Theyre not as secluded as an
over-the-water bungalow in Bora Bora, but cruise ships are growing
in popularity with honeymooners, said Andy Pesky, executive vice
president of New York-based Protravel.
I think its
really an untapped market as far as the honeymoon market is
concerned, Pesky said. Tahiti is great, the Mediterranean is
getting a big play for the summer months, the Caribbean always is a
good play. I dont think theres anything thats really
sales director at Cruisecheap.com, said the biggest pitfall for
honeymooners is going to a resort and ending up being
Those big ships
can kind of dissolve that, she said. There are a lot of
honeymooners out there who are real active and looking for not just
a lot of activity, but variety. And then, of course, there are
people who are able to entertain themselves ... and they might lean
toward something like a Windstar.
cruise line offers some sort of romance package with goodies geared
toward honeymooning clients or those celebrating a special
occasion, such as an anniversary.
Lines $79 honeymoon/anniversary package, for example, includes
sparkling wine and strawberries in the cabin and dinner in the
ships Le Bistro restaurant with a complimentary bottle of wine. The
deluxe version of the package, for $229, includes a
On Carnivals Web
site, www.carnival.com, friends and family can order extras
like Fun Ship chocolates ($10) or a dozen red roses ($48) for the
Club offers vow renewals for couples who marry ashore but still
want a ceremony at sea. The line offers the ceremony plus a
complimentary toast for two.
But if clients
want to invite a group of friends and family, for $350 they receive
printed invitations; a 12-person reception hosted by the captain,
with caviar, champagne and cake; and a Hadeland crystal wedding
gift from the captain.
offer several other options for couples who want a more inclusive
ship experience, including having the wedding onboard.
You can do a
basic onboard wedding package, Price said. The one Im pricing now
with Celebrity is $1,095. It doesnt include the reception and the
photographer, but it includes an officiant, cake and champagne. It
is so affordable.
typically offer two options for weddings: an onboard ceremony thats
conducted in port and a destination wedding, where the couple
exchanges vows during a port call.
Many cruise ships, like Royal
Caribbean Internationals Voyager-class ships and Carnivals
Spirit-class vessels, have small chapels that can be used for the
wedding ceremony. In other instances,
the ships crew will rope off an area of the vessel for a wedding
priced accordingly, depending on how many bells and whistles the
for example, has Duet, Harmony and Symphony packages that describe
the size of the event. As its name suggests, a Symphony would
include more perks than a Duet event.
In any event, an
onboard wedding can be less expensive than its shoreside
counterpart -- which, as Pesky pointed out, can be
Lines wedding packages start at $1,295 for sailings in North
America and the Caribbean. The ship provides music, flowers,
photography, cake, a wedding planner and, of course, the service.
The reception, with food, beverages and more cake, can be arranged
for an extra fee.
Caribbean, receptions start at $26 per person for an hourlong
reception with hors doeuvres and an open bar with house wines and
A cruise line
planner or coordinator can help take a basic package and add on the
extras, Price said -- exchanging taped music for live music, for
wedding thats performed in the ships embarkation port would enable
the couples friends and family who arent taking the cruise to
participate in the ceremony.
register with the ship beforehand as a guest and would disembark
before the ship sails.
brides take note: If your ship comes in late or U.S. Customs
clearance is delayed on the morning of your wedding, the reception
could be more than a little rushed.
The ceremony is
performed by a notary public, although captains often perform
The exception is
Princess Cruises, where passengers can be married by the master of
are a little more adventurous. What do
travel agents do if their clients tell them they want to get
married on a glacier in Alaska?
No problem. From
upwards of $2,000, Royal Caribbean International will fly the
couple to a mountain glacier during a port call in Juneau.
For those who want to invite friends and
family, a garden ceremony can be arranged in Juneau for about
Is there a couple
who wouldnt fancy a location in Tuscany? Done -- for $4,000. Or
maybe theyd just like to use a beach in St. Thomas as a backdrop
for the big day.
For about $1,700,
Royal Caribbean can arrange it. For an extra $15 per person,
clients can get champagne and cake served at the site. An ice
sculpture also can be transported to the location for
A 32-page PDF
file available on Carnivals Web site lays out all of the available
onboard and on-site packages in each port of call.
A ceremony in a
gazebo or waterfall setting in Ocho Rios includes the ceremony for
the bride and groom, a champagne toast, a tropical bouquet and
boutonniere, music and photography. The price is $995.
The cruise line
coordinator will set up the destination weddings for your clients,
and the cruise line often can help clients obtain a marriage
license in the country or state where theyd like the ceremony to be
But be sure to
check. Royal Caribbean assists in some locations, but Carnival does
clients can put together do-it-yourself shoreside weddings, but
Price cautioned against it.
Ive had this
happen: The ship changed the order of the ports and youre not on
St. Thomas on Tuesday, Price said.
Another bonus for
agents, as far as an onboard wedding is concerned: Unlike a getaway
honeymoon, brides and grooms who plan an onboard wedding are more
likely to have an entourage.
You get a group
discount and the value-added amenities, Price said. And then you
have, ideally, the expert advice of the [cruise line wedding
planner] to administer to your group, she said.
reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].