How to Get Married on a Cruise Ship
Getting married on a cruise ship is one of the most romantic, and easy, options out there regarding weddings. It's as easy as making one call. The cruise line's wedding coordinators will handle all of the heavy lifting for you. They will help you arrange the ceremony, the menu, the cake, music, and flowers all accustomed to what you want. Prices for weddings on-board cruise ships can cost as low as $795, and as high as $5,000 (these prices are on top of the price of the cruise). It really all depends on what you want. You can decide whether you want your ceremony to be held in the ship's chapel (other venue if no chapel), or while in port. Either way it is guaranteed to be one of the most romantic moments in your life.
All cruise lines offer many different packages, so make sure to check them all out before making a decision. Here are some of the packages offered below.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line offers many choices. NCL's ships feature a wide range of restaurants with easily available romantic dining for two. The cruise line also offers legal same-sex ceremonies, available in destinations where same-sex marriages are recognized by law. Norwegian offers three wedding packages. It's "Wedding at Sea" ceremony takes place onboard the ship while at sea, and can be over seen by the ship's captain on-board the Breakaway, Getaway and Escape. This means that the marriage license will be issued by the Bahamas, since that's where the ships are registered. This package includes a bridal bouquet, boutonniere, recorded music, 6-inch cake, bottle of sparkling wine, canapes, chocolate-covered strawberries, one 8x10 portrait, and a keepsake certificate. It also offers the use of a group service coordinator. The group service coordinator oversees the entire wedding, can make dinner reservations, and organize group seating at shows. They are pretty much a concierge for your whole group of people.
The "Harborside" package, starts at $1,995. This package allows couples to get married on-board at certain ports of call. Some of the eligible ports include Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
The "Destination" wedding starts at $2,595. It offers a range of unique onshore locations to hold nuptials. Some of theses places include a glacier in Alaska, a bay in St. Thomas, the sands of Bermuda, and many more. The package offers the Bride and Groom with round-trip transportation from the ship to the wedding location in port.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean also features a very wide selection of options. You could even have the captain or first officer run your whole wedding!The "Royal Romance" package offers three options.
The "Paradise Shipboard" option starts at approximately $3,195. This package is the most basic, and allows priority check-in for you and your guests on embarkation day, a wedding coordinator, onboard ceremony with an officiant, a photographer and 20 prints, recorded music, a bouquet and boutonniere, chocolate-covered strawberries, and sparkling wine.
The "Paradise Destination" option starts at $3,495. This package allows the couple get married on-board the ship, or at a number of exotic places in port. Like NCL, these include on a glacier in Alaska, alongside a waterfall in Hawaii, or even at ancient ruins in Greece. Also included in this package is a wedding cake for the couple, nicer flowers in the bride's bouquet, and roundtrip taxi transportation to and from the ceremony. A photographer is included, but pictures require purchasing.
The "Royal Romance at Sea" package couples to get married while the ship is sailing. This package includes the captain or first mate conducting the ceremony. The package starts at $3,995, and includes upgrades like an eight-inch wedding cake for the couple, one dozen long-stemmed white roses, a bottle of Champagne, breakfast in bed, and dinner for two in a specialty restaurant.
Unfortunately, receptions are not included in any of these packages. However, there are many options available for an extra charge. Options include a formal wedding lunch at $48 per person, a buffet with bar service for $48 per person, or hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and bar service for $32 per person. There is a 25-person minimum for the lunch or buffet, and a minimum of 16 and maximum of 50 guests for hors d'oeuvres.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line generally appeals to younger couples. This is due to its spirited ships and more affordable wedding package prices. Carnival Spirit, Carnival Pride, Carnival Legend and Carnival Miracle have onboard chapels. However, you can buy Carnival's wedding packages on any of the ships in the fleet. Carnival offers five wedding packages.
The "Just You & Me" package accommodates up to eight guests, including the bride and groom. This package starts at $1,355. The package includes a personal wedding planner, a wedding coordinator, a private shipboard location, priority check-in on embarkation day, a Champagne toast with souvenir flutes, a bouquet for the bride and a boutonniere for the groom, a tiered wedding cake with keepsake cake topper, recorded wedding music, a decorated bridal aisle, and a photographer (does not include pictures).
The "Time to Celebrate" package can accommodate up to 20 guests, along with a $22 fee for each additional person. The cost starts at $1,795 and includes all of the amenities in the "Just You & Me" package, along with a cocktail hour with an open bar, and hot and cold hors d'oeuvres.
The "Time to Celebrate...Big!" package starts at $1,975 and includes all of the mentioned amenities above, in addition to a 90-minute open-bar reception with an ice carving, also for 20 guests. The fee for additional guests is $30 each.
The "Let Us Serve You" package starts at $1,595 and includes all the before mentioned amenities, a multi-course sit-down dinner with wine and Champagne, rather than a cocktail reception. It's available for a minimum of eight guests. This includes the bride and groom. Additional guests must pay fees of $34.50 per adult and $17.25 per child 12 and under.
For approximately $1,395, the cruise line offers an on-island ceremony package called "Island Breeze." This package is similar to the "Just You & Me" package, minus priority check-in on embarkation day. Nuptials can be held outdoors in port, or at a local courthouse. Transportation for the bride and groom is included. However, there is an extra fee for guests.
Princess is one of the best cruise lines to hold your wedding on. The "Tie the Not" packages are available on all Princess ships. This allows couples to choose the ideal Love Boat for their marriage.
The first package offered by Princess is the "Tie the Knot at Sea" package starting at $1,800, along with a $466 fee for a marriage license. It includes use of the chapel, a wedding coordinator, a candlelit ceremony officiated by the captain, live music, floral arrangements, a rose bouquet for the bride and a boutonniere for the groom, a photographer with a selection of pictures, a cake, Champagne, and a wedding certificate.
The "Tie the Knot Harborside" package ranges from $1,700 to $2,000, plus a fee of $500 for a marriage license. This package includes priority check-in and boarding for the couple and their guests on embarkation day, an on-board ceremony, a wedding coordinator, recorded music, floral arrangements, a rose bouquet and boutonniere, a photographer, cake, Champagne, and a wedding certificate.
The "Tie the Knot Ashore" package ranges from around $2,000 to $4,900. The package includes a ceremony at a beach or garden, transportation for the couple, an officiant, a wedding coordinator, a bouquet and boutonniere, a photographer, cake for two, Champagne and a wedding certificate. Receptions, photography packages and enhanced ceremony options are available at an extra cost.
The coolest part of Celebrity's packages is that captains can perform ceremonies at sea on all ships (except on Xpedition). The "Celebrity Weddings" program offers onboard ceremonies and destination weddings.
The "Nautical Nuptials at Sea" package starts at $2,500. It includes a captain-led ceremony, an event coordinator, live music, one hour of photography (pictures sold separately), cake for two, Champagne, a bouquet and boutonniere, plus additional romantic turndown amenities post-ceremony. Couples can also arrange shoreside and in-port weddings on-board the ship, presided over by an officiant instead of the captain. Both in-port shipboard weddings (starting at $2,195) and shoreside weddings (starting at $2,895) include all of the "Nautical Nuptials" features, except for the turndown services. Shoreside ceremonies also include round-trip transportation to the ceremony site.
Celebrity Cruises also offers extras (for a fee) such as a welcome reception, a bridesmaid tea party, and cigar and cognac party to set the tone for the wedding cruise.
Disney Cruise Line
DCL is a fun choice, particularly for previously married couples who have young kids. Disney offers a low-stress, low-hassle package.
Disney's "Cruise Collection" wedding package is available on all cruises out of Florida. The package starts at $3,000 and includes a bridal bouquet and boutonniere, a wedding coordinator and officiant, a solo musician (usually a pianist), Champagne toast, two-tier wedding cake with keepsake topper, a special wedding gift and commemorative Disney a wedding certificate, $100 onboard credit for the wedding couple, in-cabin Champagne and strawberries, and dinner for two at Palo (Disney's adults-only alternative restaurant). The package can accommodate eight guests, plus the couple.
MSC offers two packages. On-board weddings and shoreside weddings. The on-board option includes a pre-cruise wedding consultant, priority check-in for the couple and guests, pier-to-cabin escort service for the couple, a wedding coordinator, a nondenominational officiant, recorded music, a bridal bouquet with matching boutonniere, cake for two, a bottle of sparkling wine and one hour of photography coverage. The price starts at $1,600 for a shipboard wedding.
Shoreside weddings allow couples to marry in destinations such as Barbados, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, San Juan, Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. The package includes a pre-cruise consultant and wedding day coordinator, a ceremony officiant, a bridal bouquet with a matching boutonniere, cake for two, a bottle of sparking wine, and one hour of photography. The couple also will receive taxi transportation to and from the ceremony location. Prices start at $2,200 for a destination wedding.
Couples can customize either package for an extra fee by upgrading with photography and videography services, music, fresh flowers, food and beverages, specialty items such as favors and aisle runners, transportation for shoreside events, and personalized stationary for announcements and invitations.
No matter which cruise line you choose, you will have a magical day that you'll never forget!
Shoutout to my future wife who is going to have no choice but to read this article and choose a cruise line. This is the only way that I will EVER get married (okay maybe not but it's worth a shot). Sorry babe!