Cruises are the ultimate in destination weddings: you simply step on board and are whisked away to a romantic ceremony with a built in honeymoon on the high seas. Almost all cruise lines offer wedding coordinators so planning is easy, and most basic wedding packages include the ceremony, cake, champagne toast and a bouquet.
How do you choose which cruise is right for your big day? We’ve rounded up our favorites, so now all you have to do is say “I Do!”
Carnival is a great option if you want to get married on a cruise ship, but don’t want to leave non-cruising friends and family out of your special day. Carnival offers a departure day ceremony and reception onboard with your guests who are not sailing. Invited guests need only their ID and be on a pre-submitted list to join in the celebrations.
Crystal is the perfect fit for wedding wanderlusters, with the option to get married at almost any of the 200 ports on seven continents. With the newly launched Crystal Celebrations service, dedicated party planners can arrange for you to celebrate your vows in a Cape Town vineyard, an Italian piazza or on a beach in Bali, not to mention spots in Asia, South America, Scandinavia, Canada, or the Caribbean (just to name a few).
If you picture a captain dressed in crisp whites marrying you miles from land, Celebrity ships are for you. Ships are registered in Malta, and captains have the authority to marry couples in international waters. A Maltese marriage license takes ten weeks to process, so advance wedding planning is a must for Celebrity.
Occasionally, Mickey and Minnie are free to participate in the cake and champagne celebration after a wedding performed on the ship. Their attendance — or that of a few other select characters — is based on request, and provided only when their busy schedules allow. An extra fee applies. Ceremonies for Disney weddings take place on departure day on the ship in your home port, so plan on an early arrival.
Setting sail with an extensive wedding party? Royal Caribbean is great for big groups. For example, if you book eight or more staterooms on a Royal Caribbean ship, you qualify for special group dining; with 20 or more guests you can get private shore excursions; and with 25 rooms or more, you may get wedding perks such as a complimentary open bar or hors d’oeuvres. Royal Caribbean captains can legally perform weddings at sea (ships are registered in the Bahamas), so your ceremony can take place on the high seas.