Cruise ships can provide the ideal location to exchange vows and celebrate your big day – but not all cruise lines offer shipboard wedding ceremonies.
Be sure to investigate the wedding packages offered by your preferred cruise line in advance, which could include everything from flowers and cake delivery services, officiant services and photography services.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line appeals to travelers looking for an immersive resort-like experience at sea with plenty of dining and entertainment options, similar to Royal Caribbean but distinct from Carnival Cruise Line – though without traditional aspects like formal nights and dress codes.
The company’s large ships are some of the biggest at sea, providing lively deck activities and lively nighttime atmosphere on board. Furthermore, these vessels offer various stateroom types ranging from studios with no windows to balcony cabins offering ocean or port views and private suite complexes like The Haven (found on 12 ships).
Norwegian offers numerous amenities included with every fare, such as an expansive main pool, sports court and wide selection of bars and restaurants. In addition, Norwegian provides optional activities, such as Broadway-style shows or special performances. Furthermore, this company features various bars and lounges where guests can interact, such as the Pub Show where Irish men gather at local bars to feel less alone in life.
Cruise lines often conjure images of romance. Think Titanic, Agatha Christie or Pirates of the Caribbean for examples; yet large grey vessels with thousands of passengers sailing around the Caribbean with casinos and buffets just don’t cut it for me. That is until I discovered Star Clippers; an organization dedicated to recreating the golden age of sailing with modern-day tall ship yachts that make their voyage truly romantic.
Each cruise begins with a welcome cocktail party and dinner, both served on deck. A casual dress code applies – ladies can wear short skirts with blouses while gentlemen must wear comfortable travel pants or cotton shirts for men. Restaurants feature beautiful decor featuring white tablecloths adorned with pink carnations in silver vases at every table.
On shore excursions, many water toys such as sailboats, kayaks, snorkel equipment and water skiing platforms may be provided if the weather permits. A bowsprit net suspended over the ocean provides you with the opportunity to lay on a hammock-like bed above the waves while feeling the power of the wind propelling your ship through its waters below.
As night falls, Tropical Bar stays open until 10pm with entertainment events like talent shows and fashion shows hosted by crew. However, one of the highlights of an evening aboard is watching stars come out for play!
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line was established in 1972, quickly becoming one of the most recognized names in the industry. Their brand focuses on offering fun vacation experiences at an affordable price point with their playful, non-serious approach to cruising that resonates with a broad variety of people. Their fleet consists of 23 ships sailing worldwide to provide memorable vacation experiences at great rates.
Over recent years, Carnival Cruise Lines has worked hard to bring cruises within driving distance of millions of people who may otherwise not be able to enjoy them. They’ve done this through offering multiple destinations as well as cruises from smaller ports like Norfolk and Charleston.
Most of their fleet consists of relatively newer ships, but they also run older vessels such as Elation which was constructed in 1998 and currently holds the distinction of being their oldest ship. While Elation remains an excellent vessel for any voyage, she lacks some amenities found on their more modern vessels.
Carnival may not be known for luxury cruises, but they provide budget-minded cruising with excellent food on most ships. While their reputation for rowdy behavior on some of their ships might be justified by some guests’ experience on other voyages, overall most guests have an enjoyable cruise with Carnival. They offer various itineraries at competitive rates while rewarding repeat customers through a loyality program.
Princess cruise lines provide more luxurious experiences than other lines without being “stuffy” or overpriced. Princess specializes in catering to older audiences while its ships tend to attract multigenerational groups through activities and programs onboard. Princess is known as an industry leader when it comes to destination weddings at sea and provides special packages and programs to mark milestone birthdays or anniversaries onboard their ships.
Princess Cruises have introduced several smaller Grand Class vessels from 1998-2008; its larger Royal Class ships debuted in 2013 and can carry up to 3,600 passengers at double occupancy. All Princess cruises offer an extensive variety of itineraries that span from classic Caribbean and Alaska cruises to stunning world tours.
The line is widely recognized for pioneering passenger choice and flexibility with its revolutionary amenities and dining options, such as early and late sittings as well as restaurant-style Anytime Dining where you can eat when and where you please. In the mid 1990s, they introduced pizza at sea by installing their signature Pizzeria aboard ships; later partnering with some of the country’s premier pizza makers to deliver pies directly to passengers.
Although not a top pick among cruise lines for families with young children, Holland America does offer shorter sailings designed to appeal to a younger crowd and features such as FlowRider surf simulators and SkyRide sky-diving wind tunnels that attract younger travelers.