I have the unique position of experiencing cruise weddings in two entirely different ways. In September of 2006, I went on a cruise with my boyfriend and his family. His sister was getting married in the ship’s chapel the day of sailing. So, even family and friends not going on the cruise could come down to the port in Tampa, get on board, and watch the wedding. There was a reception immediately following in a bar on board, with unbelievable food and drinks. The entire day went off without a hitch, the Carnival wedding planners took care of every last detail. I’ve read some not so favorable reviews of the wedding planners that Carnival and some other lines use (it’s one big company), but there were no issues with this wedding. After the wedding and reception, most of us at the wedding stayed on, and cruised for a week. We did western Caribbean, and had a great week. Much to my surprise, my boyfriend proposed later in the week. Turns out that pretty much everyone on board knew he was going to, but I was in the dark. After coming home, we started our own wedding planning. I’ve always wanted a tropical wedding on some beach, and we knew our families both loved cruises. Seems like an easy decision doesn’t it? I liked the idea of cruising, but I didn’t want to get married on board. And I wasn’t impressed with the choices or prices offered by the wedding planning companies directly affiliated with the cruise lines. We looked into numerous cruise lines, but ended up going with Carnival because of the low price. We wanted as many friends and family as possible to come along! We decided on eastern Caribbean since neither us or our families had done that one. We then decided on St. Thomas as the port to get married in, since it’s a USVI territory. We filled out our marriage license application and mailed it in a month early-it was that simple. A lot of countries require you to be “in residence” a certain number of days before the big day. Obviously, that doesn’t work with a cruise. We did look into a traditional destination wedding, but that was much more expensive than a cruise. I called my future SIL, and asked who she used to book her cruise wedding through. I sent Rich an email, and the rest is history. He arranged everything, got us all great cabins, and left me stress-free! I researched St. Thomas wedding planners online, and found a dream come true. I ended up using Leslie with Perfect weddings of St. Thomas, and it was the best decision ever (Other than marrying my husband). I literally picked out everything on paper with check boxes, faxed it, and showed up the day of. If you’ve looked at the pictures, then you’ve seen for yourself how beautiful everything was. Leslie seemed to have read my mind and envisioned things just how I did, if not better. We stayed at the resort we were married at and had our reception, then partied in the ocean. Later that afternoon we headed back to the ship, and were off sailing to the next port. Even our transportation from the ship to the wedding was included in our wedding package. We had a total of 42 people with us, and I frequently say we had a 7 night reception. But it truly was—wonderful dinners each night with all of our closest family and friends, then off to the bars, casino, and dance clubs. We wouldn’t trade the experience for the world! Now, we’ve decided to use all of our wedding gift money to take a honeymoon just the two of us. So what did we do? Of course….called Rich! We’re now booked a cruise of the Hawaiian islands. Life is good!
Thank you Nikki for the review. If you have any questions about Cruise weddings post a question here or send me an email at email@example.com
Planning your own Destination Wedding? See the list of Do’s and Dont’s provided by Leslie @ Perfect Weddings of St. Thomas.