Smooth sailing

13 Feb 2014

Smooth sailing

A cruise wedding may seem like the perfect start to a beautiful marriage, however, there are some important points to consider which will help ensure that your wedding sails smoothly into the sunset. Here are our top ten tips when planning a wedding during a cruise

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Image gallery

1. Say “I do, Cap’n” – You can request the captain of the ship to perform your ceremony? An increasing number of lines offer this option, including Cunard, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and P&O Cruises. To learn more about what each line offers, see Cruise Critic’s Best Cruise Lines for Weddings, www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=4

2. Not all guests have to sail. If friends or family members are unable to make the cruise, don’t fear; they can still attend the ceremony. If you get married in a homeport, you can invite guests to meet you there. Lines such as Royal Caribbean enable you to wed while the ship is docked, meaning that non-sailing guests can attend the ceremony and reception onboard.

3. But, if you prefer to keep your special day A-list ‘exclusive’, a cruise wedding is a fantastic way to ‘streamline’ your guest list. Onboard weddings tend to be fairly small and intimate affairs, helping you to keep the guest list short, and the costs down.

4. If you opt to get married at a port of call, during your cruise, be aware that you could encounter itinerary changes (due to weather, mechanical or other issues) so be prepared to change your plans last minute… or you could miss your own wedding!

5. Plan around the seasonal changes. The Caribbean may seem a picturesque cruise destination, but when planning a wedding, don’t forget that June to November is hurricane season. After all, no bride wants a hurricane on her wedding day.

6. If you want a wedding with a difference, you may like to consider a glacier in Juneau, Alaska or the beach on a cruise line’s private island, www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=1418. And, best of all these options aren’t reserved for the stars…. hold the paparazzi!

7. “To fly or not to fly?” that is the question. The issue of whether you choose a ‘fly’ or ‘no fly’ cruise wedding is key, particularly when planning the logistics of transporting luggage. Choosing a ‘no fly’ wedding will add convenience, but if flying is unavoidable, be sure to research the airline’s baggage allowance.

8. Cruise-ship weddings might not be ideal for everyone. If your dream wedding involves 300 guests, and personally selecting each individual flower, this simple approach may not suit you. Consider the realities of getting married on a ship - your cabin could be small, and, if you’re inviting friends and family to your wedding at sea, you may have an entourage for your honeymoon.

9. Be inquisitive and talk to the experts – i.e. other cruise brides. A wedding at sea isn’t the most traditional choice, so it’s harder to fact-find from friends. If you have any questions, make the most of online forums such as Cruise Critic, and remember that no question is too trivial!

10. But….while sailing away across the ocean might be a very romantic wedding option, the reality is that getting married legally at sea has numerous complications. Do your homework, start planning early and familiarise yourself with the differences between a port and onboard wedding.

For more tips on planning a cruise wedding, visit Cruise Critic to read more cruise wedding tips visit www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=1541 and the best cruise lines for getting married at sea: www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=4

About Cruise Critic, www.cruisecritic.co.uk

Cruise Critic® is an online cruise guide, offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travellers, from first-time cruisers to avid cruise enthusiasts. The site features more than 100,000 cruise reviews and hosts the world’s largest online cruise community where travellers share experiences and opinions with fellow cruisers. Cruise Critic was the first consumer cruise site on the Internet, launched in October 1995 by The Independent Traveler, Inc, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

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