choosing a cruise over a resort? We're currently weighing the pro's and con's of each and would love your input!
  • My first wedding in 2006 was a cruise wedding.  I got married on Carnival Miracle which had a wedding chapel. There are 4 ships with chapels and the other ships (I saw one on my last cruise), they turn a room into wedding chapel. We were married at port while it was in Tampa. My wedding was perfect. It was very inexpensive too. I just had to show up with my dress. They provided a tux for the groom (we faxed in measurements) and then he had it all week for formal nights. We got to board first along with our wedding guests. I think 30 people attended and the ones who did not go on the cruise still got to go onboard for the wedding and they just had to leave before the ship set sail. After the wedding we had a reception with open bar and hot and cold appetizers and cake. There was an ice sculpture and we were treated great. My guests thought it was fun that they got to walk around and explore the ship before the wedding started. The only thing I did not like is that they wanted to get a bunch of pictures of us taken all around the ship after the ceremony and we wanted to visit with our guests before they had to get off the ship. The pictures did not have a set price, you had to negotiate with them unless you wanted to pay a high amount for all of your pictures. I held firm and got all my pictures and digital copies for a decent price. We got a wedding video and video of us around the ship all week on our honeymoon. It was so easy and stress free. After the wedding we were already on the honeymoon. Now that I am divorced and getting married again I am having a hard time deciding what I want to do for my 2nd wedding. I got such a good deal with Carnival and the wedding was so easy with no hassle, I would do another cruise wedding, but I think that is probably tacky. Oh well. I have cruised on Disney, Norwegian and Carnival. Norwegian was the Hawaiian cruise and we were overnight every port in Hawaii so we really spent very little time on the ship. Disney is great, but more geared towards people with kids, there are tons of kids even when school is in session. Although we saw several weddings going on during our cruise. Carnival is good time. They want you to have fun, it is laid back. However for my wedding I would choose one of their newer ships. Yet my wedding was in 2006 so they could do things differently now, so I would rely on more recent wedding reviews. You might find cruise ship wedding reviews on boards.

  • Thank you so much for your input!! If I do a cruise wedding I'm almost positive I want it at a port of call and that could be a bigger hassle... 
  • I'm doing a cruise wedding in January 2014. It's coming up soon! We are all from the west coast, so we decided on a port wedding in St. Maarten. Unfortunately our cruise line, Norwegian, does not do port weddings in St. Maarten, so I've just recently hired St. Maarten Marry Me. So far they've been fantastic. I found by just searching this site and BDW, I found the co-ordinator, flowers (silk, so i can take them back on the boat) and a bunch of other tips. So far it's been very easy. I will arrange a reception on board and go from there once I have my final numbers. We don't expect more than 20-25. I'd be happy to share my experience along the way :)
  • I would love to learn from your experiences!! I still have lots of time thank heavens for a long engagement :) I never thought about there being outside vendors to coordinate it. That is a really good idea. Can I ask how expensive the outside coordinators you researched run? 
  • Hi, we're having a cruise wedding on May 5. Originally our date was March 31, same location/same kind of wedding, but due to the cruise line's screw up, we had to change our date. 

    We chose Carnival Cruise Lines because they were the most affordable. Our wedding is an on-island wedding and is going to be in Key West. When you do an on-island wedding with Carnival, they use a planner that is on the island. That planner also has a website which I think is the only thing is that everything has a price. Chairs for the ceremony are NOT including in the pricing and neither is an arch. I think the chairs are $4 per chair and the arch is $495. There's tons of things you can add on to your wedding package. Our wedding package price was $1395 plus taxes and fees, but it only includes up to 12 people (additional guests are extra.) They have a lot of options for weddings. 
    Hope this helps you out some!
  • Thank you so much!! I look forward to heading how it goes :)

  • Ausome13 the coordinator is coming back far higher than we anticipated after looking over their packages. A huge expense that isn't mentioned anywhere is the transportation costs to get your guests from the boat to the ceremony and back. It's coming out to $25pp plus coordinator fees (25% on everything and an additional 5% credit card fee) so it really pushed the overall budget..... Not sure that helps.
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