There was a time when a destination wedding aboard a cruise ship was difficult to plan and sometimes even impossible due to logics and the marriage laws of a foreign country. Over the past few years it's gotten much easier to marry at sea as cruise lines devote more resources to their "romance" packages. To that end, Norwegian Cruise Line just announced new wedding packages that make it a breeze for couples to plan ceremonies and receptions away from home.
Norwegian, in partnership with Royal Ocean Events, are tempting engaged couples with three options for their nuptials. The Destination wedding is performed on shore in certain ports throughout the world. Harborside events are performed on board while the ship is docked in select ports and the Symbolic package includes a ceremony performed on board while at sea.
If you pick the Destination package, you can select a ceremony site on shore in ports of call throughout the world. In the United States you can marry in like Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, Juneau, Boston, New York, Seattle, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and New Orleans. There are plenty of options in the Caribbean too, like St. Lucia, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Aruba, and St. Thomas. In Europe, the only port of call on the list is Santorini, Greece.
The Destination package includes round-trip transportation to the ceremony for the bride and groom, assistance with the marriage certificate, on-site wedding coordinator, a private ceremony location, bridal bouquet and groom's boutonniere, pre-recorded ceremony music, a local marriage officiant (or you can bring your own), a six-inch wedding cake, one bottle of champagne, and a keepsake wedding certificate.
If you wish to marry on the ship, you'll want to check out the Harborside and Symbolic packages. Harborside ceremonies are performed right on the ship in select ports of call and include most of the same perks as the Destination package. Couples picking the Symbolic wedding package also marry onboard the ship but they do so while the ship is at sea and the ceremony is presided over by a ship's officer or staff member.
Some couples plan very intimate events with just the two of them while others invite all their family and friends to attend. Norwegian and Royal Ocean Events can customize any wedding day with save the date cards, invitations, specialty bouquets and centerpieces, entertainment, photography and videography, catered receptions, and designer wedding cakes.
Wedding packages start at $1,600. Vow renewals range from $299–$499.
Andrea M. Rotondo is a freelance writer based in New York City. She covers cruise news and luxury travel trends for Fodors.com and writes for a variety of outlets, including her website Luxury Travel Mavens. Follow her on Twitter: @luxtravelmavens.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line