Tying the Knot at Sea
WI Staff | 11/26/2010, 8:07 a.m.
'Tis the Season. The holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve is the most popular time for wannabe husbands to bend a knee and pledge their love; and, now a growing number of couples are tying the knot on cruise ships and sailing off into the sunset with their entire wedding party in tow.
The options are boundless: a shipboard wedding on embarkation day followed by a honeymoon for two; a shore side wedding on a tropical beach; or a sunset marriage ceremony at sea with everyone in the wedding party enjoying the entire cruise are among the many choices.
Whatever the plan - a wedding close in the Caribbean or Bahamas on one of the newest and largest ships or on an all-suite luxury vessel in Europe or the South Seas - couples will find outstanding value at every price level, often with costs significantly less than a similar land-based wedding and reception.
And, besides weddings, many cruise lines offer honeymoon and vow renewal packages, bachelor and bachelorette parties, even programs for "popping the question" - the ultimate engagement party at sea.
Here is a sampling of how two cruise lines cater to bridal couples and other romantic travelers:
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES. Carnival's wedding programs include an official civil ceremony, reception and other value-added features and can be tailored to the couple's wishes. Shipboard ceremonies are available on embarkation day in Carnival's U.S ports and many Caribbean destinations. Vow renewal packages are also available.
PRINCESS CRUISES. Princess pioneered weddings at sea more than a decade ago. Since then ship captains have married thousands of couples while sailing in locations around the globe. The unique "Tie the Knot at Sea" program offers ceremonies that couples can customize with live music, flowers and reception options. In addition, a harbor side option enables couples to be married in port, and ashore weddings are available in a variety of scenic ports.
No matter what kind of ceremony, consult a cruise agent who is a certified honeymoon and destinations wedding specialist.
This concludes the travel article for this month. Questions and suggested topics for future articles are welcomed. Send an e-mail to Frances C. Zeigler of Special Occasions Travel Services at Frances@OccasionToTravel.com or call (301) 655-9468.